Brazil is a unique country that stands out for its natural beauty, folklore, and colorful art. The country is famous for its striking coastlines and distinct jungles that accommodate different wildlife. Of course, you can’t take the wildlife home with you! So if you’re wondering what to buy in Brazil, don’t worry! There are many great options for Brazil souvenirs.
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The Best Brazil Souvenirs
Brazil is one of the top destinations for tourists from various parts of the world as it is rich in culture and has a lot to offer visitors.
The country’s traditions of handicrafts, music and art are world-renowned which means that tourists and visitors have many exciting choices of Brazilian souvenirs to choose from. As a result, if you visit the country, it is essential to go back home with something that will always remind you about your time here. I know that my own Brazilian souvenirs are some of my most treasured souvenirs from my travels.
Unlike getting a Brazil visa, which I found incredibly difficult (but that’s a story for a different day!), shopping in Brazil is a piece of cake. This is true whether you’ll be visiting Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Sao Paulo, the Amazon, or traveling further afield.
With this, here are top souvenirs you should consider getting before leaving Brazil
Jewelry with Gemstones
Brazil stands out for its gemstone availability. You will find Brazilians wearing these beautiful stones, and most tourists will find themselves face-to-face with gemstones for sale in the country at some point. You will find a lot of gemstones, for instance, emeralds, at Minas Gerais.
The store is home to series of unique bracelets, rings, and necklaces made from emeralds. Did you know that 65% of the world’s colored gemstone comes from Brazil? If you’re looking to purchase authentic precious stones while here, this is a great place to start! These make great romantic souvenirs to bring home for a wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or spouse.
There are many stores in Brazil where you can buy vinyl records as the country stand out for samba and bossa nova music. Make sure to add Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro to you’re Brazil itinerary if you want to indulge your musical side. The beach has a famous music store (Modern Sound) located near which is one of the best in the world.
Modern Sound was opened in 1966 and had series of samba, bossa nova, and samba jazz records. You can pick up a classic like the “Girl from Ipanema” or check out something you’re never heard before. When you play your records back home you’ll be transported right back to your time in Rio!
Bahian Ladies are figurines of Bahian women and are a very popular Brazilian souvenir. However, it might not be a good idea for many white Western tourists to bring home these figurines since they will most likely be misunderstood backhome. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t support Bahian artisans while you’re in Brazil.
You can find Bahian bands and textiles to purchase instead. Coming in many different colors, these are a great moment from your time in Brazil.
A Brazilian Hammock
For people that use hammocks back at home, make sure to get a hammock as a souvenir from Brazil! While I bought one as a North Carolina souvenir and not in Brazil, I can attest that owning a hammock that you pick up on vacation is absolute bliss!
It is one of the top souvenirs available from Brazil and they come in distinct styles, shapes, and different colors. There are many locally made hammocks, and you can find them all over the country.
Another popular Brazilian gift you can buy is Cangas. These are beach towels that have bright and colorful designs with alluring decorations. You will find them almost at every local shop and Brazil.
Your visit to Brazil is not complete without seeing the fabulous beaches, and this beach accessory will make your time here more memorable.
Cangas and beachwear are available in various designs and colors. They are the perfect moment of Brazil that will also make you look like a goddess as you walk along the coastline.
One of the folk traditions that Brazil is known for is its ceramics, with a focus on local male and female figurines. These figures are a representation of the famous characters in the myths of Northeast Brazil.
One famous artisan is Jose Silvano with products are inspired by a local image from pastoral Brazil. Tourists will find a wide selection of objects from the different regions at Feira Hippie situated at Praca General in Rio de Janeiro.
If you’re like me, you’ll spend a lot of your time in Brazil sipping Caipirinhas by the beach (and in clubs, restaurants, rooftops, and your hotel room…) For tourists like me who are captivated by this drink, buying a caipirinha kit and so you can continue to make them at home. This is an excellent souvenir from the country that gave birth to Caipirinha.
