Unlike some countries where markets mean expensive farmer’s markets, in Portugal, markets remain genuine fixtures of everyday life. In fact, it’s often cheaper to buy your fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish at your local mercado municipal — and the quality is often better too.
In this article we’re going to take a look at the best markets in Porto. Join us as we navigate through the maze of stalls, and bring you a guide to the best markets in Porto.
Bolhão Market stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and culinary heritage. Established in 1914, it is not only Porto’s most renowned market but also its eldest, ingrained in the daily routines of locals for over a century. Of late, it has charmed the itineraries of travellers too.
- Market Layout:
- Lower Floor:
- Fresh produce: Immerse yourself amidst vibrant fruit and vegetable stands.
- Gourmet delights: Sample cheeses, meats, fish, and freshly baked breads.
- Unique vendors: Spot a wild mushroom grower or be captivated by the aromatic assortment at the spice vendor’s stall.
- Cafes & Pastries: Enjoy a relaxing cuppa or treat yourself to delectable Portuguese pastries.
- Upper Floor: Dine at the numerous restaurants and soak in the atmospheric views of the bustling activity below.
- Lower Floor:
- Opening Times:
- Weekdays: 8h to 20h
- Saturdays: 8h to 18h
- Note: Bolhão is closed on Sundays and holidays.
- Easy Access: Conveniently, Bolhão subway station offers direct entry into the market, making it accessible for both locals and visitors.
To truly appreciate Porto’s celebrated cuisine, begin at Bolhão Market, where every ingredient narrates a story of the region’s abundant produce and culinary traditions. As you wander from stall to stall, you’ll witness a mosaic of fresh, local ingredients. And for those looking to indulge, the ground-floor cafés offer tantalising dishes at pocket-friendly prices. Arrive with an empty basket and a ravenous appetite – Bolhão promises to fill both.
Mercado Bom Successo
Mercado Bom Sucesso, rejuvenated in 2021, is a fusion of the traditional and contemporary.
- Architectural Gem: Housed in a significant historical building, Mercado Bom Sucesso stands out with its abundant natural light and expansive space. A visual delight for architecture lovers and casual visitors alike.
- Culinary Mosaic: Catering to diverse palates, the market offers a smorgasbord of gastronomic experiences. From mouth-watering pizzas, delectable sushi, and traditional suckling pig to sumptuous risottos and tapas, the choices are boundless. Perfect for groups with varied food preferences.
- Quench Your Thirst: Beyond the culinary delights, the market presents an array of places to sip on a crafted cocktail or relish a fine glass of wine — an ideal spot for a post-dinner drink.
- Cultural Hub: Mercado Bom Sucesso isn’t just a feast for the taste buds. Immerse yourself in its lively ambiance, enriched by regular performances from local musicians and cultural events. A treat for the ears and the soul!
- Strategic Locale: Located a stone’s throw away from landmarks like Casa da Música and the synagogue of Porto, the market serves as a convenient pitstop for those touring these attractions.
- Opening Hours: Open daily, from 8h to 23h.
- Getting There: A brief 10-minute walk from the Casa da Música subway station makes the market easily accessible.
- Address: Praça do Bom Sucesso 74-90
As the harmonious melodies of musicians blend with the tantalising aromas of fresh dishes, you’ll discover why this market is not just a place to dine, but an experience to cherish.
Porto Belo Market
Drawing inspiration from London’s famed Portobello Road market, Porto Belo Market has become an essential stop in Porto, captivating visitors with its vibrant displays and eclectic atmosphere. Situated in the picturesque Praça de Carlos Alberto, the market is ensconced in Porto’s signature tiled walls, making it as visually arresting as it is culturally rich.
- Varied Offerings:
- Vintage treasures: From vinyl records and retro accessories to antique cameras.
- Unique finds: Dive into a collection of stamps, coins, and illustrations.
- Contemporary delights: Discover modern design pieces and organic products including olive oil, teas, and artisanal jams.
- Strategic Location: Positioned between the quaint Cedofeita neighbourhood and Porto’s lively nightlife district, Porto Belo is a stone’s throw away from iconic attractions such as Lello bookshop and the renowned Clérigos tower. Additionally, it’s nestled among some of Porto’s top boutique hotels.
