As the most visited city in the Southern Hemisphere, Rio de Janeiro is plentiful in its beaches, dramatic mountains, and backdrops of samba and bossa nova rhythms. Its vibrant city centre is bursting with culture and pulsating with a deep sense of history and heritage, too. As the second largest city in Brazil, it is famous for the largest Art Deco statue in the world, Christ the Redeemer, who beckons visitors to Corcovado Mountain.
With extravaganzas of feasting, music, dance, and costumed reveltry, it is easy to fall in love with Rio de Janeiro. Because of its many cultural and historical attractions, Rio has implemented fabulous infrastructure to cater to the needs of its visitors. This includes world-class accommodation for events such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which welcomed millions of people as they made their way to this international sporting event, and the 2016 Summer Olympics, inviting athletes and their millions of fans to this wonderful bustling destination.
Where To Eat
As in their name, Prana Vegetariano, pictured above, is known primarily for their delicious vegetarian dishes. This perfect lunch stop is only steps away from the entrance to the funicar to Christ the Redeemer. Here the juices are homemade from fresh ingredients, so make sure to stop in for a juicer or smoothie before you begin your hot day up the mountain!
L’Atelier du Cuisinier
Known specifically for their French cuisine, L’Atelier du Cuisinier offers a daily changing menu that always hosts divine looks and tastes. As well as the delicious cuisine can be found a great selection of wine for those interested. As a small and cozy place in downtown Rio, this restaurant is loved by locals and tourists, so make sure to book a reservation in advance.
Estrelas da Babilonia
Make sure not to miss this little hidden gem! With one of the best views of Rio combined with excellent and affordable food, this is a must go to when visiting Rio. The owner and staff are very friendly and always going the extra mile to put their guests first. What more could you ask for?
For every meat lover, this Brazilian Steakhouse is perfect for you. With an extensive variety of meats, it will have you drooling in no time! Even on the busiest days, this restaurant still has excellent service and serves, who are quick to respond to any needs you may have. At a base cost, feel free to eat however much you would like. No need to get up though, as the servers will bring you anything you need right to the table!
Made famous by song, the 2 mile stretch of sand known as Ipanema Beach has drawn tourists for decades now. With gorgeous mountain views and cobalt waters, this beach has a warm and welcoming atmosphere you don’t want to miss out on. Catch locals playing a game of futevolei (Brazilian version of volleyball without hands) or grab a fresh shrimp grilling nearby on skewers on this exquisite beach.
Christ The Redeemer
Recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this iconic landmark is a must see attraction when visiting Rio. This statue of Jesus Christ stands at 2,330 foot elevation with his arms outstretched to the city below. As a religious and cultural symbol of the Brazilian’s warm and welcoming culture, this 125 foot tall Christ is visited by nearly 2 million people each year.
Tijuca National Park
This national park is perfect for the outdoorsy types, as it will be a treat to explore this expansive green rainforest. Covering 8,300 acres, Tijuca National Park is the largest urban rainforest on the planet. Over 3 million tourists take advantage of its beauty every year. With over 1,600 plant species and more than 350 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, this is a place that you don’t want to miss during your stay in Rio.
Where To Stay
Hotel Santa Teresa Rio MGallery by Sofitel
Don’t miss the opportunity to stay in a hotel with views as beautiful as the one pictured above. With impeccable interior design, lovely gardens, and a grand pool, this hotel will certainly charm you. With world class service, the Hotel Santa Teresa staff is always available to fulfill any of your needs.
Rio Othon Palace Hotel
Located right in front of Copacabana beach, Rio Othon Palace Hotel is the perfect place for everyone of its guest to have a comfortable and stress free stay. Indulge in a night at the hotel restaurant on the 30th floor, which gives a spectacular view of Sugarloaf Mountain. If you’d rather a night in, take advantage of the 24/7 room service delivered right to your door.
Windsor California Hotel
With a prime location, the Windsor California Hotel is perfect for those who will enjoy their stay at the beach. Located on the edge of Copacabana beach, it is just a quick walk over, with a complimentary beach towel in hand. An even quicker walk is the rooftop pool and bar. Surrounding the hotel are shops and restaurants ready for your enjoyment.
- Generally, Tipping is not compulsory and also not expected from the local people. However, additional tips can be given in appreciation of the service or to round up the bill to a whole number.
- Throughout Brazil, a great way to find cheap eats is to look out for restaurants which say “por kilo”. Pile your plate and pay by weight for usually around 24 BRL.
- Try to avoid the tap water. Even locals don’t drinkit. You’ll easily find bottled water everywhere, or you can bring your own purifying device.
- In Rio de Janeiro, you need to call a bus just like you would do with a taxi. Even if you’re at a bus stop, it won’t pick you up unless you raise your hand and manifest your interest.
- Visit two of the best museums for free. The great Museu de Manhã and the nearby Rio Museum of Art, offer free admission on Tuesdays. Definitely worth a visit if you have some spare time, or if you happen to visit Rio on one of its rare rainy days.
- Restaurants in Rio are fairly expensive so if you want to save money on food, avoid eating on the beaches, stick to the local fare, and eat at street food vendors whenever you can.