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Rio—like its music—is layered and multifaceted.
For many people, Rio means slipping on a pair of Havaianas and heading to Copacabana Beach. Yet the city has so much more to offer: verdant landscapes, mesmerizing mountains, and neighborhoods that move to the beat of Brazilian music. Lapa is legendary for its samba-infused nightlife.
Witness an extravagant display of music, dance, and feathers! Every year, Brazil's Samba Schools hit Sambadrome for the annual Carnival. It's a non-stop extravaganza where dancers wearing rhinestones, glitter and plumage from a thousand peacocks parade through the stadium. There's also a small on-site museum to explore during quieter moments.Accommodations near Sambadrome
Stadiums or Arenas
Brazil, like many sport-loving nations, has a particular fascination with soccer. Legendary players like Pelé have kicked their way to fame inside this stadium, which was completely refurbished for 2014’s World Cup. When 70,000+ fans decked out in yellow-and-green shirts aren’t roaring at a goal, take a tour of the locker rooms and a small multimedia museum.Accommodations near Maracanã Stadium
Limestone with a dash of whale oil ... strange cocktail or cement substitute? This unlikely combination was the material used to bind together 42 stone arches to channel water from the Carioca River to Rio's thirsty residents. It was built in 1723 by slaves who toiled in extreme heat to create this 130-foot structure that was eventually used (until recently) for a tram system.Accommodations near Arcos da Lapa (Carioca Acqueduct)
This powerful and monolithic statue of Christ watches over Rio from Mount Corcovado. Take a funicular from the base near Cosme Vellio Station. You’ll pass through Tijuca Forest on your way to the summit, and an additional 223 steps (or an escalator) will bring you to the statue’s base. Built in 1931, the statue is 125-feet high, and is a masterpiece of Art Deco style.Accommodations near Cristo Redentor (The Statue of Christ the Redeemer)
Picture this: a lazy day, an avenue lined with palm trees and a pair of flip-flops on your feet. Relax in tranquility inside Rio’s lush botanical gardens. Discover greenhouses filled with tropical flora and fauna and craggy caves hidden in vegetation, next to a birdwatcher investigating a speckled specimen. Doze in the shade or curb your hunger at the restaurant.Accommodations near Jardim Botânico (Botanical Gardens)
Go for a plunge in the lake! Enjoy parks, playgrounds and walking areas on an afternoon of family frolicking around this lake in Rio’s wealthy south. Pack a picnic, take a scenic drive around the perimeter, or stop for refreshments. If you’re feeling adventurous, paddle a swan-shaped kayak to the middle of the lake, or just go for a walk on the promenade.Accommodations near Rodrigo de Freitas Lake
It might sound like a delicious indulgence to go with your coffee, but Sugar Loaf is actually one of Rio’s iconic sights. A glass-walled bondinho (cable car) spirals along a 1,500-yard-long cable from base to summit, offering dazzling views of Guanabara Bay, Tijuca Forest, and the neighboring city of Niterói. Hop on at the ground station at the bottom of Babilônia Hill.Accommodations near Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain)
This sizzling beach is a 3-mile slice of paradise. Brazilians aren't body shy – you'll see men running in speedos and ladies strolling in bikinis, with chihuahuas in tow. If you haven’t yet adopted Copacabana's relaxed clothing vibe, try Rua Bolivar’s enticing bars with infectious salsa beats at dusk.Accommodations near Copacabana Beach
Tread the natural beauty of Tijuca Forest. Paths lead you through lush, flower-filled rain forests, home to exotic birds and mammals. Enjoy a picnic next to Cascatinha Waterfall, or charter your way through 9,768 acres with caves, rivers and sights like Corcovado, Pedra Bonita, Pedra da Gávea and Vista Chinesa. Good to know: schedule a guide in advance to hike inside the forest.Accommodations near Floresta da Tijuca (Tijuca Forest National Park)
Pedra Bonita is Rio’s rock star. This "beautiful rock" is tucked away in Tijuca Forest and gives you unbeatable city views. Pack a picnic and take the easy half-mile hike to the top. Once you’re there, stick around and gaze at the glorious sunset – preferably with a glass of wine in hand. On a warm day you can watch paragliders taking off.Accommodations near Pedra Bonita
Copacabana sizzles. This beach is a never-ending parade of urbanites playing soccer, volleyball, surfing, or just baking at 85 degrees. The crowds can get intense, so cool off with a Caipirinha (Brazil's national cocktail) in a welcoming oceanside cafe. Drift further south for Copacabana Fort, which has been converted into an army museum.Accommodations in Copacabana