If you don’t want to buy a whole Caipirinha kit, at least bring home a bottle of Cachaça! You can make your own versions of caipirinhas and other Brazilian-inspired drinks! This Brazilian national spirit is made from sugarcane. You can even find local distilleries to tour depending on where in Brazil you are going.
Replica Christ the Redeemer Statue
How beautiful it is to have a replica of part of the world’s eight wonders right at home. Many tourists flock to Brazil from various cities to see this status. The good news is that you can have an exact representation of this statue and take it back with you.
These miniature statues are available at every local store, and they will always remind you of your trip to Brazil.
Brazilian Flip Flops
Havainas – the well-known flip flops brand worldwide, is also located in Brazil. They are readily available in Brazil, even at a lower price. They are available in several sizes and shapes and are one of the best souvenirs you can buy. Tourists will love the special edition and various themes of flip flop available.
Cuica, Caxixi, Berimbau, and other Brazilian Musical Instruments
Brazil also stands out for its unique taste in music. Little wonder the country is home to some special musical instruments like cuica, berimbau, and Caxixi. The Capoeira musicians love playing berimbau and Caxixi a lot, while Cuica is a musical instrument with a flat bottom and a closed basket adorned with seeds.
Berimbau is a bow with a single string that provides rhythm to dancers. Cuica and Samba go hand in hand. Samba is a high-pitched friction drum with a squeaky timbre – the reason why it is called laughing gourd.
Sarongs are one of the most famous beach clothing people can adopt for personal use in Brazil. It is available in various prints and colors and can be gotten at the beachwear store, local market, and beach.
People use them on the beach as a swimsuit to lay on the beach even though they are common in the Northeastern part of the country.
One of the most common souvenirs typical in Brazil is soapstone carving. This carving started from Minas Gerais before it spread to other parts of the country.
Tourists and visitors can easily watch as market vendors do their magic on soapstone by repeatedly cutting off soft stone by chipping using a tiny pickax. Sample soapstone souvenirs are medallions, carved boxes, and candlesticks available at a reasonable price.
Brazil is home to one of the most famous sandals, so it makes sense to get one on your visit to Brazil. The sandals were created as far back as the 1962s, and they got into the Brazilian market in the 90s. Users will find series of these sandals that are available in various sizes and shape in Brazil.
Divino de Espirito Santo
In some parts of the country, focusing on Minas Gerais, these dove carvings are extremely common. They are available in sizes of about just a couple of inches to many feet.
These carvings represent the Holy Spirit and are designed to be placed over doorways to offer protection and good luck to users. They are available at a reasonable price all over Brazil.
I love flags of countries, and seeing them displayed when I visit is so fun. I love having “fun with flags,” if you will. So of course, a Brazilian flag souvenir is something I think makes a great momento from your trip. You can find other souvenirs from this list, like towns and t-shirts, decorated with Brazilian flags, or you can buy an actual flag to display back at home.
There are so many delicious sweet treats to try in Brazil, from Brigadeiros (chocolate truffles) to Goiabada (guava desserts and candies). You can eat them to your heart’s content when in Brazil, but why not bring some back as a great gift from Brazil for a friend or loved one? They make especially good Brazilian gifts to take back to the office since they can be easily shared.
Brazilian World Cup Souvenirs
If you come from the USA or Canada, you might not appreciate how much South America loves soccer and specifically World Cup soccer. In Brazil, the game is called futebol and spelled the Portuguese way. Even when I was in Ecuador, their national team was being celebrated in local shopping malls.
The Brasil National Team is one of the most celebrated and decorated World Cup teams in South America (and the world), and you will find Brazilian World Cup souvenirs, from postcards to team memorabilia to jerseys, available to bring back with you.
South America is home to some of the most famous coffee-growing regions in the world. Beyond being a South American coffee capital, did you know that Brazil is actually responsible for one-third of all coffee grown in the world?
