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What to buy in Portugal
A quick overview
What to see? Find the perfect souvenirs and souvenir shops in Portugal
Costs? You can find some very cheap gifts, but you can also splurge!
Where? Everywhere in Portugal.
Worth it? If you like bringing home some gifts and souvenirs from Portugal, then YES!
Discover the best souvenirs from Portugal and buy to get them
There are many different types of souvenirs on the market. This outlined article should help you look for the right items by category. And before we start, please be aware of what you can and cannot bring back to your country! Later on, there will be a little more generic available on the topic, but especially with fresh produce like cheese and meats, there might be regulations that won’t allow you to bring these items. Always check with customs in the country you return to (including any stopovers you might have!)
Also, a quick word about sustainable tourism: we live in a world of overconsumption, and this post is not here to lure you into purchasing more things you don’t necessarily need. But as many people like bringing a memory back home, this post offers you all options available in Portugal. Try to buy from locals where possible and gifts that were made locally.
Let’s start by looking at some typical Portuguese handicrafts. They are usable, decorative and have a special place in Portuguese culture.
On markets and in shops, you´ll see handbags, purses, wallets, belts, notebooks, sandals, and more items made from cork. Coasters and placemats are other popular items, and they make great decorations. It is surprisingly affordable, but be mindful of stitching and quality when you buy your favourite item. A lot of cork grows in Alentejo. You can spot the trees easily if you have to be in the region. You can even take a real cork tour and learn more about this diverse material!
Portuguese filigree jewellery
If you like a shiny souvenir from Portugal, filigree jewellery is a fabulous gift to bring home. The delicate metalwork is usually in gold or silver and has ornamental designs. They often have nature-inspired motifs like leaves, flowers and birds. Filigree takes a lot of expertise to make, and the roots of the making process go back 5000 years! It was popular in Mesopotamian and Egyptian cultures, especially during Roman times. Nowadays, you’ll find earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets in filigree jewellery shops. The precious metals, delicate threads, and handwork doesn’t make this the cheapest souvenir in Portugal, but one that will definitely steal the show! Filigree jewellery can be found in specialised jewellery stores around the country.
If you prefer beauty on the table, you’ll love Portuguese ceramics! The tableware is often handmade; besides being a functional solution, you’ll enjoy its stunning designs. Portugal is rich in clay, so the material is easy to acquire. Besides dinnerware, you’ll see many other uses, including purely decorative pieces. If you love ceramics, you can visit places like Caldas da Rainha, Alcobaça, Barcelos, and São Pedro do Corval. These towns are known for their beautiful artwork! You can, however, find ceramics in most tourist shops and villages. Bordallo Pinheiro, Vista Alegre, Casa Cubista, and Costa Nova are well-known Portuguese ceramic brands.
Tip: one of Discover Portugal’s favourite ceramics shops in Lisbon is Cerâmicas na Linha! They have a kilo price, and you can mix and match items where you like!
Azulejo tiles (or make your own!)
The ceramic tiles in Portugal are known as azulejo tiles and are one of the best souvenirs from Portugal! They decorate the walls of houses, churches, fountains, train stations and many more spots. The world-famous tiles come in all sizes and with different designs. A popular place to buy them is the flea market Feira da Ladra, but the rumour is that some tiles are taken off (abandoned) buildings to resell. So be mindful as to where they might come from. If you like a modern twist to your azulejo tiles, you’ll love Surrealejos! Or check out Sant’Anna Factory, which produces hand-painted Portuguese tiles. You can also opt to make your own tile.
A photo shoot in Lisbon
This souvenir is more of an experience, and you won’t have to worry about your baggage allowance flying home. During a photo shoot in Lisbon with Discover Portugal, you’ll visit the neighbourhood of Alfama (or any location of your choice during a private shoot). When you walk the cobblestone streets, I will take memorable images of you (and your loved ones). After the shoot, you’ll receive at least 30 high-res images in your inbox. Curious? Check this whole post about photo shoots in Lisbon.
Group shoots in Alfama - from € 49,00
Meet other travellers and explore the oldest neighbourhood of Lisbon. Price is per person.
Private shoot single person - from € 120,00
Perfect for solo travellers for a private photoshoot anywhere in Lisbon. Price is per person.
Private shoots for families and couples - from € 150,00
Perfect for couples, engagements, and families. Price is per group.
30-minute mini sessions - from € 100,00
30-minute mini sessions with 30 images (city of Lisbon only). Price is per group.
