Brazil — Shopping and Leisure
While not renowned for shopping, Brazil tourists will be surprised by the number of great spots available. Cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have the premier boutiques, but for bargains, no city in Brazil beats Salvador.
There are numerous products that are famous for their Brazilian ‘uniqueness.’ Almost all over the country, visitors can find locally-made jewelry, and where Afro-Brazilian populations are dominant, African-influenced crafts have become popular souvenirs. Clothes are not a bad option either as the quality is high and the prices favorable. However, be aware that foreign brands carry high taxes, making them no less expensive than in most Western shopping malls. Another popular item for sale in Brazil is the hand-woven hammock.
Rio de Janeiro’s downtown area is an illustrious place for street commerce. It has become part of popular culture in the city, as hundreds of stalls can be found around the streets. Bargaining is expected, so try to put on a smile while doing so. Locally-produced clothing is usually cheap and great quality. However, imported electronics are always going to be expensive, whether tourists try to bargain or not. A Brazilian bikini is common in Rio, but some from street vendors are inferior to those found in shopping malls, so visitors should choose wisely.
Bargains galore can be found across Salvador, a city growing in shopping culture.
Locals enjoy shopping at the city’s Western malls, but visitors can also find some large market places within Salvador. Shopping Center Iguatemi and Shopping Barra are among the busiest in the city. For a plethora of cheap souvenirs, take a stroll through Rua Gregorio de Matos. A host of shirts, trinkets, crafts and more are on display and bargaining is paramount.
From upscale boutiques to open air markets, Sao Paulo has just about everything a tourist could want in a shopping destination. Iguatemi and Cidade Jardim are two of the most impressive complexes in the city, with the later operating for the social elite. More than 600 stores can be found Morumbi Market Place, not to mention a host of delectable restaurants.