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Expert Tips

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Neighborhood Spotlight

There's more to Rio de Janeiro than beaches, and this leafy neighborhood that clings to the jungle-clad hillside above the city is well worth sacrificing the sun lounger...

 

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

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Get Your Bearings in Rio de Janeiro

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Hot Tips: Prise yourself off the beach long enough to see the historic downtown and pose for photos at the colorful Lapa Steps

Hot Tips: Don't venture into Tijuca National Park without a guide or local companion - it's too easy to get lost.

Hot Tips: The Metro link to Barra da Tijuca, introduced for the 2016 Olympic Games, make it easy to combine a business stay with sightseeing in central Rio

Hot Tips: Hotels in Copacabana backstreets. It's noisy and air quality is terrible due to backed-up traffic

Hot Tips: Rio has some excellent street food - look out for Tapioca pancakes,which are naturally gluten free and come filled with everything from cheese or shredded chicken to Nutella and banana.

Hot Tips: A?§ai, the nutrient-packed Amazonian power berry served as a kind of sorbet at the city's ubiquitous stand up juice bars.

Hot Tips: The strip of restaurants along Copacabana's beachfront Avenida Atlantica.These are mainly touristy joints with high prices and unspectacular food i

Hot Tips: Have drinks in the hip hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa on a Friday or Saturday night before heading down the hill to Lapa for the very lively street party. Things get busy after midnight.

Hot Tips: Many bars and clubs operate a consumption card policy, with drinks marked on a card and paid for on exit. Losing the card can result in paying a fixed (and very steep) fee.

Hot Tips: For vintage fashion, rare vinyl and all manner of collectibles, check out the flea market held each Saturday at Praca 15, in front of the ferry port in Centro.

Hot Tips: Look closely at price tags:Brazilians often spread the payments for everything from clothes to expensive food items, and the prices shown are often per instalment.

Hot Tips: Don't head home without several pairs of funky Havaianas flip flops, which are inexpensive and widely available

Rio de Janeiro Neighborhoods

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro


Rio de Janeiro is known for...

Five of Rio de Janeiro's most unique features and characteristics.

1. Beaches and beach bodies:

Think of Rio de Janeiro, and it's hard not to conjure up images of beautiful  people lounging on equally attractive beaches.

Far from being mere myth, these images are brought sharply to life when the tropical sun beats down on Rio. Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon throng with beautiful people in the skimpiest of swimwear, with the white sands, crashing waves and mountain backdrps framing the social scene perfectly.

When the clouds gather and the rains fall it's a different story, with the beaches looking windswept and forlorn until weather conditions perk up again.

2. The Christ Statue:

There are few images more iconic than that of the statue of Christ the Redeemer standing tall over Rio, embracing the city, its mountains and its beaches, with his outstretched arms.

Visible from almost every point in the city, the statue is best seen up close, and the funicular railway which runs to the top of Corcovado mountain is the best way to visit the statue. Head up on a clear day, for spectacular views over the city.

3. Sugar Loaf Mountain:

Only marginally less famous than Corcovado mountain and the Christ Statue, Sugar Loaf mountain juts right out of the ocean, and the views from its peak are nothing less than breathtaking.

While a few hardy souls are up to scaling the mountain itself, the vast majority of visitors ascend to the top of Sugar Loaf by cable car - a dizzying two-stop journey that calls first at the smaller Morro da Urca.

There are bars and coffee shops at Sugar Loaf's peak, and sipping a caipirinha as the sun sets over the city is an unforgettable experience.

4. Carnival:

A lively, flamboyant city that revels in excess, Rio de Janeiro really comes into its own over Carnival, when residents shed the few inhibitions they may have and slip into full-on party mode.

While the eyes of the world are on the spectacular samba school parades at the purpose-built Sambodromo stadium, the vast majority of the city takes to the streets to join in the riotous blocos or street parties, that take  place across the city.

5. Samba:

So you think you can dance? Wait until the Brazilians show you how it's really done. The city is synonymous with samba, and you're never far from an opportunity to take to the dance floor in Rio.

For the most authentic samba clubs, head downtown to Lapa, where seriously skilled dancers take to the floor at spots such as Rio Scenariun and Carioca de Gema. The quality of the live music is every bit as impressive as the dancing, s even those with two left feet will be able to enjoy watching others strut their stuff.

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