Do you love it, when the weather is great and You don’t have to wear socks and shoes? Do you prefer just quickly jump into your favorite pair of Ipanema or Havaianas flip flops? Were you wondering how overpriced they are in Europe?
If your answers are yes to the questions above, and btw you are planning a trip to Rio - then this is a must-read article for You!
Brazil is the home of these original and authentic flip-flop brands. The brand Havaianas was patented in 1962. The first pair of Havaianas flip flops were made based on the Japanese Zori. It was affordable for everybody and through the years it became so popular, that in 1980, the Ministry of Finance has even pinned it on the list of products which are fundamental to Brazilian life. They were simple one-color flip flops at the beginning, but from 1995 on, more and more designs appeared on the market. And because both rich and poor people used them for their everyday life, it became popular worldwide, not only for ordinary people but for famous celebrities as well.
SO Below you will find the info and tips, how to buy Ipanema and/or Havaianas in Brazil.
Personally, I am a bigger fan of Ipanema than Havaianas, even though I like both. However, Ipanema sandals are much rarer and harder to find.
Before my visit, I was looking for information on the internet, where is it the best to Buy Ipanema products in Rio, but it was not that easy as I thought.
First, I didn’t find any useful information on the internet.
No blog posts, no Ipanema stores on Google Maps, nothing… So I decided to wait until I am there, and probably any of the people who I ask will be able to navigate me to the closest Ipanema store. However, this was not the case either. I asked many people, went to malls, but there was no Ipanema store at all. So believe it or not, the best, and (kind of) the only place to buy Ipanema sandals or flip flops in Rio, are the newsstands and small kiosks on the streets, where if you are lucky, next to the newspapers and magazines, you'll find a small collection of Ipanema footwear as well.
These are like small stands, distributed only to a few newsagents to promote Ipanema. You can find a few models on these stands with a few sizes. Probably, you will fall in love with one of the models, and if you are even lucky, then they will have it in your size. If this is the case, I totally recommend you to buy them, because you never know when will you again find another newsagent, which has an Ipanema model, which you like, and which is in your size. And a good tip, if you like more models, and you are lucky with the size, buy more, because you won’t find them anywhere, and definitely not for such a low price: ~5-6 Euro/ pair.
If you didn’t have any luck by finding the perfect pair of Ipanema during strolling the city, then you still have a last chance at the airport, but the selection is not big and also the items are obviously totally overpriced (~4-5 times higher prices compared to the prices at the newsstands.)
For finding the perfect pair of Havaianas you will have much higher chances compared to Ipanema. Literally, if you look around anywhere in Rio, you will definitely see that quite high % of the people are actually wearing Havaianas, it doesn’t matter if you are on the beach or in downtown.
For purchasing Havaianas, you can choose from the following options:
The Havaianas flagship store in downtown or near the Ipanema beach. → These are overpriced because most of the tourists purchase their flip flops there. However, sometimes you can find some nice ones on sale.
But the best place to buy them, is Mercado Popular Uruguaiana, near SAARA. This is an open bazaar - similar to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, with hundreds of small stores and sellers. Here you can find almost anything. If you are not a fan of going into the small, crowded paths among the merchants, then you can also find Havaianas shop at the side of the bazaar with an extremely big variety of models. And if you are lucky you can find your loved ones for half price compared to the Flagship Havaianas store on the shopping street in the downtown. Furthermore, you can even bargain here, especially if you purchase more than one pair.
Newsagents, just like the Ipanema Stands, you can also find Havaianas Stands offering a few models at the kiosks.
In the evenings, on the Copacabana beach, you can find locals who try to sell many souvenir products to the tourist walking along. Sometimes, you can find Havaianas there too.
Supermarkets → Similar stands, like the ones at the newsagents
Last, but not least, the airport is again an option. But just like for Ipanema, the flip flops there are totally overpriced.
Whatever way you choose to purchase the perfect flip flops for yourself, they will definitely remind you of the amazing days you spent in Rio. And maybe you will relive again and again the great feeling of walking along the beautiful Copacabana or Ipanema beaches, while others are admiring the unique and limited edition pairs of your flip flops, which are not even available in Europe.
Good luck, and enjoy your stay in Rio!
Have a nice day,