Embark on a shopping spree or enjoy a browsing expedition at Porto Alegre’s Public Market. Within the walls of this neoclassical building are more than 100 stores selling fresh fruit, fish, flowers, vegetables, regional produce and traditional crafts.
The indoor covered market has been serving the public since 1869, although fires and floods have put a temporary halt to business on a number of occasions during its history. The arcade is one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations, with approximately 150,000 visitors daily.
There are two floors to explore, with most of the shops and stalls located on the lower level. Visit artisan shops selling locally made art or jewelry and treat yourself to some colorful Brazilian clothes. Haggling is expected, so negotiate your way to the best deals.
Be sure not to miss the bakeries and food shops on the lower level that fill the air with delicious aromas. Buy exotic herbs and spices, traditional cheeses and regional teas. Try some traditional salted pastries, cookies and specialty foods such as charque, which is a dried, salted meat, usually beef.
For more eating options, go up to the second floor for a range of cafés, bars and restaurants. Sip a cup of freshly ground Brazilian coffee made with locally sourced beans. Later in the day, enjoy a beer in one of the bars and watch a soccer game with some of the locals.
Occasionally, the market hosts cultural events such as fashion shows, concerts and art exhibitions. Visit the market’s official website to see what’s happening when you’re in the city.
Public Market is open every day except Sundays, from early morning until early evening. Situated in downtown Porto Alegre, this popular city landmark is easily accessible by public transport. If you are driving, be aware that there are hardly any parking spaces near the market, and even less during holidays when visitor numbers can almost double.