Shopping in Recife: Handcrafts, Souvenirs and Malls
Local tradition mixes with modern facilities throughout Recife in the wide variety of sites available for enjoying a day of shopping. Traditional artisan markets contrast with enormous shopping malls, both filled with locals and tourists in search of a little bit of everything: ceramic pieces, nets or hammocks, rugs, wood carvings, and leather goods, along with the latest in fashion, technology and entertainment. Don't miss out on the market that sets up shop every Sunday on Rua do Bom Jesus in the Recife Antigo neighborhood, and make sure to ask about the artisan fairs that frequently take place in different squares throughout the city.
Casa de Cultura
This old prison has been converted into a cultural center housing more than 150 shops selling regional artisanry, including pieces made of clay, wood and ceramic, along with items like handmade rugs and traditional rag dolls. Casa de Cultura is situated by the Capibaribe River in the San Antonio neighborhood. It's also used as a stage for folkloric dances and other cultural events.
Mercado da Ribeira
Situated in the neighboring town of Olinda, this 16th century market used to be a slave market. It offers handicrafts and antiques along with leather goods, engraved wood, clay pieces and traditional paper mache masks.
Mercado do Varadouro
Located in Olinda in the Casa da Alfandega Real, the old customs house. Its name refers to a custom from the 17th century that involved hanging wooden rods with golden tips from fabrics brought over from Europe. Today, it sells traditional handicrafts and occasionally features folkloric dance performances.
Mercado de Sao Jose
Situated in Praca D. Vital in the Sao Jose neighborhood. This building features French architecture, built in iron and decorated with tile roofs. Here you'll find souvenirs, handicrafts, leather items, fine ceramics and traditional regional foods.
Inaugurated in 1980, this was the first shopping center in northeastern Brazil. Through various construction projects, Shopping Recife has become the fourth largest shopping center in Brazil and one of the largest in Latin America. It offers more than 400 stores, 17 restaurants, four food courts and a movie theater, in addition to areas for events and art exhibits. It's only five minutes from Recife's International Airport and six blocks from Boa Viagem Beach, near the city's main streets.
Shopping Tacaruna opened in 1997 as one of the largest shopping centers in Recife's metropolitan area. It offers more than 250 stores, a movie theater, 37 fast food restaurants, and an entertainment area with more than 200 electronic games. This mall is situated on Avenida Agamenon Magalhaes in the Santo Amaro neighborhood.
Shopping Paco da Alfadega
This relatively new and modern shopping center was inaugurated in 2003, but the original building dates back to 1732. After careful restoration, the building has been divided into four levels with elegant designs and a decor based on mosaics and ceramic tiling done by local artists. It houses stores specializing in fashion, cuisine and culture. On one side, you'll find Brazil's largest bookstore, Livraria Cultura, which takes up nearly 27,000 square feet. Both are situated on Calle Alfandega in the Recife neighborhood on the shore of the Capibaribe River, near Mauricio de Nassau Bridge and 12 de Setembro Bridge.
This attractive and convenient shopping center was created in 1998, set in the Casa Forte neighborhood. It's made up of more than 180 stores, a gourmet dining area with four specialty restaurants, a food court and a movie theater. Plaza Shopping is located on Calle Dr. Joao Santos Filho, near Avenida Joao Tude de Melo. Most of the city's popular hotels are situated within five miles of this shopping center.
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