Go to the beach, explore the Centre and Santa Teresa, appreciate the views from Cristo and Pao de Azucar, try the national dishes and drinks, dance Samba and assist to a football game at Maracanã. Take a look at our special section of Rio de Janeiro Tours and start planning your Brazil trips today!
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Many of the beaches in Rio de Janeiro are artificially enlarged with vast amounts of sand. This has created pretty strange and strong currents who are responsible for quite a few drowning accidents. Follow the signs and always make sure someone is keeping an eye on you from the shore.
Once famous with Hollywood stars and with the Copacabana Palace Hotel as the symbol of that period, Copacabana is still a wonderful place.
Visit it in the early morning to see the sunrise or enjoy one of the many sports you can practice (or watch them from a kiosk having a caipirinha!) volleyball, beach volley, foot volley, football, frescoball, jogging, surfing, boogie boarding and so on. On Sundays and holidays half of the beach avenue Av. Atlântica is closed for traffic. At that time people on bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, joggers all taking advantage of that beautiful beach walk.
While Copacabana means middle class and old glam days, Ipanema means fashion, young and perfect bodies.
During the last military regime it became some kind of an alternative stronghold for the opposition. Around Posto 9 (life guard tower 6) young leftist intellectuals and hippies smoked weed and exchanged opinions, closer to Posto 8 gay people were meeting and over in Arpoador was the surfers meeting point. Although politics are not anymore an important issue on the beach, this area still holds a little of each group.
At Leblon beach you will find more people form the upper local class.
Two of the less famous ones…secrets of Cariocas!
It is considered to be the best surf beach in Rio. It has a few kiosks with food and drinks. Avoid weekends, too crowded!
The best way to get there (if you don’t have a car) is The Surf Bus. It is a specially designed bus that can take up to 30 passengers with their boards. They run everyday and have English speaking staff on board. Call 8702-2837 to confirm a pick up, they will then give you a time and street corner to be at for the pick-up.
Located at the foot of the Sugarloaf it is a very special place to be. The water for some reason (it is located quite deep in to the bay) always seems to be quite clean here. There are a few good restaurants in the area and the beach makes a perfect combination with a visit to the Sugarloaf.
Many pedestrian streets come super alive in week days after office hours, when all the workers go out for the happy hour. Join in on one of the many bars with tables outside to feel like another carioca.
The mostimportant cultural centre of Rio. There are free expositions, movies and music concerts.
The impressive architecture of this building, as well as its decoration, makes it the most photogenic church of Brazil.
This Paris style theater is recently restored and is the house of Rio’s opera and ballet. Highly recommended to visit!
It used to be the uppermost residential neighborhood in the 19th century. During 1969s and 1970s many artists and bohemians moved into Santa Teresa’s mansions, giving it the bohemian style it has nowadays.
This is the last of all historic street cars that once crisscrossed through city. It is the icon of the bohemian Santa Teresa and therefore drives between the city center and Santa Teresa.
This art museum, at the heart of Santa Teresa, allows wonderful views of the city from its lovely garden, which is situated next to Parque das Ruinas.
It keeps the good ambience of the antique and nostalgic Rio. It gets full in weekends with locals so get early (Saturday feijoada’s day!). Entrances around ar$50.
Try to avoid this spot between 10am and 11am, and 2pm to 3pm because at those times buses full of tourists arrive. Also if its weekend or a National Holiday, bear in mind that you might find a long line. So– if you are planning to go for sunset head there a couple of hours ahead in order to avoid seeing the sunset from a line! Then enjoy the great view from 400mts above Rio.
Little more than 700mts above sea level, the impressive statue and photogenic view point is maybe Rio’s most touristy spot, but also a must. Very recommended to go as early in the morning as you can (opens daily at 8.30am) to avoid the crowd.
At the end of the 19th century, immigrants from Bahia state brought with them the tradition of playing candombe and dancing a bahian dance called the samba. In the slums of downtown Rio, a place referred to as ‘Little Africa’, they established a number of religious houses devoted to religious ceremonies where they played and danced the early forms of samba. Since then this dance has been the rhythm of Brazil.
