The vast Campo da Feira houses Barcelos’ market every Thursday from dawn until late afternoon (around 4pm, or whenever the last stallholder closes) – it’s been held here since at least the early fifteenth century and, save a few modern refinements, there’s still much that a medieval market-trader might recognize. Today the Feira may have its own Facebook page, but the close-set rows of modest smallholders offering up their surplus produce have surely changed little over the centuries. Beyond the fruit and veg, eggs, olives, herbs, cheeses, cured meats, breads and pastries there’s the supporting framework of an entire rural economy on display here, from agricultural implements and animal yokes to chainsaws and wine-making gear – not to mention piles of cheap clothes, big pants, €10 jeans, counterfeit sportswear, lengths of cloth, brassy Portuguese pop CDs and rustic crafts. The local terracotta, white and yellow pottery – the louças de Barcelos – is a big deal, while Barcelos backs up its self-appointed role as “Capital do Artesanato” with a full array of other crafts, from earthenware figurines to traditional basketwork. The market is, in short, as valid a reason to visit Barcelos as you could want; if you can, make a real trip of it by staying the night before and setting your alarm clock for dawn to mingle with the stallholders as they set up for another timeless day at the feira.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Heading to the Portuguese capital this year? Lisbon’s accommodation scene has exploded in recent years, so there is no shortage of places to stay, from histor…

08 Mar 2018 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
Porto versus Lisbon: which should you visit first?

Porto versus Lisbon: which should you visit first?

Porto and Lisbon have much in common – both are hilly cities, with attractive riverside quarters and winding warrens of old lanes and alleyways. Portugal's tw…

07 Mar 2018 • Amanda Tomlin insert_drive_file Article
An expert’s guide: the best places to stay in Porto

An expert’s guide: the best places to stay in Porto

Porto’s cityscape of narrow streets and stepped alleys spreads up the steep slopes of the Douro river to a centre full of broad squares, Neoclassical building…

13 Feb 2018 • Amanda Tomlin insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right