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Shopping in Lisbon is extremely enjoyable by tourists especially due to the fact that Lisbon is still one of Western Europe's least expensive capitals. The wide range of low priced products such as leather shoes, bags, belts, tapestries, embroideries and hand painted tiles, makes the search for the perfect gift easy and fun. Portugal is well known for its exquisite Vista Alegre porcelain and for the low priced ceramic pots and plates, but if you are a jewellery person, the best buy in Portugal is gold. By law, jewellers must put a minimum of 19.2 karats into every piece of jewellery they sell and the most popular jewellery in Lisbon is Filigree jewellery.
Designer's fashion can be found at Avenida da Liberdade and in the Bairro Alto district. International clothing brands are located mostly in the Chiado quarter and if you are into browsing, head to Baixa. Major jewellery shops are located on Rua Aurea and the main shopping streets are Rua Augusta, Rua de Prata and Rua Aurea.
Most shops are open from Monday until Friday from about 9 am till 1 pm and reopen after a lunch break from 3 pm till 7 pm. On Saturdays shops open 9 am to 1 pm, and on Sundays most shops are closed.
Value added tax (called IVA in Portugal) rangers from 8% for books and food to 17% - 19% for luxury goods. Usually the tax is already added in the final price of items and services.
The Value added tax can be reclaimed by visitors from outside the EU as long as the purchase exceeds 60 EUR (VAT included) and was purchased at one store on the same day. In order to do that, look for shops displaying the sign "Europe Tax - Free Shopping Portugal". Ask in the store for a tax refund cheque containing the description of goods, the personal data of the non European resident as well as the particulars of his passport or of any such equivalent document. At the airport your purchased items need to be taken to the customs clearance before checking the luggage in. The cheques are stamped by customs and cashed on the spot by Global Refund Tax - Free Shopping staff at the airport.
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