Stores and offices are normally open Monday through Friday from 9:00 or 10:00 am to 6:00 pm as well as from 9:00 or 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. Most shoppings (shopping centers/malls) are open until at least 8:00 pm and many until 10:00 pm. Many farmácias (pharmacies) and drogarias (drug stores) are also open on Sundays and some supermercados (supermarkets) in larger cities are open 24 hours.
Normal banking hours in Brazil are from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday and most Brazilian cities of any size have at least one full service branch office of, at least, Banco do Brasil (Bank of Brazil). Brazilian banks have literally thousands of ATM machines throughout Brazil and many are open 24 hours.
Leather goods such as shoes, purses, belts, etc., are relatively inexpensive in Brazil and of excellent design and quality.
Clothing for men, women and children is usually inexpensive in Brazil. You may want to pack a swimsuit but you should certainly check out the Brazilian fashions.
Women’s clothes in Brazil can be relatively inexpensive, of good quality and uniquely Brazilian design.
Electronics and other similar manufactured items are most often more expensive in Brazil than elsewhere, so it’s not your best place to find bargains on these things.
Supermercados (supermarkets), cachaçarias (bars specializing in cachaça, some with hundreds of brands) and other bars and restaurants are a good source for a special bottle of cachaça that’s usually impossible to obtain elsewhere. Most countries will allow you to bring back at least a few bottles without paying any customs duties or taxes. Check with the customs service of your country before you go.
Natural crystals and other polished, semi-precious stones are generally a good bargain. There are also numerous jewelry items (bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc.) made from semi-precious stones that are inexpensive, unique, beautifully designed and make good souvenirs or presents.
Items carved from crystal, semi-precious stones and soapstone (parrots, macaws, bowls, cups, ashtrays, etc.) are a usually bargain and make a uniquely Brazilian souvenir or present.
In some parts of the Brazilian northeast, handmade lace is both gorgeous and relatively inexpensive.
Art, sculpture and handmade arts and crafts can be both inexpensive as well as good souvenirs or presents.
With most newer releases costing R$ 20 to R$ 30 or more, music CDs are not necessarily inexpensive in Brazil but, if you want to add to your Brazilian music collection, this is the place to do it. Sometimes, you may find a promoção (sale) where you can pick up older releases for considerably less. Avoid buying CDs or DVDs from street vendors because they are usually pirated copies and often won’t play on any machine anywhere.
Many Brazilian cities have Sunday street fairs (some have them daily) where you can browse among the booths of individual vendors selling a staggering variety of clothing, shoes, handmade jewelry, arts and crafts, hammocks, furniture, food, etc., etc., etc. and etc.
Most Brazilian cities of almost any size have a mercado municipal (municipal market) selling a dazzling variety of fresh meat, fruits, vegetables, jewelry, clothing, shoes, household items, birds and other animals—almost everything available in the community. Most are housed indoors but there are also many “open air” markets throughout Brazil. They are fascinating places to browse, people watch, shop and get a feel for Brazilians and their way of life.
A dazzling variety of fresh tropical fruit is available throughout Brazil—from mangoes, papayas, pineapples, passion fruit, and numerous others you’ve probably never heard of or seen, to numerous varieties of bananas not available anywhere in North America or Europe. Unfortunately, you can’t bring back any fresh fruit with you so get your fill while you’re there.
You can check the prices of things in Brazil by visiting our what things cost page.
Items such as film, batteries (AA, AAA, D, C) and other such consumables are readily available throughout Brazil.
Drogarias (drug stores) and supermercados (supermarkets) stock almost every personal toiletry item you may want or need including well known international marcas (brands) including Colgate, Close Up, Oral-B, Palmolive, Schick, Gilette, Johnson & Johnson, Kleenex, Listerine, Nivea, L’Oréal and many others (in addition to Brazilian brands).
Don’t be alarmed if you see a store sign that includes the notation “Cia.” It has nothing to do with the CIA of spook fame. “Cia.” is merely the common abbreviation of the Portuguese word companhia (company).
In some stores, if you are able, ask what the price is “a vista, em dineiro.” That’s in cash here and now. Often, you will find that the price is as much as 5% cheaper.