I know, I owe my English-speaking friends at least one post on this webpage. I have really good friends who use Google translate to understand what I’m talking about. I’m proud of you guys and very thankful!
So I decided to write about my favorite city in the world, the city where I was born: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
But first, I’m sorry about my bad English, I promise I’ll try to get better at this and write more and more for my lovely English-speaking friends.
I think you’ll really enjoy Rio de Janeiro, because there are a variety of romantic, cosmopolitan, historical and adventurous places to visit.
Don’t exist a direct flight from Qatar, the travel is long (unless 18 hours), so I recommend you rest the first day there. Go to Ipanema Beach, drink a lot of coconut water, enjoy the view and take the time to listen to a little bit of Bossa Nova. Most music from this genre was created in this neighborhood. In the afternoon, rent a bike or walk to Arpoador Beach. Stay there until sundown- it’s the most beautiful in the world!
Dedicate a day for downtown to see the historical side of Rio. There are thousands of old churches there like Igreja de São José, Igreja da Ordem Terceira de Nossa Senhora do Monte do Carmo, Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Sé, and the most famous one, Igreja Nossa Senhora da Candelária. At the heart of the city you’ll find the Monsteiro de São Bento, one of the oldest buildings in Rio de Janeiro.
You could also go to some museums. I recommend Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Palácio Tiradentes, MAR,(Museu de arte do Rio), Biblioteca Nacional, Caixa Cultural , Real Gabinete Português de Literatura and Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro.
If you are a typical tourist, you should definitely go to Cristo Redentor and Sugar Loaf Montain. You need to reserve tickets online if you plan on going to the first venue. For the second one, you can just go and buy your tickets there. Don’t do both on the same day.
Assuming you choose to go to Sugar Loaf first, go in the morning and spend some time there; the view is amazing. When the tour is over, take a look around the neighborhood. Urca is the most charming place in Rio. It’s really nice to walk through the Pista Claudio Coutinho and feed monkeys. At the end of the day, go to Mureta da Urca and have beers like a native carioca.
If you choose to do Cristo Redentor, I suggest you go in the morning, too. From there you’ll be able to see the whole city, it’s impressive! After that, go to Jardim Botânico and Parque Lage. Stay in the middle of nature and experience fresh air and a lot of green. It’s the Rio life!
At this point you’re probably wondering, what about Copacabana? One of the most sung about beaches in the world is not so good for swimming. What you should do is walk along the Calçadão, take a lot of pictures and go to Leblon to enjoy the sun and the waves. If you are in the mood, go to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. And if you like adventure, try out canyoning at Catacumba Park!
If you are like me and love cultural things, go to Santa Tereza! There you’ll find a lot of art studios, poetry, Brazilian music and more. In the XVIII century, this place served as an escape for the slaves, which I find very interesting. On the same day you can go to the most bohemian place in Rio: Lapa. There has a lot of samba, funk, gafieira and snooker places. Just pick one and have fun!
Don’t forget to explore the Tijuca forest trail because it takes you inside the Atlantic forest (Mata Atlântica). You should also visit the Maracanã stadium and support the biggest football team in Brazil: Flamengo!
I can spend a lifetime talking and writing about things I love in Rio and what to do there, but I think I’ve said enough to make you want to go there soon. I promise I’ll write more and tell you all more of what I know about this wonderful place!