Embaxiada is a “Portuguese Shopping Gallery” in Lisbon, Portugal’s Principe Real neighborhood (one of my favorite areas in the city). Housed in a historic Moorish style building, this former palace definitely stands out.
What exactly is a shopping gallery? It’s a collection of conceptual shops set up in one building, in a gallery-like setting. As you walk through the historic building, it really does feel like an art gallery, but you can easily shop and purchase from the merchants. Each room is its own “store”.
I absolutely love the concept of this place, and I highly recommend it for anyone that is interested in art, local designers, and architecture. It’s not a great thing to do for the type of traveler that just wants to hit the main attractions and go home; but it’s perfect for anyone who likes to wander a bit more through a destination and check out interesting places.
The Building – Ribeiro da Cunha Palace
When I’m traveling, my favorite attractions usually have something to do with architecture and cool buildings. The shopping aspect of Embaixada is interesting, but I was really visiting this spot because of the building itself.
This Moorish-inspired building was built in the late 1870s as a home for Jose Ribeiro da Cunha (hence the former title of Palacete Ribeiro da Cunha). It was turned into its current incarnation as a retail gallery just a few years ago, in 2013.
The exterior really stands out on the street, and the interior is breathtaking. The interior courtyard is grand, with sunlight shining through the glass roof.
Even if you aren’t that interested in shopping, this place is worth visiting to see the building and take a few photos. Don’t worry, you can walk in freely even if you’re not planning to buy anything.
The Shops at Embaixada
The shops at Embaixada range from home goods to beauty products to fashion and more. The focus here is on European, and especially Portuguese, designers, brands, and artists, so this is the place to go for local design goods.
Everything feels design-forward, contemporary, and innovative. I loved seeing what was on offer as I wandered through the individual spaces.
A few of my favorite shops:
- Menina e Moca – Handmade bags
- Organii – Natural and organic products for the face and body
- Latitid – Portuguese swimwear brand
- Boa Safra – Eco home design products
Most items are on the pricier side, so if you’re just looking for quick souvenir type items, this isn’t the best place to go. But if you love design and want something nice for your home, or for yourself, you will really appreciate these shops.
The Food at Embaixada
Embaixada also has a few options for food and drink. Just like the shops, the offerings are innovative with a creative flair.
Atalho Real is all about the meat, with a selection of Portuguese wines and fun cocktails.
Gin Lovers is a gorgeous bar space with (you guessed it) lots of gin on offer.
There is a beautiful garden in the back where you can eat or have a drink, as well as an indoor café at the center of the building.
Address: Praça do Principe Real 26, Lisbon, Portugal
Hours: Mon-Sun 12-8 pm
Nearby: Lisbon Botanical Garden, Reservatorio da Patriarcal, Natural History Museum
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