First Time Rio



Description:

First time visitors to Rio can be sure of one thing - they will be in no danger of getting bored! From the breathtaking beaches and chic drinking and dining scene of the South Zone to the colonial architecture of Centro and the buzzing nightlife of Lapa, there is so much to be explored that it can be hard to know where to start. There's certainly a lot to pack in, but our day by day (and night by night!)guide will help you make the most of a first time visit, whatever your budget. And hey, if you don't fit it all in, you can always come back!

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Author: Lucy


Capricciosa Pizza

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Location:

Rua Vinícius de Moraes, 134
Ipanema
22411-010 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2523 3394 / 55 21 2523 1169


Carême

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expert pick

Location:

Rua Visconde de Caravelas, 113
Botafogo
22271-030 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 25372374


Bar do Mineiro

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Location:

Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno 99, Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa
Rio e Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2271 9227


Bar Luiz

Location:

Rua da Carioca, 39
Centro
20050-008 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2262 6900 / 55 21 2517 0458
fax: 55 21 2262 5268


Day 1 - Rio de Janeiro


Copacabana is probably the most famous stretch of sand in the world, so where better to begin your stay in Rio de Janeiro? If you have the budget for it, go all out and book a room at the enduringly glamorous Copacabana Palace hotel. The glistening white façade, impeccable service and immaculately maintained rooms, together with the beautiful swimming pools and overall air of luxury combine to make this classic hotel well worth a first-night blow out. Budget travellers needn’t worry either, there are a wealth of good hostels here, among the best of which is Copacabana Wave Hostel. Just a couple of minutes’ walk from the beach, and close to Cantagalo metro station, the hostel has a great location and a friendly atmosphere. Stay here for the first night and you’ll make new friends right away! Wherever you stay, be sure to get up early and take advantage of breakfast in the hotel/hostel, which is usually included in the price. After breakfast, of course, it’s time to hit the beach! Copacabana Palace guests have the luxury of knowing that their belongings are kept under the watchful eye of the hotel’s own beach security, but otherwise be sure to exercise caution – bring just enough money for a drink and/or snack, along with your sarong (beach towels aren’t generally used here) and sun cream, and get ready to soak up some rays. After a couple of hours sunbathing, its time to drag yourself off the beach and head for the Corcavado Mountain, where the famous Christ statue stands with arms outstretched, embracing the city. Travellers with cash to splash may find it is time-effective to take an organised trip, while budget travellers might want to group together to take a taxi – fares are charged per cab (expect to pay around R$50 per car), so the more people, the cheaper the price. Alternatively, take a cab or bus to Cosmo Velho and ascend the scenic way, by the funicular train (around R$40 per person). If you’re lucky enough to be in town for a big futebol (soccer/football) match, it’s well worth heading back early to head out to the legendary Maracana stadium. Even if you’re not a fan of the sport, the atmosphere at the games makes this an unmissable experience – expect singing, dancing, flag waving and samba drumming. Again, organised trips (hotels and hostels both run these) are handy, but if you want your money to go further, take the Metro and buy your tickets at the gate. Especially lively are local derby matches – look out for Flamengo, Botagofo, Vasco and Fluminense. All that cheering is bound to have built up an appetite, and luxury travellers might want to dine in house and Copacabana Palace’s luxury Italian restaurant Cipriani, or relax by the pool with snacks at the less-formal Pergula. Alternatively, splash out on a meal at Le Pre Catalan, the restaurant at nearby Sofitel Rio. Arguably the city’s best French restaurant, the food here is well worth the high price tag. Budget travellers, meanwhile, can pick up a decent pizza or seafood meal at one of the glass kiosks that line the beach front (Siri Mole e Cia serves excellent Northeastern seafood) or at bar/restaurants that line Avenida Atlantica. Once you’re fed and watered, head on down to Bip Bip, a tiny little live music venue where you can here some fine local musicians jamming until the small hours.


