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Christmas Shopping in Lisbon for Festive Gifts and Presents.



Christmas shopping in Lisbon rewards the visitor with a Santa’s wish list of present options for all the family. With the city glowing under a blanket of sparkling decoration, the city’s shops, stores and boutiques entice shoppers with the Yuletide spirit and some wonderful seasonal gift ideas. The year's must-have gift is a duck. More specifically, those you can purchase at the Lisbon Duck Store. Look out for the special Christmas themed editions. You can’t miss O Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa with its glittering Christmas façade. Shop here for sardines packed in tins that will surprise you. For wines and spirits take a look inside the well-stocked Garrafeira Nacional, which has it’s own in-store cellar museum. Gift ideas abound at Lojoa Aldeias do Xisto, quirky presents that include ceramic bells shaped as cats. One of the city’s most attractive delicatessens is Manuel Tavares. The shop always puts on a special display during the festive season and this is the place to browse for traditional Portuguese food and wine. The old style Embaixada mall comprises a series of trendy pop-up salons housed in a former palace building. This is the place to ponder independent fashion boutiques and upmarket handicraft – great stocking fillers! Similarly, A Vida Portuguesa is a highly respected craft and hardware store specializing in retro wares and merchandise, all of it made in Portugal For festive and ecclesiastical candles it has to be Caza das Vellas Loreto, a beautiful store dating from 1789. Amar Lisboa is where you can buy colourful and contemporary handicraft, some of it fashioned by one of Portugal’s most respected designers. And finally, if you’re looking for Christmas decoration ideas spend some time in Nickolaus, a veritable Santa’s grotto of yuletide décor. 


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The festive season sees this homes and gardens stockist transformed into a veritable Santa's grotto of yuletide gifts and decorations. Baubles and lights for Christmas trees, candles, winged angels, wrapping paper and all sorts of Biblical figurines, including wonderfully detailed nativity scenes, are available here. Lanterns and mugs, snow globes, boxes of colourful Christmas crackers and happy, smiling Santa masks and mannequins line the shelves along with soft toy reindeer, bells and artificial Xmas trees and wreaths. Particularly striking are the carved wood detachable sculptures depicting the three kings visiting Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, a scene that personifies the spirit of Christmas.


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Santa Apolonia


Portuguese designer Vera Gama lends her name to this colourful collection of gifts, mementos and souvenirs, all of which make ideal presents for special occasions. The eye-catching T-shirts carrying vivid patterns and bold logos of famous Lisbon landmarks and Portuguese symbolism are particularly striking. Among the designs is a bright yellow streetcar, a jumping sardine and even a city cab. The traditional Barcelos cock, Portugal's national symbol, is available as a stylised cockerel of vivid patterns, and is a favourite souvenir. Customers can also browse all sorts of key fobs, fridge magnets and coffee mugs. There are some wonderful dolls fashioned in different colours, and lots of prints, postcards and drawings. Despite the more contemporary design slant, the collection is complemented by a range of traditional handicrafts, most of it from southern Portugal's Alentejo province.




This wood-panelled shop has been selling candles since 1789, and its appearance has changed little since. The cosy interior exudes a delightful yesteryear ambiance, a mood accentuated by the refreshing lack of modernity, even the cashier's till is hidden from view! Ecclesiastical candles in all their shape and form are lovingly handmade in a workshop at the rear of the premises and then displayed in beautiful glass cabinets set either side of a polished teak counter. The different styles available is astonishing, anything from traditionally crafted taper and dinner candles to chunky pillars and dainty tea light candles. There's also an imaginative selection of speciality candles moulded or sculptured into three-dimensional shapes such as fruit, birds and even cupcakes!. Many are scented and the perfume is intoxicating. For something special, ask to see the beeswax candles embellished with filigree decoration.