Barra suffers from a few too many boring new builds, with high-rise apartments as far as the eye can see. Most of the action is centered on the serene coast along Lucio Costa Avenue, where you can surf, fly a kite or sip on a Caipirinha. Nearby, Shopping Downtown and Barra Shopping malls sell designer brands.Accommodations in Barra da Tijuca
The residents of Ipanema live in palatial elegance along one of Rio's most beautiful coastlines. Walk barefoot on the beach along Vieira Souto, or saunter inland to enjoy some of the local cafes and restaurants. At dusk, head to Arpoador: folks gather on the beach to clap their hands as the sun sets between two mountains. Stick around for the sultry nightlife.Accommodations in Ipanema
Visit Rio’s most impressive sights. Candelária Church calls Catholics to mass in a regal setting. Traverse Saara Market, a bazaar of epic proportions. History floats by as you walk along Rio Branco Avenue, with colonial-era buildings alternating with skyscrapers. At the end is the Art Deco CCBB and the opulent Theatro Municipal.Accommodations in Downtown Rio de Janeiro
Life should be cosmopolitan every day, according to Leblon's citizens. Work out at the beach with the muscle-bound descendants of gods, or laze with the locals. As one of Rio’s most affluent areas, designer-brand stores line the streets. Trendy clubs and restaurants come to life after dark – just be prepared to spend!Accommodations in Leblon
Lapa is intoxicating. Scour craft markets, devour mouthwatering street food, or watch a show at Fundição Progresso. At night, Lapa erupts – it’s not uncommon to spot Rastafarians, uptown girls and white-collar boys dancing in the streets, a reflection of Rio citizens' passion for life.Accommodations in Lapa
Santa Teresa’s aging mansions appear frozen in time. Catch a streetcar on Carioca Aqueduct, by Largo dos Guimarães and all the way to the last stop, Parque das Ruínas (Ruins Park), which is used for exhibitions and watching Rio from above. When you've seen enough of the 360-degree views, take the 250 colorful steps of Escadaria Selarón down to check out Lapa.Accommodations in Santa Teresa
Flamengo’s Carmen Miranda Museum is dedicated to the 1940's Brazilian screen siren. Find countryside bliss at Casa Rui Barbosa, a pink mansion once owned by statesman Rui Barbosa. Parque do Flamengo is a recreation zone, with sports, beach and fishing facilities. For an adventure, catch a cable car to Sugar Loaf Mountain for views of Botafogo Bay.Accommodations in Flamengo
This quiet peninsula with a distinct skyline is one of Rio’s most traditional and wealthy neighborhoods. White beaches with sand like powder run the length of the coast – for a bit of serenity, try Praia Vermelha Beach. Walk the quaint streets to discover local botequim (informal bar-restaurants), or wind your way up Sugar Loaf Mountain.Accommodations in Urca
Rocinha, where the street is a storefront for inventive vendors. Bursting with energy, around 70,000 people call this hilltop favela (shantytown) home, and it’s the perfect place to get acquainted with Rio street life. Stay in the lower parts for the main commercial area, or head higher up for views of São Conrado, São Conrado Beach, and Pedra da Gávea Mountain.Accommodations in Rocinha
Rafaela is family-oriented and loves good books, good movies and traveling to new and exotic locations.
This park is great for people who are staying in the southern part of the city. It's a vast green park with playgrounds, picnic tables and great hiking trails. Since it's a safe place and close to my home, it's one of my favorite places to take my daughter on a day out.Accommodations near Reserva Florestal do Grajaú
Alexandre loves life's simple pleasures – reading, shopping, and spending time at the beach with friends.
This secluded beach is in the west, close to Recreio and inside a nature reserve. Although it's quite far from Copacabana and Ipanema, it's way less crowded – so you often have the beach almost to yourself. Local families come to enjoy the clear water and white sand, and it has a great atmosphere.Accommodations near Grumari Beach
Native to Rio, Fernanda loves its natural beauty as much as shopping and exploring the city.
I love shopping in this mall! It's outdoors, with lots of garden areas and plenty of good stores. It covers an expansive piece of land, so it doesn't feel claustrophobic like some other malls can. There are nice restaurants, bars, a few movie theaters and stores of some great brands.Accommodations near Downtown Mall
Daniela loves searching for new flavors and exotic places... as long as she can bring her dog!
On the first Saturday of the month, Lavradio Street transforms into an incredible market. There are plenty of antiques and handicrafts on sale. The atmosphere is great too, with a lot of samba and street entertainment. Just play along with the crowds – and remember to wear sunscreen!Accommodations near Lavradio Flea Market
Ana F. loves life in Rio, and its nice restaurants and beaches... but especially the lagoon!
