Shopping in Porto
Most shops in Porto are small and attract mainly local consumers; nevertheless Porto is a good place to look for traditional wares like “Arraiolos carpets”, embroidered or pottery. Porto has also a deserved reputation for producing and designing fashion footwear and jewelry.
Most shops and stores are located in the pedestrian zone of “Rua Santa Catarina” in the Downtown, which is the main commercial area of Porto; this zone has many shops and stores, which are mostly international like Zara, Mango, Metro Kids, etc. At “Rua Santa Catarina”, it can get almost everything like designer boutiques, shoe shops, jewelry, music, book shops and much more.
In the last years, several shopping malls have been constructed in Porto, amongst them “Centro Comercial Via Catarina” and “Centro Comercial Peninsular; being the first the most famous and biggest shopping center of the city. The mall has 4 levels with many nice stores and a large food plaza on the top floor, besides, it has also 99 retails and 600 parking places. It combines all the comfort of a central place with a great number of access points. It is located at 312 “Rua Santa Catarina” and opens daily from 10:00 to 22:00.
Definitely, there is only one thing that you must buy in this city and it is a bottle of “Porto Wine”, the product symbol of the city and the country, whose prices out of Portugal are very expensive. In the city there are many wine lodges (over 50) and most of them are located at “Vila Nova de Gaia”, where it can find the headquarters of the most famous brands of the city like “Sandeman”, “Graham”, “Taylor’s” and “Cockburn”, whose names remember the dominance of the British firms over this industry. In this lodges, there are also guided tours available, where you can discover the manufacturing process of the wine and how it get your special characteristics (semi sweet and fruit flavor).
But, if you need buy something to read, the best place is without doubt “Livraria Lello”, a nice Art-Nouveau building located at “Rua das Carmelitas”, which is considered by many people, the most beautiful bookstore in the world. There are also nice handicrafts in “CRAT” (Centro Regional de Artes Tradicionais), which works in an aristocratic XVII century house at 37 “Rua Riboleira”; this place is opened every day from 10:00 to 18:00. There is also excellent handmade jewelry in “David Rosas” a nice shop at 1471 “Lda Avenida de Boavista” and in “Elysée Joias” at 113 “Praça Mouzinho”.
The “Mercado de Bolao”, is the most famous open-air market of the city and a good example of the agrarian bounty of northern Portugal; there, it can find many merchants selling food, spices, flowers, etc. You can visit this market from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00 and on Saturday from 9:00 to 12:30.
Some good places to buy in Porto are:
• Ana Salazar, the store of one of the best women’s fashion designer of Europe, it is located at 65 “Rua Nova Alfadenga”.
• Centro Comercial de Foz, one of the best malls in Porto, it is located at “Rua Eugenio de Castro”.
• Centro Comercial Cidade de Porto, several restaurants, bars, cinema, theaters and cafes, it is located at “Rua do Bom Sucesso”.
• Casa dos Linhos, fine linen and embroiderie, it is located at 660 “Rua da Fernades Tomás”.
• Casa dos Tapetes de Arraiolos, the best place to buy the fabled Arraiolos carpets, it is located at 570 “Rua Santa Catarina”.
• Casa Margaridense, nice gift shop, it is located at 20A “Travessa de Cedofeita”.
• Haity, high quality leather, it is located at 212 “Rua Santa Catarina.”
• Norte Shopping, nice mall, it is located at 105 “Rua Sara Afonso”.
• Perfumaria Castilho, exquisite perfumes, it is located at 80 ”Rua de Sá de Bandeira”.
• Vista Alegre, fine Portuguese porcelain, it is located at 6 “Rua Candido dos Reis”.
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