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MAIN Arrow to Travel Travel Arrow to South America South America Arrow to Brazil Brazil Arrow to Rio de Janiero Rio de Janeiro

Christ Redeemer statue visitor info
Christ Redeemer statue,
overlooking Rio de Janeiro.


The very name conjures up exotic dreams of Brazilian metropolitan allure, beautiful Brazilian beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema, wild carnival celebrations, and life always lived to the hilt.

Contrary to 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.)

However, Rio 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

Sugar Loaf, Rio de Janeiro
A cable car travels up the
summit to Sugarloaf for
spectacular views of Rio.

A metropolitan 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.

Bus lines by the hundreds also busily crisscross the city everyday, but foreign visitors with little knowledge of Portuguese are better advised to take the Rio subway.

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.

Local restaurants 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 Carnival!

• 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.

More about 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 more.

Rio 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 and photos.

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