Best souvenirs to bring back from Lisbon
Whenever one travels, they usually want to bring some souvenirs back home to remind them of the time they spent in the place they’ve visited. If you’re visiting Lisbon, you might be wondering what are the best souvenirs of the city. This is why today I will be sharing with you some of the best souvenirs to bring back from Lisbon! The items I am suggesting in this article are rather unique and typical of the Portuguese culture in general.
Our memories are essential to the construction of our identity, which is why sometimes people hold on to objects. It’s not the object itself that matters, it’s the memory that goes with it. So, bringing some souvenirs is definitely one of the best ideas one could have while abroad. These souvenirs can be for yourself, to remind you of the moments you had while in Lisbon. But, these souvenirs can also be a lovely way to show your friends and relatives that you thought about them during your trip in Lisbon. All the souvenirs I am telling you about in the article are typically Portuguese and will definitely make you feel like you’ve taken a tiny bit of Lisbon with you! So read on and find out the best souvenirs to bring back from Lisbon!
The traditional azulejos
First on my list are the traditional and lovely azulejos! The word azulejo comes from the arabic one “azzelij“, which means little polished stone. Azulejos are colorful patterned ceramic tiles, but the blue color usually overrules, which is translated to “azul” in Portuguese. This has given rise to the word “azulejo”.
These traditional ceramic tiles were initially introduced by the Moors. Then, Portugal became the most important European tile producer. This craft has been part of the Portuguese culture and history for centuries, which is why it one of the best souvenirs to bring back from Lisbon! Each piece is unique. It can be used as decorations, coasters or even as hot pads. Prices per unit are about ten euros. And antique ones are much more expensive, their prices can go up to hundreds!
If you want to know more about the history of azulejos and their importance in Portuguese history, I strongly recommend you to visit the Museu Nacional do Azulejo in Lisbon. It is the national tile museum. Located at Rua da Madre de Deus, 4, the ticket entrance only costs five euros. It is open from tuesday to sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm.
The best places in Lisbon for you to get your azulejo are the following stores: Solar, Fábrica Sant’Anna and Loja dos Descobrimentos.
Some books from Portuguese authors
In my opinion, buying a book from a Portuguese author is definitely a great idea. You get to understand the mindset of the Portuguese and see the world through the eyes of a Portuguese author. For instance, you probably know José Saramago that won the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1998. You also have Fernando Pessoa, Luis de Camões, Eça de Queiroz and Camilo Castelo Branco who have inspired many other authors around the world. The Portuguese literature is not as famous as the English or French one but it is just as good. You just need to give it a shot!
Go to the Ferin library, located at Rua Nova do Almada, 72 in Chiado or to one of the Bertrand stores in Lisbon and get the book that seems more inspiring to you!
A bottle of port wine or ginjinha
Next on my list of the best souvenirs to bring back from Lisbon is a bottle of port wine or ginjinha. The port wine, commonly known as Vinho do Porto in Portuguese, is a very popular wine that is usually served as an aperitif, or with some cheese or the dessert. This wine is exclusively made with the grapes of the Douro region, in the north of Portugal.
What makes this wine so different from the other ones is the fact that its fermentation is not completed and the addition of aguardente – spirit in English – makes it a stronger wine compared to the others. Vinho do Porto usually contains between 19% and 22% vol of alcohol. This “dessert wine” exists now for centuries and it is very popular among the Portuguese. It may come from the Douro region, next to Porto, but I can assure you that all the locals you will meet while in Lisbon know the famous Vinho do Porto. So, if you get the chance, you should definitely try some Vinho do Porto while in Lisbon. If you enjoy its taste, buy a bottle for yourself or give it as a gift for someone special who is waiting for you back home.
Then, you also have the Ginjinha! It’s a delicious liquor. Made out of the infusion of sour cherries in aguardente, it is particularly appreciated in Lisbon, Alcobaça and Óbidos. Join one of our tours if you wish to try some in the company of the locals. They will tell you everything you need to know about this liquor. While in Portugal, you should definitely try both these beverages and decide which one wins your heart! I personally prefer Vinho do Porto!
Yummy portuguese delicacies
People love some yummy delicacies! While in Lisbon, you will have the chance to taste the best Portuguese dishes, pastries, among other things! But not everyone will have this opportunity. I’m sure your family and friends will love to receive some Portuguese delicacies! First of all, they will thoroughly enjoy to have a little taste of the Portuguese cuisine. Then, they will also get to know you thought about them during your stay in Lisbon!
The Pastéis de Nata, also known as Pastéis de Belém, are obviously the first thing that comes to my mind, because they are the most famous! You can enjoy them in practically any cafés or bakery in Portugal, but the original recipe comes from Lisbon at the Pastéis de Belém pastry shop in Belém, which is located at Rua de Belém, 84-92.
I won’t lie to you these pastéis are way better when eaten on site, when they come straight out of the oven! They are the yummiest! But you should definitely try as many Portuguese delicacies as possible! Go to a café or a pastry shop and just try the ones that look the most mouth-watering to you! Note that most of the Portuguese pastries use eggs, so they usually aren’t suitable for vegans. Speak to the locals, they will definitely help you! You can also join our food tour and listen to the best advices and the best histories told by a local guide!
The best jewellery ever
During the Age of Discoveries, Portugal acquired a lot of gold and silver from its former colonies. Over the years, the goldsmith improved this craft and have always produced the finest gold and silver. In my opinion, the jewellery you will find in Lisbon is the best! Plus, you will see it is a lot cheaper compared to the other countries of Europe. Jewellery is definitely one of the best souvenirs to bring back from Lisbon! You will be able to wear it everyday or on special occasions, and you will be able to remember all the great moments you had in Lisbon and tell the story the jewel carries. The places where to get your jewellery are called ourivesarias in Portuguese.
A fado album
Another great souvenir you can get in Lisbon is, of course, a fado album! Fado is a traditional Portuguese music genre. Fado is about love, passion, nostalgia, longing, and also about sadness and sorrow. Fado was born out of the sorrow people felt when they had to bid farewell to their loved ones. When people used to go away for some time, the people that stayed sang about their emotions and feelings.
Amália Rodrigues, Dulce Pontes, Mariza, Carlos do Carmo, Ana Moura, Katia Guerreiro are some of the best fado singers.
Some cork products
Portugal is responsible for more than 50% of cork production in the world. Since it is the main producer of cork, it started to use this material in other industries, such as furniture and fashion. Portugal has definitely improved this production these last few years and now many brands offer many original and eco-friendly cork items. Check the Pelcor store at Rua D. Pedro V, Pátio do Tijolo and the Cork & Co. store at Rua das Salgadeiras, 10 in Lisbon.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article about some of the best souvenirs to bring back from Lisbon! Let me know which one was your favorite. Also, feel free to share your own thoughts. If you’ve already been to Lisbon, what did you bring back from Lisbon as a souvenir? I have one last suggestion for you: everytime I travel, I always bring back a newspaper. This allows me to remember what was going on in the world while I was at a certain place!
A good way to discover Alfama is by joining a walking tour. You will see the city like a local and see the best attractions in Lisbon.
Established in 2010, Discover Walks runs free walking tours in Lisbon every day at 11am & 4pm. This Alfama Tour starts right in front of the Castle’s entrance and lasts a relaxed 90 minutes. You can visit our website to book your spot and walk with us!
See you soon in Lisbon! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything!