Zona Sul: Supermarket
No trip to a foreign land would be complete for me without a trip to a local supermarket. Zona Sul, identifiable usually by these large ceramic rabbits (unless that's just an Easter thing?), was the one we ran into the most and we stocked up there on bottled water, soft drinks like Guarana and local chocolates.
What to buy: Although our hotel said the water was safe to drink, I'm just in the habit of picking up bottled water, for the price of a couple of dollars, I have the assurance that I won't get sick from the water.
Bring back a couple of cans/bottles of Guarana if you develop an affinity for it, you won't likely find it back home.
I picked up a couple of boxes of Garoto mixed chocolates for gifts, I think they were only $2-3 US and surprisingly good. The ones we bought we in a yellow box.
Av Atlantica Fair: Street market
Every evening they would set up booths in the median strip of Av. Atlantica, not too far from our hotel which was on the end of Copacabana beach closest to Ipanema, selling tourist trinkets, tshirts, flip flops, etc. and then another section with original artworks. We were saving our souvenir shopping for our last night in Rio and unfortunately it wasn't in operation that night, not sure if it was because it was Sunday or because it had rained most of the day. But Friday and Saturday night it was in full swing.
The world headquarters of H. Stern Jewelers: Jewelry workshop tour , free !
You will see a rough stone be turned into a beautiful jewel with exclusive design. The 12-minute tour features the workshops of creation and design, cutting, polishing, goldsmith, gem classification and setting. Information is available in 18 languages.Safe and comfortable transportation from and back to your hotel is a courtesy of H. Stern.
What to buy: ....
Barra Shopping: Largest in South America
What to buy: Said to be the largest shopping mall in the whole of South America, Barra Shopping is located in what is called Midtown Barra Da Tijuca. Opened in 1981, the mall covers an area of 165,372 square meters and features nearly 600 shops. Shops include C&A, Renner, Fnac, Zara, Americanas, Timberland, Levi's, Dockers, Tomy Hilfiger and Victor Hugo. There's also a 20 lane bowling lane and the New York City Centre complex which features 18 multiplex cinema's.
Open: Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 3-9pm.
SAARA - URUGUAIANA STREET: POPULAR SHOOPING AREAS
It is the oldest wholesale area in Rio de Janeiro located in Downtown close to the metro stations of Carioca and Uruguaiana.
What to buy: There are several store where you can find very cheap clothes and all kind of stores
It looks like a giant bazar!!!
What to pay: As it is a very popular area among the cariocas, do not expect to find very high prices, if the ´rices is cheaper for the locals way cheaper will be for you!
Street stalls/sellers.: Very cheap CD's and DVD
These guys are everywhere especially on Saturdays, they lay out their CD's and DVD's on the floor and when I went in December 2003, they were selling CD'S 3 FOR 10 Reals and DVD'S 1 OR 2 FOR 10 Reals, absolute bargain. I was a bit weary at first, I didnt think they would work, but I guy I was with said he bought a few and they were fine, and I bought a CD and it was fine, except for the odd fuzzy second or 2. Definate a chance to snap up some bargains.
Malls: Malls Mania
Brazilian have a passion for malls, in the american way. So you will find a lot of them in Rio.
They are convenient if you want to do some shopping on a rainy day (yes that sometimes happen) or if you are seeking for a fresh place to escape the heat.
The more convenient is the Rio Sul which is located in Botafogo area. Almost all buses from Copacabana, in direction to the city center, stop there. It is written "Rio Sul" on the buses. You will find many shops there, especially fo fashion, and also places to eat.
But the biggest malls are located in the "posh areas" going in the direction of Barra da Tijuca.
The "Fashion Mall" in São Conrado hosts the more expensive brands. The " Rio Design" in Leblon is more about decorating.
But the most impressive of all is the famous "Barra Shopping" in Barra (av das Americas). It is one of biggest malls in South America. You can go there from Copacabana (taking buses with written "Barra Shopping") but it will take you around 45mn.
The malls are of very good quality. With both local and international brands. And the prices are (in comparison with Europe) in general much cheaper.
What to buy: Brazilian fashion (especially beach wear)
Hippie Market: Sunday market
I was really bummed when we woke up Sunday morning to the sound of pouring rain because one of the things I really wanted to do was go to the Hippie Market in Ipanema which is only open on Sunday.
When the rain let up a little, we grabbed our umbrellas and headed over to the market anyway, there were actually quite a few vendors there given that the rain had been pretty constant throughout the entire morning.
My guide book says it's only once a month so either we hit it lucky or the guide book is wrong
What to buy: The vendors that we did see were selling jewelry, tshirts, clothes, souvenirs, artwork. We were busy dodging overflowing tarps and trying not to stab anyone with our umbrellas to do any serious looking.
Natura Cosmetics: Well Being Well ...Bath and Body care !!!
The Brazilian cosmetics manufacturer was founded in 1969. Its headquarters are in Brazil, but it also has operating facilities in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.Natura is one of the major companies in the Americas.Its sales force are consultants who carry out direct sales in the communities in which they live. The company differentiates itself in the market by the quality of its relationships, and its adherence to principles that value ethics, transparency, and humanism. Its social mission is its core business, and has resulted in the company evolving over the last 30 years from a small business to one of major cosmetic companies in Brazil.
Natura has also the largest cosmetics research and development center in Brazil.
By keeping constantly in tune with the main sources of cosmetics technology, it is able to manufacture the products according to world-class standards.
Natura was founded in Brazil and displays its logo as a proud and legitimate expression of its origin. However, its greater commitment is to human beings, to Well Being Well of all persons, and of society as a whole.
