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Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

Cardiff UK
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Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

Hi.

I am going to Porto for 3 days from 12th Oct til 15th Oct. Reading all the things on this forum. I wish I had booked it for longer! I really want to go to a market, do you recommend any good ones? Like for bric a bracks and stuff. I would love to buy some Portuguese linen, or anything traditional. I didn't intend to go anywhere else, but reading about Braga and Espinho they both sound lovely, do you think it is possible to do them on two separate day trips and just spend one day in Porto? Or should I just concentrate on Porto and not do the day trips?

If anyone is from Porto or has just been there, would love to hear from you.

Many Thanks!!!

Porto, Portugal
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1. Re: Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

If your trip includes a Monday (and I think it does) then you absolutely must visit the weekly market in Espinho. It is huge and it sells everything from ceramics to clothes to live chickens. Take the train to Espinho, the market is about 1km from the station (just ask).

Within Porto the most famous traditional market is Bolhão, however this is now sadly dilapidated and there is an ongoing controversy about how best to revive it. It is mostly food and flowers, open everyday excpet Sunday.

Apart from that, there are plenty of shops in Porto selling the type of produce you require, explore the old centre on foot and I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Edinburgh, Scotland
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2. Re: Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

Can't offer any advice on the Espinho market but I am recently back from Northern Portugal and as part of a two week visit spent 2.5 days in Porto. It is a very hilly city but if you like just wandering and exploring there's loads to see, easily fill two days or more, one day north of river + one day south +?

In my wanderings I did see a number of shops with traditional linen and embroidery. If I remember correctly there were some around the Torre dos Clerigos area. My map tells me there is a train line to Espinho but will have to leave that to others to add the detail.

Porto is an interesting city and it is certainly 'lived in', this is not a place ruled by the tourist!

Saint Louis...
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3. Re: Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

I wouldn't describe Bolhao as dilapidated and as far as I know, it has always been primarily a food market. It has a bit of a dirty atmosphere, but in my experience the food is safe. The neat thing about Bolhao is that you can negotiate prices. People don't do it much anymore, but in the old days, there were no set prices so buyers had to make an offer on anything they wanted to buy. I think you can also negotiate the prices at other markets.

Bolhao is open daily whereas most other open-air markets in neighboring towns are held once a week. Also, Bolhao is very much an authentic part of Porto city life, which means it caters mainly to the needs of locals. You can buy all kinds of food, plants, construction materials, and stuff like that which is probably not what you are looking for, but it is still worth a visit.

That said, the espinho market is also worth a visit. If you don't make it on a Monday, ask in the hotel if there are any nearby fairs "feiras." During the summer, there is at least one per day in different towns near Porto, but I'm not sure if that lasts into October.

Saint Louis...
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4. Re: Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

I wouldn't describe Bolhao as dilapidated and as far as I know, it has always been primarily a food market. It has a bit of a dirty atmosphere, but in my experience the food is safe. The neat thing about Bolhao is that you can negotiate prices. People don't do it much anymore, but in the old days, there were no set prices so buyers had to make an offer on anything they wanted to buy. I think you can also negotiate the prices at other markets.

Bolhao is open daily whereas most other open-air markets in neighboring towns are held once a week. Also, Bolhao is very much an authentic part of Porto city life, which means it caters mainly to the needs of locals. You can buy all kinds of food, plants, construction materials, and stuff like that which is probably not what you are looking for, but it is still worth a visit.

That said, the espinho market is also worth a visit. If you don't make it on a Monday, ask in the hotel if there are any nearby fairs "feiras." During the summer, there is at least one per day in different towns near Porto, but I'm not sure if that lasts into October.

Porto, Portugal
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5. Re: Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

Ddd5 I agree that Bolhão is a great place. The quality of the produce is very good and I have recently bought fruit and flowers there. However, it has seen better days and part of it is closed to the public as the local council considers it to be unsafe.

Happily, the council’s plans to turn it into a shopping centre have been defeated by civic action by the stallholders and other concerned citizens (just as well, Porto has enough shopping centres). The stallholders and shopkeepers have formed a partnership calling for a solution to allow the market retain its unique character which I certainly hope it does.

Cardiff UK
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6. Re: Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

thank you all very much for your posts, much appreciated. I am definately going to espinho now on monday!!! managed to convince my travel buddy now too. thanks again.

Cornwall
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7. Re: Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

Hi. Hope you have a great trip to Porto. We were only able to spend a day there and would love to go back. Agree with others, you must go to the old market but suggest you go there early in the morning whilst they are still setting up their stalls of fish and flowers rather than leaving it till the afternoon, probably smells better early on!

You can get a ticket for a hop on hop off red bus to take you from one place to another and save walking up the hills. Do visit Vila Nova de Gaia on the other side of the river and take a tour of one of the port wine lodges. We went to the Sandeman lodge and for just 2 euros you get a superb guide and a tasting of port.

paris
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8. Re: Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

Hi, just returned from Porto yesterday, spent two days there, were able to do a lot on the first day, then on the second day, did Braga, Bom Jesus do Monte (amazing), and then Guimaraes. Our favorite thing was the staircase of Bom Jesus. Took the train Porto-braga, and then the bus to Bom Jesus after visiting the city of Braga

9. Re: Porto Markets & Day Trips-Please help!

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