Shopping in Natal, Brazil: Handcrafts, Souvenirs & Malls
Natal is a very cosmopolitan city, where old more traditional ways blend seamlessly with modern life giving the city a very unique, interesting vibe. This is clearly reflected in the variety of shopping options available for you to enjoy during your business trip or vacation. There are many areas to explore around the city where you can find clothing, interesting food, and souvenirs from all over Brazil. You're definitely going to have your hands full by the time you're done shopping at the numerous malls and boutiques all filled with a fantastic selection of goods. Natal has a total of fifteen shopping malls, each with stores offering a wide range of products and many great deals as well.
This is the most popular place for both foreign and national visitors to the city of Natal. Here, handicrafts of all sorts are sold at accessible prices, which can be brought down to an even better offer by haggling with the shop owners. At the Tourism Center, you'll find hammocks, clothing, figurines, and much more. The second floor houses a gallery displaying pieces by the famous Brazilian sculptor Luzia Dantas. Over the years, the building was used as a homeless shelter, as an orphanage, and even as a prison. Finally, in 1976, it became a tourism center. It's open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. On Thursday nights, it hosts a "Forro com Turista", where you can dance to the rhythm of the local music.
Shopping on the Beach
In the city of Natal, you're always sure to come across local peddlers. You can find them on almost any street corner, at the park or on the beach. These salespeople offer all sorts of products such as dresses, hair accessories, bathing suits, sunglasses, sandals, drinks and food. If you don't desire their services, simply say "nao, obrigado", which means "no, thank you". Sun, sea, and shoppingâ€¦ all in the same place!
Another excellent place for buying crafts in Natal is Vilarte. Next to the Tourism Center, it is one of the few permanent artisans markets in the area, situated on Avenida Roberto Freire. This market offers its customers great prices, and it's worth your time to check out the wide variety of merchandise for sale before buying. If you purchase two or more items, it's much easier to try to get a deal by haggling with the vendor. Afterwards, you can take a walk by the beach to the famous Morro do Careca dune.
Midway Mall is one of the largest shopping centers in northeastern Brazil. It's a modern building with all types of stores and an enormous parking lot. The mall was inaugurated in 2005 and has over 200 stores, a supermarket, banks, and a Cinemark movie theater. You'll also find a variety of restaurants offering international food such as Italian, Arab, Japanese, and Thai, along with sandwiches and snacks.
This mall was the first built in the city's northern area and was inaugurated in 2007. It has approximately 50 stores spread out on two floors, including Carrefour, Marisa and C&A. Free parking is available for all visitors. Among the services offered at Norte Shopping are banks, ATM's, travel agencies, and wireless internet in all areas of the complex. Almost every day, musical groups visit Norte Shopping to play in one of the shopping center's open areas, and the mall hosts an exhibit or special event each month for its visitors.
If what you want is to spend as much time as possible in the beautiful Ponta Negra area, Praia Shopping is the best option for buying. This is the closest mall to Ponta Negra and is a popular hangout among tourists as well as Natal locals. It opened in 1997 and has more than 100 stores along with banks, beauty salons, travel agencies, a movie theater and an exclusive food court area.
Natal Shopping and Via Direta
These two malls are situated one in front of the other. Natal Shopping is Natal's oldest shopping center, where you'll find international brand clothing stores, especially German and Italian brands. Both offer cultural or musical events every day along with spacious food court areas. Via Direta has a children's play area for little ones. If you're lucky, you might just come across a circus set up in this shopping center's parking lot.
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