There are two ways of experiencing it if you are not attending the famous Carnaval:
1) Samba Schools
The Samba Schools are social clubs, representing a particular neighborhood. They provide entertainment through popular dance nights, just like dance clubs do. They also prepare for and compete annually in the Samba Parade (known as Rio Carnaval). They represent the community spirit of a neighborhood, which is usually a particular shanty-town (favela). They are the best organized entities in the slums, having a direct impact on the society with thousands of people joining rehearsals, samba nights and carnival preparations. They are often politically involved, too.
They are not teaching institutions, as their name suggests, and do not offer samba classes. However you can attend any of their samba nights and learn how to dance just by watching others. The origin of the name samba school comes from the fact, as legend suggests, that the early sambistas used to rehearse in an empty lot near college teachers. “We also teach! Here the students learn to breathe and live samba!”
– Beija-Flor: Pracinha Wallace PaesLeme 1025 – Nilópolis.
Tel. 21-2791 2866
Samba nights: Thursdays 21:00 – Colors: blue and white
Established in 1948
– Grande Rio: Colégio São José, Av. Presidente Kennedy – Duque de Caxias
Samba nights: Fridays 22:00 Colors: red, green and white
Established in 1988
– Unidos da Tijuca: RuaRivadávia Correa, 60 –Gamboa
Tel. 21-2263 -9679 | 21-2516-2749
Samba nights: Fridays and Saturdays 20:00 Colors: yellow and blue
Established in 1931
– Imperatriz Leopoldinense: Rua Professor Lacê 235 – Ramos
Samba nights: Sundays 20:00- Colors: green, white and gold
Established in 1959
The Gafieiras are the traditional dance-halls of Rio, so if you like, it’s ‘dance-hall’ samba, and so it’s danced in the embrace, unlike samba no pé – which you may dance in a crowd at Carnival, but you’re not in contact with a partner. Gafieira is originated from the maxixe, a partner dance that appeared in Brazil at the same time as the tango was emerging in Buenos Aires – and was probably similar to the tango danced in the black clubs of Buenos Aires in the eighteen-eighties.
– Gafieira Estudantina: Praça Tiradentes 79 – Centro RJ.
Tel. 21- 2232 1149
Opened in 1932, the GafieiraEstudantina was designed as an alternative to the old dance halls popular during the 1930s. Today it is a nightspot which offers a setting for a wide variety of styles and rhythms, helping to popularize ballroom dancing. By being a meeting point for artists, singers and song-writers, it has always been attracting many visitors.
– Carioca da Gema: Av. Mem de Sá 79–Centro.
One of the best little venues in town, Carioca da Gema offers samba all the time. Even on weeknights when many other places are closed or empty, Carioca da Gema is often hopping.
– Rio Scenarium: Rua do Lavradio 20 – Lapa.
Considered by The Guardian as one of the top ten bars in the world, probably it is at least the most beautiful of Rio. Even though it is always busy and visited by many tourist it is still a classic.
RuaAprazível 62, Santa Teresa –RJ, Tel. 21 – 2508 – 9174. Part of the charm is the house itself. The restaurant takes up several rooms and spills over into a garden. Where the view of downtown Rio and Guanabara Bay is beautiful. Not cheap but catalogued as best restaurant in Rio by many Travel Guides.
Rua Almirante Alexandrinho 264, Santa Teresa- RJ, Tel 21- 2507 4840.Set in a beautiful restored mansion in Santa Teresa, with sweeping views from its back patio. Amazing seafood dishes.
Rua Dias Ferreira 116, Leblon, Tel. 21 -2511-1476. This very stylish hole in the wall seats no more than 30, making it the perfect place for a romantic evening. The menu is quite varied — try the deep-fried tuna roll with a honey-sweetened soy sauce for dipping or the tempura prawn roll with smoked salmon.
Barata Ribeiro, 7, Copacabana, Tel 21-2275–6147. Inexpensive, young and colorful. Good option for a relaxed night.
Rua Nossa Senhora de Copacabana 434, Copacabana – RJ, Tel 21- 2547 -2871. One of the neighborhood’s popular meeting points. This airy bar serves mainlyBrazilian dishes and fresh beer. Gets full on Saturday nights.
Av.Atlantica corner with Rua Peru (Posto 3), Copacabana – RJ, Tel. 21 – 2236-6768. This traditional restaurant located on the beach front has amazing seafood, pasta, and high quality caipirinhas! Easy if you are staying in Copacabana.
