Last Updated on 3rd March 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
Portugal is a beautiful country in southwest Europe which is particularly well-known for its vibrant architecture, tasty mediterranean inspired cuisine, and delightful weather. And so, if you’re visiting the southwestern European country and want to take a piece of Portugal home with you, here are some of the best souvenirs from Portugal you’ll want to purchase during your trip!
- Souvenirs from Portugal
- Azulejos (tiles)
- Barcelos Rooster
- Cork products
- Gold and silver filigree jewellery
- Handmade lace
- Madeira Embroidery
- Our Lady of Fatima statue
- Paupério Cookies
- Pastel de Nata
- Port Wine
- Portuguese cheese
- Portuguese hand-painted ceramics
- Peri peri hot sauce
- Portuguese olive oil
- Salt from Portugal
- Sardine themed products
Souvenirs from Portugal
Scan through any photo album of Portugal and you’ll soon see that many cities all over the country are covered in beautiful tiles, with the more traditional ones being intricate designs of blue and white.
Some of the most famous examples of azulejos in Portugal can be found in the National Palace of Sintra, which has over 136,000 tiles. You can buy your very own tile to take home for decoration at one of the many tile shops scattered across Portugal.
The national symbol for Portugal is the rooster and so you’ll often come across depictions of the chicken when exploring the entirety of the country. As such, one of the most Portuguese-themed souvenirs you can purchase during your trip is something with a rooster on it.
The most common Barcelos Rooster souvenir (also known locally as the Galo de Barcelos) is a painted ceramic statue, though a number of other items are also sold which depict a rooster, including fridge magnets, mugs, and stationery.
Portugal is one of the largest cork producers globally thanks to the fact that it produces around 55% of the world’s cork supply, specifically in the the Alentejo region.
This means that Portugal is an excellent place to find all kinds of of cork-made products. This includes bags, wallets, and shoes, among other things.
If you’re looking for something smaller that’s easy to fit in your suitcase, then a coin purse is another popular cork product is a great budget option when it comes to souvenirs from Portugal.
Ginja (also known as Ginjinha) is a popular cherry liqueur from Portugal, and more specifically Lisbon, that is typically served in a small cup (with a cherry in the bottom if you so prefer). You can find this traditional drink in many bars and cafes, and also bottled to bring back home as a memory of your trip.
Gold and silver filigree jewellery
Filigree jewellery is renowned for its exquisite and intricate designs, featuring delicate metalwork that creates stunning patterns and textures. Portugal has a rich heritage of filigree craftsmanship, dating all the way back to at least 2000 BCE (this is when the earliest examples discovered date from).
From necklaces, bracelets, earrings to rings, there is a diverse selection of filigree jewellery available to suit all styles and tastes. The area of the country which is most-associated with these kind of accessories is northern Portugal, such as in villages like Gondomar, Braga and Travassos.
Handmade lace has been a part of Portugal’s rich cultural heritage for centuries. Throughout the ages, this fine lace has used to create beautiful tablecloths, doilies, and other decorative items.
The country boasts a wide array of shops and markets where you can find unique handmade lace products, reflecting the country’s traditional craftsmanship and artistic flair.
Known locally as Bordado Madeira, embroidery is a traditional craft that has been passed down for generations on the island of Madeira, though the wares are also sold across mainland Portugal. You can find beautiful embroidered items such as tablecloths, handkerchiefs, and clothing.
Our Lady of Fatima statue
For those who are religious, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima is a popular souvenir from Portugal. The statue signifies the apparition of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children at the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.
Many tourists and pilgrims travel to the Sanctuary of Fatima, the site of the apparition, to pay their respects and acquire souvenirs such as replicas of Our Lady of Fatima. These statues can vary in size and design.
For over a century, Paupério Cookies have been a beloved Portuguese delicacy and are now one of the best sweet treats to buy as a souvenir from your trip.
Founded in 1874, this family-owned business has been producing these traditional cookies using only the finest ingredients. With an array of flavours, such as cinnamon, lemon, and chocolate, Paupério Cookies are crisp and light.