Best culinary souvenirs from Portugal
If you’re a foodie, this will be your favourite section! Portugal is known for its fabulous food and you can bring some souvenirs back home (remember to check local customs what you’re allowed to bring!). So let’s dive in so you can enjoy even more after your holiday!
Portuguese canned sardines
You’ll see sardine shops on many corners in the bigger cities. After all, Portugal has a rich maritime history, and sardines are special in Portuguese culture. The canned sardines are known as “Sardinhas de Conserva“, and the fish is typically caught in the Atlantic Ocean off the Portuguese coast. The sardines are canned in olive oil or other flavours and sauces, but the traditional methods are a top priority. And the Portuguese canned sardines are not only tasty, the cans have stunning designs! That makes it one of the best souvenirs from Portugal as they are a unique and flavourful gift. Brands like Ramirez, Comur, Tricana, and Santa Catarina are well-known for their quality canned sardines.
Pastel de Nata
Another famous culinary treat on the streets of Portugal is the famous Pastel de Nata! Born in Belém, known as Pasteis de Belém (pasteis is plural for pastel), this custard tart is known worldwide. Try the original in Belém or enjoy one at Manteigaria or Fábrica da Nata. You can even try vegan ones at A Carioca. They sell the custard tarts as souvenirs too. Their handy packaging is easy to travel with, and you can eat it up to a few days after purchasing. Impress the homefront with these best souvenirs from Portugal!
Are you more of a savoury type of person? Portugal has a wide selection of amazing cheeses! Queijo da Serra is often served in restaurants and is easy to get in supermarkets. Queijo da Serra da Estrela is produced by the sheep high in the snowy mountains of Serra da Estrela. It´s a creamy favourite! Or enjoy the Queijo de São Jorge if you prefer a more mature cheddar-like cheese. Other well-known cheeses are Queijo Serpa, Queijo do Pico, Queijo de Évora, and Queijo de Azeitão.
In restaurants, you’ll also see plenty of sausages on the menu. Favourites are Chouriço, Farinheira, Alheira and Moira. Visit the Praça da Figueira market or buy your favourite in the supermarket.
Piri piri sauce
Portugal’s number one sauce is, of course, piri piri sauce! This hot sauce is typically made from crushed chili peppers, lemon, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, salt, onion, vinegar, and oil. Piri piri stems from Mozambique and Angola, and the Portuguese explorers brought back this spicy deliciousness. Piri piri chicken can be found on most menus in Portugal, and you can buy the sauce in most supermarkets.
Although Portugal isn’t known for its spices and herbs, you can bring many tasty salts home with you. Flor de sal translates to salt flower and can be described as the “extra-virgin olive oil” of the salt world. The salt crystals are larger, and salt-producing towns are, for example, Castro Marim and Tavira in the Algarve. This salt comes from the Ria Formosa, but other Salinas in Portugal are located at Figueira da Foz and Aveiro.
Portuguese olive oil
To enjoy cooking with salt and other herbs, you might also want to check out Portuguese olive oil. Gallo Azeite Colheita, Rosmaninho Superior, Oliveira da Serra, and Casa de Santo Amaro Grande Escolha are well-known brands. Portuguese olive oil is mostly made in Alentejo and Trás-os-Montes. Some have a fruity, sweet flavour, whereas others have a ripe apple and fig aromas. Some olive oils are great for cooking, and others sparkle up your salad.
A Portuguese cookbook
Did you get hungry by now? Then a Portuguese cookbook might come in handy! You can buy them in most bookshops, but not all are in English. A great selection of cookbooks is found at Livraria Bertrand in Chiado, the oldest bookshop in the world! They also have books in French, German and sometimes other languages. There is also a bookstore at the LX Factory, Ler Devagar, which sometimes has English cookbooks. Or check out Azul Concept Store with a beautiful selection of cookbooks (and other coffee table stunners!)
A copper cataplana
When you love cooking fish and have your Portuguese cooking book in hand, a cataplana might also be handy. This cooking pot is perfect for seafood dishes, and if you’ve ordered cataplana during your holiday, you know exactly why it’s so great! The copper pot is often hand hammered, and it’s a traditional way to cook dishes on the stove. There is a shop on Rua Santo António da Sé (crossing Rua da Padaria), close to the cathedral Sé de Lisboa, where you can buy them. Not the easiest to transport, but a unique present from Portugal!
