Shopping in Porto
Porto is an intriguing place to shop and has an absorbing collection of chains, boutiques and emporiums in which to browse. From stuck-in-time grocery stores to hipster stalls, shoppers will never be left wanting. There is a great array of local crafts, which includes everything from woodwork to ceramics, as well as the unique local foodstuffs.
The obvious shopping highlight in Porto is its famous fortified wine, particularly when tasting it is all part of the process. The Portuguese vinho verde (green wine) is another great buy too.
The main shopping street in Porto is the Rua de Santa Catarina in the city centre. Here, visitors will find a wealth of clothes and shoe shops as well as stores offering a variety of design items and all kinds of trendy accessories. Some of the side streets off Rua de Santa Catarina offer excellent food shops with lovely, tiled facades. Rua da Bombarda is good for fashion and small independent boutiques, and the city boasts a huge, historic bookshop, the Clube Literário do Porto, on Rua Nova da Alfândega.
Visitors interested in buying port wine should visit Garrafeira do Carmo, Rua do Carmo 17-18, which has a large selection of wines, some of which are more than 100 years old. It's also fun to buy direct from the producers in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Regular markets take place in the Rua de Santa Catarina, while weekly and monthly specialised markets featuring specific products such as antiques, handicrafts and the like take place in a number of city centre locations including Rua Cândido dos Reis and Praça das Cardosas.
Via Catarina, Porto's most charming shopping centre, is located along Rua de Santa Catarina, at the corner of Rua Fernandes Tomar. The storefronts inside are replicas of the kinds of facades typical of old Northern Portugal village shops. Other Porto shopping centres include the Centro Comercial Peninsular and the Centro Comercial Cidade de Porto on Rua do Bom Successo.
Shops are generally open Monday to Friday 0900-1300 and 1500-1900 and Saturday 0900-1300. Shopping centres are open daily 1000-2300/2400.
Ceramics, cork items and tea grown in one of Europe's only tea plantations are all good souvenirs, as are local foodstuffs, from port to bacalhau, the local salted dried cod.
Some larger stores will offer a VAT refund service for non-EU visitors.