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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 goods. There are fragrant soaps from Brito/Claus Porto (Oprah raved about them on her show) displayed in colourful 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, stationary, books, toys and even jewellery, all uniquely Portuguese and with a provenance that stretches back centuries, and they all make perfect Xmas gifts for everyone.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real

Set in a former 18th-century neo-Moorish palace replete with onion dome turrets, this alluring mall is a wonderful place to shop. Pop-up Ssalons set over two floors have been transformed into chic boutiques. Many are open-plan, with interconnecting doors so that customers can browse seamlessly and at leisure. Here you can shop for all sorts of upmarket wares including independent his and her clothing and accessories and handcrafted jewellery. One of the stores sells a great line in eco-friendly cosmetics, another contemporary interior design furnishings. And look no further for an attractive range of high quality Portuguese handicraft â€" lamps, mirrors, ceramics and even chocolate, among other traditional artefacts, all of which make wonderful Christmas gifts.




The astonishing variety of traditional goodies stocked in this gem of a shop lures foodies far and wide, such is the quality of the goods. One of Lisbon's oldest stores, dating to 1860, this wood-fronted emporium is especially vibrant during the festive season. This is when shoppers can seek out stocking fillers such as mini bottled wine sets and chocolate snowmen. Elsewhere, the store heaves with meats, cheeses, spicy sausages, pata negra (smoked ham) and pickles, along with homemade jams, dried fruits and nuts such as almond and cashew. Canned fish and seafood, virgin olive oils, retro wrapped sweets and an assortment of herbs and spices supplement the xmas shopping list. Stacked floor to ceiling on groaning shelves is a fabulous collection of Portuguese wines, liquors and brandies from all corners of the country. The port wine choice is particularly alluring with several vintages dating back a full century. Wine tasting is available here, so it's possible to sample selected labels before purchasing.


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Sited on the road leading up from the cathedral to the castle, this delightful little boutique stocks all sorts of handcrafted goodies, each exclusively made by local artists. Items for sale range from ceramic bells shaped as plump cats to lampshades worked from cork. At this time of year the collection of traditional figurines on offer – colourful clay dolls shaped as fishermen and farmers, for example – include mini mannequins inspired from Biblical scenes that go well with the scented candles on offer. Other Christmas gift ideas worth considering are the woven tablecloths, the coffee sets depicting Lisbon trams and other iconic city scenes, and the beautiful handcrafted jewellery, pieces like cuff-links for him and broaches for her.




Established in 1927, this is one of Portugal's leading specialists in wine and spirits. Of the three outlets located in Portugal, it's the premises in Rua de Santa Justa that offer the most engaging shopping experience. For the connoisseur there are wines from every region of Portugal on offer, a fascinating and quite bewildering stock of premium and vintage examples – reds, whites, roses, late harvest and sparkling. Any one of these makes a perfect gift or souvenir. But it's the traditional port and Madeira wines that work so well at Christmas, as does smooth, rich liquor, and there are plenty of bottles to choose from. The yuletide- shopping list can also be extended to include New Year bubbly, with a cork-popping selection of champagnes available to help chime in 2018. The store can arrange overseas mailing, with free shipping for some European countries.


The humble sardine is a favourite seafood staple, and ubiquitous across Portugal. Available freshly caught this delicious fish is also sold in tins. At the "Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine" however, they've come up with a novel marketing idea whereby the lid of every tin features a year underneath which is written an important event or breakthrough that occurred during that particular twelve-month period. In addition, the names of various celebrities and VIPs born that year are also noted. For example, anyone purchasing a tin bearing "1953" is reminded that DNA was discovered that year and Cyndi Lauper, John Malkovich and Benazir Bhutto were born. Colourful and quirky, the tins are stocked in an equally striking boutique whose interior resembles a fairground attraction replete with a carnival atmosphere.




This year's must-have Christmas gift is duck. And in Lisbon they do duck really well. Down in the Baixa district is one of the city's quirkiest shops, a store selling more than 300 different types of rubber waterfowl. In fact the variety on offer is incredible, a regular menagerie of ducks modelled on a bewildering assortment of characters, anything from unicorns to superheroes, Elvis to the Queen, all in a kaleidoscope of bright bold colours. For the Christmas period they have a wonderful selection of festive season favourites. There's a snowman and reindeer duck, a Santa duck and even one dressed as a Christmas tree. The store also stocks bauble ducks, which you can use a Yuletide decorations.


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Meet Paul Bernhardt

Paul Bernhardt cut his teeth as a press photographer in England before leaving the UK to settle in Portugal, where he has lived for over a decade, and where he started to focus on more...  More About Paul

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