This park between Leblon and Jardim Botânico is fabulous for leisure activities. Walk on the shoreline, take a bike ride, skate on the ramps or sample different cuisines in the many kiosks. This family-friendly place is one of the best places in the city to experience true "carioca" living.Accommodations near Parque dos Patins area, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon
Beaches, travel and Japanese restaurants – these are a few of Karoline's favorite things!
I live in this area – and I love it! The beach is more peaceful than in neighboring Copacabana. I would recommend a day on Leme Beach, a quick hike to the top of Leme Hill (Leme Military Fort) to enjoy the sunset and then a nice dinner or happy hour at Joaquina's Bar on the beach sidewalk.Accommodations near Leme Beach
Aline moved to Rio from Bahia 14 years ago and is passionate about travel and sports.
I really enjoy taking my bike up the hilly Tijuca Forest roads until I get to the Chinese Overlook. There's a Chinese-style pagoda with panoramic views over Corcovado Mountain. On the way back, I recommend stopping at Horto Waterfall for a quick shower, followed by lunch in Jardim Botânico.Accommodations near View from the Chinese Pagoda
Part-time photographer Andre loves hiking and watching life unfold before him in Rio's beautiful forests.
I really enjoy nature photography and taking picture of birds and wildlife, so I recommend the Chico Mendes Nature Park. If you're lucky, you'll see local caymans up close, plus mammals like capybaras and sloths. There are some nature trails which are great places to bird-watch.Accommodations near Chico Mendes Ecological Park
Getting to know different countries, cultures and languages makes Leandro feel very wise.
I'm a big cinema fan and this is my favorite spot – located at the Cinelândia Square in downtown Rio, very close to a subway station. It was built in the 1930s and was one of the first and biggest movie theaters built in downtown Rio – and it looks like it hasn't changed a bit since then!Accommodations near Odeon Petrobras Theater
Ana. S always hears the same thing when her foreign friends visit: "You're so lucky to live here!"
Instituto Moreira Salles is a hotbed for culture. It's an amazing house with beautiful architecture. They often host exhibitions about photography, cinema and other visual arts, and there's a vast library to read and listen to multimedia material. The cafe inside is also pretty good.Accommodations near Instituto Moreira Salles
Booking.com asked travelers...The beach means different things to different people. What did the beach in Rio de Janeiro mean to you?
Walking and watching.See all 50 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...How can you enjoy the sights in Rio de Janeiro while avoiding the crowds?
We used taxis and the metro rather than buses, and this made sight seeing quicker and stress free. We'd recommend avoiding rush hour!See all 27 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What made the beach in Rio de Janeiro unforgettable?
United States of America
The sun, expansive beach, beautiful clean sand, crystal clear water, pounding waves, beach sports, beautiful people, delicious drinks... a surfer and sunbathing paradiseSee all 18 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...How could the beaches in Rio de Janeiro be made better for walking?
You can walk along the beaches or on the path near it,stop for a bite to eat or something to drink without leaving the sight of the beach.See all 12 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What should you avoid to make the most of the nightlife in Rio de Janeiro?
Wrong neighbourhoodSee all 10 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Why is Rio de Janeiro a good place to experience nature?
Sea, montains , florest and city! Perfect combination !See all 9 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What makes the people from Rio de Janeiro so friendly? Tell us your story.
We found the people in Rio de Janeiro incredibly friendly and helpful. Whenever we stopped to look at our map or even looked slightly lost, someone would stop and ask if we required any help or assistance.See all 8 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What did you enjoy most about bar hopping in Rio de Janeiro?
The atmosphere!! Happy people and caipirinha!See all 6 answers
Taxis are the safest way to get to Rio. White radio taxis (with fixed prices) are right outside the main terminal. Charges vary, so count on approximately BRL 70 to the center, BRL 100 to Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon and BRL 150 to Barra da Tijuca. You can also head to Departures on the 2nd floor and catch a yellow city cab – these official taxis are considerably cheaper. There are city bus lines, but the system can be hard to navigate for the inexperienced.
This is a small airport in Guanabara Bay, popular for its views of the shore. The safest and most convenient way to reach the center is by taxi. Official yellow taxis are available outside the terminal and cost approximately BRL 10-20 for a trip to the center or BRL 30-50 to the south. Cinelândia Station, the nearest subway station, is just under a mile away – but it’s a potentially unsafe walk across a park and a long avenue, so get a taxi if you can.
