It may conjure up images of kaftan-clad, incense-burning types hunting for the perfect windchimes, but Ipanema´s weekly Hippy Fair is actually a good place to find everything from new and vintage fashion to locally-produced arts and crafts, as well as colorful knick knacks for the home and all manner of ´treat yourself´ items such as beautifully crafted jewelry and gorgeous sandals.
Each Sunday for some 60 years, the public square at the heart of Ipanema has been hosting what is now said to be the largest open air arts and crafts market in the world, and as the range and number of stalls has increased over the years, so to has the number of people who flock here each week.
The Hippy Fair is the place to come for beads, bags and accessories — Photo courtesy of euqueroviajar.blogspot.com
While there is plenty of touristy fare on offer - think Rio de Janeiro baseball caps and tees - there are plenty of more tasteful offerings to choose from too, and the fair attracts just as many locals as it does tourists.
Along with hundreds of colorful stalls, the weekly event is made even more lively by the groups of musicians that play live samba and pagode, and by colorful local characters such as the soccer ace who plays ´keepy uppy´for hours on end, always clad in the Brazilian national strip.
It pays to take the time to browse all the stalls before making a purchase, and where a price is not displayed, you may want to try and bargain a little with the vendor. It´s unfortunately not uncommon for sellers to try their luck by quoting a ridiculous price for foreigners -´Preco especial!´(´special price!´) they call, enthusiastically - but they may drop this significantly if you make a move to walk away.