99 Paschoal Carlos Magno St. Santa Teresa RJ- Tel: 21 2221 9227. Excellent choice for a beer. It has the good ambience of the antiqued and nostalgic. It gets full with locals during weekends, so you should get there early (Saturday feijoada’s day!).
RuaGonçalves Dias 32, Centro, Tel. 021 -2505 -1500. The huge, elegant space opens up to a canopy of stained glass that washes filtered light onto huge mirrors. Marble tables and heavy cane-seated chairs are spaced generously around the tile floor. Come here at least for coffee, it deserves the trip to downtown.
Rua São José, 86, in Rio’s Centro, Tel. 21-2533-9285. Thisis a classic botequim. Get a cafezinho because you must (0.80 reais, or about 40 cents at 2.1 reais to the U.S. dollar), but be sure to sample the classic sandwiches like pernil (marinated roast pork) and rib roast (4.50 reais). Or for a lighter snack, get the classic combination of media (cafezinho with milk) with pãonachapa com manteiga (grilled buttered bread) for under 3 reais.
Rua 7 de Setembro, 137, Centro, Tel. 21-2221-0533.This is theoldest botequim in Rio. The interior is a little cramped, and the fluorescent lights dispatch any remaining charm, but the cakes are delicious.
RuaMariaQuitéria, 77, Ipanema, Tel. 21 – 2 22 – 5039. The Armazén do Café is a local chain with eight locations in Rio. The one at this address is the first opened 10 years ago in Ipanema. Coffee blends reflect the range of beans available from different parts of Brazil, and the place is often hopping.
501 Almirante Alexandrino St. Centro. RJ Downtown – Tel: 21-2221-8992. It is a big mansion and Epitomizes Santa Teresa’s theatrical decay. Flip through a small but well-chosen collection of books about Brazilian history, art and culture, and sigh before the vista of Rio spread out below.
Rua da Quitanda, 191, Centro, Tel. 21 – 2223 – 3214. Some of the best espresso (2.20 reais) can be found in Café Rubro, either at this address or one of the other two locations in the city. As you sit in the small, gleaming shop at Rua de Quitanda, coffee blenders are working hard a few floors above you, in rooms rich with the earthy smell of green coffee from all over Brazil.
Small cups of strong dark coffee (called cafezinhos) are usually served free by the cashier or exit. Look for a thermos and a stack of little plastic cups.
Salad is popular and always found on buffets. Hot vegetables are not so common in Brazil. However you will often find cold steamed vegetables on buffets. Pumpkin (abóbora)comes up a fair bit. Also carrot (cenoura), corn (milho), aubergine (beringela), pepper (pimentão), potato (batata) & palm hearts (palmitos).
“Por kilo restaurtant” are restaurants with buffet. After filling your plate with whatever you like, they weight your plate and they give you a paper stating the amount you owe.
Rodizio Restaurants, usually referred to as Churrascaria, have large buffets where you pay a set price. Sometimes it appears that you are served at the table by waiters offering you unlimited amounts of meat and pizza.
Lanchonetes are cheap eateries where you can get different sorts of snacks, juices and fast food.
Prato Feito (PF) means the meal of the day. Mostly it is something with beef, chicken or fish served along with rice, beans, salad etc. In almost all restaurants this is the quickest and cheapest option, it is served almost everywhere but it can be that it is not mention on the menu, but don’t hesitate to ask a waiter.
Salgados are savory pastries which are usually fried. They are sold in many places for about R$1.50 each.
Coxinha are fried pyramids of manioc filled with either meat, chicken or fish.
Tapioca is cassava flour fried lightly in butter like a pancake and topped with different toppings.
Catupiry is a type of cream cheese which is often mixed with chicken.
Queijo e Goiaba, a mix of white cheese and guava jelly and often also referred to as “Romeo & Juliet”.
If you want to try roasted pork, try Pernil. It is very tasty!
Up for sharing? Prato para duas pessoas is a meal designed for 2 people, sometimes you don’t think it, but you can assume that most Brazilian meals are enough for 2 or 3 people.
