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Thursday, April 11, 2013

CAPITALS IN 7 PHOTOS: RIO DE JANEIRO - 7 SIGHTS OF RIO AND A LOT OF THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - #1 PART

Rio de Janeiro - Panorama from the Cristo Redentor


Why to visit Rio de Janeiro?

Rio de Janeiro is certianly an unmissable stop in every great world tour and certainly a city you should visit at least one time in your life.

Rio de Janeiro is a city in constant change and development in these days and it is something you should take in consideration before you plan your visit.

We published two different posts about Rio and we are already planning to publish more about this wonderful city.

Here you will find some tips about visiting Rio in the other post "7 more sights of Rio" you will find some more info for visiting some unmissable places in Rio de Janeiro

The Cristo Redentor: panoramas are wonderful from the Cristo, but check the weather before to go!

Here some suggestions that we hope you may find useful:

I. Where to stay in Rio? 

This is one of the big questions you will immediately ask yourself when visiting. Rio offers every kind of accommodation from expensive hotels to cheap hostels. We recommend to stay in one of the many new boutique hostels in Rio. 

They are usually very modern, clean and safe, staff speak English and most of them have ensuite comfortable doublerooms, good breakfast and they are not too expensive.
And this leads to the next question...


II. Which is the best area to stay in Rio? 

Rio is not one of the safest cities in the world, but it is not as dangerous as sometimes described, particularly if you stay away from the most dangerous zones. 

As you can see browsing on internet there is a literature now on "Where to stay in Rio", but I think there isn't just an answer but most depends from what you want to see in Rio and which kind of person you are and the money you have.
The following tips you may find useful to answer the question.

The Metropolitan Cathedral - Reflections

III. If you want to stay near the beaches the choise is between Copacabana and Ipanema. 

Bear in mind that Ipanema is safer and tidier than Copacabana, but it is as not as much fun and generally speaking a bit more expensive.


IV. Lapa is the area for nightlife in Rio. 

Lapa has a reputation to be a dangerous area, but than during the night, when pubs and discos are open there is police at every corner and so in a way you are safer there than in other areas. 
The worst time to visit Lapa is during the day when the streets are not as busy and police is not around. Unless you are interested in the nightlife avoid staying in Lapa as you would avoid the plague!


V. Santa Teresa is considered a new trendy and Bohemienne zone. 

Some streets are safe and some others are not. It is not very well connected by public transport particularly at night. Stay there only if you are not going to stay out till late.

Ipanema beach
VI. Leblon is a good alternative to Ipanema if you look for beaches.

The beach in Leblon is usually used more by families if this is the kind of enviroment you prefer.


VII. The area of Botafogo and Catete hasn't much to offer, but accommodation is reasonable, the area is reasonably safe and it is well connected by public transport to the most touristy areas of the city.

Great Modern Architecture in the financial quarter

VIII. In case you don't know: Take only official taxis!

IX. Always take a taxi when moving at night, even for short distances!

X. The city center is very interesting and has some beautiful old colonial buildings and some interesting museums, but don't visit it at weekends, bank holidays or out from the working hours. When no one is around it will be the best place to be attacked!


Favela de Rocinha
XI. Visiting one of the Favelas is a great experience. Some no profit organizations are running tours to the Favelas. They are safe, organised and the money you will pay for your tour will go towards some very interesting educational and social projects in the Favelas.
Although you will hear that many Favelas are pacified and reasonably safe only go there with an organized tour.


Morro de Urca - The Monkeys @ Prahia Vermelha