If you are thinking of traveling to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, you are in the right place. Rio de Janeiro, the capital of the state in which it is located in Brazil, is the second-largest city in the country after São Paulo. Rio de Janeiro, known worldwide for its destinations and entertainments such as the Rio Carnival, samba dance, Christ the Redeemer Statue, Maracanã Stadium, Ipanema Beach, has many touristic areas and natural beauties that will spice up your trip beyond these well-known ones.
If we look at the history of the city; Rio de Janeiro, inhabited by the Amazons, was discovered by Portuguese travelers on January 1, 1502. In the 1500s, Guanabara Bay, the area where the city is located, was attacked and invaded by the French many times. In the 17th century, when it was noticed that gold and diamonds were found in the region, the city became an important point in terms of exports.
In 1763, the capital of the Portuguese American colony was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro, and after Napoleon’s invasion of Portugal, many noble families fled from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. After this event, the city became the capital of the kingdom and became the only European capital outside of Europe. With the arrival of the nobles in the city, many local people had to leave their homes and everything special to the local people was left to the nobles. In the same period, there was an influx of slaves from Africa to this region, and the number of slaves in the city reached 220,000 in the 1800s.
After Prince Pedro declared the independence of Brazil in 1822, Rio de Janeiro continued to be the capital. The city became famous for its beaches and Capacabana Palace Hotel in the 1930s, and many people from many countries of the world began to flock to this beach party city. Rio de Janeiro hosted the Pan American Games in 2007, the FIFA World Cup in 2014, and World Youth Day in 2013.
Where is Rio de Janeiro?
Let us share with you some of the things you need to know when traveling to Rio De Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro, the capital of its state, is located in the southeast of Brazil, a South American country. To the south of the city is the Atlantic Ocean and to the east is the Gulf of Guanabara.
When to Go to Rio de Janeiro
Visiting Rio de Janeiro in a hot sun and on rainless days will make your exploration of the city more enjoyable, so we can say that the months that should be your priority in your Rio trip are between December and March. Especially if you coincide your trip with the month of February, you can have the chance to experience the world-famous Rio Carnival.
February is one of the months with the most touristic visits to the city, offering magnificent panoramic views and feeling the samba dance to your bones. If you want to experience Rio’s unique festivals and February is not a suitable date for you, there is a second alternative that is just as lively in the city: the Mae Bumba Carnival, which is held by the locals of the Amazon in June.
September – February coincide with the summer months of the city and temperatures reach 40 degrees in this period. Especially during the period from January to March, the temperature in the city intensifies. At the same time, the most precipitation is seen in the summer period. It is the period between March and August, which is the winter months, with the least precipitation and the average temperature is 24 – 25 degrees. Tourists usually show interest in the city on these dates to sunbathe on the beach and explore the city.
April and May are the best times to visit the Amazon Region. During this period, the boat shows held in Rio attract the attention of tourists. June to September is the period with the least fog and precipitation for Corcovado and Sugar Loaf. You can also make your trip fun by participating in the Bonfire Festivals (June), Rio BR Film Festival (September – October), Brazilian Grand Prix Horse Races (August) in the country between these months.
Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s coastal metropolis and its third most populous city. The climate of this city, which means “January River” in Portuguese, is tropical. In this Portuguese-speaking coastal city, you can find hotels according to your budget, join the party life, or isolate yourself from the crowd and relax.
Rio de Janeiro Hotels
Rio de Janeiro, which is on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, is a very rich city with its cultural and complex iconic monuments. In this region, which is famous for its samba and festivals, besides the touristic places, you can visit the free museums, if you are interested in Portuguese, you can visit the libraries to get acquainted with Portuguese literature.
If you are into street art and graffiti, great pieces await you in many places. Arguably the most famous festival of the year is the Rio Festival. Of course, this vibrant city has many more festivals to offer. For example Umbanda, Sea Goddess Festival, June Bonfire Festival, Brazil’s Independence Day, Saint Sebastian Celebration Day. If you have the chance and time, you can watch the Plataforma Samba show and go on a daily tour of Rio.
Places to visit in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, a dreamy country that can give you all kinds of experiences with its golden beaches, lush mountains and forests, nightlife enchanted by samba, the famous Christ the Redeemer Statue, and world-renowned favelas.
Rio de Janeiro Attractions
Rio is a country that hosts many places to see in terms of history, nature, and entertainment. Ipanema Beach, Copacabana Beach, Christ the Redeemer Statue, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Maracanã Stadium, Tijuca National Park, Samba City, its favelas, Brazilian National Museum, Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, Brazilian National Museum are some of the most visited attractions. Detailed information about these places.
Rio de Janeiro City Transportation
When you travel to Rio De Janeiro, you should also know how to get there. There are buses that you can use in Rio De Jenairo city transportation, luxury buses called frescao, metro, minibuses, taxis, ferries and train network. In general, the means of transportation in Rio are safe for tourists, but we recommend that you prefer a taxi first at night. We can say that Rio’s urban transportation is cheaper than other countries.
BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) buses are frequently used for transportation from the airport to the city and within the city. These buses, which have an extensive network, cost 3.40 Brazilian real and these lines operate 24 hours a day.
The metro network, consisting of two main lines Linha 1 (red) and Linha 2 (green), is the fastest means of transportation between the south, north and center of the city. You can reach many touristic areas by metro. The subway fare is 3.10 Brazilian reals and the subways are open from 05:00 am to midnight on regular days, and from 07:00 am to 11:00 pm on holidays.
Taxis are the safest means of transport, which work quite well in Rio and especially at night. Taxi fares vary according to your luggage weight, holidays and time zones. The taxi starts at 5.20 Brazilian real and adds 2.05 real per kilometer.
You can take a ferry or hire one of the private boats to go by sea to the nearby coastal towns, Gunabara and Niteroi.
There is a 400-kilometer bike-friendly route in the city of Rio, there are also many bike rental businesses in the city, and it can be a pleasant option to complete your trip by bike. If you want, you can rent a car both from the airport and in the city, but we do not recommend renting a car in a city where you are visiting for the first time.
Cuisine of Rio de Janeiro
Your trip to Rio De Janeiro continues, if you can’t decide what to eat, then it’s time to talk about what to eat in Rio De Janeiro. Brazilian cuisine, which is highly influenced by American and African cuisines, is a cuisine with a wide variety of dishes. Root vegetables are the most common type you will come across in Brazilian dishes. In addition, tropical fruits are frequently used in meals as they grow very well in the region. Mango, papaya, pineapple, guava, and granadilla fruits are the fruits you’ll most likely encounter. Most dishes use beans and rice, with the most preferred animal products being beef, pork and seafood.
Brazil’s most famous dish is feijoada, also known as black bean stew with smoked meat. Main dishes also include local delicacies such as vatapa made with a walnut and cashew nut dish, moqueca de peixe, a coconut-flavored fish stew, cururu de camaro, a combination of shrimp and okra, and chancaca made with a flaked salmon and pineapple. If we look at the Brazilian breakfast culture, breakfast is served early in the country and morning coffee is the most important part of breakfast.
Ipanema district for cheap juices and the most successful dishes, Gavea district for luxury meals with lake views, Copacabana district for ethnic dishes and small buffets, Flamengo district and its surroundings for pizza and Japanese delicacies, Centro district for a good lunch on stone streets. We have compiled the most famous Rio restaurants for you:
CT Boucherie: Lamb, duck breast, grilled vegetables and grilled fish are the most preferred dishes in the traditional barbecue restaurant prepared by the city’s most famous chef, Claude Troisgros. Located in Ipanema, the restaurant has a pleasant ambiance.
Casa Momus: One of Lapa’s most popular restaurants, Casa Momus has a menu influenced by Mediterranean cuisine. Shrimp croquette, spicy gorgonzola, fried polenta, sesame tuna, pork tenderloin are some of the most preferred dishes at the restaurant. In addition, the restaurant is decorated in a 19th-century building.
Espirito Santa: Located in the Santa Teresa district, the restaurant has a large terrace and an amazing view. Influenced by Amazonian and Northeastern cuisine, you can experience a delicious river fish pintado and Amazonian juices at the restaurant.
Lasai: The meals in the daily menu, created with daily fresh vegetables from the chef’s garden, are very successful and no customers are accepted without reservation.
Boulangerie Guerin: The French patisserie that offers Rio’s best croissants, sweet table sugar (chocolate filled pastry) and eclairs can be a place to choose in the Copacabana region.
In addition to the traditional restaurants in the city, you can reach the restaurants of the well-known chains in shopping centers or on busy streets. However, we recommend that you try Brazilian flavors instead of known flavors, as Brazilian dishes are light.
Shopping in Rio De Janeiro
Wouldn’t you like to beautify your Rio trip with shopping? Rio’s shopping options are known for appealing to all tastes and income groups. From the modern shopping centers of Zona Sul to the stylish boutiques of Ipanema, the city is a frequent destination especially for fashionistas. You can feel the atmosphere of Paris, Milan in Rio De Janeiro fashion shopping. Authentic clothing, jewellery, handicrafts and musical instruments are some of Rio’s most preferred products.
There are some products we recommend to take home from Rio. There are many products that you can buy, especially in the field of art. Local and primitive artifacts, antiques, handmade hammocks, bird sculptures, brightly colored cloth kites, leather bags and belts are among the most purchased items. You can buy musical instruments such as Berimbau, which are used especially in carnival, as souvenirs or to remind you of Rio in your home.
Due to the fact that it is a coastal city, Rio’s swimsuits and slippers are also very famous. The city, which has an advanced sense of fashion compared to Europe and North America, has many boutiques and you can shop for clothes from them. One of the most purchased items in Rio is gemstones. Many stones such as amethys, aquamarine, opal, topaz, diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire are produced in Brazil and you can find such precious stones everywhere from the city center to the side streets.