Moqueca do peixe is highly recommended if you like seafood. This famous Bahian dish of fish, shrimp, and crab is served in a hot cassarole dish. The sauce is made from coconut milk, tomate pure, onions, peppers, tomato, coriander and dende oil (oil from a palm tree). On the side rice, farofa (a fried manioc flour. Manioc is a root vegetable who is also called cassava or yuca) and pirão are served. It’s delicious!
Aipim Frito is like fried potato wedges but in this case they are fried manioc pieces.
If you want to order normal french fries, ask for patatas fritas.
Feijão are black beans which are often combined with pork in order to add flavor.
Please, note although we update information every year, during high season some new restaurants open and some others close, so please, always check before going for a meal with the reception of your hotel.
As most big cities, distances in Rio de Janeiro downtown are measured in blocks. Where each block is around 100m each.
Within the city there are several options of transportation. You can take the bus, the metro or a taxi. A typical journey in a taxi will cost between R$15 and R$35, which is approximately between USD 4 and USD 6.
In order to get to know the city we recommend you to take a city tour on one of your first days. It will show you all the highlights of the city and it will make it easier for the other days to get around.
There is a useful governmental tourism website which you can check for free activities of the week, news and official information.
Any foreign consulate can provide a list of area doctors who speak English. If you get sick, consider asking at the reception of your hotel for a local doctor, they normally have a list of doctors you can visit.
If you worry about getting sick away from home, you may want to consider medical travel insurance. In most cases, however, your existing plan will provide all the coverage you need, but call to make this sure. Be sure to carry your identification card in your wallet. You should also ask for receipts or notes from the doctors, which you might need for you claim.
Copa D’Or Hospital
Barra D’Or Hospital
Calling from Rio de Janeiro: pay phones operate with chip card or change and allow you to make short or long distance calls.
Direct International Dial-Up: 00 + (xx) + country code + area code + number. The (xx) strand for the telecommunications company chosen to complete the call. In Brazil the ones that cover the whole country and make international calls are “Embratel” (their code is “21”) Intelig (“23”) and Vivo (“15”). Depending on the company you choose the costs can vary.
Calling to Rio de Janeiro: the international prefix for Brazil is 55 and for Rio de Janeiro is 21. For example to reach the number 4555-5555 in Rio de Janeiro when calling from abroad, dial: 00-55-21-4555-5555.
– Federal Police: 194
– Fire Department: 193
– Medical Aid: 192
Since English is not very common in Rio de Janeiro we recommend you (if time allows) to study some basic Portuguese before you travel. Try to get a basic understanding on what the restaurants are offering and how to find or ask for the way since most cab drivers and waiters don’t speak any English. Furthermore, a pocket-sized Brazilian Portuguese dictionary could come in handy on your trip.
The inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro are called Cariocas and represent a microcosm of Brazil’s ethnic diversity and include people of European, African and mixed ancestry.
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Enjoy a different and unique walking tour designed to feel the legends and stories woven through the narrow streets and old historical buildings of downtown Rio. Visit many interesting points, such as tthe Metropolitan Cathedral, Carioca Square, Imperial Palace, the Casa França-Brasil and the cultural centre located in the beautifully-restored Banco do Brasil, Duration: 4 hours, operates Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Explore the two major landmarks of Rio and even Brazil. Take a look at the horizon, mountains, history and people of this fantastic city. Begin the tour by riding the cog-wheel train up Corcovado Mountain to reach the spectacular view at the top: the sea, the mountains, the millions of houses and all of the amazing nature that captivate the eyes. Enjoy lucnh in one of our favorite restaurants and continue visting the famous Sugarloaf Mountain, reaching the top by cable car. Gaze down to admire Río´s downtown, its Colonial Portuguese style buildings, the glittering waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful beaches below.
Visit Dona Marta, one of the most traditional slums in Rio and the first community to receive an overwhelming program of rehabilitation and social services implemented by the state government. Observe the routine of this community while admiring the stunning views from the top of the hill. Go for a small walk in Tijuca Atlantic Forest, the largest urban forest in the world. up to the beautiful Cascatinha Fall. Be surprised by the stunning contrast of this dense vegetation just outside of the big city. Duration: 5 hours.
