Rio de Janeiro-1Rio de Janeiro-2
Discover Rio de Janeiro
Chic beaches, sunsets on the coast of the ocean and samba until dawn
Rio de Janeiro is one of the brightest cities in the world, a center of tourism in South America

Subprefectures of Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro consists of seven subprefectures, which are divided into 33 administrative regions and 162 municipalities. Unofficially, the city is divided into four zones.

The central zone is the financial and business part of Rio de Janeiro. Here you will find fashionable, expensive districts, and many historical buildings. Tourists will find it interesting to stroll around the Lapa district, which is considered to be the most musical place in the country. It's where the streets turn into a vibrant party. In the same area, you will find the National Library and Municipal Theatre, the Cathedral, the National Museum of Arts, the Palaces of Tiradens and Pedro Ernesto.

In the South Zone, there are all the best beaches of Rio: the magical Ipanema, the beautiful Copacabana, the picturesque Flamengo, and Botafogo, as well as the pride of the country — Mount Corcovado and the legendary statue of Christ, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.

The Northern Zone has large stadiums, led by the famous giant "Maracana". In Brazil, football is comparable to religion, and the stadium for Brazilians is no less sacred than a temple.

It is not recommended for tourists to go to the Western Zone of the metropolis. There are poor neighborhoods and infamous favelas there, which are considered to be unsafe to visit.

Map Rio de Janeiro

Population

Brazil's population is mainly international, with migrants from many countries living in Rio de Janeiro. The multinational composition was formed through a process of mixing different ethnic groups: colonizers from Portugal, African Blacks, native Amerindian tribes, immigrants who arrived in large numbers at the beginning of the XX century from Europe, mainly from Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Germany. Today, the mestizos are the largest ethnic group in Rio.

Residents of the former capital of Brazil are cheerful, friendly and smiling, love music, dancing, and football. They know how to organize holidays, as evidenced by the magnificent Brazilian Carnival.

A brief history of Rio de Janeiro

The first people appeared on Brazilian territory before our era. At the time of the Portuguese colonization, the population of these lands was semi-nomadic, living off hunting, fishing, and farming.

There are several versions of who of the great Portuguese navigators discovered the part of the land on which the magnificent Rio de Janeiro stands today. One tells that it was Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500, and another explains that in January 1502, Gaspar de Lemos arrived at the shores of these places and mistakenly took Guanabara Bay at the mouth of the river, giving the territory the name of Rio de Janeiro ("January River").

Since the middle of the XVI century, active colonization began here. Brazil's coasts were divided into fifteen captaincies, and lively trade with Europe in ornamental woods, sugar cane, coffee, gold, and slaves began. After the prohibition to enslave the local Indians, the slave trade began to develop particularly intensively, shifting to massive slave deliveries from Africa. As a result, by the middle of the XVIII century, a small fort had become the capital of Brazil.

Brazil gained independence from the metropolis in 1822, but Portuguese monarchs continue to rule here. After their fall in 1889, the country became the Republic of the United States of Brazil.

In the XX century, Brazil experienced three brutal dictatorial regimes, the last of which had lasted until 1985.

The modern history of Rio de Janeiro is not simple. It has endured many difficult moments and is considered to be not the safest place in the world today. Nevertheless, cariocas love their country and value life, live with dance, and enjoy every moment.

Today, Rio de Janeiro is the center of educational life in the country, with many UNESCO cultural heritage sites, thousands of educational institutions, schools, universities, museums, and libraries. There are several football stadiums, hundreds of dance academies and schools of samba, tango, salsa, lambada, Brazilian zouk, and other directions. The city is actively growing and developing, taking an increasingly important place on the world map.

The best time to visit Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is located in a tropical climate zone. Winter here is from May to September. During this time, the sun is particularly hot. Winters are usually mild and warm. The lowest temperature at this time of year is +18°С. The coldest month in a year is July, with the highest amount of precipitation. Summer (the period from November to March) is hot and scorching. But sometimes, there are also heavy tropical rains. The average temperature in this season is +30-40°С.

February is the hottest month of the year in Rio. The air temperature at this time keeps above +40°С. The water temperature all year round is very comfortable for bathing. The average temperature is not lower than +20°C. The season of heavy rains lasts from January to March. The average year-round air temperature is around +27°C.

You can easily say that in Rio de Janeiro there are 11 months of summer and an excellent time for recreation and travel.

Useful notes

What should a tourist do in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Fly in a helicopter over the city, see its scale and diversity, the statue of Christ, magnificent beaches, and bay from a bird's-eye view. The cost of such a trip is about 200 USD for about 8-10 minutes. One of the helipads is on Mount Pan de Azucar.
  • Climb Mount Pan de Azucar by a cable car (the second name — Mount Sugarloaf). It is 400 meters high and offers a magnificent view of the city, Mount Corcovado and its surroundings. The funicular's cabin is completely transparent, and three minutes of climbing guarantee you a vivid experience and the opportunity to take chic photographs.
  • Meet the sunrise on Ipanema beach, see it without the crowds of tourists, listen to the noise of the Atlantic Ocean, and make the most cherished wishes. The ocean will hear you and help you fulfill them.
  • Hike through the Tijuca National Park, with numerous waterfalls, lakes, beautiful sculptures and fountains that make the forest look like a landscape park. Here you can also climb the Pedra da Gávea mountain, the highest in Rio (842 meters). The path leading there is not the easiest one, but the effort is worth the emotion you will experience on the way and the top.
  • Visit the National Library of Brazil. It was founded in 1837 and is now one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. It is an amazing, magical place. Once you get here, you feel like a hero of fabulous movies and books.
  • Try the local dishes. You will be pleasantly surprised and delighted by everything from Brigadeiro (classic condensed milk and cocoa dessert) to the popular Caipirinha cocktail, which is made from cachaça (a locally-produced strong alcoholic drink), lime and cane sugar. Be sure to try the local cheese buns at Casa do Pão de Queijo and, of course, moqueca (fish or seafood stewed with tomatoes, onions, coriander with pepper and coconut milk) and feijoada (a stew made from black beans, pork, and sausages). Brazilian cuisine is sure to win your heart and stomach.
  • Go all 4 kilometers of the legendary Copacabana beach at sunset, enjoy the view of the ocean, feel its strength and tenderness of warm sand under your feet, breathe in the sea air and get a charge of incredible energy and ocean power for everyday activities.
  • Climb the legendary statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of Corcovado. You will see this giant symbol of Rio de Janeiro from another angle, admire its power and magnificence. Take the gorgeous photos of the city that Ostap Bender had dreamed about.
  • Count the steps of the Selaron Steps. It was laid out with colored tiles sent by Chilean artist Jorge Celaronu, who lived on this street. The tiles were sent to him from more than 60 countries. He was helped by his colleagues and neighbors, gathering tiles from all over the world. It has a special atmosphere of unity and support.
  • Dance! If you have not danced in Brazil, you have not felt all the spirit and freedom of this land. People here love and know how to dance with such a feeling and spirit that it is impossible to resist and not to join, even if you have never done it before. The chic nightclub Rio Scenarium is famous for its fiery samba, as well as the original interior — an exquisite collection of antiques, placed on three floors of the club.

Hotels in Rio de Janeiro

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