1

Copacabana Palace

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Location:

Avenida Atlantica 1702
Copacabana
22021-001 Rio de Janeiro, BR

Contact:

tel: +55 21 2548 7070 / +55 21 2545 8705
fax: +55 21 2235 7330


2

Copacabana Wave Hostel

Location:

Travessa Cristiano Lacorte, 46
Copacabana
,

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2227-1846


3

Copacabana Beach

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expert pick

Location:

Avenida Atlantica and Xavier da Silveira
22010-000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 2542 8080
fax: +55 21 2542 0964


4

Corcovado Mountain and Christ Redeemer Statue Half-Day Tour

Location:

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


5

Corcovado Mountain and Christ the Redeemer Statue

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expert pick

Location:

Rua Cosme Velho 513
22241-090 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 558 1329


6

Maracanã Stadium

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Location:

Rua Profesor Eurico Rabelo s/n
São Cristovão
20271-150 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 2264 9962


7

Le Pré-Catelan

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Location:

Av. Atlântica, 4240
Sofitel Rio Palace
22079-900 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 25251232
fax: 55 21 25251200


8

Bip Bip

Location:

Rua Almirante Gonçalves 50
Copacabana
22060 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2267 9696


Day 2 - Rio de Janeiro


1

Arpoador Inn

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expert pick

Location:

Rua Francisco Otaviano 177
Ipanema
22080-040 Rio de Janeiro, BR

Contact:

tel: +55 21 2523 0060
fax: +55 21 2511 5094


2

Praia Ipanema

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expert pick

Location:

Avenida Vieira Souto 706 Ipanema
Ipanema
22420-000 Rio de Janeiro, BR

Contact:

tel: +55 21 2141 4949 / +55 21 2540 4949
fax: +55 21 2239 6889


3

Ipanema Wave Hostel

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Location:

Rua Barao da Torre 175 / 05
Ipanema
,

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2227-6458


4

Marina All Suites Hotel

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expert pick

Location:

696 Leblon Av Delfim Moreir
Leblon
22441-000 Rio de Janeiro, BR

Contact:

tel: 21-21721100
fax: 021/2294-1644


6

Ipanema Hippie Fair

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Location:

Praca General Osorio, Ipanema,
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


7

Orla Marítima

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Location:

Leme até Barra da Tijuca
22010-000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


8

Praia do Arpoador

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Location:

Copacabana / Ipanema
22410-003 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 2259 6165 (Tourist Information)


9

Celeiro

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Location:

Rua Dias Ferreira, 199
Leblon
22431-050 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2274 7843


10

Barril 1800

Location:

Avenida Vieira Souto, 110
Ipanema
22420-000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 523 0085
fax: 55 21 521 5111


11

Academia da Cachaca

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expert pick

Location:

26 Rua Conde de Bernadotte Leblon
Leblon
22430-200 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2529 2680


12

Emporio

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expert pick

Location:

Rua Maria Quiteria 37, Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 3813 2526


Day 3 - Rio de Janeiro


Rio isn’t just about the beaches, and those curious to know about life for the residents of the city’s vast favelas (slums) should make time in their schedule to take an accredited tour. Far from voyeuristic, the best of these tours are genuinely educational, informative, and, of course, safe. Marcelo Armstrong pioneered favela tourism, and his Favela Tour is still the best. Tours generally depart at 10.30am, returning around 1pm. Grab a snack at pay-by-weight restaurant and takeaway New Natural, before grabbing a bus or taxi to the gentile neighbourhood of Urca, home to the mighty Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf mountain). The neighbourhood itself is well worth an hour or so’s exploring, before grabbing a snack and a beer at Bar e Restaurante Urca. Now it’s time to take the famous cable car ride up to the top of the mountain. The cable car makes two stops – first at Morro da Urca, the smaller hill, and then at the peak of the mountain itself. Both points offer spectacular views on a clear day – try to time it so that you are at the top of Sugar Loaf for sunset, when the lights of the city below flicker into life. Once you’ve come back down to earth – literally – head back to Ipanema for a quick pizza or light meal and a drink at the good value Torre de Barao, before grabbing a cab or bus into Lapa and heading to Rio Scenarium to dancethe night away. Those not tempted by the food on offer at Torre de Barao can find more formal meals served at Scenarium, and this is a great spot for shy types to sit down, relax with a meal and a drink and watch the dancers strutting their stuff.


