Mercado do Bolhao – where is famous market in Porto

When you’re in Porto, you may want to pay a visit to the nearby grocery stores, to buy some products that you will be able to bring back home with you, as little extra souvenirs. However, if you’re interested in shopping in a more ‘traditional’ place, the famed Mercado do Bolhão Market is your best bet. What can you buy there? What are the prices like?

The Mercado do Bolhão market is not only the most popular market in the district, but in the entire city. In fact, it equals in popularity to the incredibly well known grocery store – A Perola do Bolhão. The market is surrounded by architecture in a neoclassical style, which definitely adds some charm.

Porto, Mercado do Bolhao

The market offers both fruits and vegetables, bread, flowers, fresh fish, raw and cooked meats and even an opportunity to try some of the local delicacies, like Francesinha. You can also try some of the Porto wine, just like you would during a vineyard trip.

When it comes to souvenirs, some of the ones presented on the market are the cheap, mass produced rubbish from China, but there is also plenty of well made souvenirs there, like the famous azulejos or some cork goods, so you’ll surely find something for yourself.

Mercado do Bolhão market – history

Porto, Mercado do Bolhao

The history of one of the most famous markets in Portugal dates back to 1839. That was when the marketplace was established, as per orders of Camara do Porto. With the beginning of the 20th century, the market turned out to be too small for the ever growing city.

Originally, an entirely new construction was planned, but due to the economic crisis at the time, it was swiftly abandoned. The current Bolhão market is an effect of the abandoned works from 1914. The neoclassical hall was designed by Correia da Silva.

Porto, Mercado do Bolhao

The new market hall was a fairly modern and impressive building, mainly thanks to the materials used. The original creation was slightly modified after the years, especially in the 40s, when the new entrances were added and the interior was reshaped a bit.

The market hall was also a root of conflict for many years. Countless overhaul plans were shaped, yet not all agreed, so the building remained the same. Thankfully, nowadays the market is safe from all of this, as it has been under protection since 2013, and any renovations will not go through.

Shopping in the Mercado do Bolhão market

Porto, Mercado do Bolhao

As we’ve mentioned before, there are countless goods you can buy here. The market is separated into specialized sections, for florists, butchers, fishermen, vegetable booths, etc. There are also the local specials, usually at a very reasonable price, and the local wine for tasting.

Even though the market has been a huge tourist magnet for years now, the prices are still very manageable. Especially since many of the booths are run by older locals, selling their own crops.

Mercado do Bolhão – opening hours and how to get there

Porto, Mercado do Bolhao

The famed market in Porto is open from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 to 20:00. On Saturdays, it closes 2 hours earlier, from 8:00 to 18:00. Sundays and holidays – the market’s closed. It’s not difficult to get to the market on the Rua Fernandes Tomas street. The easiest way is to use the metro lines (A, B, C, E or F) or the railways above the surface (lines 5 M, 7 M, 8 M, 200, 300, 301, 305, 401, 502, 700, 702, 800 and 801).

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