- A Relaxing Affair: For those accompanying keen shoppers, the market offers a leisurely retreat with inviting seating areas, pleasant music, and abundant sunshine.
- Timings: The market springs to life every Saturday from 10h to 19h.
- Getting There: A short 10-minute walk from São Bento train station, which also offers a subway connection, makes the market easily accessible.
Renowned as Porto’s favourite Saturday haunt, Porto Belo Market promises a blend of nostalgic charm and contemporary flair. Whether you’re a seasoned antique hunter, a lover of handcrafted goods, or just seeking a relaxing afternoon beneath the Porto sun, this market welcomes all. And for the savvy shopper, remember: bargaining might just land you a delightful deal!
Vandoma Flea Market
Dotted along the serene banks of the Duoro River, a stone’s throw away from the grandeur of the Sé Cathedral, lies the historical Vandoma Flea Market (Feira da Vandoma). This spot transforms into a bustling bazaar every Saturday morning, echoing tales of Porto’s yesteryears.
- Historical Roots: Feira da Vandoma isn’t a recent phenomenon. It traces its beginnings to several decades ago, with students at its helm selling their old books. Today, it stands as one of Porto’s oldest markets, immersing visitors in the city’s rich history.
- Eclectic Mix: Dive into a plethora of second-hand wonders. From vintage apparel, age-old dishes, charming furniture and decorative pieces to discs, books, and eclectic electrical items (though their working condition might be a gamble!), Vandoma offers an array of old-world gems.
- Sightseeing Delight: Even if shopping isn’t on your agenda, a leisurely walk through this market promises an unforgettable experience. The aura, the vintage charm, and the lively chatter make it a sight to behold.
- Timings: The market sets up every Saturday from 8h to 13h.
- Location and Accessibility: Conveniently positioned at Av. 25 de Abril, Vandoma is just a 10-minute walk from the Estádio do Dragão subway station.
For lovers of history and vintage treasures, Vandoma Flea Market is a delightful pitstop. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle, let your curiosity lead the way, and who knows, you might just stumble upon a forgotten relic or an enticing bargain. At Vandoma, the past mingles with the present, offering a timeless shopping escapade.
Mercado da Alegria
Situated in the scenic neighbourhood of Foz, overlooking the vast expanse of the sea, Mercado da Alegria is a true manifestation of Porto’s diverse offerings.
- Eclectic Assortment: The market thrives on variety. Whether you’re in the mood for authentic Portuguese delicacies like sausages and cheese, or you fancy browsing through second-hand apparel, spices, textiles, and wooden crafts, Alegria ensures you’re spoilt for choice.
- Taste of Tradition: Among the food stalls, Farina stands out, offering delicious sourdough bread – a must-try for every visitor.
- Picturesque Location: Nestled in Foz, one of Porto’s prime locations, the market is a treat for both shoppers and sightseers. However, given its sea-facing position, it’s prudent to check the weather; the sea breeze can make for a rather gusty shopping experience on windy days.
- Timings: The market is open on the second and fourth Saturday of every month, from 10h to 19h.
- Reaching There: The best way to soak in the beauty of Porto while heading to the market is by hopping onto the iconic tram no. 1. Alight at the last station, and you’ll find yourself at the doorstep of Mercado da Alegria.
For those who venture to Porto with an open heart and no fixed shopping list, Mercado da Alegria promises serendipitous finds and a true taste of the city’s eclectic spirit.
For the avid antiquarian, Clérigos Market is nothing short of a treasure trove. Nestled on the vibrant street adjacent to the iconic Clérigos tower, it’s a magnet for those with a penchant for the past.
What To Expect:
- Diverse Antiques: From the allure of old chandeliers and vintage comic books to rustic wooden boxes and unique cork souvenirs, there’s something to catch every antique lover’s eye.
- Bargain Hunts: The market thrives on the art of haggling. While I’ve usually found success in striking a deal, there was that one elusive flight attendant bag, marked with a charming white and red hue, that played hard to get.
- Timings: Open on the second and fourth Saturday of every month from 10h to 19h.
- Accessibility: Conveniently located, it’s a mere 10-minute stroll from São Bento train station, which is also connected via subway.