1

Favela Tours

Location:

Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil
,

Contact:

tel: 055(21) 3322-2727


2

Leblon

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Location:

Rua Dias Ferreira e Avenida Ataúfo de Paiva
22440-031 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


3

New Natural

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Location:

Rua Barao de Torre 171, Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2287 0301


4

Fasano Al Mar

Location:

Avenida Viera Souto 80
Ipanema
22420000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 3202 4000


5

Choperia Torre do Barão

Location:

Rua Venicius de Moraes 146, Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2247 1835


6

Bar e Restaurante Urca

Location:

Rua Candido Gafree 205, Urca
22291-080 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2295 8744


7

Rio Scenarium

Location:

Rua do Lauradio, 20
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 3147 9005


8

Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf)

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Location:

Praia Vermelha
Urca
22290-270 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 2461 2700
fax: +55 21 2546 8419


Day 4 - Rio de Janeiro


After breakfast at the hotel or hostel, jump aboard a bu s to Jardim Botanico, the leafy neighbourhood that is home to Rio’s famous botanical gardens. The shade of the vast trees and the scent of the tropical plants makes the gardens a wonderfully relaxing place to stroll around on a hot day – keep an eye out for monkeys and parrots overhead! The gardens are easily large enough and interesting enough to keep visitors occupied for a couple of hours. Peckish visitors will find a pricey café near the entrance, and a much cheaper fast-food bar towards the centre of the grounds. If you are not on a super-tight budget and can keep your hunger at bay a little longer, head to the neighbourhood’s very good French restaurant, 66 Bistro. Lunch buffets and set lunches are very good value here – excellent quality French food served at reasonable prices. After lunch, walk or take a bus down to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (better known simply as Lagoa). Surrounded on all sides by mountains, this vast city lake is circled by a 7km walking/running/cycling track, and makes a good afternoon walk. Alternatively, hire a pedal boat and take off into the centre of the lake. As night falls, grab a drink and bar snacks at one of the many bar restaurants that surround the lake. Live music is very often on the menu, making this a great setting for a romantic evening out


1

Jardim Botânico

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expert pick

Location:

Rua Jardim Botânico, 920 - 1008
22460-000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 22946947 / +55 21 22943642


2

Lagoa

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expert pick

Location:

Avenida Epitácio Pessoa
Lagoa
22471-001 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 25447992 (Tourist information)


3

66 Bistro

Location:

Avenida Alexandrino Ferreira 66
Jardim Botânico
22470-220 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2266 0838


Day 5 - Rio de Janeiro


If funds and weather allow, allow yourself a day of luxury by taking a full-day tour aboard an island-hopping boat. Hotels and hostels should be able to recommend trips to suit your budget, and lunch and drinks are often included in the price. If the weather is less than perfect or you’re more into exploring than relaxing, take a guided tour into the dense jungle of Tijuca National Park - the largest urban rain forest in the world. Hint – don’t attempt to explore alone, getting lost is all too easy unless you are with someone who knows their way! Take a picnic, swimwear and hiking sandles, and allow yourself a full day of splashing in waterfalls, scrambling across rocks and climbing through jungle. When you return from your trip, relax with a drink at Devassa, the Rio chain of bars that brew their own range of very good beers. For dinner, it’s well worth taking a taxi out to the excellent Miam Miam (best to book a table a day or so in advance), before heading back to Ipanema for a night of drinking and live music at the English-style Lord Jim Pub. Brits with a hankering for familiar cuisine may well opt to dine here rather than at Miam Miam!


1

Rio de Janeiro Full Day Tropical Islands Tour and Sepetiba Bay Cruise including Lunch

Location:

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


2

Parque Nacional de Tijuca

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expert pick

Location:

Floresta da Tijuca
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 492 2253 / +55 21 492 5002


3

Miam Miam

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expert pick

Location:

Rua General Goes Monteiro 34
Botafogo
22290-080 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2244-0125


4

Devassa

Location:

1241 Avenida General San Martin, Leblon
Leblon
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2540 6087


5

Lord Jim Pub

user rating

Location:

Rua Paul Redfern, 63
Ipanema
22410-080 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2259 3047


