Gifts & Souvenirs -- Natal has transformed its former prison complex into a crafts market, Centro de Turismo de Natal, Rua Aderbal de Figueiredo 980, Petrópolis (tel. 084/3211-6218). About 40 crafts shops are now housed in the cells and provide easy one-stop shopping for local crafts. Look for the handmade white-linen tablecloths and the small painted clay figurines depicting characters from folk dances. There are also hammocks, woodwork, and sweets made with sugar cane and coconut. The market is a steep 15-minute walk from Praia dos Artistas. Open daily from 9am to 7pm. The tourist information booth at the entrance is open daily from 9am to 5pm.

In Praia dos Artistas is the large Centro de Artesanato da Praia dos Artistas, Av. Pres. Cafe Filho s/n (tel. 084/3202-4971). Dozens of booths are packed with souvenir T-shirts and trinkets as well as some nice local handicrafts. Open daily 10am to 10pm. A smaller evening crafts market takes place Thursday to Sunday from 6 to 10pm, near the waterfront at Rua Conselheiro de Medeiros in Praia dos Artistas.

In Ponta Negra, the Shopping do Artesanato Potiguar, Av. Engenheiro Roberto Freire 8000 (tel. 084/3219-3207;, features more than 180 shops packed with souvenirs and local handicrafts.

Located in the nightlife area of Alto de Ponta Negra, Alma Brasiliera, Rua Dr. Manoel de Araújo 130 (tel. 084/3219-3174), has a fine selection of local crafts, though prices are higher than at the downtown Centro de Turismo.

Shopping Malls -- The midsize Praia Shopping, Av. Engenheiro Roberto 8790 (tel. 084/3219-4323;, is at the edge of Ponta Negra, a short cab ride back in the direction of downtown. Shops are open Monday through Saturday 10am to 10pm, Sunday 3 to 9pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.