So of course, you need to consider a few Brazilian coffee souvenirs. You can bring back the beans themselves to brew your own Cafezinho at home, candies made from the beans, or locally made Brazilian coffee accessories like mugs and cups.
Portuguese Books and Portuguese Language Souvenirs
Whether you want books to read on vacation or something to adorn your shelves back home, I love buying books in foreign languages during my travels. Even better if you can find one where the foreign language and your own native language are written side-by-side (for those who don’t speak the language of the place they are visiting).
Pictures of Sugarloaf Mountain
If you visit Rio de Janeiro, you’re bound to appreciate the beauty of the Carioca landscapes and you’ll take as many pictures of Sugarloaf Mountain as you need to. But you can also buy a photograph, postcard, or painting of the mountain to decorate your home when you’re back. This is especially important if you know you aren’t the type to get your own photographs printed once you’re home.
Traditional Kitschy Souvenir from Brazil
Whether you want a Brazilian T-shirt, a fun spoon, or a collectible place, Brazilian memorabilia can be kitschy and fun. Yes, I love buying novels and art prints when I travel, but my family also collects refrigerator magnets on our travels. It’s a fun way to remember our trips once we are back home.
Tips for Shopping in Brazil
Don’t start shopping without these tips!
Haggle but Be Respectful
While some markets expect you to haggle, don’t be a jerk about it! Be respectful and treat the shopkeepers and sellers with kindness and respect.
Don’t Flash Your Reais
Beyond tipping your hand as to how much you could potentially spend, you will most likely be shopping in touristy areas where you need to keep an eye out for pickpockets. Start by keeping your cash and valuables out of sight at all times. You need to make sure you put your safety above convenience since Brazil has seen a dramatic uptick in pickpocketing and mugging in recent years.
Cash is King
While many stores and restaurants take credit cards, there are still many places where you will want to have cash. Beyond making it easier to haggle, you will find times when cash is the only way to pay. However, don’t take out more cash than you’ll use that day or in the next two days in case you do run into a situation.
Buy from Local Artisans
Whenever you can, buy as close to the producers as possible so you know that as much of your money as possible is going to the artisan or creator. This is especially important in places like Brazil where companies try to separate the tourist experience from actual Brazilians. Stay in touch with the real Brazil as much as you can, and one way is to buy local.
5 Things to Pack for Brazil
Lonely Planet Brazil which is available as a paper copy or in a Kindle edition.
Your cell phone. You will want to stay connected during your trip, plus it will serve as a navigation system should you rent a car and a go-to camera. I use an iPhone 12 Pro these days, but I have also used Samsung phones in the past.
Full-Sized Travel Towel This is the best travel towel in the world. It’s pretty enough for the beach, large enough that you forget it’s a microfibre towel, and quick-drying, which is great if you’ll be spending a lot of time in Brazil at the beach or by the pool.
A GoPro for underwater and action photography. Why go all the way to Brazil and not be able to capture some of the most exciting parts of your trip?
A waterproof bag (also knowns as a dry bag) so that you can safely bring your electronics to the beach. You don’t want to ruin your trip with a drowned cell phone or a wet camera, but you also don’t want to miss out on capturing all those great beach moments with your loved ones!
Bonus: A Great Day Bag so you can carry what you need with you (like your camera, snacks, water, sunscreen, cash, etc). My current favorite is the Pacsafe Citysafe, which is especially great for Brazil because it has many anti-theft features designed to deter pickpockets. It also transitions to a night bag more easily and won’t embarrass you if you go to dinner directly after sightseeing all day.
More Brazil Travel Resources
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
Before you leave for Brazil make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance whenever you will be in places with higher incidents of theft.
I’ve had friends whose phones were stolen, luggage was lost, and my sister even had her passport stolen at a hotel once. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! No matter which barra or region you’ll be staying in, there’s always a risk!
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for four years, and I happily recommend them. If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.