Leave the bustling city of Rio behind to enjoy the small city of Petropolis, enchanted by the memory of Brazilian history and charming streets. Located about 60km in the middle of lush forests, Petropolis was the summer residence of Brazil’s emperor, Pedro II during his almost sixty year reign. Enjoy a visit to the Imperial Museum (former summer residence of the Emperor), house of highlighting Brazil’s imperial history with many displays such as the former crown jewels and crown. Walk through the town taking in the beautiful houses and buildings. Also visit the cathedral where Emperor Pedro II and his wife are buried.
Phone call centers are found everywhere in the city. On the streets there are also pay phones called “big ears” (“orelhão”) because of their hooded shape. Unless you are calling directory assistance (102) or emergency numbers, they require a phone card. These phone cards are called cartaotelefonico and can be bought at newsstand or street vendors for R$25. The public phones also allow you to make long distance calls.
The Brazil currency is the “Real” (pronounced ray-all) or plural “Reais” (pronounced ray-eyes), and is denoted as R$.
The Real has similar denominations as the US dollar, notes come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Real. One Real equals 100 centavos; and coins come in denomination of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 centavos and 1 Real. The 1 Real coin is very popular in Brazil and it’s a good idea to keep some of these on hand at all times.
Exchanging foreign money into Brazilian currency in Rio de Janeiro is easy and is most commonly done at Bank ATMs, Cambios (stores that specialize in currency exchange), and at travel agencies. Currency exchange rates are posted in the window of most banks and at these agencies.
Banks open daily from 10 am till 16 pm. Not all bank exchange foreign currency but there are many currency exchange shops.
ATM cash machines can be found everywhere in the city, but they mostly only dispense Real currency. We recommend to use ATMs which are located inside the bank lobbies, and try to avoid ATMs on the streets or in the late evening (most ATMs turn off at 11pm). The current daily maximum withdrawal is R$ 1000.
It is recommended to bring a debit and a credit card when traveling to another country. However, never bring both of them at the same time. Always leave one in the safe of your hotel so you have a back-up when one card gets stolen.
Credit card payments are accepted at many places, but make sure whenever paying with you credit card that it is never out of your site and that they make use of electronic transactions (not an old fashioned imprint machine).
Traveler’s checks are very impractical in Rio de Janeiro. Most restaurants and stores don’t accept them as a payment method. Nobody likes them in Rio de Janeiro and you can use your own debit or credit card at ATM machines at most major banks.
The Portuguese word for tipping is Gorjeta. We would like to stress out that tipping is a personal choice and should be based upon the quality of the service provided. Nobody should expect a tip and do not feel obligated to give one if you are unsatisfied with the service.
It is difficult to give firm guidelines about how much to tip for a service. In general terms, we can say it´s normal practice in Latin-America to tip anyone who provides a service, including waiters, guides, porters, room-service, and maid-service in hotels. For everyone, with the possible exception of guides, it is more convenient to receive a tip in local currency.
Almost all restaurants include a 10% to 12% gratuity on the bill. Tipping above this amount in not expected or necessary.
You can tip hotel porter and taxi drivers for carrying your suitcases, which is mostly about R$ 1 per bag. If you are happy with the house keeping you may want to consider tipping the maid R$ 5 per day. You could also tip the concierge staff if they have helped you with making dinner reservations, transportation or leisure activities.
Cab drivers normally don’t expect a tip. A few cent remaining in a real is ok.
Rio de Janeiro has the fame of a crime-ridden city. However, during the past two years a security campaign has been led by the ex-president Lula Da Silva and things have been getting better. The country hosted the Football World Cup in 2014 and is heading to the Olympics in 2016, which led to an increase in the safety of the city.
However, using a money belt while traveling is still recommendable. As well as using the safe box in your hotel. Leave your passport in the safe because there is no need to carry it around the city while exploring.
Furthermore, when you are visiting the beach, do not take any valuable things with you if you go for the day. Also try to avoid walking at the beach by night.
In Centro and Santa Teresa you should try to avoid walking around with your camera if you are not part of a traveling group.
In general we recommend you to not wear any expensive jewelry, because this will be noticed immediately by robbers. Furthermore, be aware of your belongings and avoid using your wallet of the street.