Day 6 - Rio De Janeiro, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro


Rio’s beaches are beautiful, but it’s worth taking the time to explore the historic centre as well. Hotel Gloria is the oldest of Rio’s hotels and packed with historic charm – but be sure to book a room in the original building rather than the newer annexe. While Hotel Gloria delivers a lot more bang for your buck than you’ll find in the Zona Sul, it will still be out of the budget of travellers on a shoestring. Partiers can stretch their budget by booking a room at the Sambavilla Hostel atthe heart of the Lapa street party action, while those looking for hostel accomodation that’s a little less lively can head further up the hill to Rio Hostel, which lies on the hill leading from Lapa to pretty, historic Santa Teresa . Head down late morning to the city’s ferry terminal, and jump aboard a ferry across to Rio’s sister city of Niteroi. The journey takes just 20 minutes, and once there you can take a bus or taxi out to some beautiful, very quiet beaches, or head on foot or by bus to the Modern Art Museum. Non-arty types will appreciate the beautiful panoramic views across Rio, and the building itself – which resembles a giant flying saucer – can’t fail to impress. Budget travellelers needn’t concern themselves too much with paying to enter, the exhibitions inside are generally less interesting than the views and the building. Once back in Centro, take time to check out Cinelandia and the landmark Teatro Municipal, before sitting back with an early evening drink at Amarelinho. Dedicated carnivores shouldn’t miss the opportunity to head out to nearby Flamengo, home to the best of the city’s branches of legendary churrascaria (all-you-can-eat barbeque restaurant) Porcao. After dinner, head to the party district of Lapa once again, to bar hop or join the samba dancers on the floor at Carioca de Gema.


1

Hotel Gloria

user rating

Location:

RUA DO RUSSEL 632
Glória
22210-010 Rio De Janeiro, BR

Contact:

tel: +55 21 2555 7272
fax: +55 21 2555 7282


2

Rio Hostel

Location:

Rua Joaquim Murtinho, 361
Santa Teresa
,

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2287-2928


3

Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Niteroi

user rating

Location:

Miranda da Boa Viagem
Niterói
24210-390 Niterói, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 21 2620 2400


4

Amarelinho

expert pick

Location:

Praca Floriano 55-a
Cinelandia
24001-970 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2240 8434


5

Teatro Municipal

Location:

Praca Floriano, Cinelandia, Centro
20031-050 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 21 2297 4411


6

Porcão

user rating

Location:

Rua Barão da Torre, 218
22411-000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 3389 8989


7

Carioca da Gema

Location:

79 Rua Mem De Sa
Lapa
24220-261 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2221 0043


Day 7 - Rio de Janeiro, Santa Teresa


Set Friday aside to explore the arty, bohemian hillside neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. Start the day by having a coffee and or/pastries in the splendor of the belle-opaque Confeitaria Colombo, before heading down to Lapa to check out the colorful Escadaria Selaron. If you’re feeling energetic, you can climb the steep stairway right up to Santa Teresa, but be warned, you’ll face a further five minutes walk up hill when you reach the top! A far more enjoyable way to arrive in Santa, as it’s affectionately known by locals, is to take the ancient bonde (tram) up the hill. Once there, explore the neighbourhood’s winding streets and good museums such as the Museu Chacara do Ceu. Santa Teresa is also home to numerous art stores and vintage clothing boutiques, as well as boasting some amazing views. There’s a good bar and restaurant scene here, with choices to suit all budgets. For amazing views and lush tropical gardens, book a table in advance at the good but pricey Aprazivel. Great Amazon-inspired food can be found at Espirito Santa, while Bar do Arnaudo boasts delicious Northeastern Brazilian food that is easily the best value in town – ‘individual’ set meals will feed two or even three. After a day’s wandering, eating and exploring, take a drink at the lively Bar Simplesmente, before grabbing a bus or Kombi down to Lapa. Friday nights are the liveliest of the week here – the street party is in full swing, and clubs such as hip-hop venue Club Six are packed.


1

Santa Teresa

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Ladeira de Santa Teresa
20241-140 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


2

Bonde de Santa Teresa

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Rua Professor Lélio Gama, 65
Centro
20031-080 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 222 1003 / +55 21 242 2354


3

Catedral Metropolitana

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Avenida República de Chile, 245
Centro
20031-170 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: +55 21 2240 2669


4

Escadaria Selarón

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expert pick

Location:

Escadaria do Convento de Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa
20241-130 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


5

Museu da Chácara do Céu

user rating

Location:

Rua Murtinho Nobre 93
Santa Teresa
20241-050 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 021/2507-1932


6

Confeitaria Colombo

user rating

Location:

Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32
Centro
20071-000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 22322300


7

Espirito Santa

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 264
Santa Teresa
20241-260 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2508 7095


9

Club Six

Location:

Rua das Marrecas 38, Lapa
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2510 3230


10

Simplesmente

Location:

115 Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno
20240-290 Santa Teresa, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 9781 2451


11

Aprazível

user rating

Location:

Rua Aprazível, 62
Santa Teresa
2508-9174 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contact:

tel: 55 21 2508 9174


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