Brazil travel guide



Rio Travel Guide

Shopping in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the capital and the hub of Brazilian fashion, whose designers and models are becoming more and more famous on the international circuit. Fashion is without doubt the major attraction in the shopping malls of the South Zone and Barra, where there is an infinite range of clothing for men, women and children. Standard hours at the malls are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. All the national and international labels are available, as well as export quality shoes, CDs, toys and sports goods.

In the South Zone the main shopping malls are the Rio Sul and the Shopping da Gávea, competing with the stores and smaller malls of Ipanema. Garcia D'Ávila street is where international names like Vuiton and Cartier can be found, plus some of the largest jewelry and precious stone stores in the world, such as H. Stern, Amsterdam Sauer and Ben Bros. Although precious stones are not produced in Rio, this is where the best designers and goldsmiths are established. Apart from the stores, there are museums where the visitor can see the whole process, from a model of a mine through to the design and making of the jewelry.

After Leblon and on the way to Barra, one passes through São Conrado, home of the Fashion Mall, which as its name suggests, offers an excellent range of Brazilian fashion. Arriving in Barra, where there has been a recent boom in new shopping malls, one should visit Downtown, Cittá America, Barra Garden and Barra Shopping, each of which covers the whole range of products on your shopping list.

For a total decorating experience, visit the Rio Design Center in Leblon or Barra, where Casa Shopping can also be found. The stores cover the whole range of material for decorating the home, including decorative handcraft from all over the country. Antique collectors should reserve time at the weekend to visit the fairs in the Praça 15, downtown, and in the Praça Santos Dumont, in Gávea, as well as the antique stores in the Rua do Lavradio, in Lapa, where furniture, candelabras, crystal and metal pieces can be found.

There are also the open fairs, such as the Hippie Fair in Praça General Osório, in Ipanema, where all sorts of handcrafts, art and leather goods can be found, and the Babilônia Feira Hype, in the Jockey Club, in Gávea, where every fortnight the booths are loaded with clothes, mainly for the young. A typically Brazilian event is the open street market, selling fruit and vegetables, which moves around from borough to borough, so a little local knowledge is needed to know when one is operating near to your hotel. The show of fruit and greens is spectacular, and prices are reasonable.

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