Christ Redeemer statue,
overlooking Rio de Janeiro.
The very name
conjures up exotic dreams of Brazilian metropolitan allure, beautiful
beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema, wild carnival
celebrations, and life always lived to the hilt.
popular belief, Rio de Janeiro is not the capital city of Brazil
(although it still acts like it! - but Brasilia has held that
title since 1960.)
de Janeiro continues to boast one of the most impressive harbors
of any in the world, with surroundings such as Sugarloaf Mountain and the hills of Tijuca. With the addition of the 2,330-foot Corcovado
mountain topped by the gargantuan Christ
Redeemer statue Rio never fails to wow first-time tourists.
Getting around Rio
A cable car travels up the
summit to Sugarloaf for
spectacular views of Rio.
world city, Rio is actually a collection of neighborhoods, or zonas.
These include, sadly, the city's infamous favelas
or hill slums that have gained a notorious reputation of late
for their illicit drug culture and violence. In stark counterpoint
to its poorer neighborhoods, you'll find Rio's famous beaches
(and most of its major attractions) lying further to the south.
Rio central is where you will find busy financial district as
well as many historical monuments while outlying areas contain
one of the world's fastest growing metro suburbs.
With a city
map and a quick pointer finger, taxis are probably the quickest way
around town. Bright yellow and seemingly everywhere, they are usually hard to miss.
by the hundreds also busily crisscross the city everyday, but
foreign visitors with little knowledge of Portuguese are better
advised to take the Rio
While not as extensive as the overland system, Rio's
underground public transport has stops at most of the city's most
popular tourist sites and is conveniently marked throughout with signs in
both Portuguese and English.
Sleeping and eating in Rio
As you might
expect of any big metropolitan city, hotels in Rio range from
budget students hostels to 5-star hotels. Vacation apartment rentals
are also widely available, with an opportunity to experience a
bit more authentic flavor of everyday life in Rio.
are also many and varied, appealing to any taste or price range
(including Wendy's and McDonalds!), but don't leave the city
without trying a neighborhood restaurant serving
up Brazil's signature dish, feijoada
(fay-zho-AH-da, a savory stew of black beans served with pork,
sausage or beef) to truly experience the spice of Rio life ...
DID YOU KNOW? Rio de Janeiro Travel Fun Facts
• Rio de Janeiro receives almost 3 million visitors a year who are attracted to the beaches, the party atmosphere and, of course, the world famous annual Rio Carnival celebration.
• Cheap and fashionable, Havaianas is the popular brand of Brazilian flip-flops worn by almost everyone in Rio.
• You can keep in great shape in Rio where more than 46 miles of bicycle paths stretch mainly alongside the shoreline and beaches.
• Eating out in Rio may be expensive, but Rio street vendors are there to the rescue! Try the the tapiocas (thin crepes filled with sweet or savory fillings), Pao de Queijo (bread and cheese rolled into very additive and chewy morsels), or the fresh popped popcorn available in sweet caramel or salted.
Rio de Janeiro tourist attractions around the Web:
- Local resident with insider tips to the best beaches in Rio
de Janeiro, favorite restaurants, clubs & nightlife, photo
virtual tour, maps, travel itineraries, gay Rio guide and lots
de Janeiro Travel Information
- Lonely Planet guide to top attractions including directions
to Christ Redeemer, Ipanema, and more with overviews of clubs and
entertainment, the 2016 Olympics, practical travel tips, maps