Our food tour guests are always asking for recommendations for places where they can pick up something nice to take home. Sometimes they’re shopping for themselves, sometimes it’s for friends and family back home. It’s not hard to find places full of cheap, nasty replicas of Christ the Redeemer, but if you’re looking for something a bit nicer and more original, read on:
This pretty shop is absolutely crammed full of gorgeous things! Original art, clothes, bags, jewellery, little carvings, plates and bowls and other things for the home. The list goes on and on and it’s a nice place to stop in a browse. Whether you’re looking for a token present or something more special, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here.
Pé de Boi
If you are looking for an incredible selection of beautifully made Brazilian arts and crafts pieces, Pé de Boi is the place. The collection is massive and you can see that a lot of care and expertise was involved in the selection of each item – the quality is flawless. The quality comes at a price, so don’t expect bargains – you can certainly find cheaper, inferior, versions of this kind of thing somewhere like Feira de São Cristóvão, but if you want something really special, look no further.
Gilson Martins is a designer renowned for his boldly coloured leather bags and wallets, many of which feature simplified images of iconic sights of Rio. While the prices aren’t cheap, the items in these stores are really well made so they’re not going to come apart at the seems after a couple of weeks. There is a store in Ipanema and two or three in Copacabana.
Brazil’s favourite flip-flop maker has stores all over Rio. On top of that, you can pick up a pair in a lot of other general stores like pharmacies and corner shops. But you will get the best selection at the official stores (linked to on the map link below). Havaianas here are much cheaper than you’ll find in other countries and are perfect for stuffing in a suitcase to take home (I find them very effective as protection if I’m packing anything breakable in my luggage).
Football (soccer) shirts
If you’re looking for a football shirt for a specific team, there are dedicated/official shops – for example, there are various Espaço Rubro Negro stores selling Flamengo gear (map). However, if you want to browse a bunch of different shirts (including the official Brazilian shirt), I’d recommend heading to your nearest Centauro store (you’ll stores in these shopping malls – map). Centauro is a basic all-round sports shop so you’ll also find general sporting clothes and equipment, but they generally have a great range of club and national football shirts. If you’ve left it too late, remember that you can pick up Brazilian soccer shirts at the airport once you’ve passed security.
Who comes to Rio and then spends their time in a shopping mall?! Ha ha! Just teasing! ;) I’m not a fan of shopping malls myself, but if browsing malls is your thing then you have a lot of choice in Rio!
- Shopping Leblon (map) relatively high-end stores with some international designer brands.
- Rio Sul (map) generally a little easier on the wallet than Shopping Lebon, this still has a lot of stores and some nice things.
- Fashion Mall (map) another pretty high-end place, this time in São Conrado.
- Village Mall (map) is waaay over in Barra da Tijuca. I’d only go if I were staying over in that part of Rio already. But if you’re in the area and don’t have anything better to do then it’s a good mall and is home to the excellent Capim Santo restaurant.
- Barra Shopping (map) the BIG one! It’s a long way from Copacabana and Ipanema so it’s only worth visiting if you’re staying in the area.