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February 6, 2016

The most authentic souvenirs: A Vida Portuguesa

“Do you remember this?” “I haven’t seen one of these in years!” Visiting this store was a walk down memory lane for my Portuguese husband… Which is exactly what makes it the best place to shop for authentic souvenirs.

With all the little lojas (stores) around the city selling the same postcards, magnets and bric-a-brac, it can be hard to find truly authentic souvenirs in Lisbon. A Vida Portuguesa (A Portuguese Life) is a lovely shop in the Bairro Alto, Mercado da Ribeira and Intendente (as well as in Porto). They feature a range of goods made and beloved in Portugal, including many that are a “blast from the past”. Some of their things are beautiful, some are more jokey, almost gag gifts, but all of them have some specific connection to Portuguese history or pop culture.

I was especially happy to visit their store in Intendente recently. Just a few minutes walk from our houses, this is an area of town that used to be sketchy–especially at night. But the Lisbon city government has made a significant effort at rehabilitation, and it’s working. So much so that the area was featured in a recent New York Times article!

A Vida Portuguesa - authentic souvenirs

A Vida Portuguesa – Intendente

The Vida Portuguesa store is a cornerstone of the plaza at the center of the rehabilitation. Sitting next to the Fábrica da Viúva Lamego, a tile factory that went out of business some years ago–leaving behind a gorgeous building (on the right in the picture), this store was considered the “prettiest shop in town” by TimeOut Lisboa.

Bringing new life to an historic part of town, showcasing the old and the modern side-by-side: this store gives you a real glimpse of Portuguese Life. And could there be a better place to shop for authentic souvenirs than one that the Portuguese themselves thoroughly enjoy?

November 10, 2006

The Wrong Shop (Gift Shop… or not?)

Is located in the Chiado and at  This brand-new store sells a bizarre range of gifts, that playfully mock traditional portuguese symbols and souvenirs. For example, “This is not Lisbon” t-shirts:








November 10, 2006

Loja Aldeias do Xisto (Gift shop)

Located on the right as you follow the main road up past the Sé, just before you get to the Santa Luzia lookout.  This store is dedicated to bringing authentic articles in from the interior of Portugal as a way to promote and preserve that dwindling lifestyle.  A small shop with unique, lovely items.
May 13, 2006

Organic Farmer’s Market in Lisbon

Principe Real Organic Farmer's Market

Principe Real Organic Farmer’s Market


For a perfect Saturday, walk over to Príncipe Real Park (take the Glória funicular from Restauradores, turn right and the park will be on your left in about 5 minutes).

From 9am to 3pm, fresh fruits and vegetables, hand-made olive oils, jellies, breads, etc., are for sale at the far end of the tree-lined park. Sit on the benches afterwards and enjoy the lovely neighborhood feeling… and don’t forget to buy a straw bag to carry your goodies home again!

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