One of Latin America's largest shopping centers, BarraShopping features a seemingly endless variety of stores for all tastes and budgets, as well as restaurants and fast-food shops. It also holds an extremely modern medical center with a panoramic lift, a business center, an external monorail that runs the entire length of the shopping center, an indoor amusement park, cinemas and a bowling area. You can find anything you need in the stores at BarraShopping.
Standing in the heart of Leblon, the sprawling Shopping Leblon offers a complete shopping experience under one roof. From designer fashion brands like Chanel and Ferragamo to the best in home decor and accessories, the mall's 200 boutiques cater to a large audience. Head to the food court for an excellent array of restaurants and food stalls. With a four-screen cinema, as well as a very popular theater located within the mall, there's no excuse to be bored. The mall's food court remains open till late. Check website for more information.
The first large shopping center in Rio, it is one of the preferred shopping areas for tourists and locals alike. Located between the beaches and the city center, it has a large parking garage and is served by taxis and special buses that stop at all the hotels on the beachfront. There is an infinite variety of stores that sell everything from clothes and accessories to house ware, toys, CDs, souvenirs, books and electronics, including state-of-the-art home theatres and digital cameras. Scattered over its floors there are restaurants for all tastes and budgets, and fast-food places. Other services include beauty parlours, pharmacies, cinemas, a complete fitness centre, a travel agent, and a bank. While you take a break from shopping, enjoy one of the many events that take place here, like free concerts and book launches, or even pay a visit to Santa's grotto throughout December. There are some cash dispensers that will issue local currency for those who have an international credit card.
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.
Cantao is a brand that is synonymous with elegance, vibrancy and color. Started in 1967 by Leila Baretto and Peter Simon, this women's brand has come a long way. Without losing its essence and ethnicity, the brand has improved every year. Perfect fit jeans, maxi gowns, cute printed summer dresses, bikinis, shoes and accessories - you name it and you will find it here. The spectacular collection that they come up with has landed them into Fashion Rio where they have been showcasing since 2005. With over 44 stores in Brazil and branches in Spain, Australia, USA, Portugal, UAE and Japan, Cantao is a favorite among women worldwide.
Lenny Niemeyer, an acclaimed swim wear designer from Brazil, has not only been a huge success in her own country, but has also left her mark at the international level. With 18 stores in Brazil itself, Lenny Niemeyer is famous as an upscale bikini brand. Lovely vibrant colors and beautiful prints are the brand's forte. Post the 1997 runway, Lenny Niemeyer got international recognition as a high-end swim wear brand and this image has been maintained throughout the years. Lenny Niemeyer continues to remain a favorite of many women across the globe.
Caçula in São Cristóvão is a part of its namesake regional chain. It is among the best stationery shops in the city. Their inventory includes fabrics, computer, drawing, painting, crafts and bazaar. From the normal stationary items for schools, offices and supplies like printers, mouses and web cams to decorative elements, this store has everything to encourage your creativity. Shop for fabric paints, lace, embroidery, textiles, ribbons, trimmings, linens, toys and more at this affable establishment. Ask their staff for guidance if you are flummoxed by the choices.
Pólo Têxtil is unlike other shopping centers or malls. This commercial retail hub is a popular haunt for fashion designers and students as well as clothing merchants. Established in 1994, it has about 45 stores who specialize in haberdashery, knitting, accessories and fabrics. They also have an aeromodelling shop. Make a pit stop at their restaurants after or before shopping. There is an exhibition space as well in the premises. Since all the vendors are wholesalers, the prices are affordable and the quality is good.
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.
This kooky bakery has been doing brisk trade since it opened in 1913, with locals flocking here at lunchtime to enjoy excellent, reasonably priced Arab cuisine. The black and white decor is the result of a soccer-themed challenge between the two owners. One of the pair, Jordan, is a fan of local team Botafogo, while the other, Garrincha, roots for fierce rivals Flamengo. In 1962 they struck a deal - the bakery would be decorated in the colors of whichever team emerged victorious from the next derby match. Botafogo won, and Jordan gleefully painted Padaria Bassil in the colors of his beloved futebol team.
Granado has been making soaps, talcum powders and other health and beauty supplies since 1870, and this flagship store on Rio's antiques corridor is the ideal place to showcase its pleasingly old-fashioned wares. The products come packaged in the same style as way back then, creating a knowingly-retro visual. Also, this kitsch design has been applied to the store, as well as to the products, and you'll see plenty of bright pinks and greens on display. Moreover, the products make great gifts, adding a splash of color to any bathroom. - Lucy Bryson
If you find yourself in Rio on the first Saturday of the month and don't fancy the beach, there are few better ways to while away an afternoon than by strolling through the amassed piles of antiques and oddities that line Rua Lavradio at this monthly fair. Watch as all the shops fling open their shutters and display their often beautiful, often crumbly old furniture. You can pick up black and white photographs, antique bottles or arte naife, and try some wonderful food from any of the hundreds of stalls. Several good restaurants also line the far end of the road, offering the perfect pit stop if you're feeling a tad shopped out.