By Mary Carroll, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio’s sunny disposition leaves a plethora of outdoor activities to be enjoyed, on a rainy day however, many people can be left twiddling their thumbs. For those who enjoy a bit of retail therapy Rio’s super-sized mall, Rio Sul in Botafogo will more than likely keep you busy for the day.
“Even though Barra Shopping has the biggest mall, I think this mall has the most tourists because it offers shuttle buses for free from the hotels in Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon” Rio Sul employee, Thaís De Lima explains. “It is more convenient to access because of it’s proximity to tourist areas such as Sugarloaf Mountain.”
A range of stores can be found at Rio Sul, from Brazilian boutiques, to international designer labels and household goods stores. Although difficult to find in Brazil, there are a few places in Rio Sul that are the equivalent to some London high street stores – which are almost nonexistent in Brazil due to high taxation and import laws.
Renner, a Brazilian store, is a sizable clothes shop that has men and women’s clothes in addition to cosmetics and offers more affordable prices than it’s Brazilian counterparts. Osklen, on the other hand, is bit more expensive but remains a Brazilian favorite in terms of fashion. Of the more recognizable clothes stores at the shopping center are Zara, Timberland, Levi’s Store, Tommy Hilfiger and Lacoste.
A rainy day might also be an opportunity to get a suit tailored or a dress altered – things that may have been left on the back burner for a while. Sellkit, close to the entrance of Rio Sul, provides such a service.
Some may prefer a good read on a dull day. Bruno Medina, a shop assistant at Saraiva Mega Store, says “we have a variety of books here in English, ranging from romance to suspense. We usually have a lot of tourists coming in looking for travel guides and pocket books, which we have. We also have books in Spanish, German and French.”
Medina explains that “Saturday is Rio Sul’s busiest day. But on rainy days a lot of people come here to have something to do … at Christmas time there is even a skating ring inside the building.”
Another option is a day out at movies, as the mall has a cinema on the fourth floor and they are in the process of building an even more modern cinema on another floor. There are also a multitude of restaurants and eateries on, with pizzerias on the different floors and an Asian kilo restaurant, Taiping, on the ground floor.
Close by is an upscale Italian restaurant, Ráscal, it has a menu with plenty of options to choose from and if it is too difficult to make a choice there is a buffet for R$58, though drinks are not included. On the seafood front, reasonable prices can be found at restaurant Vivenda do Camarão.
So even when rained out in Rio, the city offers plenty of cultural interests, as well as a wide range of shopping options. The Rio Sul Shopping mall bus schedule can be found at their web site, and provides transportation from most major hotels in Zona Sul (South Zone).