From Chic Swimwear to Samba Records – the Best Shopping in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil’s weakened economy means Rio is once again an affordable destination for foreign visitors, and savvy shoppers can find great bargains on everything from miniature Christ statues to chic swimwear. Those looking to splurge will find plenty of opportunity to do so at upmarket boutiques, with Lenny and BumBum Ipanema standouts for those looking to make waves on the beach. 

The Feira do Rio Antigo – a Saturday antiques fair at Rua do Lavradio in Rio’s historic center is a great place to browse for new and vintage clothes and accessories as well as antiques and collectibles. 

The shopping centers of the affluent Zona Sul (South Zone, home to touristic areas such as Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana) are chockful of stylish, if pricey, boutiques, while those on a tighter budget would be wise to head downtown, where there are real bargains to be found if you know where to look – the vast indoor market at Uruguaiana, and the surrounding shopping streets known as the Saara, are a good place to come for throwaway fashion, beauty products and the like, but be warned that designer labels are almost always fakes.

A quick heads up – shopping in some Rio stores can be confusing – it’s often necessary to take your goods to one desk to register them, before being given a price ticket, which is then taken to a second desk for payment and to pick up the items. 

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