A Cidade Maravilhosa (The Wonderful City), is how the “cariocas” (the inhabitants of Rio) call their city. With its beautiful natural landscapes and joyful population, a new and exciting world awaits you. Are you ready to explore and create memorable experiences?
Where to stay?
Rio de Janeiro is a large city, choosing a place to stay depends greatly on budget and location.
- Sofitel Rio de Janeiro: Located on the famous Copacabana Beach, the hotel offers great views of the Sugar Loaf for example. Its fantastic Michelin Star gastronomic restaurant, Le Pré Catelan offers a delightful French and Brazilian cuisine merged by the French Chef Rolland Villars.
- Windsor Marapendi: If you want to stay in the center of the Olympic Games happenings, Barra da Tijuca, you should step by this lovely hotel.
Where to dine?
Brazilian cuisine is a melting pot of tastes, colors and traditions. It is at the heart of the country’s culture and based on making original combinations that will drive you to pure bliss. From all the delicious restaurants to try out, I would definitely recommend the following two:
- Rubaiyat: The chef offers typical Brazilian dishes like Feijoada, Picanha com Farofa, as well as sea dishes like Caixote Marinho. It also proposes wide selection of wines but I would suggest you try their Caipirinha or Batida. An additional bonus when going for lunch, is the ability to enjoy the view of the horse races at the Jockey Club.
- La Carioca: If you like Ceviche this is the place to go! A very charming and petite restaurant, with a large variety of flavourful sea food combinations. In addition, they offer their own artisanal beer.
What to visit?
The difference between Rio de Janeiro and other metropolitan cities, is that Rio has this spectacular natural beauty that is worth exploring. Besides visiting the Christ Redeemer, Sugar Loaf and the stunning art museums, here are some locations that must be on your list:
- Pedra Bonita: If you like challenges and walks in the woods, hike to Pedra Bonita and enjoy the stunning views at 500 meters above the sea. If you’re an early riser take the opportunity and watch the sunrise, it’s definitely a magical moment. Besides “Pedra Bonita”, it is also possible to hike in “Morro dos dois Irmãos” or even the Sugar Loaf where you’ll find waterfalls during the walk.
- Prainha and Grumari: Besides the famous Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches, you can take your umbrella and visit these two paradisiac beaches just 40 minutes out.
- Santa Teresa: This neighborhood will transport you to a completely different world. It is located right “above” the business center downtown. It’s a very artistic and bohemian quarter, with stunning old houses restored to boutique hotels, restaurants and shops, as well as artist’s studios, cafés and guest houses.
Where to shop?
- Ipanema: The posh neighborhood is a delight on a sunny day. After a morning at the beach, walk through the streets in the shade of large trees. The best stores are all gathered in this area. The bonus is that every last weekend of the month local producers gather in the park of Ipanema to form an exceptional street market. You’ll find amazing accessories and clothes created by locals, art pieces and traditional food.
- Leblon: In the trendy Leblon area, you can find many street shops as well as the Leblon Shopping Mall. Probably the best in town with many international and Brazilian designer clothing brands.
Where to have breakfast?
The most important meal of the day definitely needs to be in a great place. Here are my favorites:
- Felice Cafe: A café that is always open for breakfast, lunch & dinner... with fresh and selected dishes that will give you the energy to start your day well.
- Parque Lage: This park is in the Botanic Garden neighborhood (also worth visiting). A beautiful place to have a Sunday brunch, located in a historical building. After a relaxing breakfast, take a moment to visit the gardens around it and the art pieces presented by the Art School of Parque Lage.
Where to go out?
The Rio nightlife is definitely full of surprises and credits should be mostly attributed to its fun and open minded population. Here are some spots worth a visit:
- Palaphita Lagoa: An open space in an area called Gávea, with a beach atmosphere in front of the Jockey Club and with a direct view to the Christ Redeemer. Right in front you have an area called “Baixa Gavea” where every Thursday students get together for drinks before going out to Palaphita.
- Circo Voador & Mem de Sá: Both places are located in an area called Lapa. If you’re looking to listen to Brazilian artists, look in Circo Voador. Afterwards, bring your friends to Mem de Sá, a bar where they serve “Cachaça de Jambu” which is very famous among Brazilians.
- Leblon: For a more refined atmosphere to have a drink: go to Leblon! You will find many cool spots to enjoy a nice evening with your friends.