Before I start with the actual tip, here's a short notice: this is my 1000th tip on VT! Congratulations to myself for all the great pages I created! :)
Garbags is a great pun and a great little shop in Lisbon. It's a one-woman business run by Tania Anselmo, and she creates bags from recycled materials. The majority of these are plastic packs of some kind - toothpaste tubes, detergent packs etc. We actually stumbled upon the shop when I saw a huge box full with identical toothpaste tubes in front of its door. Naturally we went in and were greeted by a very friendly and enthusiastic woman who told us that what she does is more than just selling bags. In fact, it's a kind of waste-management-active-neighbourhood-re-employment programme. Lisbon is not the cleanest of cities, so there is always lots of waste that needs to be taken care of. Tania Anselmo's idea was to create new stuff of all these things - and she is highly successful in it. She also lets local people produce the new bags so she's doing something for the local community as well. Last but not least, she's also trying to spread the message that sustainability is possible and just makes it happen.
After having browsed through pretty much everything on offer, we eventually bought three smartphone cases. They weren't exactly cheap at € 10 each, but it's money well spent. Moreover, each of them is a unicum, as are the majority of products.
What to buy: bags, mobile phone cases, belts, purses, wallets... if you can make it from recycled plastic and the like, you can find it at Garbags
What to pay: I'm not buying bags very often, but I suppose that they are pretty good value. Compared with cheap shops, they are probably more expensive, but in general still affordable.
There are those occasions - more often than not in today's travels - when by necessity, demand and even urgency where we find ourselves wanting that new and extra luggage to have to accommodate our suddenly enlarging purchases, to give that extra convenience and room or to simply have one so new precisely the one we've just spotted...simply as a new addition to one's accoutrements to keep.
But good well-made luggage we know is an item one needs to really take time to investigate and look around for. And then there's also the affordability factor which with these travelling days of ours can be an important consideration especially when one is stuck in a place/city known already to be costly.
Fortunately, this little problem is not so much of a burden in Lisbon. The city fortunately offers a lot of choices across the shopping spectrum and so much are still locally made in Portugal including and especially fantastic leather goods on par with Italy and France. And so much of it are quite affordable, more so if one takes the time to really look around....not so much time but at least in a day of meandering around endless shops all over.
There's one outstanding leather-goods store in Lisbon that I have personally found to be highly commendable and wholly reliable so central one can save so much time going about the city looking for the best leather stuff especially along luggages, wallets, purses, valets, belts and all types of carry-ons. The store is Malas Sao Nicolau. Centrally located in the Baixa (lower grid-like part of Lisbon) just off the main pedestrianized main street of Rua Augusta precisely on Rua Sao Nicolau. And, ladies, while waiting for your man trying to decide on a new leather wallet or bag, you can indulge yourself on the store's equally appealing and eye-catching trinkets of jewellery or beautifully-crafted leather gloves. I came upon this mostly luggage store by chance actually when during one recent trip to Lisbon I had realized I needed a quick replacement of my very battered tho still held-up baggage I took with me. While wandering around the Baixa looking actually first for a good spot for quick bica (Portuguese version of the expresso) I happened to notice the store as I made a quick turn into the pedestrianized Rua Augusta. These days, where I have come to love this endearing city and pay her a visit at least once a year, I make it a point to stop by quickly at Malas Sao Nicolau to see what new stuff they have (even if purchasing nothing) but mostly to know that it is still around and continues to thrive despite the difficult economic times which the country - like most others globally - is currently experiencing.
The store's stock is quite extensive and impressive to say the least. They have all types from Samsonite, Delsey, Rimowa, Universal, Camel Active and much more. Senhora Usha, a most charming, helpful and non-intrusive owner, together with her husband helped me go thru the ropes and details involving the selection. I ended up with a black medium sized heavy duty Delsey. It was a good choice come to think of it as it had gone thru several pounding trips already and showing no tear but the common unavoidable little scratches on the surface. Next visit, I have to have a new stunning carry-on which I have already spotted at Malas Sao Nicolau duing this last visit.
What to pay: Luggages, the well-built ones especially, are normally pricey. They could run up as high as beyond 1000 Euros each. But in Lisbon when shopping wisely as in Malas Sao Nicolau, one can spend much less for a really good one. Leather hand-carry ons and locally made first class can be also great bargains. For my good Delsey, I paid $150.00 worth.
I absolutely adore this store in Lisbon
LISBON LOVERS http://lisbonlovers.com/shop
I bought the sardine mug, the black bag with a heart, a T-shirt with the sardines and a keyring. (See the photo)
Great quality, have already washed the T-shirt a couple of times and the print looks like new!
Have used the bag when food shopping, it looks a bit flimsy but it's really good. Nice super lightweight bag to carry as an extra in your handbag.
They have a shop at Praça do Príncipe Real, 28A
(Please note in this googlemaps the shop is still empty)
PLEASE NOTE: The Rua da Prata 80 shop mentioned on their website in central Lisbon is closed for refurbishment ( May 12013) They are planning on opening it together with their friends http://natalisboa.com/index.php/en (I have confirmation of this from the owners) I will update this post as soon as they are open.
While the Rua da Prata shop is closed you can purchase their products in central Lisbon in this branch of the Papelaria Fernandes chain http://www.papelariafernandes.com.pt
(That's where I shopped, they have all sorts of other Lisbon related stuff as well)
It's situated just outside the Baixa/Chiado metro station exit (follow signs for Rua Crucifixo exit)
Their products are also stocked at the airport in the PORTOFOLIO shops
The biggest of them is situated to the right behind the duty free shop you first come to from security.