Scams are present in many large cities and therefore it is good to know about some common scams on forehand. Try to avoid looking lost on the streets, a seemingly kind bystander might approach you with the intentions of helping you and while your attention is occupied, they will pick your pockets or snatch your bag. The best thing is to look assertive and walk with a purpose, and say explicitly you don’t want any help. If you are lost always go into a nearby restaurant or hotel and ask them for help.
Taxi drivers in Rio de Janeiro are usually honest, but occasionally they decide to take advantage of the fact that you are a tourist. If they ask you to pay upfront the ride, don’t accept this and go out of the car. This is illegal and it indicates that the cab driver is setting his own prices and is not going to use the clocked meter. All official taxis in the city have clocked meters and they can only charge the price which is shown on the meter.
“Standing atop the 710m peak of Corcovado, you will see why Rio is called the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City). Lushly forested mountains fringe the city, with shimmering beaches tracing the shoreline and a string of tiny islands scattered along the seafront. Far from being mere cinematic backdrop, this seaside beauty hosts outstanding outdoor adventures: hiking the Tijuca rainforest, cycling alongside the lake and beaches, sailing across Baía de Guanabara, and surfing, rock-climbing and hang-gliding amid one of the world’s most stunning urban landscapes…” read more
“(…) Sitting on the southern shore of the magnificent Guanabara Bay, Rio has, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most stunning settings in the world. Extending for 20km along an alluvial strip, between an azure sea and forest-clad mountains, the city’s streets and buildings have been moulded around the foothills of the mountain range that provides its backdrop, while out in the bay there are many rocky islands fringed with white sand. The aerial views over Rio are breathtaking, and even the concrete skyscrapers that dominate the city’s skyline add to the attraction. As the former capital of Brazil and now its second largest city, Rio has a remarkable architectural heritage, some of the country’s best museums and galleries, superb restaurants and a vibrant nightlife – in addition to its legendary beaches. With so much to see and do, Rio can easily occupy a week and you may well find it difficult to drag yourself away…” read more
“(…)As you leave the airport and head to Ipanema or Copacabana, you´ll drive for about 40 minutes on a highway from where you´ll begin to get a sense of the dramatic contrast between beautiful landscape and devastating poverty. In this teeming metropolis of 12 million peope (6.2 million of whom live in Rio proper), the very rich and the very poor live in uneasy proximity. But by the time you reach Copacabana´s breezy, sunny AvenidaAtlântica – flanked on one side by white beach and azure sea and on the other by condominiums and hotels – your heart will leap with expectation as you begin to recognize the postcard-famous sights. Now you´re truly in Rio, where cariocas (Rio residents) and tourists live life to its fullest.
Enthusiasms is contagious in Rio. Prepare to have your senses engaged and your inhibitions untied. Rio seduces with a host of images: the joyous bustle of vendors at Sunday´s Feira Hippie (Hippie Fair); the tipsy babble at sidewalk cafés as patrons sip their last glass of icy beer under the stars; the blanket of lights beneath the Pão de Acúcar (Sugar Loaf) morro; the bikers, joggers, strollers, and power walkers who parade along the beach each morning. Borrow the carioca spirit for your stay; you may find yourself reluctant to give it back.” read more
“It is a common mistake to think of Rio as Brazil’s capital, a distinction it lost on 21 April 1960 when newly built Brasilia became the capital. Beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema, the Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue, the stadium of Maracanã and Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) are all well-known sights of what the inhabitants call the “marvelous city” (cidademaravilhosa), and are also among the first images to pop up in travelers´ minds, along with the Carnaval celebration.
Sadly, most people also know Rio for its violence and crime. The drug lords and the slums, or favelas, are the tip of very old social problems. The favelas are areas of poor-quality housing, slums usually located on the city’s many mountain slopes, juxtaposed with middle-class neighborhoods. But now, with the UPP’s (Unidade de PolíciaPacificadora = Pacifying Police Unit) almost all the favelas are safe to go, because the police took the area from the drug dealers, so you can go there for some cultural gathering. A pretty calm and safe favela is “Morro do Pinto”. It is so calm that it doesn’t look like part of this urban Rio and it is in the center of the city.
