Shopping centers and malls, Lisbon
I go to Lisbon to shop mainly for clothes and accessories. I've been there so far 7 times (EDIT: May 2013) and visited both Colombo and Amoreiras shopping centres. This time I was going to Parque das Nações (huge park near the river Tagus in the north-east of the city) anyway so I decided to visit the Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre which is there.
It's got 156 shops and 35 restaurants. But clothes shops wise it's a bit boring and Colombo which is another big centre has all the same ones only bigger and better plus some that Vasco doesn't even have.
So my advise: for serious shopping go to Colombo, if you're visiting the park pop into Vasco. Vasco does have a huge Continente supermarket as well which is handy for all sorts.
NOTE: Taking photos is not permitted in any of the malls, the security guards will come and tell you off if you get your camera out.
My Colombo review: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1836e1
This is the biggest Portuguese commercial centre and one of the biggest in Europe. With over 440 stores, 60 restaurants, a health club, an amusement park and a movie theatre with 10 screens. It has an outstanding architecture, inspired in the Age of Discoveries.
What to buy: It's surely a place where you can find anything you're looking for.
Vasco da Gama is my favourite comercial center of Lisbon, not cause of being the biggest but cause its the one that was made with more estetical taste. SO this shopping center at morning can actually be relaxing, the roofs are all in glass (its special made with water, like an aquarium) all thei center was inspired in water, ocean and Portuguese discoverys (thats why also its name) so in some places of the center u have also big walls with aquariums, also the bathrooms have fun sea deco.
In this shopping center u can also do everything since buy clothes, to buy food, to dinner in restaurants go to cinema or simply walk.
Most of restaurants in this center have a beautifull view over Parque das Nações and the river.
What to buy: Buy whatever u need or just walk.
What to pay: depends on shops u go and what u want
Colombo Shopping Centre is a huge mall in Benfica area, the biggest and most diverse in Lisbon...
Use the subway and head to “Colégio Militar” station... Than you find a real shopping temple... Colombo...
If you use a car you pay the parking and spend sometime nearby because of car congestion...
What to buy: About anything you wish, all anchor stores, services, franchising and food-chains make their presence...
What to pay: Avoid buying: large furniture, jewels or art pieces, they can be found cheaper if you look in the right places out of big malls...
We were going to the farmer's market, but it rained so much in the night that it was a bunch of mud holes. However, my last full day for that trip wasn't a total bore. José, Joaquina, and I went to what had to be the world's largest store, the Corte Ingles. I thought they were only in Spain, only this was bigger than any one of those I had seen in downtown Madrid- even that big one in Las Rozas. I mean it had a toy store, a souvenir shop, even a Benetton! There must be a Benetton in hell!
I didn't realize that Portugal had an El Corte Ingles (it's a Spanish store), but there is a great one in northern Lisbon near the Gulbenkian Museum.
The store has everything from food courts, to gift shops, to clothes, music, books, groceries, etc., etc. . . .
You should also check El Corte Ingles before buying tourist trinkets and souvenirs. Often you'll find better deals here than you would in the smaller shops in the city.
I like this one in particular because i'm use to it. It's smaller than the other ones I talk about in my previous tips, so easier to get yourself an orientation for shopping, without loosing your north direction. :)
This one has nice clothes and shoes stores.
At Amoreiras Shopping Center there are lots of shops, a supermarket, several restaurants, cafes and cinemas.
It is open until late in the evening, and also on sundays.
What to buy: There you can buy almost everything you need or like.
The shopping centre of Vasco Da Gama is just outside Oriente subway station. You'll immediately discover the modern, futuristic atmosphere of this neighbourhood, Parque das Naçoes. The shopping centre contains more than 150 shops and more than 30 restaurants! The interior is bright and there's plenty of space.
Check out the toilets, the wash basins and toilet seats are beautifully decorated with the fishes and ocean prints!
From the terrace, you have a nice overview of Parque das Naçoes!
There are two main outlets in the outskirts of Lisbon. What you have to have in mind about these is that they are a bit far away and so if you don't have a lot of time in Lisbon it will be a nonsense going there. The second thing is that often the outlet shopping is not much cheaper than the shopping in a normal mall store. Third Lisbon itself has wonderful and huge malls such as Colombo, El Corte Inglès, Vasco da Gama, Amoreiras, etc.
Freeport Outlet - Alcochete (http://www.freeport.pt/)
How to get here: By car cross the Vasco da Gama Bridge and follow in direction of Alcochete (about 35 Kms from city center). By bus 431, 432, 437 buses from TST from Gare do Oriente (trip takes 25 minutes but there aren't many buses throughout the day so beware).
