If there’s one thing that unites a majority of the population of São Paulo, it’s the love of a good bargain. Due to the often heavily marked up prices on the high street for all kinds of products, Paulistanos have developed a taste for buying things secondhand. From Facebook groups to good old-fashioned thrift stores, there’s always a way to buy something cheaper—you just need to know where to look. Here is a selection of São Paulo’s best flea markets and thrift stores.
Feira da Praça Benedito Calixto
The charming Benedito Calixto Square, in the trendy neighborhood of Pinheiros, is a lovely place to spend a weekend afternoon, and it hosts one of São Paulo’s best arts and antique fairs every Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm. The stalls have an incredible variety of items, from clothes and toys to some amazing antique furniture. The selection often changes from week to week, so you’re bound to come across something unique at a fair price.
The whole experience of going to the Benedito Calixto fair is a truly relaxing one, as there is always live music playing in the background, accompanying the excited chatter of buyers and sellers. There is even the lovely Consulado Mineiro restaurant nearby, where you can take a load off with a cold beer and delicious food after a successful afternoon of shopping.
Minha Avó Tinha
In the bustling commercial neighborhood of Lapa, you’ll find one of São Paulo’s most famous and best flea markets. Minha Avó Tinha (meaning My Grandmother Had) has an incredible selection of vintage clothing, footwear, jewelry, accessories, antiques and almost anything you can imagine, with some pieces dating back to the 1920s. Whether you’re looking for a hat, a tea set or an old television, the chances are you’ll find one at Minha Avó Tinha.
The store is a 10-minute walk from the Lapa overground train station, and they even maintain a selection of their pieces available to buy online.
For something a little more upmarket, check out Trash Chic in the designer paradise which is Jardins. Stocking new and used pieces from Gucci, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, and many others, this is the place in São Paulo to buy designer vintage clothing.
The store itself has a lovely design, and the shop assistants are friendly and helpful. You should be prepared to spend a little more than you usually would at a flea market, but you’re guaranteed to find some rare and beautiful pieces from some of the world’s best designers. For an idea of what they have in stock, check out their online store.
Trash Chic, Rua Paraguai 21, Jardins, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 3064-4764
MASP Antiques Fair
One of São Paulo’s most popular flea markets takes place every Sunday underneath MASP, the city’s most famous art gallery. Designed by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, the impressive museum is made of glass and concrete and suspended above ground level by large beams, creating a large area underneath that is left free for cultural events. Every Sunday, the open space is devoted to the MASP Antiques Fair, which receives around 5,000 visitors weekly and has been running for over 25 years. There are all sorts of items for sale here, including antique clocks and crockery, furniture, jewelry, vintage clothing, and arts and crafts. It’s a great way to spend your Sunday and a good place to pick up something unique.
Located inside the Ouro Fino shopping gallery on Rua Augusta, Passado Presente has a small but absolutely unique collection of vintage clothing from the first half of the 20th century. With extravagant fur coats, hats and evening dresses, there is enough stuff here to transform you into a cast member of a 1940s soap opera. They also have a second shop selling antiques, such as old typewriters and cameras. If you’re walking around the Jardins neighborhood, don’t forget to drop in here and have a look around.
Feira da Liberdade
São Paulo has the largest concentration of Japanese people outside of Japan, and nowhere is that more evident than in the neighborhood of Liberdade, São Paulo’s very own Japantown. The area has a noticeably East Asian feel year-round, with tons of Japanese, Chinese and Korean restaurants, oriental suzuran-to streetlights and newspaper stands selling Japanese papers. Every weekend, Liberdade celebrates its East Asian heritage with the arts, crafts and culture fair.
While many locals go there for the traditional food stands, there are also lots of stalls selling antiques, clothing, and jewelry—a selection similar to that of the fairs of Benedito Calixto and MASP, but with a Japanese twist. There’s a lot on offer here, and you are sure to find something you love.
If you’re looking for vinyl in São Paulo, your one-stop shop is the Galeria Boulevard shopping mall in the city center. Brazilian records are not exactly easy to come across outside of the country, and their rarity often means you will be spending an arm and a leg if you want to buy an album by Brazilian legends Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque or Gilberto Gil overseas.
That said, vinyl records aren’t even particularly easy to find inside Brazil. However, your best bet for vinyl is in one of the several record shops inside Galeria Boulevard, such as Chico e Zico. There is also Cel-Som Discos, where for the past 10 years, blind shop owner Celso Marcilio has gathered an incredible collection of Brazilian rarities, which he is able to recognize by his sense of touch alone.