Shopping with Rio's Chic Elite on the Streets of Ipanema

Rio de Janeiro is a city full of temptations, and the window displays of the chic boutiques and bikini stores of upmarket Ipanema will have shopaholics reaching for their credit cards in an instant. Shopping in Ipanema is a pleasure for anyone with a little cash to splash, although budget visitors to Rio might find themselves wincing at some of the prices. Bargain hunters prepared to do a little haggling can pick up arts, crafts and clothing at the long-standing Sunday 'Hippie Fair', while those who are looking to spoil themselves or somebody else can pick up on-trend bikinis at the legendary swimwear store BumBum, or browse for chic beachwear and designer shoes and clothing at stores such as Espaco Fashion. 

Rio de Janeiro is a fashionable yet casual city, and Ipanema is home to the city's chic elite, so it is no surprise that the streets are paved with stores offering beautiful, curve-enhancing clothes for the ladies and laid-back but attractive tees, jeans and sneakers for male shoppers. Ipanema is also a good place to pick up food and drink with healthfood stores such as New Natural offering nutritious goodies and upmarket supermarket chain Zona Sul packed with quality wines and deli goods. 



This small but stylish Ipanema shopping center is one of the best places in the neighborhood to pick up beachwear and bikinis, as well as stylish shades and casual-chic clothing. With a branch of bikini store BumBum located here you can be ready...  Read More



While Copacabana wins out as the most picture-perfect city beach in Rio, Ipanema is easily the more chic of the two neighboring stretches of sand. Thanks to an abundance of beach vendors, this is also an excellent place to pick up sunglasses,...  Read More



Colorful bags with a distinctly carioca style are the hallmark of designer Gilson Martins, with his distinctive purses, beach bags and clutches often emblazoned with images of Rio landmarks or with the green, yellow and blue of the Brazilian...  Read More



Funky arts and crafts with a social conscience can be picked up at this colorful store in the heart of Ipanema. Brasil & Cia brings together the works of various local artists, and is a fantastic place to pick up anything from painted wooden...  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



Located a few blocks from Ipanema beach and right next door to the strip of backpacker lodgings dubbed 'Hostel Alley', this health food store, buffet restaurant and snack bar offers a huge range of wholesome ingredients for self caterers as well...  Read More



Style conscious locals love this fashion-forward space just a couple of blocks back from the beach. The store prides itself on keeping abreast of international trends, and shoppers can be up seriously stylish womenswear and accessories here. An...  Read More



Farm is the go to fashion store for the fashionable young things of Ipanema, and stocks colorful, fresh-looking fashions for both girls and boys about town. Fun, flirty dresses and floaty fabrics are hallmarks of Farm's ladies' wear section,...  Read More

Ipanema Hippie Fair
Photo courtesy of Janice Waltzer/Flickr


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



Stylist-turned-swimwear queen Lenny Niemeyer is the woman credited with re-inventing the Brazilian bikini, making it less - 'dental floss' and more about beautiful cuts and curve-enhancing designs. Niemeyer launched her Lenny brand with this...  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.