Shopping in Rio de Janeiro is the perfect place to find unique and interesting items for every budget.
When shopping in Rio de Janeiro, visitors can find great deals on a variety of items, from miniature Christ statues to chic swimwear. Those looking to splurge can visit the upmarket boutiques, with Lenny and BumBum Ipanema being two standouts. The Feira do Rio Antigo, an antique fair located at Rua do Lavradio, is also great for exploring new and vintage clothes, accessories, antiques, and collectibles.
Shopping centers of the affluent Zona Sul are full of stylish boutiques; however, those on a budget should head downtown for throwaway fashion, beauty products, and other items at Uruguaiana or the Saara.
The Best Places to Go Shopping in Rio de Janeiro
1. FEIRA DO RIO ANTIGO
The historic center of Lapa is the perfect setting for a lively street market, held on the first Saturday of each month (and every Saturday in the weeks before Christmas). Here, shoppers and sightseers can browse for everything from antiques and folk art to handmade fashions and vintage accessories.
The atmosphere is vibrant as live samba music fills the air, and groups of friends linger over refreshments in the many pavement cafes and bars that occupy converted colonial buildings. This market is great for picking up unique gifts, keepsakes, vintage clothes, accessories, and vinyl records. Those with an eye for fashion won’t be disappointed either; local designers often sell their creations here at surprisingly accessible prices.
For these reasons, the Feira do Rio Antigo has been recommended as one of the best shopping spots. It’s a great opportunity to shop while exploring Rio’s historic center.
Leblon is an upscale neighborhood known for its upmarket stores. Although things here can be pricey, it boasts some of the best style and quality brands. A stroll down Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva will take you past high-fashion boutique stores and reveal some of Rio’s hidden yet gorgeous clothing brands. Shopping Leblon is a must-stop destination to pick up all your clothing needs. Salina offers classic Brazilian bikinis, Osklen has cool streetwear, and Animale has trendy outfits perfect for a night out.
3. BARRA DA TIJUCA SHOPPING
If you’re looking for a shopping experience like no other, head to Barra da Tijuca. Nicknamed “the United States of Barra,” this modern and wealthy suburb of Rio de Janeiro is the perfect spot for retail therapy. Its wide avenues are home to multiple sprawling shopping malls, with Barra Shopping being the largest.
Barra Shopping has it all: food courts, entertainment complexes, chic boutiques, and high-street fashion stores, as well as workout stations scattered throughout the mall. It’s no wonder why it’s known as one of the largest shopping malls in South America.
4. Mercado Uruguaiana
Uruguaiana is one of the city center’s biggest permanent markets, located right outside of the metro station. It consists of row after row of stalls selling a variety of merchandise, ranging from clothes and electronics to piercings, jewelry, and knick-knacks. Whenever anyone in Rio needs something unusual or hard to find, Uruguaiana is where they go.
Visitors can take their time to browse through the market and pick up souvenirs, strappy bags, and cute purses. It is also worth visiting Uruguaiana before Carnival time to get costumes for a fancy dress perfect for parades and street parties.
5. IPANEMA HIPPIE FAIR
The Ipanema ‘Feira Hippie’ has been an institution in Rio for over six decades. Every Sunday, the colorful market is full of stalls selling a variety of items from local arts and crafts to fashion finds. If you plan to spend some time at the fair, be sure to set aside a few hours to browse all the stalls.
Don’t be afraid to bargain with sellers – you may be able to get a good deal if you purchase multiple items from one stall. You can find everything from vintage designer shades to hand-made dresses in unique fabrics.
The Hippie Fair is highly recommended for the best shopping in Rio de Janeiro due to its wide selection of items and representation of Ipanema’s artistic side.
6. Rio Sul
Shopping Rio Sul is a shopping mall located in Botafogo. Its generous space makes it suitable for several fashionable brands, such as Forever 21, Zara, Eclectic, Osklen, and Mr. Cat. Since the mall is relatively small, customers can find all these stores conveniently located close to each other.
Moreover, this shopping center also offers an extensive restaurant area with popular restaurants like Outback Steakhouse and Delirium Tropical. To make navigation even easier, there are large touchscreen computers that help shoppers find their favorite stores; interactive maps will assist them in reaching their desired store.
Besides the stores and restaurants, Shopping Rio Sul also provides salons on the top floors so customers can get their hair and nails done while enjoying a pampering day out.
7. ATELIER CHAMEGO BONZOLANDIA
Atelier Chamego Bonzolandia, or just Bonzolandia, is a little off Santa Teresa’s main eating, drinking, and shopping strip. It is an outdoor art studio created by local artist Getulio Damado and his son Victor. They have upcycled trash into distinctive works of art in their self-built studio modeled on Santa Teresa’s famous yellow street cars.