How is the mall: It is the biggest outlet shopping centre in Europe with 75.000 sqm more than 140 stores, cinemas, bars and an exposition centre. The mall is not closed so in rainy days avoid coming here. The construction is under suspicion by both portuguese and british authorities and the scandal apparently might affect the portuguese prime minister, José Socrates. The financial situation of the mall is precarious (which is partly due to the bad location of the shopping centre) and bankrupcy has been spoken.
Opening Hours: 10h-22h (Sunday-Thursday, except July, August, November and December); 10h-24h (Friday-Saturday-day before bank holiday-July-August-November-December)
Campera - Carregado (www.campera.com)
How to get here: By car follow A1 highway north (direction Porto), exit to Carregado and follow the directions (about 40 kms from city centre). You can get a train of Azambuja train line to Castanheira do Ribatejo (1,80€/each way from Oriente or Santa Apolónia Stations, takes 30 minutes) and then there are free buses to the shopping centre (9:25, 11:40, 15:40, 19:40; return: 12:30, 16:30, 20:30, 22:30).
How is the mall: Has 25.000 sqm more than 120 stores and is an open air city with looks like a traditional portuguese village. The mall is not closed so in rainy days avoid coming here.
Opening Hours: 10h-22h
I've never come across a large department store that is open till midnight, including all the eateries, like the one in Lisbon - Colombo. At the end of the day we just went there looking for an item that was not available in the same shop downtown. The department store is huge - it has over 50 smaller shops, 20 fast food eateries as wella several restaurants and large grocery as well as DYI store. There is also some children entertainment, bowling etc.
What to buy: You can buy anything you would find in other shops in town, just there it's in one place. Of course it does not include merchendise from small boutiqes of Bairro Alto.
This shopping center has more than 150 stores, 36 restaurants, 10 movie theaters and a Health Club.
Fashion, jewellery, home appliances, parfums, cosmetics, sportswear, plants, music... everything can be found inside.
I visit Lisbon (7 times, May 2013) purely to shop for ladies clothes, shoes and handbags. I found the best place (apart from the various shops in center of town) for this is the HUGE Colombo shopping centre north west of the city. It's super easy to get to: it's on the blue Metro line, station Estação Colégio Militar.
The station is under the shopping mall, there are signposts for it as soon as you get out of the Metro. Or just follow the crowd!
Up the stairs from the metro, go through the ticket gates, turn RIGHT, walk to the end of the tunnel, go up the stairs to the LEFT, top of the stairs keep walking straight until you come to a fountain. Take the escalators up from the left side of the fountain. At the top turn RIGHT, walk through the outdoor cafe to the left and enter the shopping mall. You are now at the West end of it.
It has 420 shops and 64 restaurants (on the top floor.) It's open every day from 9 in the morning till midnight. If possible avoid going on Saturday and Sunday though as it's a very popular family outing destination for the locals and it gets very very very busy!
It's easy to navigate, there are plenty of info points. Also it feels very safe as there are loads of security guards everywhere.
Colombo shops directory - ladies clothes under Vestuário, Calçado e Acessórios
I also visit AMOREIRAS shopping centre, see my review here
I've also visited the El Corte Ingles department store in Saldanha as well but found it to be very expensive. El Corte is like Harrods, loads of stuff you can buy everywhere else a lot cheaper. Good example: I bought perfume there only to find it was ten Euros cheaper in Colombo!
So for great shopping under one roof head for Colombo!
Colombo shopping mall in Lisbon is the largest in all of Europe. So you can start here.
Then there's Amoeiras shopping mall in the Estrella neighborhood (beyond Bairro Alto).
There's also the mega complex El Corte Engles, the Spanish-franchised stores located at the top of Parque Eduardo IV (best approached from the Avenida da Liberdade).
If you like smaller boutique-style shops, the Chiado area (next to the Baixa, the lower part of Lisbon)is the Armazen do Chiado a mall comprising many small shops as are the areas especially on Rua Garrett full of interesting and hip stores.
Walk a few steps down to the Baixa and you have a gamut of little shops/stores especializing in leather goods, ceramics, carpets, wines, jewellery and of course more clothing.
This shopping centre is the biggest in Portugal :)
It is north of Lisbon, in the suburb of Benfica.
Basically, it has most of the main European brand stores like Sephora, Zara etc, but you can find some good local clothes and shoes too.
One thing I found when clothes-shopping in Lisbon that it was practically impossible to find something to cater to a UK size 12-14... my experience was that clothes were either for skinny little women or big obese ladies, it was very frustrating for me as I don't fall into either category.