One of the oldest stores in the city is the wonderfully understated Caza das Vellas Loreto. Trading since 1789, this wood-paneled architectural gem is a candle shop, and its appearance has changed little in over 200 years. Ecclesiastical candles in all shapes and forms are patiently handmade in a workshop at the rear of the premises before being displayed in handsome wood-framed glass cabinets set either side of a polished teak counter. Other handcrafted styles include tapered dinner service candles, chunky pillars and dainty tea lights. Less traditional are those sculptured to resemble fruit, various birds and even cupcakes. Many are scented, and customers are greeted with a lovely perfume as they browse the collection.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Caza das Vellas Loreto is one of the most famous stores in Portugal, where some of the very best candles are made and sold.
Paul's expert tip: For something special, ask to see the beeswax candles that are embellished with beautiful filigree decoration.
Lisbon's surf season runs year-round and while winter is not so hot and the days shorter, hitting the beach still belongs to days off and long weekends, and looking the part is an important aspect of surfing culture! Which is why this swimwear store is worth checking out. It specialises in men's board shorts, a range of colourful apparel manufactured from fast drying fabrics to the highest quality. The shorts, printed with funky patterns, are as much a fashion statement as a handy bit of kit, and even you've never been on a board in your life they are still worth wearing as casual seaside attire. And dig this! For the first time, DCK is producing shorts from recycled plastic. How cool is that!
Recommended for Best Shopping because: DCK sells great summertime attire that looks good on the beach even in winter.
Paul's expert tip: The DCK website has a useful size guide page so you can measure up correctly before purchasing.
If the glove fits... customers will find a pair to suit them at this authentic art deco boutique, a dinky, wafer-thin glove shop situated in the heart of Chiado. Handcrafted from the softest leather, there are dozens of gloves in different colors to choose from, for him and her. Designs range from the classically cut to the sporty and are lined with cotton, satin or cashmere. The gloves are all manufactured in Portugal, custom made by skilled artisans. The tiny interior can just about accommodate two people at a time so bespoke, personal service is guaranteed. Ulisses' reputation is such that politicians, TV personalities and socialites number among the loyal clientele, as well as visitors from around the world.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Founded in 1925, Luvaria Ulisses is the only store in the Portuguese capital dedicated to the exclusive sale of gloves.
Paul's expert tip: If buying a pair of gloves as a gift, ask to have them gift-wrapped. It's a free service and adds a personal touch to the shopping experience.
For one of the most original souvenirs of any trip to Lisbon, breeze down to this little corner shop in the city's Baixa (downtown) district and buy a tin of tuna. Not any old tin but one packaged in great retro wrapping. Established over 80 years ago, this family-run business has been selling tins of tuna and other fish and seafood since the early 1930s. The retro wrapping features graphic design from the 1940s faithfully reproduced as if you were shopping during the same period. The range of sardines is especially delicious, garnished variously in lemon, oregano, garlic and even curry. There's also tinned octopus, anchovy, mackerel, mussel and cod for sale. On most days you can watch the elderly female staff applying the wrapping to their wares, a delightful trip down memory lane.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: The tinned seafood on sale at Conserveira de Lisboa is wrapped in retro packaging illustrated with logos and designs from the 1940s.
Paul's expert tip: Look out for the decorative pins on sale. They are shaped as sardines and serve as another unique souvenir option!
The salons set in the 18th-century neo-Moorish palace located in the city's trendy Principe Real district have been transformed into a series of attractive boutiques, over a dozen, in fact, each selling a different range of independent fashion, eco-friendly cosmetics, handmade jewelry and chic interior decor, most of it created by Portuguese designers. The former palace building, now known as Embaixada ("Embassy" in English), has been completely refurbished and the gallery occupies two floors. Access is gained via a grand marble staircase and much of the Art Nouveau detail has been carefully preserved. Temporary art exhibitions are held here on a regular basis to add even more vibrancy to an already creative environment.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: A collection of boutiques and shops housed in a wonderfully atmospheric 19th-century mansion and staffed by local Portuguese artists and designers.
Paul's expert tip: You can pop in during the day and enjoy lunch at the hip Gin Lovers and Less bar-restaurant on the ground floor. It's also open at night until 2 am.
This Lisbon store owes its cool range of T-shirts to a group of local graphic designers who have produced some of the quirkest clothing in the city. Each T-shirt is embossed with a unique print created by members of a worldwide collective of young designers and printers. Standout designs include a bizarre but clever take on the Beatles' famous Abbey Road album cover, a smiley face depicting the Clockwork Orange logo, a cutout collection of Lisbon's famous landmarks and a homage to Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Creating each T-shirt is a carefully considered process, from design concept to fabric choice to printing technique. And such is the word-of-mouth fame generated by this boutique and others run by Typographia team that it now maintains an online store where all the very latest designs are showcased and on sale.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Purchasing a T-shirt at Typographia is to support the work of a team of young designers and printers skilled in producing unique apparel.
