Lisbon remains Western Europe's least expensive capital, and wandering around thetraditional and specialist
shops in Baixa (downtown) is a refreshing experience for those used to characterless shopping centers. Many shops are even worth going into for their distinctive decoration alone such as Luvaria Ulisses and Casa das Velas do Loreto. Some of the best bargains are handmade goods which also make excellent souvenirs. Look for antique and contemporary hand-painted tiles, the luxurious soaps, distinctive regional ceramics and textiles such as tablecloths and embroidery, and don't forget that all gold sold in Portugal is at least 19.2 karats and is one of the best buys in the country. In the Chiado quarter you will also find international brands and popular modern retailers like Zara and H&M together with some quaint traditional old shops andbookstores, including the world's oldest, Bertrand. Further up the hill in the Principe Real district is a number of interior design shops, some focusing exclusively on Portuguese design and others mixing products by local and international designers. Fresh produce and regional specialties and found in the colorful Ribeira Market that also has a fascinating fish hall, while the atmospheric Feira da Ladra in Alfama is the city's flea market and where you'll find nearly everything you can imagine for sale on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. Be sure to also check out the local gastronomic delights by putting together your own gourmet basket.