Taxis are the safest and most convenient way to get around in Rio. To catch one, just hail it from the street or find one at a taxi stand. Regular taxis are yellow and radio taxis (with fixed prices) are white. Rates for yellow taxis vary depending on the time of day you’re traveling: Rate 1 from 6 am to 9 am and Rate 2 from 9 am to 6 pm and all day Sunday. If you have a smartphone, a variety of apps, like Easy Taxi, offer quick pick-ups throughout Rio.
The metro is the easiest mode of public transportation for visitors. There are two main lines: Line 1 (Orange) to Ipanema, Downtown and Tijuca and Line 2 (Green), with main junctions at Central and Botafogo Stations. Buy a ticket or reloadable IC card at a ticket window, then insert it into a turnstile to enter the station. One-way tickets cost around BRL 3.50, and more for a round trip. During rush hour, the last car of the train is for women only.
Rio has a slightly complicated bus system. There are designated stops for buses and they tend to stop often – sometimes only 200 yards apart. To catch a bus, head to one of the stops and hail it. On board, you need to pay a flat fee (in coins) of around BRL 3 to the driver and no tickets are issued. There are also no schedules, but "Ruas de Rio de Janeiro" explains the 1,000+ routes. Popular lines include the 583 and 584 from Corcovado Station to Copacabana and Ipanema.
Specific safety rules apply for visitors who want to drive in Rio. It’s vitally important to carry a color copy of your license, complete with a Portuguese translation; a AA International Driver’s License is not enough. Rental cars should be arranged at the airport or through your hotel. Parking garages are usually expensive. If you want to park on the street, city employees will direct you to a parking spot and provide you with a permit.
If you are looking for a meal with a romantic touch, Laguna is the place for you. It all starts with a boat trip to the island where the restaurant is located. Once there, you will be able to enjoy your meal surrounded by the nature and the sea in a peaceful environment. The menu offers typical Brazilian seafood dishes, such as bobó de camarão (cassava stew with shrimp). Please note: this restaurant only accepts guests with reservations. To get to the restaurant, you need to take a short boat ride (about 5 minutes) from a deck near the Shopping Barra mall.
Lapa 40° is a place to enjoy the nightlife socializing, playing billiards or dancing to live music. This colonial house has 4 floors and each one offers different attractions, including live samba music, billiards tables, dance floor or tables in which you can just sit and enjoy snacks and cold beer. Good for young couples and groups of friends. Please note: this establishment does not accept clients under 18 years old.
This is very tradional bar, with simple aspects and great quality on its food. Its decorated with a more rural brazilian style, with some farm itens on the walls, and some black and white pictures. Its young and more relaxed public create a nice environment for all tribes. Feijoada (a very famous brazilian dish) is also one of its great features, with different snacks and cold beer.
This cafe is in the middle of bohemian neighborhood Santa Teresa. Next to several coffee creations Cafecito claims sandwiches and desserts as its specialty. It has an informal atmosphere with a touch of rustic-chic style.
Cozy restaurant with a refined menu. Its open green terrace helps to create an informal atmosphere. Its on the same building as Cafecito Cafe, but at the terrace floor.
Rio Scenarium was elected one of the Top 10 bars in the world by The Guardian newspaper in 2006. It presents live Brazilian music in a casual environment with retro décor and a variety of snacks and drinks. Good for couples and groups of friends.
Set in a mansion from 1902, Lapa Café has colourful retro décor, with old refrigerators, paintings and labels from its over 500 beer options. To go with the extensive beer menu, you can try the snacks, like jerky beef with fried cassava. It also has a dance floor with a stage for shows, an art gallery and a bar. Good for groups of friends and couples.
Set in a charming mansion from the beginning of the XX century, Salsa e Cebolinha offers Brazilian dishes and live music. The atmosphere is casual and friendly and the décor includes cartoons from a famous Brazilian artist, Ziraldo, who also names one of the main dishes: Tornedor a Ziraldo (thick fillet mignon steak, with French fries, rice, bean sauce and mushrooms). Good for groups of friends and couples. Please note: on Saturdays and Sundays, this restaurant only accepts clients with reservations.
It is restaurant created to celebrate brazilian style cuisine. It has a spacious veranda with a view of the historic neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Their Chef has created a culinary voyage through Brazil with a menu designed with a rich combination of colors and flavors from land, sea and river. Original drinks, cachaças and caipirinhas made with a variety of Brazilian fruits are also their strong points.
Seafood with a touch from northeast brazil is the specialty. Traditional, rustic and informal atmosphere. Very famous for its big portions. It started as a simple place for "Rodas de Samba" which is pretty much a small group, sitting on a circle playing samba musica for a small group of people on a very informal way. Nowdays, unfortunately, there are no more samba shows playing, because of the City Hall Council which decided to stop it, since it was disturbing the local communitie peace.
