Lisbon’s probably most known flea market is a great place to go, whether you’re looking for something specific, or simply going for a walk. In Portuguese it’s called “Feira da Ladra“, and it’s centuries old.
It actually began at some other part of the city, but after the 1755 earthquake it moved closer to the Restauradores neighbourhood (Praça da Alegria). After several other transitions from one place to another and back, in 1882 they finally moved it to the place where you can find it nowadays – Campo de Santa Clara.
I find flea markets remarkably interesting. It’s some sort of “Lavoisier’s Law on Consumption.” Not all that is old or second-hand has necessarily to be broken or with no use. A flea market is a great place to get original gifts, also. You can find all sorts of things, whether it’s a pocket agenda from 1974 ready to be used, a really old domino game with a nice leather case, collection items such as stamps, cassettes, vinyls, pocketwatches… even fridge door handles. You name it.
Old magazines and pocketwatches are my favorites. They’re straight out of the past! The overall looks of a pocketwatch, the chain and ornaments, the small button which opens the metal lid… I love it. And since they’re manual watches, you must turn the watch crown from time to time in order for it to work. There’s a unique appeal associated to them; it’s completely old school, plus you don’t have to wrap anything around your wrist (avoid accidental tan lines, haha!) and you can just keep it safe in your pocket.
Anyway; the Feira da Ladra occurs every Tuesday and Saturday, from morning ’till late afternoon. If you’re in town for the weekend, I’d say it’s a must. There’s a map with the location below.
So, pocketwatches are my favorite flea-market item. What about you? If there’s any precious item you like go scavenging about, do share your flea market experiences!