The South Zone holds most of Rio’s landmarks and world-famous beaches, in an area of only 43.87 square km (17 mi²). Many of them are within walking distance of each other (for instance, the Sugar Loaf lies about 8 km/5 mi from Copacabana beach). Most hotels and hostels are located in this part of the city, which is compressed between the Tijuca Range (Maciço da Tijuca) and the sea. There are important places in other regions as well, such as Maracanã stadium in the North Zone and the many fascinating buildings in the Centre…” read more
“Say “Rio” and mental images explode: the glittering skimpy costumes of Carnaval; the statue of Christ, arms outspread on the mountaintop; the beach at Ipanema, crowded with women in minuscule bikinis; the rocky Sugarloaf; or the persistent rhythm of the samba.
Fortunately in Rio there’s much more beyond the glitter: historic neighborhoods, compelling architecture, wildlife and nature, dining (fine and not so fine), nightspots, cafes, museums, and enclaves of rich and poor. In Rio, the more you explore, the more there is.
Stunning as the physical setting is — mountains tumbling down to sandy beaches and the sea — Rio was not always the cidademaravilhosa (marvelous city) it would become. The town grew up as a shipping center for gold and supplies during Brazil’s 18th-century gold rush. In 1762, the colonial capital was transferred from Salvador to Rio, though the city remained a dusty colonial backwater…” read more
“A 15-minute stroll north along Avenida Rio Branco and the cultural revolution is in full swing. Where stereotypically seedy bars and clubs once dominated the port side, the gleaming Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) now stands over PraçaMauá, the flagship project of the Porto Maravilha urban intervention and the city’s first public museum for 70 years. Soon to be joined by the City Museum and the Museum of Tomorrow, film and television studios and artists’ workshops, the port, already host to the annual super-events Fashion Rio and Arte Rio, is taking the first steps towards becoming the city’s own take on London’s South Bank…” read more
For the first time in January 1502, Portuguese sailors saw a nice bay. Believing that was the end of a big river, they gave the bay the name Rio de Janeiro. Where Rio means river in Portuguese, and Janeiro means January. The city was found in 1565 by Estacio de Sa, with the name, Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, in honor of Dom Sebastiao, king of Portugal.
During the time that Rio de Janeiro was still the capital of Brazil, a lot of companies decided to establish their main offices in the city. Even after the movement of the capital to Brasília, many large companies decided to stay. Therefore, the economy of Rio de Janeiro is the 2nd largest regional economy, after São Paulo, and it’s the financial center of Brazil.
The city holds on to a highly diverse and robust economy, providing large-scale employment in both heavy and light industries like manufacturing, commerce, finance, trade, tourism, and many other service sectors.
Downtown Rio de Janeiro is estimated to have 6 million inhabitants
The city Rio de Janeiro is found on the 1st of March in 1565. Until early times of the 18th century, Rio de Janeiro was threatened and invaded by several, mostly French, pirates and buccaneers.
In the late 17th century during the Sugar Era, gold and diamonds were found in the neighboring captaincy of Minas Gerais, which made Rio de Janeiro a much more practical port for exporting wealth – like gold, precious stones, and of course sugar – than Salvador. Therefore, in 1763 the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro.
Until 1808 the city had only remained a colonial capital. But when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon´s invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro, the city became the capital of Portugal. Which made Rio de Janeiro the only capital of a European country outside Europe.
However, the movement of the Portuguese capital created on major problem for Rio de Janeiro. The city was not prepared for hundreds of noblemen who suddenly arrived. There was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate so many inhabitants. Which meant that many inhabitants were simply evicted from their homes.
But times changed when Prince Pedro proclaimed the independence of Brazil in 1822. Rio de Janeiro was no longer the capital of Portugal but was now used as the capital of the new empire led by Prince Pedro.
From 1889 Rio de Janeiro continued as the capital of Brazil when the monarchy was replaced by a republic. However this wasn´t for a long period, because plans for moving the capital to the territorial center had been occasionally discussed. And in 1955 when JuscelinoKubitschek was elected as first president, mainly because he promised to build a new capital, the capital of Brazil was officially moved from Rio de Janeiro to Brasília.
In 2007 the city hosted the Pan American Games and in 2014 de FIFA World Cup final was held in Rio de Janeiro. As well as that, announced on the 2nd of October 2009, Rio de Janeiro will host the Olympic Games of 2016. Beating the finalist competitors Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid.