[:en]After a very quick trip to my hometown, I thought it would be a good opportunity to show you the city of Rio de Janeiro.
It’s not easy an easy task to summarize the city in which I lived for 20 years in one post, but I will try to share some of my favorite things about the city.
Brazil is a huge country, full of natural beauties and a great cultural mix. However, one of the best known cities in the world is Rio de Janeiro, better known by Brazilians as “a wonderful city.”
Due to its landscape that accommodates urban life between sea and mountains, part of the city was included as a cultural asset in Unesco’s list of World Heritage Sites and is considered an important tourist destination.
Getting ready to go to rio
If you are a foreigner, the first step is to find out if Brazil requires visas for people coming from your country. To consult the official list, click here. You can also go to the official Itamaraty website for more information.
If you are Brazilian, I recommend trying to buy tickets to Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) which serves mostly domestic flights. SDU is an airport closer to the touristic area with a great view upon landing. If the pilots have time they may even give you the scenic view upon landing.
Brazil is a tropical country and Rio de Janeiro definitely lives up to it. With average temperatures ranging from 73°F to 86 °F with relative humidity of 79% in January (summer) and 64°F at 77°F with relative humidity of 77% in July (winter), we can say it is summer time all year round. However, if you are not used to high temperatures, I recommend you visit the city in the winter, as well as being a less rainy season and a low season, you will not take the risk of going out to see the city on a day when the temperature Reach 113°F at noon.
Where to stay
This can be a controversial topic, since every Rio has many areas to chose from. However, if it is your first time, I believe that the ideal is to stay in some region with ease of transportation and that is more prepared to receive tourists. The neighborhood that I believe fulfills these requirements very well is Ipanema. Ipanema is a bustling area of the city that counts on beach, commerce, restaurants with bilingual menus, subway station, many bus lines, besides being the cradle of Bossa Nova and the famous Song “Girl from Ipanema”.
There are excellent hotels in the neighborhood, such as the Hotel Fasano and Praia Ipanema Hotel. However, if you are not on the vibe that you stay in hotels or are not willing to shell out money, there are excellent options listed on Airbnb and numerous hostels spread throughout the region.
What to do in Rio
There are a thousand and one options to do in Rio and here are just a few of them:
- Visit Christ the Redeemer
Undoubtedly, this is the most tourist option of all, but it is part of the “must do” list. Going to Rio and not going to the Christ is like going to New York and not seeing the Statue of Liberty or going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. You must go!
There are several tour vans that go up to the statue. However, in my opinion, the best way to get up is in Corcovado’s tram. The scenery is much more beautiful and the price is usually better than the chartered vans. What’s more, it’s not too difficult! You can purchase the ticket in advance through the website or at the place of embarkation.
Worth it, believe me! The scenery up there is breathtaking!
- Ride to the top of Sugar Loaf
Another postcard of the city is the “Pão de Açúcar” hill that has a cable car that connects the stations located in the peaks. Up there you will find restaurants, shops and night clubs, not to mention the beautiful view of part of the city. Also, if you’re lucky, you may come across some little monkeys and beautiful colorful birds.
- Watch the sunset at Arpoador Stone
The sunset seen from Ipanema beach is beautiful. Especially in the summer and if observed from the top of Arpoador Stone. At the end of the afternoon, the Stone is crowded. And do not be frightened, but it is customary that as soon as the sun finishes putting itself, all the people who are watching this spectacle of the nature, begin to applaud.
- Go to the beaches
Obviously, if you go to Rio, you will have to see the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Barra da Tijuca, which are busiest and easily accessible beaches. However, there are much more than that in Rio and if you have a little more time to explore the city, I recommend getting out of the comfort zone and visiting some more hidden beaches like: Prainha, Grumari Beach, Praia do Perigoso (Being an area of environmental preservation, which can only be accessed through a trail of approximately 40 minutes) and Reserva Beach.
And of course, if you have enough time, it is also worth going to visit other cities beaches in the state of Rio – yes, Rio de Janeiro is a city that is in a homonymous state – but these other cities will have their own Posts here on the blog.
- Go hiking
As I said in the topic above, there is a trail that gives access to a small and very secluded beach. But if you’re adventurous and want more trail tips, here are some of the ones I like the most:
– Pedra Bonita: Lasts 25 minutes on average and the peak has a breathtaking view of São Conrado Beach, Dois Irmãos Hill, Pedra da Gávea, Barra da Tijuca and Floresta da Tijuca.
– Pedra da Gávea: At 842 meters high, Pedra da Gávea is the largest stone block on the seafront of the world and is just in front of Pedra Bonita. The trail is a bit heavy and lasts around 3 hours, but the view is wonderful from up there!
– Morro Dois Irmãos: It lasts approximately 1 hour and at the peak there is a privileged view of the South Zone of the city.
– Pedra do Telégrafo: This Stone is famous for the photos that cause the illusion that the person is hanging over an abyss. The trail to the peak also lasts on average 1 hour and overlooks some of Rio’s beaches.
– Horto Waterfalls: The duration of the hike is approximately 30 minutes and, given access to some waterfalls, is ideal for cooling off in hot weather.
Note: Before venturing on some trail that you have never done, the ideal is to seek guidance from someone who knows the region and preferably be accompanied by someone who has already done this course.
- Visit the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon:
The Lagoon is the heart of Rio’s South Zone. Take an afternoon for a walk, bike or skate around it.
- Saturday night in Lapa:
If you are Bohemian, this is your place!
On Saturday nights, the streets of Lapa close the streets to cars and are taken by all kinds of people. Crowded bars, booming concert halls, hawkers and nightclubs at full throttle!
I recommend a hot in the region of Arcos da Lapa, Leviano Bar or Carioca da Gema and then finish the night in Lapa 40° or Rio Scenarium, the latter used to be an antiquarian and was transformed into a large bar with several floors of music. Live and dance floor with DJ – it is definitely a unique place.
- Draft Beer at BG (Baixo Gávea):
The Baixo Gávea is nothing more than a square with bars around. But since in Brazil there is no restriction on drinking in the street, you can choose your favorite bar and meet with your friends in this square to drink your chopp and have a good chat. The square is crowded on summer evenings!
Tourist point that is worth the photos. It is a colorful staircase made by a plastic artist and gathers tiles from all over the world. The music video “Beautiful” by Pharrell and Snoop Dogg was filmed here!
Where to eat:
– Confeitaria Colombo do Forte de Copacabana: Traditional confectionery from Rio de Janeiro, founded in 1984 in the center of the city, and currently has a branch in the Forte with a breathtaking view of the Copacabana sea. Ideal for breakfast or afternoon tea.
– Escola do Pão: As soon as you turn the street corner of the restaurant, you smell the freshly baked breads. The ideal is to go in the morning and pay for the carvery. Excellent brunch!
– Aprazível: Brazilian restaurant for a perfect lunch in a tropical environment.
Phew … I wrote a lot!
These are just a few of the hints of the millions of possibilities that exist in my Marvelous City.
If you live in Rio or have already visited the city and have any other tips that you have forgotten in this post, write in the comments. 😉
Kisses…. Xoxo!!!! :*