Rio de Janeiro
All you need to know
This “state of mind” called RIO DE JANEIRO…
My brother &
As the writer Fernando Sabino defined:
“ CARIOCA , as we know, is a state of mind : that of someone who, having been born in any part of Brazil (or the world) lives in Rio de Janeiro and fills the streets of the city with life.”
It is possible to count on your fingers the cities of the world known by their “nicknames”, or, who knows, we may say, slogans. Paris is the city of light, New York is the Big Apple, Rome is the eternal city and Rio de Janeiro is the WONDERFUL CITY !
But why is she so wonderful?
Rio, as it is affectionately called by its residents, is the scene of many beauties, whether in nature, in its attractions, or even in its soundtrack. Yes, soundtrack! Because Rio is also the birthplace of musicality.
Everything that is done outdoors in Rio de Janeiro has a look, taste and texture. Living in Rio is “having a vacation all year”, in the place where everyone wants to spend their vacation. The simple fact of “taking a jog” on the beach promenade after work hours is like going on a little vacation every day. On a sunny Sunday, any other city stops and “empties”, but not in Rio, the residents go on vacation. They go to the streets, sit in the bars, “make small talk”, have a beer, get a bronze or just walk and ride a bike.
There is life! There is love! There is color!
And it is against this backdrop that tourism is strengthened. The routes are many and for all tastes.
In a visit to the city of Rio de Janeiro, the tourist can make cultural tours, can opt for a sabbatical period, only, attending beaches, can dedicate himself to sports activities, if he is more adept at night, he can still do tours at night ”Carioca, and going much further, can still make“ day-trip ”routes to nearby cities, and equally intriguing, such as Petrópolis and Niterói .
Don’t you find it interesting?
So let’s get to the tips!
“Every day is a beach day!”
When to go?
Rio is a year-round tourism destination, not least because there is no harsh winter, and it is possible to enjoy it all year round . However in autumn (March to June) and winter (June to September) the sun and heat are milder and the beaches more empty, therefore more pleasant.
The only periods I do not recommend going, if the visitor does not like “crowds”, are: New Year’s Eve and Carnival. If the visitor does not care or the intention is to know the street carnival or the New Year’s party in Copacabana, go during those times, but always with a disposition for any problems of organization in the tourist spots and in the daily life of the city .
“The bus turns into surf at findi!”
How to get?
There are two airports in Rio:
The SDU (acronym of Santos Dumont Airport) receives only national flights and is located very close to the center and the south zone, more precisely at the entrance of Aterro do Flamengo, an expressway that leads to the beaches of the south zone.
SUPER IMPORTANT tip : if you are going to get off at this airport, always choose the little windows on the right side (taking care to avoid the windows on the wings).
And why sit at the window? Wait and see the scenario that awaits you! It is a true painting to watch the natural beauty of the Marvelous City from above.
Enjoy! The airlines do not charge a penny more for this and you can see very close places such as: the Rio shore (Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, etc.), the Sugar Loaf, the Christ the Redeemer, and lots of nature.
The GIG (acronym from Galeao Airport) receives national and international flights, and is located on Governor’s Island, a neighborhood farther from the city center. This airport is approximately 18 km away from the center near Linha Vermelha, an expressway that leads to the south, Niterói, center and north.
The entrance of the city by land is made by Rodoviária Novo Rio . It is located in the São Cristóvão neighborhood, close to the port area and the city center. On this bus, buses arrive and depart to several Brazilian states and regions and also to international destinations.
If the tourist wants to go by car to Rio, the most popular route between the capitals of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo is Via Dutra . The travel time between the two cities is approximately 5 to 6 hours. This highway has several tolls, calculate through the Mapeia website .
“Salt and sea are your home!”
Where to stay?
My suggestion is to look for accommodation in the south zone of Rio, but precisely in Copacabana or Ipanema , even though I know that there values are a little higher than in the other neighborhoods of the city. The idea of staying in these two neighborhoods is for locomotion, as the tourist can enjoy many tourist spots on foot or by public transport with ease. Anyway, if the tourist wants a more “affordable” accommodation, the ideal is to look in alternative neighborhoods in the south, such as Botafogo , Flamengo , Catete and even in the City Center and Lapa .
“Clap your hands for the sunset!”
What to do?
The options (separated by periods of the day, interests and $ cost) indicated are:
- Coffee in the various juice houses spread across the south (examples: Big Bi Sucos, Big Polis, etc.): taste the açaí carioca and the various juices offered;
- Bibi Sucos: taste the açaí carioca, the various juices offered and all the healthy cuisine.
By subway: General Osório station
By bus: several lines available at Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana;
Address: Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32. Open from Monday to Saturday – from 11:30 am to 4 pm;
- Breakfast at Parque Lage : the most beautiful setting for a leisurely Sunday coffee. Arrive early, as the lines are long. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 9am to 1pm.
