14 May 2024

With the sun shining bright and the days getting longer, one of the best ways to explore Portuguese culture to its fullest is to visit the country’s traditional markets and fairs. Most of these markets, also known as flea markets, see their roots in the distant Middle Ages, a time when the exchange of goods was done in the prominent streets and squares. Today, these activities have become part of Portugal’s identity, happening throughout the year on a weekly or monthly basis and others annually, offering one-of-a-kind experiences.

In the stalls’ vibrancy adorned with handmade crafts and antiquities, you will find yourself lost in a journey through the history of communities. Here, you have the opportunity to explore national literature, sample delectable local delicacies and find the perfect traditional souvenir.

Join us as we unveil the top markets and fairs you must visit while in Portugal!

1. Lisbon's Flea Market

Feira da Ladra - edited-1

Known as Feira da Ladra, this iconic flea market in Lisbon started in the medieval period, 1272, as a travelling event. However, throughout the centuries, it has shapeshifted into a vibrant cultural affair where one can find tokens from times gone by. Located in Campo de Santa Clara in the Graça neighbourhood, the Feira da Ladra takes over the streets every Tuesday and Saturday.  

Amidst a sea of eclectic stalls, one can unearth a treasure trove of colourful textiles and handicrafts that showcase the skill of local creative artisans. Vinyl records, books, and small objects unveil before your eyes the customs and interests of this country’s people over the years. Beyond the market’s material side, it is the sense of community that stands out; Feira da Ladra is a meeting place where strangers become friends over shared tales and discoveries.

Who knows if you will not find here the perfect souvenir from Lisbon? A material embodiment of this city’s warmth, vibrancy, and melodic Fado soul

2. Estremoz Market

Estremoz Market

Journeying south to the Alentejo region, every Saturday you will find the streets of Estremoz bustling with a new energy. This weekly event has become a meeting place for the town’s people that has also become a living memory for those who visit this Portuguese corner.

If you love a good bargain, then this market is the place for you! As you wander across the stalls, your senses will be assaulted by the vibrancy of remarkable antiques, compelling paintings, memorabilia, books, tools but also fresh produce and live poultry. In the end, the Estremoz market is a true feast for the senses!


Estremoz Market 2

Looking for traditional Portuguese delicacies? Fear not, at this event you will find mouth-watering artisan cheeses and chorizos that will wow your taste buds with their blend of rich flavours. Each edible product in this market is of guaranteed high-quality only achievable through national production.

As lunchtime approaches, locals start to wander over to nearby cafés and restaurants for lunch. Take this opportunity to follow them and be in the chance for a delicious meal!

3. Trancoso Market

Trancoso Market-1

On the opposite end of Portugal, in Trancoso, there is a long-lasting economic, social and cultural tradition surrounding the town’s weekly fair that takes place every Friday. 

For many centuries the Trancoso market served as a key food supplier to the country’s northern region, particularly in the Guarda district. Fast-forwarding to the present day, this weekly event continues to boost the local economy and producer growth through the selling of a varied list of goods, including tapestries, clothes, meat, fish, cheese and drinks.

As the sun rises in this picturesque village dotted by stone-built houses, the air livens up with the aroma of freshly baked bread and people’s joyous chatter. Visitors and locals alike flock to this treasured space to indulge in regional delicacies, such as Queijo da Serra, and admire the craft of local artisans. Trancoso is a true hidden gem that you will fall even more in love with after visiting its weekly market!

4. Barcelos Market

Barcelos Market

There is word that the Barcelos Market is a living encyclopedia of the town’s cultural identity – and that might just be true! This fair is considered one of the biggest in the whole of Portugal, and also one of the oldest. Its origins can be traced back to the 13th century when King D. João conceded to the Count of Barcelos a year’s fair with a duration of 15 days.

Now, this market happens on a weekly basis and it is a gateway into the region’s rural treasures. Starting with the iconic Barcelos rooster, the stalls take you along a voyage of artisanal objects thoroughly crafted with the expertise of local creators. Wood and iron are some of the materials that help transport visitors down memory lane with toys from their childhood.

After a visit to this enthralling market, venture out into the streets of this Portuguese destination with a new and more enriched perspective of its past and present!

5. Funchal's Street Market  

Feira das Velharias e Antiguidades, Funchal

Amidst the botanical wonderland of Funchal in Madeira, there is one of the most enchanting markets in Portugal, the Feira das Velharias e Antiguidades, an antique fair established in the D. Carlos I street. Every Saturday between 8am and 4pm, this flea market exudes the charm of history and heritage through the shape of a treasure trove of nostalgia and wonder.

Stalls across the street flaunt the beauty of vintage trinkets and antique tokens that contrast with the flutter of coloured fabrics in the breeze. This is the ideal place to delight your senses with unique finds that count with the most varied collection of objects. Age-old cameras, weathered books and ornate ceramic whisper the tales of the past and persevere through the modern era with their hypnotising charm.

In the end, the Feira das Velharias e Antiguidades in Funchal is a living celebration of the island’s timelessness and intrigue, beckoning visitors to explore this destination’s storied past.

6. Porto's Crafts Market 

Mercado de Artesanato, Porto

Held in the Ribeira district, one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Southern Europe, every weekend the Mercado de Artesanato in Porto compels visitors with its kaleidoscope of colours and sounds. Strolling along the riverfront, one is enveloped in the vibrant hues of handwoven textiles that serve as the perfect souvenir from Portugal’s Invicta.

Every stall stands out with its unique crafts ranging from intricately painted ceramics, crafted leather goods and even painted towels that make up the essence of the country’s artistry. As the sun rises on the Douro River and the glistening glow of the daylight shines over the streets, the Mercado de Artesanato reveals the innovation and tradition of Porto.

Embellish your visit to the Ribeira district by paying a visit to this market!

7. Lisbon Book Fair 

Feira do Livro, Lisbon

In the heart of Lisbon’s emblematic Parque Eduardo VII, unfolds every year a literary celebration filled with enchantment and dreams. Dating back to the 1930s, Lisbon’s Feira do Livro has become a prestigious book fair endorsed by national and international publishers that adorn the green grass of this park with the magic of words.

This event is typically held in May and June, and it captures visitors from all corners of the country and the world with its calendar of activities, such as book signings and talks featuring illustrious authors. Surely, this is an annual cherished home for book aficionados and curious wanderers. As the night sets in, an ethereal charm fills the air with the warm glow of chatter among lively book enthusiasts charmed by an unforgettable sensory experience.

Facing the mythical Marquês do Pombal Square, the Feira do Livro will mark your memory with its energetic atmosphere and buzzing energy. Get your book list ready, because this is the right place to journey across Portugal through its imaginary worlds!

Seeing Portugal through a new lens

These fairs are, in truth, portals into Portugal’s soul, creativity, and tradition. From the North to the cosmopolitan Lisbon and the rural lands of the Alentejo, you are invited to transcend language barriers and connect with locals in an unprecedented and enriching way. See the country through a new lens adorned by warmth and cultural richness. Are you ready to appreciate Portugal’s timeless traditions


Topics: portugal, portugal travel agency, porto, lisbon, Visit Portugal, tourism, Alentejo, culture, fairs, tourtailors, tourism travel, flea market, markets

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