To digest all this goodness, it’s time for a cup of tea! There are specialist tea shops in Portugal, such as Companhia Portugueza do Chá in Lisbon. Or enjoy the flavours of Lisbon Tea Co, which has Madeira Wine flavours, as well as pastel de nata tea, black or green tea from the Azores or Ginginja Tea. In Óbidos, you can find similar teas in the shop Mercearia d’Óbidos. They also have an amazing selection of handmade chocolates!
If you like wine, you’ll have a great time in Portugal! Portuguese wines are known for their traditional production, and several wine regions are in the country. Most famous are Alentejo, Douro and Dão. But perhaps you’ve also heard about Port Wine, Vinho Verde (translates to green wine, but it’s white wine) and Madeira Wine. You can go on wine tastings all over the country and visit the vineyards of local wine producers. It makes it a great day out, and bringing back a bottle or two is also a great gift from Portugal!
In need of something stronger? Portugal has you covered! Ginjinha, for example, is a drink you’ll easily find in Óbidos or the streets of Alfama in Lisbon. Ginjinha, or Ginja, is made from ginja berries and tastes a bit like cherries. It’s often served with one berry in your shot glass, which can be made from chocolate. Try the drink in Ginjinha sem Rival or A Ginjinha, close to Rossio Square in Lisbon. You can also buy bottles here to bring home.
A lesser know liquor is Eduardino, which is made from Ginjinha! It also contains anise, and the sweet drink goes easy on the palette. You’ll spot the clown Eduardino who invented the drink on the label. He was a regular at Ginjinha sem Rival and started blending Ginjinha with other flavours. Eduardino was born and has been trademarked since 1908. Ginjinha lovers should definitely try this tasty beverage as well!
Beirão is an alcoholic drink from the Beira region. It was founded in 1940, but the liquor was made well before that time. It’s made from 13 botanicals, herbs and spices, and although that might sound like German Jägermeister or English Pimms, it tastes pretty sweet. It’s one of the most consumed alcoholic spirits in Portugal and is made at Quinta do Meiral. You can drink it neat, with ice or mixed as a cocktail. For example, remove the Cachaça from a Brazilian Caipirinha and add Beirão inserted: the Caipirão. You’ll also often see a combination of lime, ginger ale and Beirão. You can also find Beirão filled chocolates and even Beirão flavoured ice cream. Nom!
On the other hand, Medronho is a stronger spirit and should be handled with care. Medronhos Brandy (FireWater) originates from the Algarve, where the Medronho trees easily grow. You can visit Casa do Medronho in the Monchique Municipality to learn more about the Medronho trees and the distillation process. The Medronho is picked in late September and early October, and after fermentation and distillation, a clear and strong alcoholic drink is ready to be enjoyed!
If you happen to visit the Portuguese island Madeira, you can try the tasty Madeira Rum! Rum da Madeira is often called sugarcane spirit as it’s made from sugarcane juice. Madeira Rum House in Funchal offers tasting sessions where you learn more about the history of the rum, and, of course, you get to try several types of rum. There are four distilleries on the island, and you taste each one.
Another unique drink in Madeira is Ponha, and it’s one to put on your to-try list! It originates from Câmara de Lobos, but you can drink it all over the island. The most famous bar is Taberna da Poncha on the VE4 road on the island. The bar serves different flavours, such as passion fruit and orange. The original Poncha recipe contains sugar cane rum, three to five tablespoons of honey, and the juice of two lemons.
Portugal offers some nice beauty products and soaps you can bring home. A much-loved brand is Benamôr 1925, made from natural ingredients sourced in Portugal. They sell soaps, face creams, hand and foot creams, shampoo, and gift sets. The company was founded in 1925 in Lisbon, and the original ingredients used were lemon, rose, aloe Vera or almond oil. Queen Amélie loved their products, and it’s still one of the most beloved beauty brands in the country.
If you love hand soaps, you’ll enjoy using the soaps made by Claus Porto. They have stores worldwide, but you can visit the Lisbon store on Rua da Misericórdia 135 or the Porto store on Rua das Flores 22. The boxes alone are stunning and can be reused. The bath & body products come in different fragrances, and they also sell cologne. Claus Porto has been in business since 1887. Two German entrepreneurs, Ferdinand Claus and Georges Schweder decided to open a soap and fragrance store in Porto. Claus Porto’s factory is still producing the lovely smelling soaps in Porto.
Castelbel Porto has a shorter history, but the luxury brand is a favourite of many. In 1999, Aquiles Barros was a professor of Chemistry at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto. An American brand asked him to produce luxury scented soaps, and in 2000 production started. Castelbel has stores in Braga, Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, and Lisbon.