Brazil has one of the largest and richest biodiversities on the planet: life, in all its diverse forms. In order to protect it, one must first understand that humanity is an integral part of nature, rather than a mere observer of its beauty. The extraction of its natural wealth must be managed in such a way that everyone - both current and future generations - may have the right to use these resources. This is the source of Nature inspiration.
What to buy: Natura Ekos - Body Care,Hair Care : Perfume
;Soaps and exfoliants;Shampoos and conditioners ;Deodorant colognes;Three-phase oils for all skin types; Moisturisers for frequent use.
Cosmetics in general ...
Products specifc to pregnant , babies and children
Anti - Age products ( +30, +45 and +60 )
Special products to men : After Shave Balm, Perfume, etc
site in portuguese : http://www.natura.net
What to pay: depends ...
one box with 3 soap Natura Ekos is about US$ 3.3 ,00
Brazilians go to the so-called 'Black Market": Where to Exchange Dollars BEFORE You Shop!
Brazilians seeking to buy dollars, and those seeking to sell dollars, do so at local currency exchanges; there is one in every travel agency! Please note: these comments ONLY apply to DOLLARS. Other currencies should be changed to dollars before entering Brazil.
Do not buy local currency from anyone at the airport, the cab driver, or even at the hotel front desk. You do NOT want to use the ATMs all over town, nor do you want to use your credit cards! Especially, do NOT go to the banks.
You always get the best bang for your buck at the travel agencies. At the rear of each one is an exchange window where dollars are bought and sold. Armed guards are usually not too far away. Walk into any travel agency and you'll find the dollar exchange rate is more favorable than anywhere else.
Travel agencies pay the highest rate for real CASH. Rates vary from agency to agency. Traveler' s cheques are much SAFER, but the exchange rate will NOT be as high as real CASH, and some places refuse to accept traveler's cheques at all. Some charge a large fee to exchange them. You'll receive much more for your money if you take CASH. If you take cash, lock it in your hotel room's safe. Exchange only enough for a day or two. Rates may change DAILY. If you are robbed, you are out of luck!
If you use plastic, you will be charged the going OFFICIAL rate at the time. Can you say, rip-off? ATMs and credit cards may be convenient, but you pay dearly, with a few exceptions. H. Sterns, the jeweler, offers a very good credit card rate.
Let the travel agency know you'll be coming back many times and the rate may improve more! You'll find one around every corner!
Do what the Brazilians do!
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street shopping: Shopping in Copacabana and Ipanema
Perhaps because it is home to the densest population in Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana is lined with shops that are as lively and colorful as the district itself. From fine jewelry to costume pieces, Copacabana has everything, making it the perfect place for a shopping spree at inviting prices. Ipanema is famed for its sophisticated window displays featuring designer labels. Its bars, restaurants, theaters and art galleries reflect its unique charm. Like Rio, Ipanema is a trend-setting place; its boutique-lined streets with countless galleries form a huge open-air mall packed with attractions and impeccable good taste.
Ipanema has the most fashionable shops. You will find exclusive boutiques along Rua Visconde di Piraja. Between streets Garcia D´Ávila and Anibal de Mendonça is Diamond Row. In addition to the Amsterdam Sauer Museum of Gems, you can visit the world headquarters of jewellers H. Stern, with museum and workshop tour. The concierge at your hotel can make the arrangements, and they will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel for free.
Copacabana offers bookstores, souvenir shops, and better shops along Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana and adjacent streets. Try Avenida Atlântica for upscale jewelry.
What to buy: everything you want ... clothes , shoes, gifts , souvenir, etc
SAARA: SAARA,my favorite shopping area
SAARA is how is called the traditional commerce center in Rio, many of them owned by libanese or jews immigrants who came to Rio in last century. Now we see also many shops run by asiatics too. For me it's a special place because I went shopping there with my mother since I was a child and today where you find the best deals.
What to buy: You can buy clothes, handcraft material , chinese things, material for carnaval clothes, lugagge, tapestry material,etc.
- Budget Travel
Pao du Acucar or Zona Sul: Local Supermarkets
When we have visited Rio we have always opted for an apartment instead of a hotel. In a way it also make you feel more like you're living there, as you trudge home with the groceries or wait in line at the supermarket, while a kid wheels around you on their tricycle, chewing on a piece of bread.
You also get to see some of the things that are common to supermarkets you visit at home and some of those things that are not so common, but that someone actually buys and eats.
Rio Sul shopping mall
The Rio Sul shopping mall is located near Sugarloaf in the southern end Urca near the Tunel Novo that connects Copacabana with Centro. It's open from 10am-10pm Mon-Sat and from 3pm to 9pm on Sunday. Opened in 1980, there are approx 400 shops in the mall including women's and men's fashion shops, music, cosmetics, sports and such like as well as a food court making it the largest shopping mall in Rio itself (there is a larger one in Barra a few miles outside Rio). The mall also features 4 cinemas and a nightclub.
Rio Sul Shopping Center: Rio Sul
Rio Sul has been incorporated to the city's postcards. It is one of the most visited places by tourists, next to traditional landmarks like Pão de Açúcar and Copacabana district. Strategically located between Zona Sul and Centro, it offers a mixture of items and utility services capable of answering the needs of the most demanding consumers.
Tourists can use the Free Bus, which offers free transportation to guests at Oceanside hotels. To the community, Rio Sul offers, from Monday to Saturday, a bus that is integrated to the subway. Free, just like the Free Bus, it goes to and from Estação Arcoverde (Copacabana) and Rio Sul, with departures every 30 minutes.
What to buy: all you want
Shopping mall with 450 stores covering fashion, decoration, jewelry, gifts, bookshops and electronic goods, as well as a large choice of restaurants in the food court , 4 movie theatres and night clubs.
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