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Exploring the Best Markets in Portugal: Part II

Exploring the Best Markets in Portugal: Part II

In the previous text we talked about the markets in the north of the country, we "travelled" through the traditional markets, which had renewed and adapted to the new generation. 

Visiting these spaces, believe us, is one of the best ways to get to know the essence of a city and its people. 

In the capital, we come across the Campo de Ourique Market. Renovated in 2013 and inspired by the Mercado de San Miguel, in Madrid, it has become a must-see for all those visiting the city. It is situated in one of Lisbon's most charismatic and sought after neighbourhoods, especially by the French public, and although the market is small, it offers a wide variety of food and products. An ideal spot for those who want to eat and shop, all in the same place.

In 1600 the Mercado da Ribeira was inaugurated in Cais do Sodré. It has already survived an earthquake and a fire and has undergone several remodellings over the years. In 2000, it stopped having wholesale activity and in 2001 opened its doors to a new space, with a new social aspect. The "bailes da ribeira" (ribeira dances) and the musical shows are still in the very much in the memories of all Lisboans. It has always been cherished by all, but Mercado da Ribeira only became a "fashionable place" in 2014, when it opened as Time Out. Since then, by combining the traditional space with the traditional market, it has been visited by thousands of people. It is 3000 square metres and served by 500 seats that are virtually all occupied at all hours of the day. 

This project was so successful that Time Out will replicate this concept in other cities, such as Montreal and Miami.

In the south of the country, more precisely in Olhão, we find one of the city's ex-libris. Opened almost half a century ago, it is one of the city's picture postcards and a must-see for those visiting the city. Situated by the sea, Olhão market receives its largest numbers of visitors in the morning and it is fascinating to watch the diversity of people that visit and the products on offer.

Also in the Algarve, the totally refurbished Loulé Municipal market has played host to numerous city activities and events. It is one of the most interesting buildings in the city. A Moorish style building, it was awarded the "Turismo de Portugal Prize" in 2007 and is loved by everyone, not just tourists but inhabitants as well, where it had and still has an important economic role for many families in the municipality. The Loulé Market also serves as a meeting point and place for sharing many stories and memories of many louletanos (inhabitants of Loulé).

We cannot talk about markets without mentioning the Lavradores Market. I dare say there isn't anyone who visits it who doesn't fall in love with its assortment of colours and smells (fruit, flowers, fish and typical articles). The Lavradores Market located in the old part of Funchal, one of the landmarks of Madeira's capital, offers visitors a mixture of colours, aromas and traditions, providing a unique experience. 

Opened in 1949, this market is the supply centre of the city. Here you can find the most famous fresh and tropical products of the archipelago. Today the market is still very popular with the city's inhabitants, but it is the tourists, who can taste the most varied fruit and be delighted by aromas never experienced before. 

Just be careful and don't let your palate fool you, because the only fault of this market is that the fruit is paid for in gold.

The truth is that it is not only in Portugal that markets are fashionable! All over Europe, we find identical markets where several cities have transformed their traditional markets into gastronomic and tourist attractions.  

Each market has its own unique identity and, as if that wasn't enough, the flavours and smells, their colours are often perfect for a photo. 

After all, tasting local food is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new destination. These markets are definitely must-visit stops.  

Did you know of any of these markets before? 

Enjoy Easter and let yourself be enchanted by some of the best things our country has! Make use of our itinerary and enjoy this mixture of flavours and aromas that you can hardly find elsewhere.