Taco Roupa is a chain of clothing stores throughout Brazil. I shopped at one at a shopping centre in downtown Petrópolis before I set out for Buenos Aires.
What to buy: I bought me a pair of flip-flops (beach shoes called havaianos- meaning Hawaiians- down there, but I still call them "flip flops") because the plan was to go to the beach when I came back to Brazil at the end of this trip thinking how embarrassing it would be to do the malibugaloo (that dance unprepared beachgoers do when their feet meet the hot sand) on Ipanema, Copacabana, or some place like that. It was slightly embarrassing that they had to go to the back room to find me a simple pair of flip-flops. Friends and neighours, I'm no giant in my country. However, they had to find me the biggest pair of flip-flops they had in stock. I found out later on that even these weren't big enough.
What to pay: I paid about 8 R$ for these flip-flops, a bargain compared to what I would have paid at Walgreen's back home.
Shopping points are Rua Teresa, near the historical center, where fashion clothes of good quality are sold at factory prices. Closed on Mondays.
Rua 16 of March, in the historic center, all kinds of stores, restaurants, cinemas and tourist offices can be found.
Bingen is 10km away from the center. Factory priced fashion clothes are sold as well as furniture and decorative items.
Itaipava, a remarkable place a few kilometers away, with excellent hotels and restaurants, vibrant nightlife and shops selling ceramics , furniture, decoration, clothes and fashion accessories.
There's a lot of womens (and some mens) clothes shops etc along Rua Teresa all of which, from what I saw as they were all shut the day I went, are very inexpensive. Well worth a wander if you have time.
There were few souvenir shops inside the Liberty Garden, which was where I had my lunch (O Paladar restaurant). The shops were next to each other and it was very convenient. I also noticed that it was cheaper than the shops in Rio.
Rua Thereza in beautiful downtown Petrópolis offers a wide variety of clothes and other goods for less than $10 U.S. I call it a cheapskate's paradise. Think about it, my fellow Americans, you can load up on all this nice loot for a song, and your loved ones will hug your neck when you get home thinking you spent a mint on them. Well, folks, let 'em think that!
I am not sure if you can find it the whole week or just in weekends. I visited Petropolis on Sunday, and some colleagues on Saturday, and the fair was there. But I liked it a lot because most of their crafts, clothing, jewellry and gems were cheaper than those of Rio de Janeiro. Well, it was not like a great difference, but saving some reais is anyway great to me :) There's a variety of things to see and buy.
What to buy: I liked the T-shirts (cheap), and the silver souvenirs with gems at the top. Other jewellry based on gems, like earrings, necklaces and rings were also at a good price, although I did not liked the design :( You can find also some other home-utility things.
What to pay: Less than in Rio de Janeiro
Sendas is a Brazilian hypermarket chain. It is on two levels. The ground level is the second floor and you go down to the main market entrance. It has smaller shops outside the entrance to the main market. To get the buggies from the market level up to the parking deck, they have a special escalator for them- the likes of which I hadn't seen heretofore.
What to buy: Any groceries. I went there especially to buy Brazilian coffee for my Daddy.
What to pay: Since the dollar was doing well, at the time, against the real, everything was cheap.