Souvenirs don’t need to be just fridge magnets and t-shirts. Find something special to take home to remember Lisbon.
You don’t need our advice on where to pick up typical souvenirs in Lisbon. Take a walk through the Baixa and you’ll find dozens of shops selling the usual suspects. And don’t get us wrong: we love a good fridge magnet! But if you want to find something truly unique to remember your time in the Portuguese capital, you’ll need to go a little off-the-beaten-track. Here’s our guide on what to buy in Lisbon, Portugal.
Much of Lisbon’s unique look depends on the stunning tilework that decorates buildings across the city. With a tradition dating back to Moorish times, the city has been producing and exporting its azulejos for centuries. Taking home a couple of tiles can be a unique, authentic souvenir or gift.
For new tiles, Viúva Lamego is one of the oldest ceramics companies in Portugal. Their former factory in the Intendente neighborhood now houses a store with a selection of classic and avant-garde designs. If you’re looking for an antique tile, Solar Antiques has one of the largest selections of tiles in the world.
2. Tinned Seafood
If you turn your nose up at the idea of tinned fish, Lisbon should change your mind. As a seafaring nation, the country perfected the art of preserving seafood in the nineteenth century and exported it around the world. In fact, it’s the perfect foodie souvenir to buy in Lisbon, Portugal. The tins are often fabulously designed, they travel well, and will keep for years, giving you a taste of the city long after you leave.
A Vida Portuguesa, with branches around the city, has an excellent selection (alongside a range of made-in-Portugal handicrafts). If you want to try before you buy, Can the Can serves modern plates based around preserved fish, with tins available to take home upstairs.
Did you know that around half of the world’s cork is produced in Portugal? If you only think of wine stoppers, it’s time to think again. As a sustainably-grown and easily-recycled material, Lisbon designers have been using cork in new and innovative ways in recent years. Cork & Co in trendy Bairro Alto has everything from wallets and necklaces to placemats and bowls.
4. Wine and Port
For years, Portugal’s wines were the hidden treasure of Europe. Nowadays, the secret’s out: we’ve got some of the best-value wine in the world, and Lisbon is the perfect place to explore it. Most famous are the reds and fortified Port wines of the Douro valley, or the white vinho verde from Minho. But with 31 official wine regions, there’s a whole world to explore.
Many of these wines can be exceptionally hard to find overseas, making a few bottles an essential buy in Lisbon. Garrafeira Nacional has been operating since the 1920s and can offer expert advice on the best wines for your taste.
Local tip: What could be better than buying wine directly from the vineyard? Check out the 5 Best Lisbon Wineries.
5. Pasteis de Nata
If your friends and family are anything like ours, as soon as they know you’re going to Lisbon they’ll ask you for one thing: pasteis de nata. These custard tarts are the city’s iconic sweet treat. Whilst the most famous producer is Pastéis de Belém outside the old center, in recent years Aloma has been challenging their crown. Having expanded outside their original location in Campo de Ourique, they’ve opened in the Time Out Market.
Local tip: Aloma has a branch at Lisbon Airport, making them a great option for ultra-last minute gifts!
No matter where you are in the world—be it a cozy Lisbon cafe or your own comfy couch back home—you can get one of the top souvenirs from Lisbon with just a few quick clicks. A Devour Tours gift certificate is a must for the curious Europe-bound traveler on your list, and a great way to share the foodie love.
Ewan first visited Lisbon in a torrentially rainy November back in 2010. Even this couldn’t dampen his love for the city, and it’s been almost impossible to keep him away ever since. Ewan works as a professional tour guide with Devour Tours and writes about travel as much as he can.