DVINE is a brand that was developed in 1970 in the Medinfar Lab (part of the Medinfar Group). This pharmaceutical group specialised and developed a range of cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. They looked for natural beauty and found this in the Douro Valley (hello grapes!). You can buy DVINE products in Portuguese pharmacies or online.
Soaps in the shape of an azulejo tile? Lisbão sells these beauties. Find them in pop-up stores such as Madalena à Janela or in local markets (check their Instagram). They are made with vegetable oils and wrapped by hand. The name comes from the words Lisboa (Lisbon) and sabão (soap). Charles Do Rosário started this fun brand in 2011 to raise people’s awareness about cultural heritage in Portugal. With success!
Barral has been around since 1835, focusing on skincare for the whole family. The complete range of high-quality products makes Barral the specialist brand in hydration and an immediate reference in the skincare and health segment. They had products for all ages, including babies and children. The Barral brand has a dedicated research and development team under dermatological control. You can find the flagship pharmacy on Rua Augusta in Lisbon.
Clothing and fabrics
A useful souvenir from Portugal is made from fabric! There are many different products, depending on your preference. Here is a selection of products to choose from.
Especially, Vila, do Conde (north of Porto) is known for its lace in Portugal, but also Peniche has a long history of this craft. You can purchase the bobbin lace products at craft fairs and local stores. If you are in Vila do Conde, you can visit Museu das Rendas de Bilros, a real Bobbin Lace Museum! Or visit the bobbin lace exhibition that happens annually in Peniche in July. Table runners are one of the most common products made from lace, but you will discover many variations.
Besides lace, embroidered linen has been loved throughout the centuries. The linen is not only beautiful but also a functional souvenir from Portugal! You might find some at Feira da Ladra flea market in Lisbon (Tuesdays and Saturdays), or you can visit Ricami Veronica on Rua Augusta in Lisbon. They made special designs for you on the spot!
A fan of Benfica or Cristiano Ronaldo? It will be hard to miss this souvenir in Portugal. Most tourist shops sell football-related products such as balls, jerseys, towels, hats, and socks. Benfica and Sporting (Loja Verde Official Store) have official stores in Lisbon, and in Porto, you can find official FC Porto apparel.
Portugal has a rich history of leather craftsmanship, and the quality really stands out. Visit Campo de Ourique Market in Lisbon if you would like to buy some handmade leather. You’ll find shoes, belts, bags, gloves, and more.
Many souvenir shops in Portugal also sell other types of clothes and fabric items. Think of tote bags, socks, hats, towels, baby rompers and t-shirts.
Traditional gifts from Portugal
Galo de Barcelos (the rooster)
If you think of Portugal, you might quickly think of the famous rooster. Galo de Barcelos, or the Rooster of Barcelos, has become a symbol for the country, and you’ll see the rooster in every souvenir shop. Barcelos is a city in the northwest of Portugal, and the rooster is the star of a folktale. Long story short, a pilgrim from Galicia was suspected of stealing silver and was sentenced to death. The Galician pilgrim claimed his innocence before a judge and added, “It is as certain that I am innocent as that rooster will crow when they hang me.” A banquet was happening at the time, including a roasted rooster on the table. As soon as the man was hanged, the rooster stood up and crowded. Luckily the rope and knot weren’t tightened enough, and the pilgrim went free. There are more stories about the rooster, so who knows which one is true… but it makes it was of the best souvenirs from Portugal! That’s for sure!
Fado related souvenirs
When you spend some time in Portugal, you’ll also quickly hear singing from traditional restaurants. Fado is a traditional music form with tales about the past, longing, and other poetic subjects. If you can, join a Fado show in one of the restaurants to immerse yourself in this tradition’s beauty. Afterwards, you can buy a CD or USB stick with songs from local Fado singers. Amália Rodrigues was one of the most famous Fado singers, and you’ll see her portrait on many vinyls and CDs.
Ok, this one isn’t easy to bring home, but musicians might be interested in buying a Portuguese instrument! The Portuguese guitar is a great souvenir from Portugal as it has a chordophone with 12 strings in six courses. The pair-shaped instrument will definitely stand out in your collection! Guitarra Portuguesa is used in Fado music and can be bought in certain music stores. Salão Musical de Lisboa on Largo do Carmo has a colourful selection, and Casa da Guitarra is perfect for when you visit Porto.
Arts & crafts and other best souvenirs from Portugal
There are many more best souvenirs from Portugal to bring home, many of which are typical collectors’ items. Here is a list with some ideas.
