Feira da Ladra

A lovely flea market with a stunning view over the rooftops of the Alfama district and the Tagus River

If you’re on the look out for a good spot to go flea market shopping while traveling to Lisbon, just ask locals “where is the flea market?”. In Paris, London, Rome, Madrid, Berlin or any other European city, you might get an exasperated “yes, but which one are you looking for?”. In Lisbon, on the contrary, it makes sense that if you’re a tourist, you’re probably looking for the Feira da Ladra.

The Feira da Ladra, which literally translates into “Thieve’s Market” (in Portuguese “ladra” is a woman thief), is a local flea market that spans several streets of Lisbon’s Alfama district (Campo de Santa Clara). It is believed that this market has its roots in the Middle Ages (since the 12th century to be accurate), when traders used to go there to sell their products as well as stolen goods (as the name suggests). Nonetheless, the name Feira da Ladra itself, only dates back to the 17th Century.

Nowadays it is a renowned flea market, which despite its name, keeps a great reputation, particularly because of its friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Merchants at the Feira da Ladra are perfectly legal, many of them gypsies showing their wares in the Campo de Santa Clara street (Alfama district).

For decades, two days a week, tourists, collectors, and even locals have come to the Feira da Ladra to sell & buy all kinds of junk. A myriad of small stalls sell all sorts of second-hand and new products, and other traders simply display their wares on a stretched-out blanket: Antiques, furniture, second-hand clothes, trinkets, toys, stamps, coins, militaria, old books… this flea market showcases a cheerful bric-a-brac that spreads on stalls of all size, as well as on the floor.

The Feira da Ladra flea market is stuck between the splendid Panteão Nacional (the Pantheon) and the imposing church of São Vicente (near which the famous Tram 28 stops). But that’s not all: if you go a little bit more up hill, deaper into the flea market and pass the Panteão Nacional, you will reach a lovely parc (the Jardim Botto Machado) from which you will get a stunning view over the rooftops of the Alfama district and the Tagus River.

Even if you’re not planning to buy anything (or if you’re not in a flea market mood), just go to the Feira da Ladra for the view and the atmosphere of the place. You won’t regret it.

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5 reviews

  1. Eclectic mix of merchandise offered by an equally eclectic mix of vendors. From handmade crafts, jewelry and clothes to beautifully worn and aged antiques to discarded cell phones and toys. Beautiful views of the city, river and its people.

  2. We are avid car boot attendees at home so couldn’t miss the opportunity of visiting this market. It was a good hour walk from our hotel (mostly uphill) but quite plesant in the early morning if you stick to the backstreets. The market is right next to the Pantheon so you get two for one. It is huge so if you want to actually see the whole thing allow a few hours. A mixture of junk, useful items, general market stalls and some nice craft stalls. We picked up a few bargains and would have got more if we had more room in the suitcase! You have to be prepared to rummage!! There are plenty of cafes/bars around and one of the trams stops there if you can’t bear the walk. If you do walk you get to see much more (views, churches etc). On the way back into town we found a little gem of a Japanese restaurant which we wouldn’t have otherwise discovered.

  3. Like others here I was astounded at how pricey certain things were. There was lots of cheap junk, including things I’m sure no one will ever buy. They do seem to have a handle on what tourists might want to buy and the prices go up. Vinyl was really over priced to the point that I didn’t mind walking past. Some vintage toys I looked at were absurdly priced. Truthfully things were more expensive than Ebay, even when you consider shipping. That aside, it was a fun way to spend a few hours. It was very large and there was some great busking going on.

  4. Great place to mooch about. Good mix of tat, junk and new. The market cafe has the best food and drink, but plenty of cafes to chose from.

  5. If you like original stuff and “flea” markets, this is your place. Opens on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and it’s a good program to see old things, porcelain, clothes, shoes, furniture, decor, and many more.

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