Admit it: shopping is one of life's big pleasures. We're not talking shopping for groceries at your supermarket, but taking some time off for yourself. Window-shopping at your own pace. Entering a shop that you've never heard of before, just because you saw in the window a shirt that is simply you. Or a bracelet that would make your sister the happiest girl in the world...
Since you are doing this for pleasure, allow yourself to stop every now and then. Enjoy that tempting slice of mud pie that made your mouth water, try an exotic fruit juice, sip a perfect cappuccino or even an ice-cold beer at a street cafe. People-watching can be as much fun as window-shopping - Cariocas usually don't mind being looked at, unless you stare and start drooling...
Now let's get down to business. First the good news: Rio scored 135 in the list of the 150 most expensive cities in the world. In other words, shopping in Rio is very affordable. You can even go on a shopping binge without feeling so guilty. Second the better news: shops in Rio are sophisticated and full of character, and you will find everything you could ever think of, and then some!
If you are a fun of malls, you struck gold. You could spend a whole weekend at Barrashopping, for instance, without ever seeing the same shop twice (there's over 600 of them!). Or go to Galeria River, in Arpoador, and find under the same roof about a dozen catering to the same clientele: surfers and skaters!
But if you would rather stroll along streets lined up with interesting boutiques, beautiful people, and even a bit of crazy traffic to add to the excitement... Rio is also you place to be. Ipanema, Leblon and Copacabana are perfect for window-shopping or even serious shopping. But there are so many distractions along the way, that we will not blame you if you get an urge to go for a dip at the beach instead and leave your shopping for tomorrow!
In Ipanema the main shopping artery is Rua Visconde de Piraja, but the cross-streets are as interesting as. Garcia D'Avila, for one, is the street to visit if you have an interest in jewelry - even if only to dream a little. In Leblon in addition to Rua Ataulfo de Paiva, Rua Dias Ferreira and many others are full of interesting surprises.
In Copacabana other than Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana and Rua Barata Ribeiro almost all cross-streets have their own attractions. Now that you know all the basics, explore our guide with insider's tips and our personal selection of the best shopping opportunities in Rio in all categories. Happy shopping!