Colorful handmade necklaces are one many small purchases that can be made at the Ipanema Hippie market // (c) 2012 GTH & Nathan DePetris

Even the heartiest of sunbathers can wilt like a daffodil under the sun on Ipanema Beach. Luckily there are plenty of sights nearby that allow the nearly hardboiled to escape the heat and bring their core body temperature down by a few degrees. One such escape is the Ipanema Hippie and Crafts Fair, held every Sunday, just a few blocks from the beach at a nearby square.

Every weekend, rain or shine since the 1960’s, the Praça General Osório has been crowded with local artists showcasing some of the best art and handicrafts available in Rio de Janeiro. The edges of the park are filled with covered vendor stalls, with the central area reserved for painters exhibiting their latest creation in oils and water colors.

Tourists and locals alike flock to the Ipanema Hippie Market on Sunday to enjoy shopping and people-watching // (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

The market sees local Cariocas and tourists all day long buying, selling, and just people watching. Euros and Dollars are widely accepted by vendors but they seem to prefer Brazilian Reals.  There are several banks with ATMs close by where you can purchase local currency but these hand out mostly larger bills, and as the day wears on, small change can be harder to come by in the market.

On a recent visit to Rio, my partner and I spent a couple of hours enjoying the shade and stalls at the Hippie market. It’s really easy to pass the time away shopping for those small gifts for everyone back home. From an amazingly colorful necklace for our cat sitter’s wife to a papier mache Orisha doll for the friend who has absolutely everything.

Local artists flock to the Ipanema Hippie Market every week for the chance to sell their pieces // (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

Some of the best items we found at the fair include:

  • Leather Goods: The leather is on the rougher side, but the goods seem to be sturdy and should last .
  •  Paintings: Art comes in all shapes and sizes, the canvas stretched onto a frame, or un-stretched and ready to roll for easy hauling. Artists will gladly remove any frame, however, and roll the painting up into a cardboard tube for you to safely transport home.
  • Clothing: Mostly souvenir tee’s and hats are sold at the market. It’s a great place to pick up those inexpensive gifts for friends back home.
  • Brazilian Food: Food stalls abound, and if you have a strong enough constitution, feel free to give a local delicacy a try.
  •   Jewelry:  Handmade pieces to suit any taste can found throughout the market. Take time to talk to the jewelry makers, their stories can often add luster to the pretty baubles.

Whether to beat the heat, or shop your heart out, a visit to the hippie market is a must see addition to any trip to Rio and it’s beaches.