Brazil has some of the best shopping on the continent, with various leather goods, clothing, gemstones, jewellery and arts and crafts on offer. The main cities carry the widest range of goods, as would be expected, but many of the smaller cities and towns have bustling markets where you can pick up some ethnic and regional crafts. Some hotels in Brazil are pretty close to important shopping hubs.
Artisan fairs are a great place to pick up ethnic arts and crafts, with the bonus being that the money goes straight to the local people!
This Brazil Shopping Guide gives some ideas of souvenirs and gifts that you may wish to pick up whilst in Brazil. Detailed city shopping information can be found by going to our individual city sites, and then checking out that city's shopping guide. Our Brazil Restaurant Guide is also worth a look, and it tells you all you need to know about the cuisine of the country.
Brazil offers excellent shopping opportunities, particularly for leather goods such as shoes, belts, purses, and wallets. Clothing is also very affordable and often of good quality. Styles follow the opposite seasonal calendar so those visiting Brazil in the Northern Hemisphere winter can stock up on an excellent summer wardrobe. Sizes follow the European numbering (36, 38, 40, and so on) or are marked P (pequeno = small), M (medio = medium), and G (grande = large). Extremely popular items of clothing include anything to do with the Brazilian football (soccer) team.
Gemstones and jewellery are another great buy in Brazil, and stores such as Amsterdam Sauer and H. Stern offer an amazing variety of jewellery and high-quality gemstones. These two chains have stores across Brazil, with their large, flagships stores both located in Rio de Janeiro, which is generally the best city to buy gems in. Minas Gerais is another good option, especially outside of Rio. Some of the more common gemstones that can be found in Brazil include Esperssartita, Tourmaline, Ametist, Greengold, Quartz, Topaz and Diamond.
Arts and crafts are another great thing to purchase in Brazil, and you will notice different items on offer in differing regions throughout the country. While it is possible to purchase ethnic arts and crafts at various tourist and souvenir stores throughout the cities, we would recommend visiting artisan fairs, generally located outside the major cities, where local people come to show and sell their wares.
If you aren't able to get to one, an option within cities is to visit shops such as FUNAI (a government Indian agency), which acts as a co-operative. Some of the regional crafts include ceramic arts, which are commonly associated with the Marajoara, Tapajoara and other eastern Amazonian Indians, painted figures, a speciality of the Karaja tribe, woven bags/baskets, best made by the Kaxinawa Indians, and lace, most commonly in Fortaleza and on the south-eastern coast.