The Portuguese town of Oporto is known for three things: its river, O Douro, its harbor, and its excellent shopping. Do not underestimate this historic town on a hillside. It is one of Europe’s oldest cities, and its maze of steep and narrow cobblestoned streets hides countless little squares, churches and colorful houses. Oporto’s seaside suburbs outside the historic center are also thriving and becoming increasingly popular for their enticing architecture and contemporary cuisine.
Oporto is heaven on Earth for shopaholics, as it offers a plethora of handicrafts, leather goods, and clothes at very competitive prices. You are sure to find something for all tastes- and by all means, indulge! Head to downtown Oporto and the area around Santa Catarina for the best clothing stores and little boutique shops. If brand names and luxury is what you are after, Boavista is the place to go- a great place to watch people hunt for bargains.
There are also many shopping malls to choose from in Oporto but Via Catrina stands out as one of the best when it comes to variety. There is a large selection of shops, including some high street names like H&M, Paco Martinez and Springfield, and all that coupled with a good selection of restaurants. After a long day shopping and trying on new clothes, there is nothing like heading upstairs to indulge in some gourmet cuisine like that offered at Noori Sushi, Nicola Gourmet and Casa Das tapas.
Centro Comercial Norte Shopping is also a good option where you’ll find brand names like Bershka, C&A, La Coste, Mango, Massimo Dutti, Nike, Pull&Bear and Kiko Make up.
Are the kids there with you? There’s a Disney Store at Norte Shopping, where you are sure to find all those toys and items kids love. And if you are a chocolate lover, make a beeline for the little Hussel shop.
But if you really want to feel like an Oporto local, then head down to one of its many street markets. And those in the know say O Mercado do Bolhao is not to be missed. Housed in a huge and decadent building, this market preserves the full flavor of the town of Oporto. There, you’ll find meat, fish, fruit, flowers, and many more things in stalls arranged over several floors around a large central courtyard. It opens daily but it is closed on Sundays. The area around the main market is packed with little shops, many of them selling cod fish in the traditional way, as if frozen in time. There is a good chance you won’t be buying anything, but it is certainly worth the visit for its nostalgic atmosphere.
Fancy a little shopping in Portugal? Discover where to stay.