Must Visit: The Markets of the Algarve

Exploring the Algarve through its markets is to dive into the cultural and gastronomic essence of this exciting region. Each market here is not just a place for shopping but a space where ancient traditions and culinary innovations coexist, providing a rich and wide experience for locals and visitors alike.

Mercado de Loulé, during Med Festival

The word market derives from the Latin mercatus, which means a place of trade or commerce. This term itself stems from merx, meaning merchandise, reflecting the core function of markets as spaces for buying and selling goods.


Starting with the Loulé Market, it is one of the most emblematic markets of the Algarve, famous not only for its diverse selection of fresh products such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish but also for its impressive architecture. A visit to this unique place offers more than the opportunity to buy high-quality ingredients — it’s also a chance to experience the local culture.

What do visitors say: “Fresh products of great quality and amicable service from all the vendors, I highly recommend visiting every day of the week, but especially on Saturdays when there is more variety in the outdoor area.”

Mercado de Olhão


At the Olhão Market, the focus is definitely on the sea. Located in the heart of one of the main fishing cities of the Algarve, this market is renowned for the exceptional quality of fish and seafood, displayed in a vibrant and noisy environment that captures the true essence of coastal life. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to witness the fishermen bringing in the freshest products, a scene that sets the day’s pace and offers an authentic glimpse into the local daily life.

Here, it is possible to chat with vendors about the best ways to cook the fish, ensuring that you take home not only fresh ingredients but also a part of the Algarvian culinary wisdom.

What do visitors say:Very good, nothing is missing! Cafes, restaurants, all of good quality, seafood, vegetables. Good atmosphere, with great views over the Ria Formosa. It’s worth taking a walk with the family. There you can find boats to visit the islands. It has also a garden and a park for children.

Mercado de Faro


The Faro Market, is a perfect blend of old and new, reflecting the historical and contemporary nature of the Algarve’s capital. This market attracts a diverse audience, offering a wide range of products from fresh seafood to locally grown vegetables and fruits. It is also an excellent place to taste and buy regional sweets, such as sugar-coated almonds and dried figs. The vendors here are known for their hospitality and again, always ready to share recipes and tips on how to best enjoy their products.

What do visitors say: “Super fresh products, and two snack bars where you can eat fish soup, bifanas (Portuguese pork sandwich), and fried mackerel among other extraordinary specialties.”

Mercado do Caliços — Albufeira


The Albufeira Market combines the tourist appeal with local charm, offering everything from souvenirs to a tempting selection of pastries and ready-made dishes. Located in one of the most visited areas of the Algarve, this market is ideal for those looking for an experience that combines shopping, gastronomy, and culture in one place. Here, one can enjoy a quick meal, or take home handicrafts from talented local artists.

What do visitors say: “The market offers products from small local producers, mostly organic. The seafood area is another must-visit. Always fresh fish. An excellent option for those who like healthy eating.”

Mercado de Lagos


This market is not just a place to buy groceries but a cultural center where the community gathers. The main building, renovated in 2010, is a modern facility that houses a variety of vendors selling fresh produce, seafood, meat, and local specialties.

Locals frequent the market to pick up fresh catch brought in daily by the local fishermen, ranging from sardines and sea bass to octopus and clams. On the exterior, there are also a variety of stalls selling flowers, local handicrafts, and seasonal fruits, which spill out into the surrounding streets on busy market days.

What do visitors say: “A lovely market with a wide variety of options for fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, butcher, cheeses, and bread. There is also a great diversity of flowers. Extended hours in the morning and at the end of the day.”

Mercado de Portimão


Lagos Market, known locally as Mercado de Santo Amaro, is a staple of daily life in Lagos, a picturesque town in the Algarve renowned for its historical significance and coastal scenery. Operating primarily in the mornings, the market buzzes with activity as residents and tourists navigate through the various stalls.

Its location near the center of Lagos makes it easily accessible to visitors, providing them a glimpse into the daily life and culinary traditions of the Algarve. The market is not just a place to shop but a venue where people meet, share stories, and preserve the communal spirit of the town, making it an essential visit for anyone wanting to experience the authentic local lifestyle.

What do visitors say: “The strong point of this market is the fish and seafood sold on the ground floor. Everything is very fresh and clean.”

To keep in mind: Always check the opening hours before visiting, as they can vary, especially on holidays or special times of the year — and some may not open every day.

Each of these markets offers a window into the Algarve’s identity. Going there is more than just shopping: it’s participating in a tradition that continues to nourish the daily lifestyle of the local community.

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