Pastel de Nata
Sweet, creamy, and small enough to be devoured in one single indulgent mouthful, the pastel de nata is as emblematic of Lisbon as its many steep hills and status as the capital of Portugal. Today, pastel de natas are sold all over Portugal.
Many locals opt to consume their pastéis first thing in the morning together with a shot of espresso (known as bica -pronounced beeca- in Portuguese). This makes for the perfect breakfast, though there is no rule as to the best time of the day to eat one of the little custard egg tarts!
Though pasteis de natas (the plural term for pastel de nata) are probably best consumed as soon after purchase as you can eat them, they make for a great souvenir if you’re looking to bring back
Produced in the Douro Valley region of northern Portugal since the 1700s, Port wine is a sweet wine that is the perfect gift to bring home for the oenophile in your life. Port is typically a little stronger than your usual wine, with an alcoholic content of between 19 and 22 percent.
Port gained popularity in the 19th century, and today is typically served together with dessert. You can purchase port bottles in a number of different sizes, though the most common is a 75cl bottle.
Cheese might not necessarily be the best souvenir from Portugal, depending on potential restrictions on bringing dairy products back to your home country (and depending on how the cheese you buy has been packaged).
With this being said, if you’re able to, there are a wide array of mouthwatering cheese from Portugal, all of which are worth sampling. Azeitão, Queijo da Serra, and Castelo Branco particularly stand out.
Azeitão is a creamy, soft cheese crafted from sheep’s milk and often relished as a sweet dessert when accompanied by honey. Queijo da Serra is a pungent, robust cheese, made from raw sheep’s milk. Castelo Branco is a semi-hard cheese, usually served together with bread and wine.
Portuguese hand-painted ceramics
Though not perhaps the first thing that springs to mind when you’re thinking about bringing home a souvenir from Portugal, the country has a long and storied history of creating beautiful ceramics.
One of the most popular ceramic towns in Portugal is Caldas da Rainha, which is located to the north of its capital city of Lisbon. The area surrounding the town is known for the abundance of clay in its soil and the resulting pottery designs are flowers, countryside scenes, and sea-forward patterns.
The town of Bisalhães in northern Portugal is known for its traditional black pottery, which is made using ancient techniques. You can find a variety of black pottery souvenirs in local shops.
The Algarve is also well-known for its ceramic making history and you’ll see plenty of shops selling all manner of pots, tableware, and decoration when driving along the Algarve. We particularly enjoyed perusing the shops in Porches and bought a serving dish for my sister’s Christmas present there!
Peri peri hot sauce
Originating from Portuguese-African cuisine, peri peri sauce (also known as Piri-piri or peli-peli) is a fiery and zesty condiment that combines chilli peppers (the African Bird’s eye chilli), garlic, vinegar, and other spices.
It’s famed for its bold spiciness and is used to marinate or dip grilled meats, vegetables, and seafood. Though you can make it at home, you can also buy a bottle while in Portugal to bring home and recreate all of your favourite Portuguese dishes after you’ve left Portugal.
Portuguese olive oil
It’s believed that olive trees have been grown in Portugal for at least 3000 years and there are now 361,483 hectares of olive groves scattered across the southern European country.
Thick, golden, and green-tined, Portuguese olive oil is largely produced around the Alentejo region and are produced using a mix of different olive varieties. Over 50,000 tonnes of olive oil is produced on an annual basis
Salt from Portugal
Dating back to Roman times, Portugal has a rich heritage of salt production. The country’s salt pans, or salinas as they are known in Portuguese, are mostly situated along the southern coast.
The Algarve region, in particular, is renowned for its hand-harvested sea salt, produced through traditional methods. Portuguese salt is considered a high-end product, frequently used in local delicacies such as codfish and grilled sardines. Tourists can purchase a range of artisanal Portuguese salt souvenirs, including infused and flavoured salts.
Sardine themed products
Portugal is the largest canned sardine producer in the world, with over 13,000 tons of sardines canned in the country each year. You can find a variety of sardine-themed souvenirs in Portugal, from tins of sardines to sardine covered mugs, and even sardine-shaped keychains.
One of the most popular sardine products is sardine paté, which is referred to locally as paté de sardinha. Other popular tinned fish varieties include mackerel, octopus, and tuna.
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.