AFTERNOON / BEACHES ($)
- Copacabana Beach: don’t forget to visit the statue of Carlos Drummond de Andrade, which is located near the Copacabana Fort and, there, also take advantage of the various standup paddle rental companies (approximately R $ 50 to 70 reais) / per hour );
- Praia do Leme: is the starting point of Copacabana beach and there you can find more tranquility to enjoy the beach;
- Ipanema Beach: trendy beach on the south side, it has famous spots: arpoador, Praia do Diabo (its initial tip), post 9 and post 8 (dedicated to the LGBT public);
- Arpoador: watch the sunset on this corner of Ipanema beach and there you can climb the Arpoador rock and take beautiful pictures of the Rio shore;
- Leblon Beach: the most “refined” beach in Rio that has a viewpoint (Mirante do Leblon) where tourists get incredible photos;
- Praia da Barra: beach located on the west side of the city of Rio and if you are staying in the south or center area, you need to take a bus to this beach or rent a car to access it;
- Praia do Recreio: beach located on the west side of the city of Rio and if you are staying in the south or center area, you need to take a bus to this beach or rent a car to access it;
- Praia da Reserva: beach located on the west side of the city of Rio (it is a part of Barra beach and is in an area of environmental protection) and if you are staying in the south or center area, you need to take a bus to this beach or rent one car to access it;
Note: In all the beach options mentioned above, if you are interested in cycling, rent a orange bike ( Bike Rio ), they are available in different parts of the city (cost R $ 10.00 for 24 hours), and walk along the shore (Rio’s bike path is very interesting). And don’t forget to try the famous Biscoito Globo accompanied by a beautiful glass of mate!
AFTERNOON / BEACHES ($$)
- Prainha: beach located on the west side of the city of Rio and to access it is necessary to go by car;
- Praia de Grumari: beach located on the west side of the city of Rio and to access it is necessary to go by car;
- Praia da Joatinha: beach located on the south side of the city of Rio (in the middle of the Joá road, the road that connects São Conrado to Barra da Tijuca) and to access it you must go by car. Upon arriving, it is necessary to go down a path between the rocks to reach the small beach.
AFTERNOON / NATURE ($)
- Trail in Morro da Urca: the trail in Morro da Urca begins with a walk through Praia Vermelha, then through Pista Cláudio Coutinho. The track is open daily from 7 am to 6 pm. The trail is easy, not long, but a little steep and can be done in 1 hour;
- Morro Dois Irmãos: this place has one of the most incredible views in Rio de Janeiro. The Morro can be enjoyed up close through a trail that starts in the Vidigal community and ends at the top of the “big brother”. There are 1.5 km of route in 40 minutes of steep stretches and others not so much. The trail is considered relatively easy and, when you reach the summit, you can see the entire South Zone of Rio. To find the trail, you have to go to the football field in Vila Olímpica do Vidigal, where the journey begins. The best option to get there is to take a moto-taxi (R $ 10) at the community entrance. From there, just relax, enjoy the walk and smile from the top of the wonderful city. ( Source ).
AFTERNOON / NATURE ($$)
- Trail at Pedra da Gávea: Pedra da Gávea is the largest stone block by the sea in the world. Its 844m height gave it the irrefutable title of the most difficult trail in the city, with a journey of at least 3 hours (uphill). It requires a lot of attention, physical conditioning and, preferably, the support of an experienced guide on the long and heavy journey. ( Source );
- Trail at Morro do Telégrafo: Pedra do Telégrafo is located in Barra de Guaratiba, west zone. The region is approximately 50 km away from the center. To arrive by car, just go towards Barra da Tijuca, go through Recreio and then take the exit towards Barra de Guaratiba. Take the Roberto Burle Marx Road until you reach the Marambaia proving ground, a restricted area of the Army. Using public transport, you need to take a bus and go to Barra, at the Alvorada Terminal and then take the BRT to Ilha de Guaratiba station. Then take another bus to Barra de Guaratiba, get off at Campo do Army. The trail is light to intermediate level and lasts about 40 minutes;
- Pedra Bonita: the Pedra Bonita trail is located within the Tijuca National Park, sector C, precisely between Pedra da Gávea and the neighborhoods of São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca. The surprise comes when you reach the summit, which provides a breathtaking view. The trail starts at Estrada da Pedra Bonita: to get there, go to the edge of São Conrado and go up Estrada das Canoas until you find a sign indicating the beginning of the route. There is parking and, in the same place, there is the free flight ramp of Rio, a postcard of the city that deserves to be visited and admired. ( Source );
AFTERNOON / SPORTS ($$$)
- Hang gliding and paragliding flight: the take-off ramp is located on the Pedra Bonita path and within the Tijuca National Park 550 meters above sea level. Landing at Pepino Beach in São Conrado. Average price: 350 reais. You can find agencies suitable for this sport on the Official Website of Rio .
