Rio de Janeiro – the name alone awakens a longing for samba, beach and an unparalleled attitude to life. The city alongside the world-famous Sugar Loaf Mountain, or the “Pão de Açúcar” as the locals call it, is the epitome of Brazilian beach culture, debauched nightlife and culinary hotspots.
For those who like to stay close to the beach and at the same time within walking distance of restaurants, bars and shops, the districts of Ipanema and Leblon offer the agony of choice. While Leblon is often associated with the rich and beautiful, which can be noticeable in various cafés or restaurants, Ipanema tends to be a little more relaxed. As we all have a different taste you can feel very comfortable in both neighbourhoods.
The beach is divided into different sections (postos) and starts with Posto 1 at Copacabana and ends in Leblon with Posto 12. The beach of Ipanema, which is often preferred by the locals, lines up in the golden middle. Similar to the “Ballermann” on Mallorca, each section is attributed a certain clientele. We think there is something to it and favour Posto 11 – samba sounds, bikinis and delicious caipirinhas included!
If you spend the day on the beach, it’s best to end it there with the sunset and dreamlike scenery. Alternatively, head to Sugarloaf Mountain in the afternoon and enjoy the view of Copacabana after a short ride on the gondola. With a clear view (no fog) and delicious cocktails at the Clássico Beach Club, this is also an absolute highlight.
The evening program in Rio can be as varied as the colourful carnival parade in February. For those who prefer a cosy atmosphere and would like to get a little closer to Brazilian cuisine, the Churrascaria Assador in Batafogo is a place to recommend – a traditional restaurant where grilled meat is served directly from the spit. Churrascaria’s are mostly “all you can eat” restaurants, which should be included in the subsequent evening planning. If, on the other hand, you prefer to dive into the nightlife immediately, take an Uber to the Lapa district and visit one of the countless bars and nightclubs. Here you can easily party until the early hours of the morning, meet backpackers or locals and have a hearty breakfast after the party in one of the surrounding cafés or pubs.
Rio de Janeiro wants to be discovered and so the beauty of the city may not strike everyone on their first visit. Discouraged by the supposedly high crime rate, some people find it difficult to embark on a completely relaxed tour of discovery. But those who approach the adventure of Rio with open eyes and common sense will soon realise that many fears were in vain.