Rio de Janeiro shopping opens up a number of fun and interesting options, especially if you're in the market for designer clothing, leather goods, or unique fabrics. Since Brazil is a major producer of both colored gemstones and gold, you might also want to add jewelry shopping to your list of things to do while in town. Whatever you're looking for, you can likely find it in this large and dynamic city. As for getting a good introduction to Brazilian goods, shopping malls are a good place to start, especially since Rio has a bunch of them.
Rio de Janeiro designer shopping malls are popular with residents and tourists alike, as they offer plenty in the way of shops, restaurants, and all around entertainment. The largest of them all is known as Barra Shopping. This mall in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood is actually the largest in Latin America, so you might need to make a few trips to get a hold on things. There are more than 600 different stores to select from at this huge Rio shopping center, not to mention a bunch of restaurants. You can also catch a movie at Barra Shopping or go bowling when looking for diversions. There's even a small, indoor theme park that you can take advantage of during a visit.
Two other Rio de Janeiro designer shopping malls that are worth keeping in mind when trying to set up a shopping spree are Praia Shopping and the Condominio Sao Conrado Fashion Mall. The Praia Shopping is the largest shopping center in the Botafogo neighborhood and is especially known for its designer shops. As is true at many a Rio shopping center, Praia Shopping also boasts a cinema, as well as several eateries. Over at the Condominio Sao Conrado Fashion Mall, some of the most upscale Rio de Janeiro shopping can be enjoyed. You'll find well-heeled folks shopping for high-end fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and Armani. When you're not browsing through the clothes at the Condominio Sao Conrado Fashion Mall, you can break at the food court or take in a movie.
Back over in Botafogo, shopping enthusiasts might also check out Rio Sul before moving on. One of Rio's first malls, Rio Sul has long been a favorite place to shop for locals, partly because of the fact that it offers up a healthy amount of Brazilian stores. Perfumes, fashion accessories, clothes, and home goods are just some of the things that you will find for sale at Rio Sul. If you want to get away from the larger malls for a while, visiting a smaller boutique mall in Copacabana, Ipanema, or Leblon is always an option. Souvenirs, arts and crafts, clothes, watches, and furniture are among the goods you are likely to come across when visiting a Rio shopping center in one of these neighborhoods. Beach fashion, as you might imagine, is the specialty of some of the stores that can be found in these beach neighborhoods, and you might keep the area's weekend market in mind if you are especially interested in Brazilian souvenirs and arts and crafts items.
When you're not hitting up the Rio de Janeiro designer shopping malls or taking to the main shopping streets in Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana, you might head to Centro. This historic downtown neighborhood is an ideal place to search for deals on shoes and clothing items. In fact, you'll find deals on just about anything in this neighborhood. Hundreds of merchants line the main shopping strips with their small shops in Centro, and you'll also find plenty of street vendors throughout the downtown area selling all kinds of things on the cheap. When it comes down to it, the most interesting Rio de Janeiro shopping can arguably be had in Centro.
Image: SadJr (flickr)