This famous fair was set up in the 1960s by a group of local hippies who were looking for a regular place to sell their handicrafts to tourists and locals. As the years passed by, more and more people joined in, until it reached the established and regular outdoor fair that it is today. Now it sells a wide range of clothes, furniture, arts and crafts that make great gifts or takeaways to remember Brazil.
Whilst not a key feature at the fair, the clothes there are quirky, fun and fashionable. There are various types of more alternative clothing, such as floaty dresses and gypsy-style tees, as well as contemporary t-shirts and tops that make unique pieces for a casual day time look or dressed-up for going out. Some stalls make leather items such as little shoulder bags and strappy sandals, which certainly have an edgy over regular flip-flops. There are also plenty of traditional Brazilian-style bikinis to take home as a memoir or use on the beach, or try a handmade crochet bikini – the tops are versatile and can be worn both on and off the beach.
Most of the jewelry at the Hippie Fair is hand-made, offering one-of-a-kind pieces in various styles. There are some of pure silver with beautiful gemstones, others made of black leather straps with metal or wooden trinkets, and some purely wooden designs. Most of the jewelry stalls have everything from necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets and charms to add to your own chain.
There is a bounty of artwork available at the Hippie Fair, from oils to watercolors, realist to abstract, and many of them depict images of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. The ones painted on cloth-like fabrics are easier to toll up and pop in a suitcase, while larger canvases are a bit more tricky to transport. There are also various ceramic figurines of typical Bahian imagery, as well as lace and embroidery. Hammocks are popular at the market and can make an unusual and comfortable addition to the home or garden. There are also other furniture pieces, such as wooden chairs and tables, all beautifully and skillfully handcrafted into novel pieces.
At each corner of the park are food stalls, with many selling typical Bahian food. One of the most authentic Bahian food is the Acaraje, a croquette made from a mix of black-eyed peas, manioc paste, coconut and prawns. With fresh ingredients and made to order, it is a delicious taste of Bahia. There are also dozens of different desserts to try – just take the plunge and order any one off the menu for an indulgent treat.
Bargaining is accepted at the fair, especially when buying multiple items, yet it is better to keep haggling within reasonable margins. Many of the stalls accept credit and debit cards, but always bring some cash with you for smaller priced items or for the few stalls that may not be card-friendly yet. The fair is right in between the subway and the beach, so makes an ideal stop-off point to browse in after the beach. It opens around 10am on a Sunday and closes in the early evening, usually around 5pm or 6pm. The nearest subway is Metro General Osório. When you’re in the subway, look for the exit ‘Praça General Osório’ and the Hippie Fair is right in front.