Mercado do Bolhão surpasses the 5.5 million visitors in its first year after reopening

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Guilherme Costa Oliveira

More than 5.5 million national and international visitors visited Mercado do Bolhão in the first year after it reopened on September 15th, 2022, with a daily average of 20 thousand visitors. 365 days after, in its first anniversary, the outcome is positive and there is already a total of 7 national and international prizes raised in regard to the construction work and modernisation of the marketplace.

When it comes to influx, Saturday is the day with more people visiting the market, registering an average o 25 thousand people, a higher figure than the daily to weekly average that is around 19 thousand visitors. August was the month with the higher turnout, being that the 14th was the day with the most visitors in the marketplace, until the present moment: 31 thousand (excluding the reopening, that registered 35 thousand, in 2022).

When it comes to the occupation rate, 98% of spaces are occupied, meaning that from the 127 available spaces, only two are free. The stalls are assigned in their entirety and 76 from the existing 79 are up and running. As of right now, seven restaurants from the available 10 are also assigned entirely. Regarding the 38 shops, 36 are assigned and 26 are open.

Besides products selling and catering, Bolhão became a place of fruition and leisure, having registered the undertaking of 150 events in its reopening first year. The initiatives are aimed at different audiences of various ages and are structured in four axes, namely: agrifood (Chef à Moda do Bolhão, showcookings and workshops l Mercado de Doces e Vinhos da Região de Coimbra l Feira de Páscoa); brand activation (photoshoots) of many brands including: Luis Onofre, the presentation of TEDx Porto, ativação Embaixada Britânica); special prgrammes (Dias de Saúde no Bolhão, De Manhã Começa o Dia, Projeto NABo, Bolhão + Saudável); Arts and Entertainment (‘Imagens Conservadas’ exhibition, ‘Não é Carne nem é Peixe’ performance, a piano marathon ‘Porto Pianofest’, and group acts performing traditional music in S. João concerts).

Bolhão receives rehabilitation prizes nationally and internationally

Mercado do Bolhão was also a winner of six national prizes: Prémio Nacional Reabilitação Urbana (distinguished in the fields of best intervention for commercial and service purposes, best structural rehabilitation, and best intervention in the city of Porto), SIL Imobiliário (Best Urban Rehabilitation/Commerce, Services and Offices), Construir (Best Rehabilitation Project and Best Space for Commerce and Services). It has also earned a design prize “Graphis Silver Award, United States”. And it was a finalist in two international awards, namely: European Award – Architectural Heritage Intervention l Urban Land Institute.