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The Lisbon shopping experience can be quite different from that of most other European capitals. It is a cultural experience, going beyond the famous international brands.

Many shops downtown seem to be frozen in time, making the neighbourhood feel like a living museum. Most of its businesses survive on tourist curiosity and on low frozen rents (such as the haberdashers on Rua da Conceição) and there is a series of new and old shops specializing in local retro-wrapped products.

There are also cool vintage boutiques in Bairro Alto open in the afternoon until past dinner time, as well as catwalk creations by local designers in the same neighbourhood and in Chiado.

Chiado, together with Avenida da Liberdade, is also the place for international up-market brands, while Rua Augusto Rosa by the cathedral, Rua Dom Pedro V in Príncipe Real, and Rua de São Bento by São Bento Palace are lined with antiques.

Therefore those used to characterless malls will find shopping in Lisbon to be a refreshing experience, although the city has been invaded by those too. The largest ones are Colombo and Centro Vasco da Gama, which stay open until midnight.

This is what you should be putting on your Lisbon shopping list!

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