Porto does not necessarily cater for tourists in terms of shopping opportunities, yet the range of products one can purchase is fairly diverse. Fashion victims can find a shopping spree in Porto is quite rewarding, just as it is the case with the people in search of traditional products. Thus, tourists can explore at large the boutiques or, on the contrary, the large shopping centers (centros comerciales in Portuguese) and malls and, why not, the open-air markets in order to sample what is best of Porto in terms of shopping.
For the most exhilarating shopping experiences tourists are advised to head for Rua de Cedofeita and Rua Santa Catarina, lined with shopping centers and malls, or for Rua da Fabrica, famed for its bookstores, and for Rua Galeria da Paris where visitors can explore the art galleries and shops, in case a fine art work appeals to them as an ideal souvenir to bring back home from their stay in Porto. Rua do Miguel Bombarda and Rua do Almada are also known for the shops and boutiques which sell fashion products and design items.
Tourists are also advised to make time to explore the celebrated wineries of Porto, since the Port wine is not only the most famous local product, but an international brand worth sampling in the very place where it has been manufactured for centuries.
Home to national and international brands like Massimo Dutti, Max Mara, Purificacion Garcia, Carolina Herrera, Adolfo Dominguez, Roberto Verino and Gant, the virtually centrally located Galeria Peninsula is a world of elegance and style where visitors can shop for the latest products in the fashion industry. This shopping center is a genuine landmark of shopping in Porto, which is why it is highly recommended to tourists, regardless of their penchant for fashion products.
Located on Rua de Santa Catarina, Via Catarina Shopping gives visitors the opportunity to explore a large range of shops, which sell the most miscellaneous variety of products: from foodstuffs to fashion products and perfumes, from electrical appliances to telecommunications. Highlights refer to brands like Worten, Nike, Bellissima and Prof.
Shopping Cidade de Porto invites visitors to shop for brands like Zara, Prof and United Colors of Benetton. The fashion sector is complemented by shops which sell an even wider range of products, from foodstuffs to telecommunications. Visitors can recharge their batteries at the restaurants located within the perimeter of Shopping Cidade de Porto, or they can just as well relax at one of the on-site cinema halls.
Despite the fact generally speaking shopping in Porto is not prominently tourist-oriented, there are shops which sell handicraft and folk art products which might just as well stand as sources of inspired souvenirs to take back home from a memorable stay in Porto.
Amongst others, Porto is famed for its carpet industry. “Industry” is, however, a word too strong to describe the state of affairs, since the products are handmade works of art. They are made of wool and require tens of workers to invest a lot of time in weaving the carpets. Casa dos Tapetes de Arraiolos is the best place from where such carpets can be purchased in Porto.
There’s no scarcity of handicraft shops and exhibition spaces in Porto, but the height of all these venues if the Regional Center of Traditional Arts. Tourists who want to buy the best products in this respect should definitely head for Centro Regional de Artes Tradicionais. While exploring the wide range of handicraft and folk art products, visitors can also admire the building which is home to the center: an 18th century structure which reflects the architectural tastes of the old aristocracy. There is a clear emphasis laid on showcasing traditional folk art works from the north region of Portugal.
Tourists can make the experience of the genuine character of Porto in terms of shopping only if they complement their shopping sprees with the exploration of the local open-air markets.
Mercado de Bolao is the largest open-air market in Porto and, at the same time, the most famous of all. The market is replete with stalls selling all sorts of inviting spices and foodstuffs, local culinary produces and flowers. It is a sight not to be missed out, if not for the thrill of shopping, than at least for the sake of sightseeing, since Mercado de Bolao is first and foremost a world of scents and flavors, colors and tastes. The handicraft industry is just as fairly well represented at Marcado de Bolao.