Some supermarkets in Leiria
Eating out is often a good way to experience the local food culture but I think that during your stay here you cannot always go out to eat. I for example like to run in the evenings 4-5 times a week and after that I need to eat quickly after the workout so that my regression can begin. Half an hour is the maximum amount of time after workout I think and I’m not that young anymore so I actually have to take these things into consideration. So I need to often cook my own food and to do that I have to go to the shop.
There are those smaller stores available in most of the streets especially near the centre of the city but using only those might be quite a bit more expensive than using the bigger markets especially on the long run. The another good thing about bigger stores is the fact that they don’t have the lunch break in opening hours.
Lidl is named as the world’s best shop back in Finland by some young people I think and that is what it actually is in Finland: good quality and the only actual cheap one. Those two big chain stores in Finland… Well better not mention anything because I don’t want to get in to trouble.
Knowing nothing about stores in Leiria I was actually surprised to see Lidl in Portugal during my first morning in the country. Good morning it was because of that. Lidl is one of my favorites for sure. From Lidl you can basically find anything for cheap prices and the shop is never too big so you don’t end up spending hours in a food store.
The fresh bakery products are the main asset of Lidl. It’s really nice feeling to be able to pick still warm roll to your shopping bag. This place also is card friendly so it accepts my Finnish Visa Electron without a problem.
This might be my personal favorite place to go. As you can see from the maps: there are actually two Lidls in Leiria. I go to the second one close to Hotel Ibis. If I remember right the opening hours are from 9 AM to 9 PM every day.
Continente Hypermarket was already mentioned in the Shopping-section but I’m adding it here also. This place is located in the Leiria shopping and like the name tells you: it is really big store. It’s like those bigger ones that we have in Finland. You can actually spend hours in this place if you don’t have a clear mind what you are getting.
From here you can find meat, cheese and fish counters but the problem is that if I remember it right: there is only one person that can actually communicate with you in English. He is a youngish bearded man that works in the meat counter.
Also in the fruit section you have to do the weighting thing yourself at the scales. This is because of the self-checkout where the machine just reads the bar codes and you can do the cashier’s job by yourself. Nice invention this is: saves you from the queuing.
I usually go to the hypermarket about once or twice in a week. I usually don’t buy much because I use my lunch breaks to visit the place. Using the self service is a definite plus for this place. The self service accepts both cards and cash.
Opening hours: 8:30 AM to 11 PM.
Pingo Doce is the third one where I have been. This one is an “underground” one as it is located in the centro comercial of Galerias São José which is located at the Av. Marquês de Pombal.
Pingo Doce has an unique atmosphere when you visit it. On one day I went in and there was African music playing in the shop which was so cool. The fact of it also being underground is quite cool thing to know. I like this place a lot and after visiting it once I have been doing my shopping regularly here. The place has counters both for fish and meat and they take debit cards also (haven’t tried my Visa Electron yet but I should ask whether they take it in that place).
I like Pingo Doce generally because it isn’t a too big one and you usually don’t have to queue too long. The pricing level also is good and the place has good discount offers at times.
Opening hours are in my opinion: 8:30 AM to 9 PM.