Souvenirs From Lisbon
Best Souvenirs to Buy in Lisbon
A trip to Lisbon is full of bright colors, enchanting walkways, and of course, delicious food. While your visit will certainly be memorable on its own, bringing back a souvenir or gift can make it even more special. Fortunately, there are so many ways to bring back your own little piece of Lisbon, from world-class wines to unique ceramics, you’ll find something perfect to hold you over until your next visit. Let this be your guide for the best souvenirs and gifts to buy in Lisbon.
While it may seem an odd addition to your suitcase, these colorful containers are number one on the shopping list for many tourists. Being a maritime country, Portugal is of course famous for its seafood, especially its canned fish. What makes Lisbon’s sardines stand out from the crowd (besides its delicious taste) is its beautiful retro-style packaging. The most popular varieties are sardines marinated in olive oil or tomato sauce, but you can also try other canned fish, like mackerel, mussels, or even squid.
Portugal produces some of the best wines in the world, and with several renowned wine regions located near Lisbon, you can be sure to drink local. The Lisbon Region produces a variety of wines, known for their rich undertones and crisp flavor. Also not to be missed is the Moscatel de Setúbal, made just south of Lisbon. This unique wine, while not as famous as its northern cousin, Port, is one of Portugal’s best dessert wines. Its flavors range from orange and honey to apricot and caramel, and is sure to be a hit with casual wine-lovers and conoisseurs alike. Since Lisbon has so many amazing wines to offer, be sure to pop into one of the city’s many wine shops to find the perfect bottle for you.
Drinking ginjinha is certainly a rite of passage for any visitor to Lisbon. This enticing cherry liqueur is one of the most popular drinks among locals, and you’ll see Lisboetas sipping shots at any place and any time. It’s so integral to the culture in Lisbon, you’ll find dozens of stores and bars specializing in this one liqueur. Plus, at as little as €12 for a quality bottle, ginjinha is a great option for an affordable gift or souvenir. It’s best to buy a bottle with cherries (com elas), but if you don’t like the taste of sour cherries, you can buy a bottle without (sem elas), as well.
Coffee and Tea
Portugal may not immediately come to mind when thinking of coffee powerhouses, but don’t underestimate the coffee culture here. Like in many European countries, coffee is part of nearly every facet of Portuguese life, and you’ll find at least one pastelaria on every street. Lisbon is especially known for its bica, a kind of light roast espresso. Plenty of shops packaged coffee, and with so many varieties, always ask to find the perfect roast for you.
If you’re not as much of a coffee person, Lisbon is also famous for its tea. Portugal was actually one of the first European countries to popularize tea. You’ll find plenty of places for an upscale afternoon tea, complete with countless custom blends. If you’d like to take some home with you, the best place to go is Companhia Portugueza do Chá, Lisbon’s premier tea shop.
As one of the world’s top producers, it’s no surprise that Portugal has some amazing gourmet olive oil. Much like its wine production, Portugal has several diverse olive-growing regions, so if you’ve ever thought about becoming an olive oil connoisseur, there’s no better place to try it out. Some of the most popular producers include Azeites do Norte Alentejano, with its fruity undertones, and Azeite de Trás-os-Montes, which has a spicier aftertaste. Azeites do Ribatejo, produced north of Lisbon, is another great local option.
Tiles and Ceramics
While it’s tempting to bring home a suitcase full of food items, there are plenty of handicrafts to pick up in Lisbon as well. If you really want to bring a piece of Lisbon home with you, purchasing some azulejos is perhaps the best way. These enchanting blue tiles are found all over the city, and represent an important part of the city’s architecture, history, and culture. One of the best and most famous places to buy one is at Fábrica Sant’Anna, which has been producing hand-made ceramics and azulejos with the same traditional method since 1741. You can also find contemporary azulejos created by local arists at galleries and shops across the city.
While you may have never seen cork used for something other than wine bottles, Portugal has learned to make good use of one of their most abundant natural resources. In fact, Portugal produces over half of the world’s cork every year. You’ll find hand made bags, shoes, wallets, and all sorts of accessories and home goods. This sturdy material makes for a stylish and practical gift (all cork products are waterproof, as well). Cork products are also very environmentally friendly, since the material is harvested without cutting down any trees. Plus, you’ll be supporting local Lisbon artisans.
Portugal’s national symbol is a great souvenir to bring home to remember Lisbon. The rooster comes from Portuguese folklore, and symbolizes honesty and love of life. You’ll find this colorful animal in countless varieties and iterations across the city. The most popular way to take one home is by buying a ceramic statue, of course using Lisbon’s famous ceramic tradition. Another great option is to buy an embroidered rooster to sample some of the city’s world-class artisans. Either way this is a great way to buy a local handmade souvenir, and take home a quintessential part of Portuguese culture.