What to pay: See their website for prices http://lisbonlovers.com/shop/catalog/3
I've mentioned at another shopping tip earlier that leather goods are one of Lisbon's great buys. This goes true of shoes, handbags, purses, wallets, clothing gear, luggage, gloves, etc. all practically made locally of fine Portuguese leather.
This is especially true of local made handbags and wallets which by the way are fantastic gift items to purchase and practical to carry home.
One of the best places in Lisbon for these is the store Ponto Prata located on Rua da Prata in the Baixa district of the city which is the main artery of lower Lisbon sandwiched between the ancient neighborhoods of Bairro Alto and the Alfama.
Ponto Prata is an unassuming little store devoid of any catchy decor or sleek window display. Nothing inside but a stackful of mostly purses, handbags, belts, women's and men's wallets and some shoes. The selection is however not truly mind-boggling but enough to entice you to find small leather items you've been looking for to bring home as well-meaning gifts from your trip or perhaps a well-deserved gift for yourself you can enjoy even while enjoying this great city. And it's a very reasonably priced store. I can tell you from my own experience that this is a no-nonsense store wherein you go in and make or not make a purchase with hardly a fuss or bat of an eye from the salespersons.
In terms of wallets and purses, this is where I head to first when in Lisbon.
What to pay: Women's and/or men's leather wallets can be had as inexpensively at Ponto Prata as low as 10 Euros and up. Women's purses and handbags from about 18 Euros and up.
It is a small shop and has many pretty and trendy clothes for both men and women. They help you very much there and they also have shoes. They two cabins where you can change and try the clothes, but the best thing is that they help you a lot.
What to buy: You choose what you want to buy. Choose between clothes and shoes. All kind of trendy things here. From Energie to many other brands.
What to pay: It is little mre expensive, but I think you understand when you go there.
If you have tried to produce candles by ourselves, learning by yourselves how difficult to manufacture a candle is, you will love this 2-centuries-old shop. Even more, since they produce only hand made candles accordingly to an old family formula. The shop is run by an old nice lady, speaking a very poor English but believe me, her candles speak by their own. Closed on Sundays and Sat. afternoon.
What to buy: Every type of candles you'll like. Classical, minimal and fruit&vegetable shaped.
From the description of our travel book this shop could be a very nice experience, it was pity it wasn’t written it closes not only on Sundays but also on Sat. afternoon. It should be run by two old nice ladies selling every type of canned fish. From what we saw through the closed shop window, I recommend you to go and then tell me how it was.
Fatima Lopez is a Portuguese international successful designer coming from Madeira. In Europe, you can buy her clothes only in this shop in Lisbon otherwise there are many boutiques in USA. If you enter the shop in Bairro Alto (where Fatima also lives) you can understand why it is not so popular in Europe. Her clothes are mostly extremely sexy, rather aggressive and even fetishist. Sobriety doesn’t match at all with her name. Personally I wouldn’t ever wear such clothes but I found her bags really original (there were many hearth-shaped bags, for example). I am not recommend to walk all Lisbon only to go there but, if you are in the area (and it is probably you will visit Bairro Alto) a 10-minutes stop could be pleasant. The shop assistant will be at your complete disposal, not many people enter this shop!!
Mon-Fri 10am-10 pm, Sat 10am-8pm
What to buy: Bags are original and cost about 100-150 €.
What to pay: there is no limit in what you can spend there!
Fnac is my favourite shop in Colombo. There you can buy cds, dvds, books, electronic w
equipment and lots of other things. There is also a cafe there where you can sit and relax, very often the have concerts and live music there.
There are many little boutiques in Lisbon, especially in the touristy areas like near the Castelo de San Jorge. They sell mostly local crafts and souvenirs.
One of the most common souvenirs there is the rooster nick-nacks and statutettes. It has to do with a popular legend in Portugal. Apparently, in the olden days, a man was falsely convicted of a crime and sentenced to death. But he asked for an appeal, so they let him have an appeal. There was a roasted rooster on the table that they were eating, and the man said "If I am innocent, that rooster will crow", and then the rooster got up and started crowing. The man was then let free.
What to buy: I bought some fans, t-shirts, and cute little nick-nacks. Every store has rooster souvenirs.
What to pay: Depends on the item. But it shouldn't be too expensive.
What to buy: Everything. We thought the prices that we saw in Lisbon would be pretty much the same as everywhere else in Europe, so we bypassed many shops thinking we might find something we like better some other time. That was a mistake. Many things, especially the clothes, are cheaper in Portugal. So if you plan to do some good shopping, this is the place to do it.
Avenida da Liberdade, or Liberdade Avenue is like Oxford street in Portuguese style. All world famouse makes are in this avenue. If you really want to spend money this is the place.
The Avenue is really beautifull with big tree, lakes and gardens, and the shops are really fashion.
If you want to know more about portuguese fashion, take a look at this two shops.
Fátima Lopes is located in Rua da Atalaia, José António Tenente is located in Travessa do Carmo. (near of Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro)
What to buy: Portuguese fashion
A big wine show room inside the BELÉM CULTURAL CENTRE in Belém. Organises gastronomy sessions and other wine-related events, and sells a competently chosen range of wines. Recommended by the HUGH JOHNSON GUIDE, 1999 edition.
From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., closed mondays
What to buy: hummm...a Wine Store...so...
What to pay: a little..but...:)...it's portuguese wine!
One of the oldest handicraft shops in Lisbon, with a rich and wide assortment of genuine hand made regional products displayed in 300 square meters of showrooms a block down from the Post Office building.
What to pay: not much