Shopping in Rio de Janeiro isn’t that cheap but there are some really nice things to buy. Actually some of the stuff is pretty cheap. This page’s scope is not only to tell you about the best deals, I will try to thoroughly describe where you can get almost anything of interest to a visitor. Of course that aim is big but I will give it a go.
Bartering & Scoundrels
It’s not necessary to barter when you go shopping in Rio, you can knock off a bit on the price though. Neither is the Carioca particularly prone to shaft gringos. There are of course scoundrels (malandros in Portuguese) in Rio, many times preying around the big groups of foreigners in Copacabana; other than that it’s fine. If you buy something outside the shops just compare and haggle a little bit and you’ll get a good price fast. In the stores you can always try to get discounts, especially if you pay with money they are prone to give you 10% off.
Areas for Shopping in Rio
It’s of course really important to go to the right area to buy your things. In the city center you can find a multitude of stores and a big flee market, in general it’s all cheap and of lower quality, the exception is for electronics and computers. Go to Shopping in Centro to get more detailed info. Along the main streets in Copacabana you have many stores and they are a notch up from Centro, you also have some more tourist oriented stores where you can find football shirts and tacky miniature Christ statues made of glass. Over in Ipanema it gets more and more exclusive the closer to Leblon you get. All the way into Leblon you find proper fashion and some good bikini and surf shops.
To best explain clothes shopping in Rio de Janeiro I found it best to divide it into certain categories, each with a corresponding page (just click the links). The first is Surfwear and The Brazilian Bikini section with tips and pointers. Next is a section about Buying Football Shirts, Sunglasses, Sun Lotion and Beach Towels, here you get info about how to find the best deals on that. I have dedicated a whole page to Havaianas (flip flops). Are you looking for proper clothing? In Buying Cheap Clothes, Trainers and Fashion there is some good information for you.
Markets, Arts & Handicraft
Go to Art, Jewelery, Souvenirs & Hammocks if you are looking for that. I also have a page describing the different Markets in Rio – The Hippie Fair, Copacabana Nightmarket and more. I have a special section with Vegetable and Fruit Markets in Rio, it has recommendations on good stores and farmer’s markets.
Alcohol, Cigars, Electronics & Music
Go to the corresponding page by clicking the link.
– Alcohol and Cigars in Rio
– Buying a Digital Camera in Rio; Also Electronics and Computers
– Buying Music in Rio; Instruments, Vinyl and CD´s
Many Cariocas frequent shopping malls. In Barra de Tijuca you have several, the biggest is Barra Shopping on Avenida das Américas 4666 map which really is huge. On the way to Barra de Tijuca you have some of the most exclusive shopping in town; Rio Fashion Mall with international stores and an atmosphere of healthy and wealthy, it’s located right in front of the favela Rocinha at Estrada da Gávea 899, São Conrado map. Another fancy mall is Shopping Leblon at Avenida Afrânio de Melo Franco 290, Leblon map. The last shopping in Rio worth mentioning is Rio Sul, located in Botafogo (just after the tunnel from Copacabana) on Rua Lauro Muller 116 map, it has a nice mix of cheaper and more expensive stores.