Paul's expert tip: Ask about the washing instructions when purchasing to keep your T-shirt in pristine condition.
One of the great joys of shopping in Lisbon is to discover some truly unique stores and boutiques, many family-run and of great cultural and architectural significance. One of those shops is Ourivesaria Aliança, a jewellers located in Chiado's historic Rua Garrett. Inaugurated on December 21, 1944 just in time for Christmas, Ourivesaria Aliança is housed in one of the most beautiful shop interiors found anywhere in Lisbon. The shop floor layout and decorative flourishes, including the huge Venetian mirrors, are as much as you would have found them nearly 80 years ago, and this despite careful modernisation after the business was taken over by Spanish designer fashion house Tous. Today, this upscale jewellers still sells a wonderful range of dazzling accessories for men and women. In addition, a select range of fragrances and beauty products is available. And Tous is also highly regarded for its stylish handbags collection.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: A splendid example of a 1940s-era fashion accessories boutique, Tous Rua Garrett Lisboa still exudes a wonderful yesteryear charm.
Paul's expert tip: Be sure to browse the salon at the rear of the premises. For years, this room was closed off to the public. It now serves as an additional sales area.
Portugal's centuries-old shoemaking heritage is exemplified at Sapataria do Carmo. This delightful boutique shoe shop opened in 1904 and was run by the same family for three generations before changing hands in 2012. Fortunately, the new owners embraced the same commercial ethos that had maintained one of Lisbon's most cherished enterprises for over 100 years, that of providing high-end footwear handcrafted by master shoemakers with all the care and attention to detail expected by a discerning clientele. An air of elegant nostalgia greets customers stepping across the threshold. Indeed, the interior has changed little over the years, the walls displaying numbered boxes each containing shoes made with Portuguese or Italian leather. Sapataria do Carmo sells shoes for men and women and the range includes boots, flats, loafers, Oxfords, mules, sandals, and monk straps. The connoisseur, meanwhile, should seek out historic brands like Centenario and Armando Silva.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Sapataria do Carmo dates back to 1904 and upholds a centuries-old tradition of selling handcrafted, bespoke footwear.
Paul's expert tip: Next door is Shoes You, another footwear shop run by the same owners but stocking bolder, more contemporary designs.
This is the place to go if you're a connoisseur of wines. Stocked with an incredible variety of national and international labels, there are wines from all four corners of Portugal, a bewildering range of reds, whites, roses, late harvest and sparkling, as well as vintage Ports and Madeiras. Established in 1927, this is the country's leading specialist company trading in wines and spirits. Besides their national selection, Garrafeira has an extraordinary range of European and New World wines and an equally impressive selection of whiskeys and cognacs. And there's a corner reserved for the finest champagnes. Furthermore, the store sells a range of high-end accessories, items that include professional sommelier corkscrews, wine preservation systems, wines keys, and champagne stoppers that preserve those all important bubbles.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Garrafeira Nacional Wines & Spirits is one of a several Lisbon stores operated by this family-run concern, but the only one with a cellar-museum.
Paul's expert tip: Look out for the in-store museum, a cellar whose shelves display a priceless collection of wines and spirits dating back as far as 1715.
If you're after an original souvenir of Portugal, this absorbing handicraft-hardware store is probably where you'll find it. Items on sale here are represented by brands that have been manufactured in the country for generations, and the inventory lists some of the nation's most cherished merchandise.There are fragrant soaps from Brito/Claus Porto (Oprah raved about them on her show) displayed in colorful and stylish retro wrapping paper, and Benamor Cream boxed in similarly eye-catching designs. For the kitchen, look out for the aromatic vinegars from Moura Alves and gourmet sea salt (Flor de Sal) from the Algarve. There are also toiletries, stationery, books, toys and even jewelry, all uniquely Portuguese and with a provenance that stretches back centuries. And you might want to take home one of their iconic ceramic swallows, the birds made famous by Bordalo Pinheiro, the country's celebrated 19th-century artist and sculptor.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: The goods on sale here are from genuine Portuguese manufacturers, and the store is helping to maintain a proud cultural and commercial homestyle tradition.
Paul's expert tip: There is another branch of A Vida Portuguesa located in Lisbon's Intendente district. It's housed in the old Viúva Lamego tile factory.