06 Aug 2015 6422
PortoBay Hotels & Resorts
#carnival #nature

10 things you can’t miss in Rio de Janeiro

Located on a confluence of ocean, mountains and rainforest, Rio de Janeiro is a true tropical metropolis. You have the unavoidable beaches, Carnival and samba, but this amazing city has a lot more to offer: culture, sports, breathtaking natural landscapes and unforgettable experiences. PortoBay Rio Internacional is a one of the best spots to begin your discovery of Brazil’s "Marvellous City”.

1. The Beaches

Sandy shores filled with merry crowds stretch out in front of a welcoming ocean, surrounded by one of the world’s most famous urban landscapes — this is the picture you will see when you arrive to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, one of the city’s main calling cards.

You can get to know classical and typical Rio at beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana, which is right in front of the PortoBay Rio Internacional Hotel.

In case you are looking for beach bars and big crowds, nothing like a visit to Leblon beach. But if you prefer a more quiet experience, head over to Barra da Tijuca. If you enjoy water sports and surfing, Praia do Arpoador is your kind of beach.

Between the city centre’s beaches and the Avenida Atlântica, one of the city’s main causeways, you will find the Calçadão, the famous seaside sidewalk with Portuguese-style multicoloured stone pavement. It stretches from Leme beach all the way to Copacabana. On Sundays, the avenue is closed to traffic and given over to the pedestrians — this is a good chance for walking, cycling or skating in front of Brazil’s most famous beaches.

2. Carnaval !!

Every year, Rio de Janeiro attracts the world’s attentions with its massive Carnaval celebrations. The streets come alive with magnificent themed parades and the city is filled with millions of locals as well as  visitors from all around the globe who swarm to Rio in search of the rhythms and joy of the carioca Carnival.

Get a costume and let yourself be led by the crowds and the beat of the samba. If you have the chance, book advance tickets for the Sambódromo, 72-thousand-place venue where you can watch the biggest and most impressive parades. Alternatively, you can head for one of the city’s neighbourhoods in the days before the big Sambódromo parades and enjoy the lively performances of the Blocos de Rua — local samba associations, each one with its own school, identity, music style and Carnival aesthetic.

3. Samba and Forró Nights

The partying and dancing is not restricted to Carnival season. Rio’s music boasts irresistible rhythms and huge variety of styles. All year round, you can dance to the beats of samba and forró at the Lapa and Gamboa areas, or enjoy a bossa nova concer in one of the city’s many bars. 

For a sophisticated and modern evening, you may explore the Barra da Tijuca area, where you will find some of the most trendy nightclubs and bars in the city. In case you are saving yourself for a major event, why not save your energy for the end of the year? Make your reservation at PortoBay and spend an unforgettable New Year's Eve in Copacabana !!

4. Bossa nova, jazz, street art...

Rio de Janeiro’s cultural programming extends beyond the traditions of samba and Carnaval. At Lapa bars and clubs, you can enjoy live music of al kinds, from pagode and bossa nova, to jazz and hip-hop.

The programming of the SESI Cultural centre and the Teatro Municipal includes music, dance and theatre with both national and foreign artists. To get to know Rio’s contemporary art scene, visit the local Museum of Modern Art, or look out for street art and you may find surprises such as Jorge Selaron’s stairs.

If you wish to improve your scientific knowledge, pay a visit to the National Museum (widely regarded as Latin America’s largest Natural History museum). Should you want to become familiar with Brazil’s literature, the best place to go is the Rio Book Fair.

5. Rock in Rio

Keep in mind this is the town where the Rock in Rio festival was born!! This is one of the world’s biggest music festivals and it is three decades old and counting.

The festival’s success has established it as one of the city’s symbols and has led to its branching out to countries like Portugal, Spain and the USA, although the Rio event is still the largest scale one, attracting millions of people eager to enjoy performances by the worlds biggest acts in rock, hip-hop, pop music and other genres.

6. The food

Rio de Janeiro’s gastronomy is varied and has good quality. The local cuisine includes specialties like feijoada à brasileira (a beef and bean stew) and refreshing alcoholic beverages like the famous caipirinha. To savour traditional Rio tradicional, nothing like a dinner at Casa da Feijoada in Ipanema, or a nice snack by the beach in one of Leblon’s "botecos”.

Also, every year, the La Finestra restaurant in Copacabana hosts Rio Gastronomy, an event where all foodies are welcome !!

But the local menu also includes flavours from other parts of the world — after all, Rio is a true multicultural melting pot! In Copacabana we find Azumi, widely regarded as one of the city’s best japonese restaurants, while at the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon you can enjoy fine French cuisine at Olympe.

7. The parks

For relaxation, cycling or an enjoyable boat ride, nothing like heading over to the great Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, located right in the middle of the city. For a more educational experience, visit the Botanical Garden and discover some of Rio de Janeiro’s native plant species, as well as specimens from other parts of Brazil.

8. Sports

For cariocas, football is an essential part of life. To enjoy the sport the Rio way, watch a match at the Maracanã Stadium. If you are inspired by the the experience, you can go to a local sports club and join an informal match, or head to the beach for what the locals call "peladinha” (a soccer match on the beach).

But sports activities in Rio are not limited to football: surf, windsurf and beach volley are also part of the picture, particularly in places like the Arpoeiro beach. You can also take part in the Caixa Marathon if you enjoy long distance running. Also, don’t forget to mark an important date in your calendar: in 2016, Rio de Janeiro is home for the 29th Summer Olympic Games !!

9. The urban landscape

Rio de Janeiro’s neighbourhoods and buildings are themselves attractions. At Santa Teresa, one of the city’s oldest quarters, you will find picturesque streets on top of a hill and an exciting local artistic and cultural environment. At the former Paço Imperial (Imperial Palace) and the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Old Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro) you get a glimpse of Brazil’s colonial era, when the country was still part of Portugal. Also unavoidable is the presence of the Christ the Redeemer statue, standing on top of the Corcovado mountain — one of Rio de Janeiro’s icons.

Modern architecture also has its place in the city, and the landscape includes some works by Brazilian architect Óscar Niemeyer, such as Casa das Canoas and the  Gustavo Capanema Building.

10. Tijuca Forest

Rio de Janeiro is a very green place. The mountains surrounding the city are covered by the Tijuca Forest. In this large tropical area you can enjoy nature, go hiking, climb the famous Pão de Açúcar mountain, or head to São Conrado mountain for a hang gliding experience.
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