Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is one of the brightest cities in the world, a center of tourism in South America. A place where life boils up without stopping day and night. Despite the fact that today Rio is no longer the administrative capital of Brazil, it is considered to be a cultural, football, and dance center of the country. The city sits on the picturesque shores of the Atlantic Ocean Bay, Guanabara. Brazilians are absolutely sure that on the seventh day after the creation of the world, God was busy creating exactly Rio de Janeiro. They have all reasons for this, because Rio is magnificent, beautiful, authentic, filled with energy and rhythms of hot samba. From the top of Corcovado, 700 meters high, the statue of Christ is watching the city, blessing and protecting it from all troubles. Buildings in neoclassical style, mixed with the Mexican architectural school, streets and embankments buried in lush equatorial greenery, giant evergreen palms with emerald crowns, incredible exotic flowers, wonderful beaches — all this awaits you in Rio. The city amazes the imagination. Wherever you go, you hear the music and laughter of people who know how to live in the moment and appreciate what they have.
Subprefectures of Rio de Janeiro
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
Rio's most outstanding landmark is its nature, lush forests, mountains, and, of course, beaches: Copacabana, Ipanema, Flamengo, Botafogo, etc., whose glory for beauty has long gone beyond Brazil. Rio de Janeiro has magnificent sunsets and sunrises, the paintings of which can be compared to the masterpieces of world art placed in the open air. Colonial architecture, ancient monasteries, and cathedrals, the Museum of Modern Art and the Maracana Stadium, palaces, and forts all have their own special character and atmosphere. Rio has to be explored from the air, from observation decks, and from the Atlantic coast — every angle will give you a new experience.
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
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
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.
Getting to the center of Rio from the Rio de Janeiro–Antonio Carlos Jobim/Galeão International Airport is possible by bus #2018 in an hour and a half if there are no traffic jams or use the metro. To do so, take the express bus and go to the Vicente de Carvalho or Madureira stations, where you can take the underground train and go in the direction you want. The metro is considered to be the safest means of transportation in the country and has a huge advantage — air conditioning. It is open from 5 AM to 12 PM from Monday to Saturday and from 7 AM to 11 PM on Sundays. During the Brazilian Carnival, the subway is open 24 hours a day.
Most of the city's sights can be seen by taking the green line of the subway. Tickets are sold from cashiers at stations or in special machines. You can buy tickets for one trip for one type of transport or combined tickets for the bus and subway at once.
It is no secret that in Brazil, the crime situation leaves much to be desired. In particular, there are many pocket thefts. In order to make your stay pleasant and comfortable, we recommend not to travel on public transport during rush hour. We do not recommend carrying a lot of cash, valuables, jewelry. Keep a close eye on your photo and video equipment, and hold it tightly in your hands. The same applies to mobile phones. Bags and backpacks are better to hang in front of you. To withdraw money, choose ATMs in hotels, banks, and other places with low access to strangers and security. Always be vigilant!
Cross the road very carefully, even if the traffic light is green for you. People here do not follow the traffic rules much, especially the owners of motorbikes.
When visiting nightclubs, you must show an identity document. This may not be the original document, but a photocopy of it. We do not recommend carrying the originals with you; it is better to keep them in the hotel vault.
Be careful at the beach and in the sun. It is strong and hard here, even if it is a cloudy and overcast day. Purchase sunscreen with a high degree of protection, sunglasses, and hats.
We recommend carrying small banknotes, as vendors on the streets and beaches very rarely can find change.
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.