AFTERNOON / LEISURE ($)
- Ipanema Hippie Fair: a pleasant walk on the agenda of those who go to Rio, the fair counts more than 600 exhibitors. It happens every Sunday, from 7 am to 7 pm, in Praça General Osório;
- Lapa: the most democratic neighborhood in Rio, where you meet people from all tribes and cultures and all kinds of entertainment. Known as the “cradle” of Rio’s bohemia, it is also famous for its architecture. The Carioca Aqueduct (Arcos da Lapa), for example, is its main reference and postcard. To get to Lapa just take a bus or taxi;
- Feira do Rio Antigo: variety fair (antiques, clothes, etc.) takes place every first Saturday of the month at Rua do Lavradio, in Lapa;
- Lagoa Rodrigo de Feitas: the scenery is great for water sports, such as rowing and canoeing. Those who prefer the mainland can choose to walk or cycle around 8 km, especially in the late afternoon;
- Pedra do Sal: located in Morro da Conceição is part of the region known historically as Little Africa. This place is the stage for lively samba circles of the group Roda de Pedra . Operation: Mondays and Fridays, starting at 8 pm on Rua Argemiro Bulcão, Bairro da Saúde;
- Santa Teresa Cable Car: Tram that takes tourists and residents of Rio from downtown to the Santa Teresa neighborhood. Open from 11am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. The address of the Tram Station is Rua Lélio Gama. The tram end point is close to the Carioca Metro Station. At the corner of Rua Lélio Gama is the headquarters building of Petrobrás and, therefore, there is no mistaking it;
- Parque das Ruínas: located on the slopes of Santa Teresa, the Park has one of the most beautiful views in the neighborhood and a Cultural Center with programming for the whole family. To arrive by public transport, get off at the Carioca metro station and from there take the bus line 1 For those who want to enjoy and climb Santa Teresa in the traditional way, just take the tram at Largo da Carioca. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8 am to 8 pm (free admission);
- Parque Lage : at the foot of Morro do Corcovado, this park enchants with its 52 hectares of pure green, cultural programs and art. Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm (during summer time, until 6 pm);
- Botanical Garden: it is considered one of the richest and most important in the world. Opening hours: Mondays from 12 pm to 5 pm and Tuesday to Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm. Price: R $ 10.00 (payment in cash only);
- Vista Chinesa: the Vista Chinesa monument offers a wide green panorama of the south of Rio. The trail has easy access and is fully paved, leading to the viewpoint on a demanding, steep climb, but which makes up for one of the most beautiful peaks in the city. Go by bike or car. ( Source );
- Tijuca National Park : considered one of the largest urban forests in the world, it is an unmissable invitation for those who want a closer contact with nature. Several tourist spots are gathered in its almost four thousand hectares: Tijuca Forest, Corcovado and Vista Chinesa are just some of them;
- Escadaria Selaron: this is a work by the Chilean artist Jorge Selaron. The staircase is between Rua Joaquim Silva, in Lapa , and Rua Pinto Martins, in the Santa Teresa neighborhood . It is just 5 minutes walk from Arcos da Lapa (free);
- Cacique de Ramos : one of the most important dens of Rio samba. The traditional samba circle, next to one of the best feijoadas in the city, takes place every Sunday from 17h to 23h. Admission is free. Address: Rua Uranos, 1326 – Neighborhood: Olaria;
- Feijoadas in Rio: Feijoada da Portela , Feijoada da Mangueira and Feijoada from Teatro Rival . Every first Saturday of the month there is that of Portela, the second that of mangueira and the last that of Teatro Rival;
- Pavão Azul: famous bohemian and traditional bar in the south of Rio, it is located in Copacabana at Rua Hilário de Gouveia, 71.
AFTERNOON / LEISURE ($$)
- Maracanã : it is the ultimate temple of Brazilian football. How to get there: by bus: 232, 238, 247 or 455 (on the main roads in the center) 569, 570, 583 or 584 (on the main roads in the south zone) and by subway: get off at Maracanã station or São Cristóvão station. For a guided tour, entry is through Gate 2 and the price is R $ 40.00 in full and R $ 20.00 in half (purchase at the A1 ticket office);
- Bracarense: traditional snacks from Brazilian bar culture in an open environment. Address: Rua José Linhares, 85, Leblon;
- Jobi: cold draft beer and snacks from Portugal and Brazil in a small bar with a carioca style. Address: Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 1166 B, Leblon;
- Copacabana kiosks: explore the edge of Copa and choose the kiosk that suits you best;
- Mureta da Urca: meeting place for young people from Rio de Janeiro and tourists from all over the world, the wall became a reference in the city when it comes to cold beer and sunset under one of the most beautiful views of the city. Address: Rua Cândido Gaffree, 205, Urca.
