Best Spots For Shopping During a Cruise Stopover in Rio de Janeiro

Cruise ships calling at Rio de Janeiro will dock at the city's down town port zone, an area that is at the heart of a major urban regeneration project ahead of the 2016 Olympics.  While  the city's docks are very much 'up and coming', the area remains a little run down and seedy in some parts, and there are few interesting shopping options in the immediate vicinity of the cruise port.

Luckily, the central location means that many of Rio's most desirable destinations for shoppers are within relatively easy reach.  Very close by, the business district that is Centro is just a 10-minute walk or a few minutes' cab ride away, and offers the opporthe tunity for bagging bargain beachwear and accessories at Saara, where it is also possible to visit a whole store devoted entirely to fun, funky Havaianas flip flops, and to pick up low-cost cameras and phones.  The year-round tropial heat means that formal clothing in Rio rarely extends beyond smart jeans and shoes or trainers for guys and a dress with heels for the girls - all of which can be picked up at the RioSul Shopping - the closest mall to Rio de Janeiro Cruise port, this large mall lies some 15 minutes' cab ride away in Botafogo, and offers everything from the carioca take on evening wear to bikinis - BumBum offers some seriously sexy styles for those who want to cut a dash on the beach. 

For something a little more interesting, take a cab ride up the hill to nearby Santa Teresa, where the steep cobbled streets are lined with crafts stores and vintage clothing boutiques. 

The name 'hippie fair' may conjure up images of flowing kaftans and incense sticks, but this colorful market, held in Ipanema each Sunday for some 60-plus years, is in fact a great place to pick up everything from local arts and crafts to...  Read More

Feira do Rio Antigo
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

The historic center of Lapa is the setting for a lively street market, held on the first Saturday of the month and offering a chance to buy everything from antiques and folk art to handmade fashions and vintage accessories. The sound of live...  Read More

Copacabana Beach
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

This is one of the best places in Rio to shop for keepsakes and gifts for friends and family back home - and you can do it all from the comfort of a beachfront bar. Vendors stroll along the beachfront, selling all manner of goods from replica...  Read More

For a shopping experience with a difference, it's well worth making the bus or cab ride out to the North Zone neighborhood of Sao Cristovao, and the famous 'Feira Nordestina' (Northeastern Fair). This vast part-covered market honors all things...  Read More

There's no shortage of pharmacies and drugstores in Rio de Janeiro, and Pacheco is one of the best chains in the city. The Centro branch is conveniently located close to the cruise port and metro stations, and is a good place to pick up...  Read More

A large shopping mall located around 10 minutes' cab ride from central Rio and the city's cruise port,Shopping Rio Sul is packed with affordable high street stores as well as some more upscale boutiques selling treats such as immaculately-cut...  Read More

Santa Teresa
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

There's more to Rio de Janeiro than its beaches, and the artistic heart of the city can be found up in the jungle-clad hills of Santa Teresa. Here, pastel-colored colonial mansions have been converted into bucolic bars, friendly guest houses,...  Read More

Funky Havaianas flip flops are synonymous with beach life in Rio de Janeiro, and the sheer range of colors, styles and sizes - from tiny baby flip flops to adult male sizes - will have style conscious shoppers watering a the mouth. Luckily for...  Read More

If you want to look as hot as the locals on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, make a beeline for this chic swimwear store. As well as the barely-there bikinis that Brazil is famous for, BumBum (the name reflects the national predeliction for...  Read More

Bazar Centro do Saara
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

Saara - the maze of downtown shopping streets that attracts bargain hunters like bees to a honeypot - should be the first port of call for anyone looking for colorful carnival costumes at bargain prices. Along with scores of stores selling...  Read More


Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.

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