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Feira da Ladra

Feira da Ladra
© Plaats / CC BY-SA 3.0

Lisbon's Flea Market

The Feira da Ladra is an ancient flea market which takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays in the Alfama district's Campo de Santa Clara.  The setting is fairly impressive, situated between two of the Alfama's most iconic landmarks; the National Pantheon and the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora. It is thought that a market of some kind may have operated here since the 12th century, and by the 17th century the market here was known by its name which translates as "thieves fair" - in fact the word "ladra" means "female thief". Back in those days it was the place to buy and sell items of dubious origin.

Today tourists might enjoy searching amongst the heaps of bric-a-brac looking for a bargain.  If you're a serious shopper it pays to get here early and be prepared to haggle.  The market starts at 8am and by afternoon items that are worth buying are likely to have gone. 

The market itself is the usual eclectic mix of old pictures and books, antiques, classic vinyl records and military objects. Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, the market is worth a visit just to soak up the friendly laid-back atmosphere and watch the traders, many of them gypsies in traditional black garbs, plying their (often less traditional) wares.