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Saara Shopping District (Polo Saara)
Saara Shopping District (Polo Saara)

Saara Shopping District (Polo Saara)

Free admission
Weekdays 9am-6pm Saturday 9am-3pm
Rio de Janeiro

The basics

The atmosphere within Saara is very authentic and couldn’t be further from the polished, air-conditioned malls of the more upscale neighborhoods of Rio. While it’s possible to hit the streets for some independent retail therapy, it’s also helpful to tour the market with a guide who can take you to the best stores, depending on what you’re looking for. Most of these tours have the added bonus of including roundtrip transportation from your Rio hotel. If you’re in the market for a Carnival costume, Saara is one of the best places in town to snag one.

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Things to know before you go

  • Saara Shopping District is a must-visit for shopping enthusiasts and travelers looking for a local experience.
  • Bring some local currency in small denominations, but leave other valuables in your hotel.
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes, and be prepared to do a fair amount of walking through the crowded streets.
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How to get there

The Saara Shopping District covers 11 streets in total within the old downtown of Rio de Janeiro, among them Buenos Aires, Passos, and Andradas.

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When to get there

The shops are open throughout the year but usually close on Sundays and on holidays. Opening hours are generally from 9am to 6pm on weekdays and from 9am to roughly 3pm on Saturdays.

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The History of Saara

The market here began as a series of shops and warehouses opened by Arab immigrants, hence the name Saara (pronounced ‘Sahara’). The Middle Eastern influence remains, and it’s a great place to sample some Middle Eastern treats, like falafel or the savory pastries known as esfiiha.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Saara Shopping District (Polo Saara)?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Rio de Janeiro?
A:
As well as visiting the Saara Shopping District (Polo Saara), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: