Porto’s Historic Market: Mercado do Bolhão

September 13, 2023

Mercado do Bolhão in Porto, is a market which adds colours, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds to life, sharpens the senses and makes it the perfect place to build memories and socialise. Locals and visitors pass by the stalls, talk to sellers and go into shops and restaurants in a relentless quest to get the best products and services the city offers and to meet friends or acquaintances.

Built in Porto in 1914, after the establishment of the Republic and the beginning of the First World War, the Mercado do Bolhão, located close to Avenida dos Aliados, continues to be one of the favourite places of Porto residents. The building, designed by António Correia da Silva, is neoclassical in style and is considered by many locals to be a rare and precious place. The name originates from the location where the building stands. When crossing between Rua Formosa and Rua de Fernandes Tomás, the ground’s water formation created a large water bubble.

Porto's Historic Market

Mercado do Bolhão Vendor

Located in the city centre, near monuments, Mercado do Bolhão in Porto gives life to the Invicta, offering not only traditional goods but also countless novelties. The building, a pride of Porto, is one of the most emblematic, being municipal heritage and a Monument of Public Interest. More than a place of commerce, it is a space with emotional value, conserving the memories and history of what a real fresh market is, marking the hearts of Porto residents and those who visit it.

After demanding restoration and modernisation work to accommodate traders, customers and visitors, Bolhão Market reopens with more than seventy traders with different products, from several types of fish, vegetables and fruit to handicrafts or a cafeteria. In addition, Bolhão has thirty-eight stores that embrace the exterior of the building, with ten restaurants on the top floor. Some products you can buy in stores include: handicrafts, photography articles, jewelry and watches, perfumery and cosmetics, plants and seeds, haberdashery, clothing, footwear, accessories, and orthopedic products.

Mercado do Bolhão has become the top choice for a Food Tour, offering a genuine gastronomic itinerary for those looking to buy food or dine in one of its restaurants. The taste, variety of meals and friendliness when serving make the place an excellent choice for those looking for lunch or dinner. Eat and understand the story of Porto on a gastronomic tour that goes through your stomach. Furthermore, the authenticity of the merchants and the quality of the fresh and seasonal products make the market stalls a place for encounters and discoveries, faithful to its tradition, with the same faces, auctions, friendliness and excellent products.

Mercado do Bolhão in Porto will provide a memorable Food Tour to taste traditional dishes, understand the city’s daily life through locals and sellers, and simultaneously socialise. Dedicated to Easter celebrations, the market hosted its first thematic fair, commemorating this festive season and promoting local trade and tradition.

Experience the vibrant ambiance of Mercado do Bolhão with our exclusive Oporto Food Tour. Immerse yourself in the lively market atmosphere while savoring a delightful food tasting journey. Discover the finest flavors of Porto and its rich gastronomic heritage! For more details, visit our website and explore our app at app.cooltouroporto.com.

The entrance of Bolhão's Historic Market, by Rua Formosa

Mercado do Bolhão main square