Brazil Shopping Tips by swesn
Brazil Shopping: 30 reviews and 26 photos
The lovely hammock that was my bed
Frankly, hammocks can be bought anywhere in Brazil, especially as one heads north.
But the best place to buy them is Fortaleza - the birthplace of hammocks.
If you are heading that way and you get really tempted by the lovely designs, hold onto to your desires until you get to Fortaleza and even then, get it from Mercado Central (Central Market).
This is a huge local market with several stories selling everything. Make your way around the Central Market and hunt for the best designs and bargain for the best prices. There are also many stores in the surrounding area near the Central Market that sell hammocks for really fair prices.
Earlier on in my trip, everyone told me I could get a hammock for R30 (less than US$14), more or less... which was quite a good price. But here, I managed to buy one (albeit, a simple one for the riverboat ride down the Amazon) for R15 (US$7) and I later saw the same ones priced at R11 (US$5) outside the Central Market.
Theme: Local Craft
The artist Aecio Sarti at work
As you first start walking down the streets of Parati, you will definitely come across many, many souvenir stores selling what are to me... very tacky souvenirs with T-shirts declaring Parati (yucks), displays made from coconut-shells and sea-shells (double yucks). Endless...
There are very nice locally-produced handicrafts like hammocks and couch throws as well. These are worth it to take a look.
But press on, and you will soon come upon delightful little artists' galleries. Some of them make crafts like mirror-frames, lamp-shades... really artistic ones, I thoroughly love them!!! I tell myself that if ever I need to go furniture-shopping for my apartment... I will come to Parati!
Others showcase exquisite paintings, you have to browse to find the paintings that speak to you. Or speak to the artists!
I met Aecio Sarti, an amazing artist with a superb personality. I was very fascinated by his works and my conversations with him truly touched and humbled. Check out his website: http://3wb.com.br/atelierparaty/aeciosarti/aecioindex.htm
Mercado Popular Uruguaina
This is a huge market for the locals.
As it is away from the tourist crowd, if you need that Brazilian football jersey, extra beach towel, a bikini or two, coconut-shell-and-bead type of trinkets, CDs to save your digital photos, flip-flips, extra bag, etc... here is the place to get them as they are much cheaper than found in the main city centre.
There are several sections radiating out, with goods of various type more or less organised.
As it is crowded, with lots of boxes of goods to trip over, it is recommended that you watch your things carefully.
What to buy: Brazilian football jersey, extra beach towel, a bikini or two, coconut-shell-and-bead type of trinkets, CDs to save your digital photos, flip-flips, extra bag, etc...
Directions: Right at Uruguaina metro station
Sunday Fair at Belo Horizonte
The authorities of Belo Horizonte manages to close the busy Avenue Afonso Pena and stall-holders and their helpers miraculously transform this road into a HUGE MARKET. There are over 3000 stall-holders in this market!!
Belo Horizonte is quite an untouristy town that most people just skip it. Well, true, I do not have much else to recommend about Belo Horizonte except for this wonderful market.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself, checking out everything that was for sale. There were furniture, lots of baskets, clothes, children’s clothes, toys, tonnes of costume jewellery and finally at the extreme end, shoes and bags. It seemed odd to list them out like this in a sentence but in reality, there were just rows and rows and rows and rows of stalls selling these goods, somehow organised into these various departments.
Then, along the side of the park (the nearby Parque Municipal), there are art paintings galore.
It is absolutely massive! And not to forget, at the two ends and the middle portions are many food and drink stalls selling barbecued snacks and desserts.
Great fun!! Great place to watch and squeeze with enthusiastic happy locals.
Address: Av. Afonso Pena
Theme: Local Craft
Ipanema Sunday Hippie Fair
The Sunday Ipanema Fair is a lovely affair...
The stalls are located around a square. There are handicraft stalls of all types, some very lovely and creative indeed. It is quite huge and I spent a delightful time wandering around the stalls at least 2 times as there are so many tempting things on offer.
In the middle of the park, paintings are sold. And some of them are indeed really amazing works of art!
Avoid the fair at Copacabana beach (which sells mainly touristy T-shirts and souvenirs) and just spend your Sunday here!!
What to buy: Lovely sun-dresses, skirts and sarongs, hand-made crafts like bags, belts, etc..., display items for the house, some kitschy Barbie-doll dresses, very good paintings
Address: Praça General Osorio
Theme: Local Craft
Soapstone art works
There is a soapstone quarry not far from Ouro Preto and provides lots of material for the souvenir markets and carving imitations of the works of Ajeijandinho.
The Largo do Coimbra, near the Igreja de Sao Francisco has a very good selection of soapstone art.
Theme: Local Craft
Yes, you will definitely cave in and buy one of those postage-sized bikinis you see prancing around the beaches. Do what you have to do. You are in Rio, after all.
Theme: Women's Clothes
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