Demi Glace offers varied dishes for all tastes: salads, pasta, risottos and grilled meats. A few options are the Moqueca Risotto (Arborio rice, white fish, shrimps, coconut milk, spices and biquinho pepper) and the penne with demi-glace sauce (mushroom sauce with slices of filet mignon). Casual environment, good for couples and families. Please note that this restaurant only serves lunch and opens from 11h30 to 16h.
Since 1970 this restaurant/bar has been serving the best meals northeast brazilian cuisine style to its customers. Great place for quick snacks or full meals. Also, it has a great variety of cachaça (brazilian type of vodka) on its menu.
A very brazilian place with a touch of sophisticated cuisine. It offers a great variety of specialty from different brazilian states. It goes from Seafood to steaks with perfection. It is a little pricy. Design inside is very modern with outdoor and indoor tables, and a great view from the top of hill of Santa Teresa to the city area. It has its own "Cachaçaria" inside, which is a place where they make their own "cachaça" (brazilian kind of vodka). Very famous among tourists and locals.
Located inside the Santa Teresa Hotel, its a sophisticates restaurant with world cuisine and famous chefs. Very fancy, with great service and great atmosfere. very fancy, but very pricy. Great view to the city from top of Santa Teresa hills.
Bar/ restaurant with view to charming Santa Teresa neighborhood. Great for people looking for a more casual place to meet and make new friends, but likes to keep it to a sophisticated place. The Bar was elected “most romantic bar” by Veja Rio magazine. Cachaças and exotic drinks are their strong points, with snacks made with a touch of modern cuisine. Its also located inside the Santa Teresa Hotel.
Traditional bar/restaurant that serves a great mix of german cuisine with brazilian cuisine. With simple and a more traditional old style, the place is great to sit down and enjoy nice snacks with a variety of beer types.
Japanese style. Nice decoration. Customer can choose options from the house menu or can choose the all you can eat buffet, japanese style, from a limited menu.
Set in a 3-store house from 1914, Bar Gaspar offers an informal environment in which you can get a taste of Brazilian food. Among the house specialties you will find grilled spring chicken ("galeto") and sirloin steak ("picanha") with side dishes. As appetizers, a good option is the cassava fried cake and the famous feijoada fried cake, which goes really well with a cold draught beer. Good for groups of friends and families.
Carioca da Gema is a bar which offers live samba music and traditional Brazilian snacks, such as cassava escondidinho (a shepherd’s pie style dish, with cassava and jerky beef, among other options). If you are looking for a calm space for your meal, you can try the pizzeria in the annex building. Good for couples, group of friends and partygoers. Please note: this establishment does not accept clients under 18 years old.
Nova Capela was declared a cultural heritage in Rio de Janeiro in 2011 and it proudly shows its tradition in old pictures on the walls. This is a great place for beer and snacks with friends. The place is also known for its uncommon dishes, such as roasted goat and roasted wild boar. It is open until late and attracts eclectic public. Good for groups of friends.
This eclectic place offers lunch meals during the day and live music, snacks during the night. For lunch, you'll find options like Linguiça Mineira (Brazilian style sausage with rice, beans tutu, farofa and kale); while at night the house is famous for its Moela Alcoolizada (chicken gizzards cooked in wine and herbs). Good for couples, groups of friends.
Bar Brasil opened its doors in 1907 and since then it has been serving Brazilian and German cuisine and one of the most celebrated draught beers in the city. One of the top choices in the menu is the lentil garni (sausage, smoked sausage, lentils, roast beef, Kassler, pork carré and fresh tongue). Calm place to go with families and groups of friends.
Bar Luiz is a Rio de Janeiro's reference in draught beer, which it has been serving for 120 years. It also serves one of the gastronomic traditions of the city: its potato and sausage salad. Traditional and casual place, good for chatting with friends.
Leviano is famous for its drinks and snacks, such as seafood moqueca dumpling, feijoada fried balls and breaded curd cheese with guava jelly and ginger. Among the dishes, the highlights are the baroa potato gnocchi and the oxtail risotto with watercress. Informal and cheer atmosphere, good for young couples and groups of friends.
Parada da Lapa is a cultural experience in itself. With views of Arches, it offers a sophisticated environment with a stage for live music shows and an outdoor balcony. It is a great option for drinks and socializing. The menu is as eclectic as the environment: Spanish tapas, Italian appetizers and Brazilian snacks all go well with the cold draught beer. Good for young couples, groups of friends.
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