This large metropolitan city has some great places to shop and a good range of gift ideas. The Mercadãdo ( Big Market) is a great starting place with a vast range of unusual fruit and vegetables to admire, plenty of interesting stalls and tempting bar snacks available on the top floor. In sharp contrast, Benedito Calixto Square is the trendy part of Pinheiros with a great antique market every Saturday that sells everything else too! MASP is the São Paulo Art Museum and underneath it, there is an antique fair held every Sunday.
1. Wear an instantly recognizable football shirt
The Brazilians are great football fans – particularly those living in São Paulo – and their national team is one of the best in the world. There is a great football museum in the Pacaembu Stadium which is well worth seeing and there is a well-stocked shop with the famous gold shirt with green trim of Brazil available in all sizes plus many other great souvenirs.
2. Pack some snazzy flip flops
Havaianas is a well-known brand for beautiful flip flops around the world and is Brazilian of course so what better souvenir? The Havaianas store in São Paulo is situated in Rua Oscar Freire which is one of the top shopping streets in the country with glamorous shops stocking all the top labels. It is the perfect place to enjoy some good window shopping and then some retail therapy choosing a really stylish pair of flip flops – probably at a cheaper price than in your home country!
3. Buy a Brazilian Cangas
These clever beach wraps are a real must have as they can quickly be tied as a wrap, a skirt or a shawl and are available everywhere in an incredible selection of designs and colors. If you don’t fancy wearing such a thing, then they are perfect for cheering up a sofa or bed.
4. Felicidades- cheers- with a bottle of Cachaça
Cachaça is Brazil’s great national drink that is made from fermented sugar cane juice and has an alcohol content of around 40%. Mixed with lime, sugar, and ice, Cachaça is speedily transformed into the popular cocktail Caipirinha. There are two types of Cachaça available: Cachaça Prata is un-aged and is the one to get for making into cocktails whilst Cachaça Ouro is for sipping like a good malt whiskey! Nega fulÔ is an excellent barrel aged version that is sold in handmade clay jugs. Cachaçao is widely available in the city and can be sampled before buying. If you have the chance, travel out to Paraty, a small coastal town that has several distilleries.
5. Sample some good Brazilian wine
Although Brazil is not well known for its wine, it does have some good wineries in the south of the country. There are sparkling wines, white rosé and red and they are very good indeed. A great gift idea is to buy a bottle of local wine and a pack of Canastra, the popular cheese that is made in Rio – they make the perfect duo for a sundowner!
6. Fill your case with delicious Brazilian sweets
The Brazilians definitely enjoy tasty sweets and there are some really tasty ones that are perfect for taking home. Pacoca is a nutty sweet that tastes a little like crunchy peanut butter whilst pão de mel are small honey cakes, brigadeiro are really chocolatey and canjico are creamy corn and cinnamon sweets.
7. Treat yourself to a hammock
This may seem a strange suggestion but hammocks are widely available in São Paulo and are very reasonably priced. You can see hammocks being used everywhere and not only strung between trees, but many are also hung on hooks on patios! What better way to remember your trip to the city than enjoying a Brazilian style siesta!
8. Admire the soapstone ornaments
Brazilian soapstone is a really attractive stone that is hand carved into ornaments of all shapes and sizes that make a handsome gift for the home or office.
9. Be bold in a Brazilian bikini
The selection of vibrantly colored bikinis is impressive and they are available either plain or patterned but all have the very distinctive thong style bottoms which are surprisingly comfortable. For fellas, there are the trendy sungas which are small and tight fitting swimming trunks – again, available in a rainbow of colors.
10. Explore Japan Town
The Feira Daliberade neighborhood of the city has the largest concentration of Japanese people – outside Japan! It is a really fun place to explore and is situated just outside the city center. Its shops are full of Japanese products and there are great places to enjoy Japanese food too. If you can plan your visit for either Saturday or Sunday, even better as there is a huge art, crafts and culture fair that lasts all day long.
Updated: April 9, 2019