If we talk about shopping spots, Ipanema is the place that hosts the most sophisticated boutiques of the city. The main shopping center is Rua Visconde de Piraja. In addition, there are many shops worth seeing in the side streets of the region. The Hippie Fair, which opens on Sundays in Praca General Osoria, is also a very popular place and you can buy some artistic products such as rugs, upholstery, carpets and paintings. The most preferred region for jewelry is the west side of Ipanema. Copacabana region, on the other hand, is one of the cheapest and most preferred regions apart from clothing.
The most suitable places for bargaining are the markets in the side streets. Apart from these regions, shopping centers in the city are generally open between 09:00 and 18:00. In shopping malls with high demand, the closing time can reach 22.00. The most preferred shopping centers are Village Mall, Shopping Nova America, Shopping Tijuca, Shopping Rio Sul, Shopping Leblon and Shopping Recreio. We can say that the prices of shopping centers with many chains are above the average.
Nightlife in Rio De Janeiro
Of course, we cannot separate the nightlife from the samba parties, as one of the first things that comes to mind when Rio De Janeiro is mentioned is the samba dance. In addition, the city starts to come alive every night after 22:00 and live music, nightclubs, bars, concerts, street parties are lively in many places. Especially the street parties of Rio will give you unforgettable moments, but we can say that this high-end entertainment is more expensive than other cities. There are mobile alcohol sellers on the street and their prices are cheaper than in the venues, it is more reasonable to consume alcohol on the street before entering your destination.
If it is your priority to choose national drinks in the places you will go, it may be more affordable. Leaving a 10% tip is almost mandatory in Brazilian culture. In most bars, ID is required, carrying ID is mandatory in the city, so you should have your passport with you to avoid any problems. In Rio, you cannot enter many bars in slippers or shorts. We would like to point out that in some places, you will be taken inside based on the outside appearance. Bars are generally open between 18.00-02.00 and nightclubs between 23.00-05.00. Beer costs between 6 – 10 reals, while cocktails average 22 – 30 reals.
Lapa is one of the regions where nightlife is most lively. Almost all bars and nightclubs are located here. Hippie-style bars, samba parties and electro music are common in the area where street parties are intense. The Zona Sul area, on the other hand, is very famous for its home-style parties. Copacabana and Ipanema districts are also surrounded by bars, the bars in these areas will be more shabby but will offer you a colorful night.
Praça Sao Salvador area is a more sports-oriented night entertainment center with jugglers, pop-up theater performers, skateboarders. The Arcos do Teles area, on the other hand, offers entertainment in a more artistic area with its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, and you can also consider enjoying the city in the bars in the area as an option. We have compiled the most selected places in Rio for you.
Fosfobox: Located in the very heart of Copacabana, next to the Siqueira Campos metro station, Fosfobox; It is one of the most preferred venues for genres such as deephouse, rock & roll, hip-hop. You can dance all night long at the bar, which offers a variety of cocktails.
Febarj: Perfectly located in Lapa, Febarj holds Brazilian nights on Fridays and Saturdays and enjoys the local dance of samba, otherwise it is one of the top destinations for Brazilian hip hop.
Circo Voador: It is in Circo Lapa, one of the most famous nightclubs in the city. You can listen to live music by local bands in the venue, which is a concert venue. When you travel to Rio De Janeiro, do not leave without tasting the nightlife!
Rio de Janeiro Festivals
The city, which hosts many festivals besides the Rio Carnival, is undoubtedly one of the most colorful cities in the world in terms of festivals. Coinciding your trip with one of these festivals will cause you to spend your time better.
Christmas Celebrations: From December 25 to January 1, Christmas week is celebrated in the city in a very colorful way. Many places are decorated and with song, dance and music, many people from all over the world gather at Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon to see the world’s tallest floating Bradesco Seguros Christmas Tree.
Umbanda-Sea Goddess Festival: Every year on 31 December, Umbanda religious people and tourists gather on the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon to pay homage to the sea goddess Lemanja. The local people, who decorate the daytime with dances and entertainment on December 31st, sail into the sea on rafts equipped with gifts such as flowers, perfume and rice water, and present these gifts to the sea god.
Brazilian Independence Day: September 7, Brazilian Independence Day is a public holiday, and thousands of people take to the streets to celebrate the liberation from Portuguese colonialism. The day with parades and fireworks displays is quite colorful.
Rio de Janeiro Public Holidays
- New year: January 1
- Rio Carnival: February/March
- Easter: April
- Brazilian National Day: 21 April
- Labor Day: May 1
- Catholic Feast: May 26
- Brazilian Independence Day: September 7
- Day of the Dead: November 2
- Republic Day: 15 November
- Christmas: December 25
*The above holidays belong to the 2017 calendar and change according to the years.
Useful Information for Rio De Janeiro
- Fire Brigade: 193
- Police: 190
- Ambulance: 192
Official Language of Rio De Janeiro
What languages do you need to know when traveling to Rio De Janeiro? The official language of Rio De Janeiro is Portuguese. Most of the country speaks Portuguese. The number of people who speak English is also quite high, as there are many immigrants from Europe and Asia in the country where Spanish is also common.