The Mercado do Bolhão is unquestionably one of the ex-libris of the city of Oporto and one of the most iconic markets in the entire country. This building is a Monument of Public Interest and has a façade that recalls its origins. Its history dates back to 1839 when the Oporto city council decided to build a square to sell their products. The term 'Bolhão' derives from a stream that used to pass through there, where a huge water bubble used to rise.
This space in downtown Oporto is marked by Rua de Fernandes Tomás to the north, Rua Formosa to the south, Rua Alexandre Braga, and Rua Sá da Bandeira to the east and west.
This market currently has two floors: on the lower floor, the market stalls are distributed around a large central courtyard, composed mainly of fresh and regional products. On the upper floor, several restaurants will soon open for business. Outside there is also a vast number of stores, some of them with decades of existence. All in all, there are 81 stalls, 38 stores, and 10 restaurants.
The restoration and recovery process of Bolhão, which lasted 6 years, began in August 2016 and was inaugurated on September 15, 2022. It presents several novelties, such as a logistic basement accompanied by a tunnel for market supply; a direct connection to the Bolhão Metro station; a new walkway connecting Alexandre Braga and Sá da Bandeira streets; the Bolhão Kitchen, a space for events and initiatives to promote the market; a view of the building's skyline, while enjoying the surrounding architecture; the presence of 10 elevators; sectored areas; an event agenda; and much more.
Images: Câmara Municipal do Porto