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Sociedade de Amigos das Adjacências da Rua da Alfândega, better known as SAARA, is a collection of over 600 stores encompassing Andradas, Passos, Alfândega and Buenos Aires streets, in addition to Praça da República. At this wonderfully vibrant market, frequented mostly by locals, one can find all manner of things at extremely reasonable rates. For a unique shopping experience in Rio, SAARA is the place to check out.
Seeing the prices in drugstores and many clothing outlets, visitors to Rio can often be left wondering just how locals afford to look so good. Very often, the answer lies here in Uruguaiana. Mercado Popular da Uruguaiana is a vast space of interlocking market squares – some covered, some open air, selling everything from football shirts and sportswear to jewelery, cosmetics, and necessities such as deodorant and batteries. All are available at much cheaper prices than in the shops, but be aware, this is not a market aimed at tourists– don't venture here after dark, and keep your wallet out of sight.
Cadeg is the municipal shopping market of Rio De Janeiro and is home to an array of different products and services. Located at a prime spot in the neighborhood of Benfica, this market is always abuzz with activity. Right from flowers and footwear, to grocery and clothing, you will find everything here. The innumerable services at the market include restaurants, bakeries, pharmacies, salons and bars. So if you are looking for some retail therapy and have prepared your mind to shop till you drop, then this market is a must visit.
Colorful, beautifully-crafted artesan products from across Brazil compete for space in your suitcase at Pé de Boi. This combination shop and art gallery stocks traditional handicrafts that include hand-crafted vases, jugs and bowls; wonderfully soft hammocks and colouful ceramics, all bought directly from individual artists across the country. Pé de Boi has been a huge success since its inception in 1985, and items sourced by the store have been exhibited at New York's Guggenheim Museum and the Cartier Foundation in Paris. If you're looking for a souvenir that is more than mass-produced tourist tat, Pé de Boi should be your first port of call. - Lucy Bryson
Loja Oficial do Flamengo is a store that specializes in providing sporting goods to its customers. Personalized items are what they are best known for. So if you want to don a jersey with your name, this store is your place to be. Apart from clothing, they also offer sport equipment like shoes, bags and footballs, that are used by professional athletes as well. So go grab your personalized jersey and hit the field.
Diamond, gold and platinum jewelry is something that we have all heard of. But a neck-piece or a bracelet made of tree barks and seeds is something definitely strange. However bizarre that may sound, the final product looks absolutely gorgeous. The brand Maria Oiticica does just that. It makes natural items look spectacular in the form of jewelry. All these elements, which contribute to making a beautiful piece of jewelry, come from the Amazon. Colorful earrings, vivid neck pieces, cute little rings and bracelets are some that you would go gaga over. Just pick up a chunky piece of jewelry to complement your outfit and you are good to go. A selection from their collection makes for a great gift for your special lady.
Colorful ceramics, beautifully-embroidered textiles, intricately-fashioned figurines and more of such delightful objects will catch the eye at the delightful arts and craft store Brasil & Cia. Just one block back from Ipanema Beach, the shop features pieces from local artists and is a real treasure trove of brightly-colored arts and crafts, all of which have been fashioned to resemble some aspect of Brazilian life, from hand-painted wooden parrots to sunbathing beauties fashioned out of recycled cards and paper. Should you find your choices are bigger than your suitcase, the store can arrange to have larger items packaged and shipped.
Since the late 1960s, at the peak of the hippie movement, this huge outdoor market has been selling everything from handicrafts, silver jewelry, paintings, furniture and sculptures, to old clothes and typical regional food from the North and Northeast of the country. Occasionally you can spot a famous artist mingling in the crowd, which is made up mostly by tourists, especially foreign. It is not hard to find an English or French-speaking salesperson.