AFTERNOON / LEISURE ($$$)
- Pão de Açúcar : one of the most famous and beautiful postcards of Rio offers stunning views of the entire city;
- Cristo Redentor : at the top of the Corcovado hill is the Cristo Redentor, one of the most sought after tourist spots in Rio. Largest and most famous Art Deco sculpture in the world. To reach the monument, there is a pleasant train ride that, for twenty minutes, crosses the Atlantic Forest until reaching the top of Corcovado. Directions and prices check this website . Check the Official Website ;
- Aprazível Restaurant : located in the Santa Teresa neighborhood, the Aprazível, deserves an unpretentious and time-consuming visit. With artisanal Brazilian food and cachaçaria in a country house setting with gardens and views over Rio.
AFTERNOON / CULTURAL LIFE ($)
- Praça Mauá: this square was completely revitalized in 2016 and marks the beginning of Avenida Rio Branco and also the Port Region . The port region also has other attractions that form a great historical and cultural itinerary: Píer Mauá, Valongo and Imperatriz Wharf, Hanging Garden of Valongo, Museum of Tomorrow, Mural Etnias , Museum of Art of Rio, Church of São Francisco da Prainha, Nossa Senhora da Conceição Fortress, Bhering Factory, José Bonifácio Cultural Center and São Bento Monastery;
- Rio Aquarium : the Rio de Janeiro Marine Aquarium – AquaRio – opens its doors in an area of 26 thousand m², with five floors and 28 tanks that add up to 4.5 million liters of salt water; the largest in Brazil and South America. About three thousand animals of 350 different species can be seen in the most diverse marine ecosystems ( Source );
- Copacabana Fort: located at post 6 of Copacabana beach. Entrance to the fort: adults R $ 6.00 and over 60 and students R $ 3.00. From Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm.
- Museum of Art of Rio : it is installed in Praça Mauá. Values: R $ 10.00 whole and R $ 5.00 half. MAR is free on Tuesdays. From Tuesday to Sunday, from 12pm to 7pm;
- Museum of Tomorrow : new in the Port Zone studies the future of the world and presents possibilities for transformation. Values: R $ 10.00 whole and R $ 5.00 half. From Tuesday to Sunday, from 12pm to 8pm, with entry until 7pm (Check out our post about Museum of Tomorrow and the Port Zone );
- Banco do Brasil Cultural Center : building of neoclassical lines that, in the past, was linked to finance and business. The CCBB quickly became one of the most important cultural centers in the country. It is the most visited cultural institution in Brazil. From Wednesday to Monday, from 9 am to 9 pm;
- Museum of Modern Art : its construction represents a landmark of architecture, the result of the features of the architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy and landscape design by Roberto Burle Marx. From Tuesday to Friday, from 12pm to 6pm. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 11am to 6pm. The ticket office always closes at 5:30 pm;
- National Library: visit the library with the most complete collection in the country
- Municipal Theater : one of the main venues in Brazil and Latin America. Guided tours: Tuesday to Friday: 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Saturdays and holidays: 11am, 12pm and 1pm. Tickets : R $ 10.00 whole and R $ 5.00 half;
- Ilha Fiscal: open to visitors, the Ilha Fiscal mansion is an excellent option for the weekend. Values: R $ 25.00 whole and R $ 12.00 half. It is located on Avenida Alfred Agache, without number, Centro. Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 4 pm.
- Fundição Progresso – Lapa;
- Circo Voador : one of the most loved and respected houses in Brazil – Lapa;
- Rio Scenarium : one of the best samba houses and popular music in Rio de Janeiro – Lapa;
- Northeast Traditions Center : it is the option on the river to buy, eat and have fun with handicrafts, food, drinks, folklore and northeastern music. Address: Campo de São Cristóvão S / N – Pavilhão de São Cristóvão , easily accessible, with parking;
- Lapa 40 degrees – Lapa;
- Baile da Favorita : at Rocinha’s feet, the funk dance is successful in bringing together the Rio de Janeiro elite and the local community at the same event;
- Belmonte : the open pies are still the main attraction of the house;
- Cervantes : reference place for bohemia, and considered the “Safe Harbor at dawn”. Address: Prado Júnior, 335 – Lj. B. From Tuesday to Sunday, from 12 pm to 4 am, and may extend until 6 am on Fridays and Saturdays;
Rio 2016 promotional video – Beauties of Rio de Janeiro
Timelapse: one minute from tomorrow
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