In this article you can find suggestions how to arrive in Rio de Janeiro, what to do there (in addition to Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf and Copacabana Beach), how to stay safe and much more!
Rio de Janeiro is called cidade maravilhosa, which means the marvellous city. It is true, there is so much to see. On planning the vacation in Rio, make sure you have enough time. The best period to stay in Rio is two weeks. If possible, then three, four, five… and so on. You never get enough of that place. You don’t have to go sightseeing every day, just wander on those beautiful streets, watch cariocas (the locals) and just enjoy everything.
The location of Rio de Janeiro is perfect which means that you can enjoy the sunshine whole year. The warmest month in Rio de Janeiro is February (average 27 degrees Celsisus) and the coldest in July (average 21 degrees).
How to get there?
You can find good flights on web pages Skyscanner or Momondo. You should also keep an eye on web page Holidaypirates, because sometimes you can find there ridicuously cheap flights.
Although Rio de Janeiro might be your destination, it is worth keeping an eye on flights to São Paulo and Salvador de Bahia. Domestic flights in Brazil are quite cheap, so you can fly from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro for 30 euros. Yes, it is also possible to take the bus, but the price difference between plane and bus tickets is not so big. Actually taking the bus can be a bit dangerous, because time to time, tourists are being robbed there. In addition, Rio’s domestic airport is closer to the centre than the bus station.
Rio is the warmest from October to April, which means that flying there and staying there is more expensive. In order to save, go to Rio in June or in July. Every day is not a beach day, but there are still plenty of days when temperature is around 30 degrees.
How to move from one place to another?
The public transportation in Rio de Janeiro is really good. Bus and metro tickets cost a bit more than 1 euro. By the time of Olympic games (summer 2016), there will be opened new metro stations.
Metro doesn’t work in the night, but buses run 24 hours. On the other side, it might not be good idea to take the bus in the night. Prefer the taxi but don’t trust the driver completely. When you get in the car, pretend that you are speaking on phone with someone and telling them that you will arrive shortly. This gives a signal to the driver that somebody is waiting for you.
When you arrive in airport, prefer the publik transportation. The ticket from domestic airport to the centre costs about 1 euro and from international airport 6 euros (it takes around 1,5 hours to get to the city).
Where to stay?
Those who search for perfect beaches shoud stay in Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon. As these are world-famous beaches, the prices are obviously quite high. Still you can find hostels where prices start from 10 euros.
Those who are not crazy about beaches, might consider Botafogo. This area is closer to everything: Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, Lapa. Botafogo has a beach but people do not go there, because it is not clean. This means that sitting alone on Botafogo beach could be dangerous.
Who is thirsty for adventures, should consider favela! Hostels and hotels are only in those favelas that are safe for tourists. Beaches are very close to favelas and everything is really cheap.
How to stay safe?
You hear often scary stories about Rio de Janeiro. I tell you: don’t be too afraid. Rio is as dangerous as any other big city in the world. Just use your common sense: don’t go to weird places, don’t show your valuables and don’t walk alone in the night.
Where to go?
As mentioned, Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf and beaches are not the only things to see there. I suggest going these places:
Favelas. Rio de Janeiro is famous for its slums that are called favelas. If you are not staying in a safe favela, you should definitely take a tour to favela. The tour costs around 30 euros. These guides are experienced – they know exactly where to go and what you are allowed to do.
Maracanã stadium. Brazilians love football! You should go to Maracanã stadium even if you are not into football. If you don’t want to watch football, then watch people. They just go crazy there. The tickets to Maracanã start from 10 euros.
Morro Dois Irmãos. In order to go there you have to pass through Vidigal favela (the safe one). Climbing Morro Dois Irmãos mountain is free and the view is just breathtaking. Hiking is not very difficult and takes about one hour.
Lapa. It is the most famous party area in Rio de Janeiro. There are parties every night, the best ones on the weekends.
Pedra do Sal. Lapa is famous but full of tourists. On the other side Pedra do Sal is more for locals. The parties take place every Monday and cariocas party, sing and dance samba on the streets.
Lagoa. Where to spend a peaceful day? Take a walk to Lagoa lagoon. You can see there a lot of people working out.
Botanical garden. This is another place where you can rest and enjoy silene. The entrance ticket is 3 euros.
Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro. I have never seen a cathedral like that, it is something completely different. You have to see that!
Selaron steps. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people”. Selaron loved his masterpiece – he was found dead on his famous steps in 2010.
Enjoy Rio de Janeiro, you will love it!