Across the street, tethered to the outside wall of Santa Teresa’s only supermarket, is a replica bonded (trolley) which looks like one of the yellow street cars complete with seats, steering wheels, and bells. This replica allows children (occasionally adults) to climb aboard for a fun experience.
During Carnival and other major parties, the replica tram takes to the road with delighted children aboard it; however, for the rest of the time, it provides a great photo opportunity and a worthy distraction for younger visitors while grown-ups take a look at the colorful sculptures and paintings. Many of these sculptures and paintings are for sale, but be sure to give a fair price, as Getulio and Victor are active in holding free community events for local families.
Atelier Chamego Bonzolandia is recommended as one of the best shopping destinations because this colorful street studio provides an enjoyable shopping opportunity and an interesting sightseeing destination.
8. LENNY NIEMEYER
Lenny Niemeyer is a well-known name in the fashion industry. She has revolutionized the Brazilian bikini, making stylish Cariocas more interested in beautiful cuts and designs than the traditional ‘dental floss’ look. In the early 1990s, she launched her Lenny brand with an Ipanema store, which has grown to 18 branches across Brazil. It is also stocked by chic swimwear stores in Europe and the USA.
The store offers an array of bikinis, one-pieces, beachwear, and stunning sarongs that can be worn as skirts, dresses, or beach towels. Lenny Niemeyer should be your first port of call if you want to look chic on the beach like a local Carioca.
9. COPACABANA BEACH
If you’re looking for souvenirs and gifts to take home from Rio, the night market along the Copacabana beachfront is a great place to start. During the day, vendors stroll along the beachfront selling a variety of goods such as replica Christ statues, hats, t-shirts, and sarongs. An even greater variety of items can be found at the night market in the evenings.
Here shoppers can find crotchet bikinis, hand-made dresses, plastic models of Christ statues, and replica Brazil soccer shirts.
10. BUMBUM IPANEMA
If you’re looking to fit in with the locals on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, BumBum Ipanema is the place to go. This chic swimwear store offers a wide range of styles and designs, from barely-there bikinis to sexier one-pieces and more modest options. While still revealing, BumBum’s bikinis are designed to flatter and enhance curves for a stunning beach look. The dental floss bikini is no longer considered fashionable, making it easier for visitors who don’t have year-round warm temperatures to feel confident in their beachwear choices.
BumBum Ipanema is recommended for some of the best shopping due to its selection of high-quality Brazilian bikinis.
11. FEIRA NORDESTINA DE SÃO CRISTÓVÃO
The ‘Feira Nordestina’ (Northeastern Fair) in Sao Cristovao is a unique shopping experience. Located in the North Zone neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, this huge part-covered market celebrates everything from Brazil’s arid northeast. Here you’ll find colorful handicrafts and traditional food and drink options.
On weekends, the market is open all night long with live bands playing the popular forro music native to the northeast. From Centro and the cruise port, it’s just a 10-minute cab ride away. This lively spot attracts people from across the city who come to shop, dance and dine all at once. It’s no wonder why Feira Nordestina is recommended as one of the best places to go shopping in Rio de Janeiro.
12. BAZAR CENTRO DO SAARA
Saara is the perfect choice for anyone looking to find colorful and unique carnival costumes at a bargain price. You can find anything from full-on samba outfits with feathered headdresses to animal-fancy dresses and glitter wigs. Additionally, Saara offers fast fashion items such as tiny denim shorts, flip flops, and boob tubes for girls. Boys can find surf shorts and casual tees. All of these items are ideal for anyone looking to look like a local without spending excessive money.
Saara is highly recommended for those on the hunt for great shopping deals: it is an alternative to expensive Rio malls, with its hectic maze of shopping streets offering plenty of opportunities to find something special at a more reasonable cost.
13. SANTA TERESA
Santa Teresa, located in the hills of Rio de Janeiro, is a vibrant and creative hub of the city. Old colonial mansions have been converted into bars, guesthouses, artists’ studios, vintage stores, and restaurants. The high elevation of Santa Teresa affords breathtaking views over the city. When visiting this charming district, start your exploration at Largo do Guimaraes – the bustling square that marks the start of Santa Teresa.
Follow its steep cobbled streets to discover interesting shops selling vintage clothing items, unique gifts, and some lively drinking establishments. Santa Teresa is renowned for its friendly locals, making it an ideal destination for shopping and socializing.
Shopping in Rio de Janeiro Tips
It’s important to note that shopping in some stores in Rio can be confusing since shoppers must take their goods to one desk to register them before being given a price ticket which is then taken to a second desk for payment and item pickup. Additionally, potential buyers should be aware that designer labels are often fake.