A great friend living abroad asks for incredible experiences to recommend for tourists that visit Rio. I contacted some carioca (people that live/love Rio) to help me developing this list below. It has just started, please share with us the Rio you luv. Gratitude for everyone that contributed with that, and the best tip ever: feel free and have fun!
. Corcovado (image above) = Cristo Redentor, one of the “7 new wonders”
. Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar, image above)
. If you like gardens/parks, walking through Jardim Botânico is nice. All these activities are much better if it is a sunny day.
. Visit Santa Teresa. It is a traditional neighborhood up in a hill located downtown. From there you will get beautiful views of the city. I recommend going to Hotel Santa Teresa, they have a very nice bar (Bar dos Descasados) and restaurant (Tereze). Also recommend the restaurant Aprazivel, very nice Brazilian food, it is outdoors seating with great views of the city, wonderful food and caipirinhas. For a more informal experience, go to the “Mineiro” bar and eat a wonderful “feijoada” with refreshing cool beer!
. My favorite is Parque Lage, with delightful walk through its gardens.
. Try also the Arpoador area in the end of the afternoon to see the sunset, drinking something in Azul Marinho restaurant
. Go to Pedra Bonita (image above) to see people gliding, or even trying that !!!
. Go to Vargem Grand to meet some cool and beautiful restaurants like Bira and Tia Palmira
. If you like nature, visit Tijuca Forest, amazing, try going also to the Horto waterfalls. Vista Chinesa has an outstanding view of the city, but it´s better going with a local.
. I recommend Ipanema (image above) near the biggest palmtree or Leblon, near post 12. Copacabana is also ok, in my opinion the best view of the seashore in Rio. You can rent chairs/umbrellas everywhere.
. If you rent a car don’t miss Joatinga, Grumari or Prainha beaches (far from the city center, but real paradises)
. MAR (Museu de Arte do Rio, image above) is a new museum downtown Rio, has nice restaurant on the rooftop and nice views of the Guanabara Bay
. MAM – Museum of Modern Art (Aterro)
. MAC – Museum of Contemporary Art ( Niteroi)
. Sitio Burle Marx (neet to reserv it)
. Bhering Factory (image above), a new art spot, near Port region
. Instituto Moreira Salles (cafe+ great exhibitions
. Paço Imperial ( cafe+ great exhibitions)
. To meet our history, discover some guided visities in three spots: the historical downtown near Praça XV, the magnificent Morro da Conceição near Praça Mauá (near the Mar Museum) and Fiscal Island (Ilha Fiscal), with tours going on in every weekend at midday.
Places for coffee/afternoon snack
. Confeitaria Colombo (image above) is a must go in downtown
. For breakfast go to Cafeína (Ipanema or Leblon), Forte de Copacabana (they have a patisserie, it’s a calm place and the landscape is beautiful, or La bibyclete and Empório Jardim at Botanic Garden
. Parque Lage is also an historical site, with a beautiful park and the stunning view of Corcovado
. When walking around Leblon, you’ll see several grocery stores with fruits all around, I strongly recommend that you try some juices from these stores. There are a lot of them (Big Polis, Bibi Sucos, Balada…), the best one in opinion is BB Lanches (which is in the corner of Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva and Rua Aristides Espínola). If you enjoy fruits, you can mix different fruits in one same juice or try fruits that are not so common in US/Europe. One very good order is “açaí com banana”.(açaí is a dark berry fruit from the Amazon).
. Bar URCA ( one of our best views in Rio, in the neighborhood of Urca)
. Go to Praça Sao Salvador to meet typical cariocas having fun in an easygoing way, feeling as a local
. If you can, invite some friends to a Picnic in Parque Lage, Praça Paris or in the gardens of Modern Art Museum, specially on weekends. It will be unforgetable.
. Aprazível (image above) has yummy Brazilian food at St Teresa. Don’t miss this!!
. Zaza Bistro (Brazilian/Asian fusion – Ipanema)
. Tereze (inside Hotel Santa Teresa, where there is also a lovely bar/lounge called Bar dos Descasados)
. Le Vin (French – Ipanema)
. Gula Gula (Brazilian)
. Rubayat at Jockey Club (to see and be seen);
. To eat typical Brazilian northeast food, go to Pavilhão Sao Cristovao or Nova Capella (downtown)
. The restaurant of the Hotel Fasano and Satirycon are fancy and expensive, but you will eat very well (both in Ipanema).
. For a great pizza, go to Braz or Capricciosa (both in Jardim Botanico neighbourhood).
. For a meat meal, go to Porcão (ipanema or flamengo), or Fogo de Chão, famous brazilian “churrascarias”
. Bazaar, in Ipanema, has posh architecture and great food
. Meet Bar Lagoa to drink our best chopp (its like beer). Jobi in Leblon brings people to drink and flirt in a very carioca approach
. If you want to see different restaurants in the same area and choose one I suggest going to Lagoon (in Lagoa) or to Dias Ferreira Street (in Leblon). At Lagoon you can enjoy and check if there is any good show in Miranda, a concert hall in the same area. At Dias Ferreira st try Sushi Leblon if you are into Japanese food, and Momo ice cream.
. Just in case you prefer quieter environments, try going to Horto in Restaurante Borogodo or some options nearby.
. For a chill in before partying, you should try Meza Bar (image above) or Oztel in Humaitá area, packed with good bars and restaurants around.
. You really should visit a Samba School, they have venues going aroung everytime and serving delicious Feijoada. Try Portella, Mangueira (image above) or Mocidade. Take the train in Central do Brasil, amazing exprience.
. To start the party, in the end of the afternoon we recommend going to Palaphitas at Jockey Club, in Jardim Botânico
. At night, get to know Lapa (an area going through a revitalization process, full of bars…). Walk a little bit, grab beer and snacks in different bars and then one nice place to go is Rio Scenarium – it is a big old house full with antiquarian material (not valuable, but there are some crazy collections) and good quality live music. When in Lapa watch out for your belongings, it is usually safe but crowded so don’t bring valuables. Lapa is awesome!! If it´s packed try Carioca da Gema to dance samba in the same area.
. If you are interested in learning how to dance “forró” (typical brazilian music style) go to Estudantina on Tuesday’s around 9pm
. Also checkout which concerts are happening in Fundição Progresso and Circo Voador – famous venues of Rio.
. What about going up to a favela to have a different celebration? Mirante do Arvrão, in Morro do Vidigal, near Leblon, offers one of the best views of Rio. They generally have venues going on Saturdays nights, try going with a Rio resident. I recommend staying one night in the hostel nearby and watch to the sunrise. A-ma-zing!
. If you are into rap and hip hop you definitely should go to Viaduto de Madureira, where it happens every Saturday a uplifting scene and crew.
. If you are into electronic clubbing, search the clubs around the area of Sacadura Cabral street and parties near the port area in downtown, but it worths asking locals about theme parties in the moment of your visit.
. There is a very nice website that sell unique experiences in Rio. It´s called +Asas. There you will find several experiences to make your trip unforgettable 🙂
What about you, what´s the best of Rio?
André and many Rio lovers