A visit to Lisbon would not be complete without a visit to Feira da Ladra (Thieves Market) or Flea Market. You may also come across it being referred to as Mercado de Santa Clara because it is held at Campo de Santa Clara in the Alfama district of Lisbon.
Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog contains affiliate and referral links which may reward me in the event of a subscription or sale (at no extra cost for you).
Whichever name you prefer you really must try to fit in a visit. It is held on a Tuesday and a Saturday from dawn to dusk. I believe the official opening times are 9am – 6pm but the morning is best, if you go mid afternoon in winter the traders may be packing up to go home.
It can easily be combined with a visit to Alfama, the Old Town district of Lisbon, where you can visit such places as Castelo de S. Jorge, Miradouro de Santa Luzia, Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Church of São Vicente of Fora and Panteão Nacional.
If you would like an easy FREE way of getting up into the Old Town, without having to undertake a climb, check out one of my previous posts, Save Your Knees (2). Or you could use Uber, there is an excellent Uber service in Lisbon. If you are a new sign up with Uber you can use this code to get a discount jilly384ue off your first trip, the amount varies by location. You must use it at sign up.
What Will You Find In The Thieves Market, Lisbon ?
Hopefully not any thieves but, like any crowded marketplace or tourist area, do keep a close eye on your belongings. The market has a wide variety of stalls ranging from antiques, coins, clothing, artisan goods, junk, recycled and upcycled goods. Even if you don’t want to buy anything it is a very enjoyable way to spend an hour or so, just browsing and people watching.
Generally speaking you will find stalls up at the top of the hill and as you go further down it tends to be people with their used goods spread out on blankets or simply on the ground.
At the centre of the market there is a building that houses some Marcas Criativas (creative brands), and street food stalls, with a bit of live music and some workshops thrown in for good measure. Around the outside of this building are shops that are a permanent feature although not all of them are open every day.
If you look online you will find lots of information about the flea market in Lisbon and so, to make this a little different, and hopefully more interesting, I am going to introduce you to some of the vendors at the market.
Let Me Introduce You To Some Of The Creative Brands
When I was last at the market I made a point of searching out some vendors who sell eco friendly products and I promised to give them a particular mention. I distribute eco friendly goods myself (in the UK) and have been involved with crafting for many years so both these things are close to my heart and if I can give anyone else a bit of publicity I will do so gladly. I know only too well the amount of work it takes to have a market stall, it involves long days and endless packing and unpacking of cars or vans.
I have received no payment, or any other type of incentive, to give these people a mention, I simply want to support small businesses and encourage you to do the same. If you do ever get the chance to go to the market, I hope they are still there and you can tell them how you heard of them. You may also be able to purchase from them online.
Before I get to that, if you are in the UK and are looking for somewhere to source eco friendly products please pop over to my online warehouse at asmallerfootprint.wikaniko.com and take a look. There are lots of organic and vegan items on there.
Or, visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/leaveasmallerfootprint/
Three Vendors That I Found Inside The Building.
How – Health on Wheels
What caught my eye at this stall was the bright blue and green baps (or bread rolls) that were holding the burgers! I usually associate such colours with lots of colourings and additives but no, upon speaking with the proprietors, Tomas and Carlota I discovered that the blue is produced using spirulina and the green is produced by using spinach. Although a lot of their food is vegetarian, they do cater for meat eaters, with a pulled pork sandwich, while keeping the emphasis on healthy eating.
Willow Soapery – Saboaria Artesanal
This stall has a wonderful range of handmade organic and vegan soaps, balms, sugar scrubs and soy candles.
Alma na Terra
If I were to have a stall, these would be the sort of products that I would be selling. Very similar to the ones that I distribute, eco friendly, natural, non-toxic, sustainable, holistic……… So, if you live in Lisbon you really should familiarise yourself with this lady and her products.
So, that’s just three of the lovely stalls that I found inside the market building.
Three Vendors That I Found Outside
This stall was quite near the start of the market coming in past the Church of São Vicente of Fora, at the top of the hill.
This is a great idea, recycled products made from used bicycle tyres, inner tubes and other wasted materials. I have always been impressed with the recycling ethos in Portugal they are big on repurposing and recycling and this is just one example of it.
Form-A, Don’t Waste, Recreate
A stall selling bags, purses, even earrings made from recycled advertising canvas, all very colourful and hardwearing.
You will find a Facebook page about the products at https://www.facebook.com/pg/form.a.craftdesign/about/?ref=page_internal and check out the Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/form.a.craftdesign/
Amores de Toquio
This is actually one of the shops that is around the edge of the market building and it is open everyday. It is a studio used by three designers one of which I spoke to briefly. She designs and creates upcycled clothing right there in the studio and they look amazing.
I didn’t get a card but I have managed to find the Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/amoresdetoquio/
I hope you enjoyed this post. As I said earlier I have always been impressed with the general ethos in Portugal regarding recycling, upcycling and repurposing. You will also find many vegetarian and vegan restaurants and eateries, juice bars, health stores etc and I hope to do a post about that next time I am back. I need to get out and pound the pavements and discover more places to recommend.
Enjoyed this? You can read more here
You can subscribe to my blog by filling in your email in the box below.