This could be one of the best areas of Lisbon, but it is one of the worst. Not recommended at night, even during the day it may have problems, because of the ethnic and religious minorities that dispute the place for all kind of deals.
If you want some really cheap shopping and accept all the inherent risks, however, this may be your best solution.
City hall made great effort to recover the area, and the results are coming. Martim Moniz is getting better!
Beside the Igreja de São Vincente de Fora materializes one of the best flea markets in Lisbon. Browse through old wristwatches, religious paraphernalia, cheap clothes, second hand vinyl, and unimaginable arrays of intriguing junk at this entertaining and funky extravaganza. There are also some pretty solid antique shops and stalls.
The market is open Tuesday and Saturday 08h - 14h.
Each Tuesday and Saturday morning, the streets behind the church of S. Vicente, and the Campo de Sta Clara, are invaded by a crowd selling... everything. Second hand articles and all you may guess will be there, but not so cheap as in the old days.
If you are careful about pickpockets (and bargaining experts) the place uses to be safe.
There are malls in Lisbon, as well as shops lining streets. I also saw a market near hotel where we stayed (Hotel Roma), where people sold mostly second-hand things - mainly crafts, jewelry, and other such things.
Most tourists which visit Lisbon, go to Chiado and Baixa, but ignore that Lisbon is probably one of the best cities in Europe to go shopping. Easily by metro, you can visit Centro Comercial Colombo (one of the the biggest malls of Europe) and Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama. By bus, you can also get easily to one of the biggest outlets in Europe. More information on: http://www.lisbon-guide.info/shopping_lisbon/shopping_centers
If you're into shopping, and enjoy a different space, listening to good chill out music, you should check this kind of shopping center, in Lisbon - Chiado. It's an open-space area, where you can have a drink, hang out in the computers, and spend money in cool clothing.
Here's the web address: www.vyrus.yorn.net.
This place closed down. i don't know why... i'm not taking the tip off yet, cause i still don't know if it'll open sometime.
Books (English Language)- I know three places. FNAC has a quite good English Language section hardbacks and paperbacks, all new. (FNAC Colombo Centre and FNAC Chiado). Livarica Britanica is next to the British Council (Metro Rato). A small section is also on the first floor of Virgin store in Restauradores, good for biographies.
La feria de Ladra, it's a flea market of anitques it's been there ever since many years ago!!!!!! like I think 1830's. It's down that street.
If you stop in one of the many small cafe's, try a pasteis. It looks like a cake with custard filling that has been burned. Tasty.