Shopping in Florianopolis, Brazil: Handcrafts, Souvenirs & Malls
A trip to Floripa (the nickname locals have for Florianopolis) wouldn't be complete without buying a good swim suit or surf accessories. There are options for those who are always looking for are looking for new purchases during a trip and could range from handicrafts to exclusive boutique items. You cannot deny that the shopping process also calls for a factor of socialization, involving window shopping and people watching. You'll probably find people of all sorts (and perhaps a celebrity or two) out in the shops, from the higher end shoppers to those who just want a simple item. Whatever the reason, going shopping in Florianopolis is a wonderful opportunity for a spree.
Take along a little bit of cash and your credit or debit cards so that you can have more flexibility in your purchases and feel more at ease, without having to deal with the exchange rate and the unfamiliar denominations of cash. In the summer (from November to March), you can find excellent deals.
Casa da Alfandega (Old Customs House)
This is a 19th century house that is located in the Mercado Municipal (the Municipal Market) and houses the Association of Plastic Artists of Santa Catarina. The store has on display an array of creativity of the Florianopolitans. You can find everything from dolls, sculptures, paintings, miniatures, mementos, toys and many other interesting items that are worth discovering, making for excellent travel souvenirs.
If you wish to buy clothes, home furnishings or handicrafts, you can find all this and more in the malls and shopping centers of Florianopolis, such as:
Centro Comercial Beiramar
This is the largest mall in the city and is located in the central area of the city, on the coast road. You'll find movie theaters and high end boutiques.
Located in the northern part of the island, in Canasvieiras. It is only open during the summer.
Calle Das Nacoes (Street of the Nations)
This street offers excellent options in souvenir shops, clothes, shoes, tourist agencies and even supermarkets.
It is the largest shopping mall in the continental part of Florianopolis, known as San Jose.
Located on the coast road, this is a very important shopping center with movie theaters and major international brand name stores.
Some three miles away from downtown on the main avenue, this mall also has movie theaters and major brand name stores.
El Supermercado Angeloni
This is the largest supermarket on the island.
In each one of the shores and beaches you can find shopping centers that can complement your visit. Discover Ponta das Canas, Canasvieiras and Jurere Internacional, the last of which is known for being an outdoor mall, much like the ones in major cities around the world.
The pottery tradition in Florianopolis is an essential part of the daily culture because in all the houses, there is always at least one utensil in the house that was made with clay or ceramic. This is due to the fact that Santa Catarina is considered one of the most important exporters of ceramic in all of Brazil. You can find handicraft shops at several of the beaches of the island, where you can find beautiful products. If you find yourself in the central area of the city, you can find fabulous ceramic ware in Mercado Municipal as well as in Casa da Alfandega.
The Florianopolitan artisans as well as those from the state of Santa Catarina continue with an age-old tradition of weaving nets and baskets, a tradition that started with the Carijos, over a hundred years ago. This age-old tradition has now combined with the modern to produce items that were clearly influenced by the Carijos in the decorative objects that are now being made. There are lamp shades, hats, baskets and boxes. All of this is made with fibers and wood (wicker, rattan and palm). In the public markets, you can find many booths that sell these items.
Florianopolis has brought together the highest number of specialists in the production of handmade lace in all of southern Brazil, the interwoven variety as well as frayed. This beautiful handicraft is a work of art that should be one of the purchases you make on your trip, for both its beauty and its price. In the Barra de Lagoa and in the Lagoa da Conceicao areas, there are a number of women who are lacemakers (called "rendeiras"), who meet here and work on handmade lace. They work, incidentally, on a street called Calle Das Rendeiras (Street of the Lacemakers). In Floripa, you can find magnificent tablecloths, shirts, dresses, ribbons and all sorts of textiles imaginable, with intricate designs and in one or more colors.
The Municipal Market, apart from being one of the main tourist attractions in Florianopolis, which has great architecture and history, is definitely a special stop you have to make. The market is divided up into various sections, where you can find, for example, shoes and accessories in one section, and the catch of the day in another. You can find everything from clothes to preserves here. Walk up and down the passageways of this market and see the customs of the locals. Eat and drink at one of the bars that has tables on the street, after a day of shopping. For tourists, this is an obligatory stop that you will definitely fall in love with.
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