✓ Buy a book at Livraria Bertrand in Chiado (Lisbon), the oldest bookshop in the world! They will even stamp the book for you, and books like The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa and Very Short History of Portugal by A.H. de Oliveira Marques make great souvenirs.
✓ Handmade magnets: please avoid the 3 for € 1,00 as they are probably not made in Portugal. There are, however, beautiful ceramic magnets and even paint-painted ones available.
✓ Postcards: why not send a postcard to your friends and family at home?
✓ Poster or painting: many artists in Portugal paint the most beautiful art pieces. This is an amazing and long-lasting memory of your time in Portugal.
✓ Christmas ornaments: for the Christmas lovers amongst us, visit the shop Nickolaus which is open all year round. Here you can find many styles of cribs and amazing Christmas ornaments. Nickolaus has a store on Rua do Carmo 87 in Lisbon.
✓ Snow globes: you’ll find these in most souvenir shops in Portugal
✓ Pins: pins are a great collectable and don’t take up much space. Bring one from the Portuguese flag, the rooster, or the famous tram!
✓ If you visit Oceanário de Lisboa, take y look at their souvenir shop. They have a fabulous collection that will help the oceans, but many are also environmentally friendly. The shop in the aquarium is great for presents for kids!
Best souvenirs from Portugal: regional products
You can buy most souvenirs all over Portugal, but some are better to buy in certain locations.
✓ Best souvenirs to buy in Lisbon: Benfica merchandise, pastel de nata from Pasteis de Belém, Portuguese Azulejos, Ginjinha, and ceramics
✓ Best souvenirs to buy in Madeira: Poncha, Madeira Wine
✓ Best souvenirs to buy in Alentejo: Wine, olive oil and cork
✓ Best souvenirs to buy in Porto: Port Wine, Tapte Puxado (rugs and blankets)
✓ Best souvenirs to buy in the Algarve: flor de sal (salt)
What not to bring home!
There are also some things that you should not be taking home! It goes without saying you shouldn’t bring sharp objects in your hand luggage, so be mindful of that. And also, liquids over 100 ml aren’t allowed in your hand luggage. To avoid saying bye-bye to your favourite bottle of wine, buy them at the airport. The prices are similar to in stores.
Things that are often forbidden:
✓ Sand (or other soil) – many people collect a little sand from countries to display at home, but this is not allowed. Bring home sand is illegal from beaches all over the world!
✓ Shells, rocks, corals – all these natural items play an ecological role in the environment. Let’s protect the world’s diversity and leave nature in places where it belongs. You can expect a hefty fine if you’re caught with them in your luggage!
✓ Check your local customs before exporting fruits, plants, roots, seeds, cheese, meat and other foods.
Where to buy your souvenirs in major Portuguese cities
You can buy souvenirs on almost every street corner, but some places are standing out on your souvenir shopping spree!
✓ LX Factory (several shops and many pop-up stores)
✓ Nickolaus (Christmas decoration)
✓ Luvaria Ulisses (for stunning gloves)
✓ The Lisbon Shop by the Lisbon Tourist Office
✓ Benamôr (for skin care)
✓ A Vida Portuguesa
✓ Silva e Feijoo in Lisbon (gourmet products, wines, soaps etc.)
✓ Azulejo handmade by us
✓ Lisbon Cork
✓ Amar Lisboa
✓ Soma Ideas
✓ EmbaiXada (even for just checking out the building!)
✓ A Loja Azul (Azul Concept Store)
✓ Mercearia dos Açores
✓ Cerâmicas na Linha (ceramics)
✓ The A-framed houses in Santana (Poncha, sweets)
✓ Mercado dos Lavradores (for cheese, salt, herbs and other foods)
✓ Chez Madere
✓ Bordal (for embroidery)
✓ UAU Cacau (chocolate)
✓ Jacarandá Sé Gifts
✓ Blandy’s (for Madeira wine)
✓ Ó! Galeria (illustrations and design)
✓ A Vida Portuguesa
✓ Terroir Gourmet
✓ Claus Porto
✓ Douro wines
✓ Alentejo wines
✓ Olive oil
Pastel de nata
Ceramics and azulejo tiles
Poncha (from Madeira)
Piri piri sauce
Ginjinha cherry liqueur
Images from a photoshoot with Discover Portugal
Rooster of Barcelos
As you can see, you might want to bring an extra suitcase to go shopping! A lot of special pieces made the list of best souvenirs from Portugal. From wine to embroidery and roosters to pastel de nata. Which ones surprised you or would you be most interested in?