Rio – what can be said about Rio, the dream of many people all over the world.
Rio de Janeiro is Samba and carneval, the sugar loaf, the christ statue, the beaches as Copacabana and Ipanema with a blue ocean, the mountains, the bars and and and…
The place was discovered on January, 1st, 1502 and called Rio de Janeiro (River of January) because Gaspar de Lemos thought that the bay was a river. From 1763 to 1960 it was capital of Brazil (since then it is Brasilia), after São Paulo (about 500 kms away) it is the largest city and place of commerce. It has more than 6 million inhabitants, bigger Rio more than 11 million.
Different to São Paulo there is a bigger mixture of the cultures. For example, if you go to the bars in Lapa you meet rich and poor enjoying the nights together.
Of course it is necessary to visit the famous places as the sugar loaf (height: 394 m) and the christ statue on Corcovado (704m), from where you have a wonderful view over the city.
Also you should visit the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, make a walk along the beaches and also have a drink at the beach. Don´t worry, there is a lot of security during the day. Finally, no fan of soccer should miss a visit to the famous Maracanã Stadium.
Tours are offered at every hotel.
But there are more highlights in Rio, which you shouldn´t miss. If you want to make a tour on your own, you also may use the metro (link in English…).
In the center of Rio de Janeiro you still find many historical buildings, just as the “Teatro Municipal” (the muncipal theatre), the cathedral, a monastry, the buildings around Praca XV and many museums. For example the “Museu Chácara do Céu“ shows art of Pablo Picasso. At the other end of the square, where the muncipal theatre is, you can have a lunch or snack at the since 1921 existing restaurant Amarelinho, watching the life in the streets. Also in the center there is the Café Colombo founded in the year 1894. Have a cup of coffee and feel a century back.
In the “Jardim Botânico” (botanic garden) is preserved atlantic rainforest, with monkees in the trees as well as many birds and flowers, but also as well and an ammunition factory, which´s ruins are a museum today.
In Lapa there are nice bars and restaurants to enjoy the evenings, but also the “bonde” (tram) starts from there. It is a old tram, still used by public crossing the aquaduct „Arcos da Lapa“ from the 18th century going to Santa Teresa, a beautful quarter of artists, meanwhile slowly becoming a further well known attraction for tourists.
Ilha de Paquetá
In 1555, ten years before the Portuguese founded Rio de Janeiro, the French settled on this island in the Bay of Guanabara und and called the settlement Antarctic France. By ferry boat you reach the car free island in 70 minutes, starting at Praca XV, from where also the ferry boats to Niterói leave. Already the trip on the ferry boat is interesting, being with many Brazilians. Not many foreigners know about this island yet. Arriving on the Ilha de Paquetá you feel yourself in a different world, without the noise of cars, with many old houses and a simplre infrastructure – very close to the busy and loud city of Rio. Directly at the pier of the ferry are men waiting with their horse coaches to take the tourists on a tour around the small island. But also you may rent a bike. If you have time and are good by foot, we´d like to suggest to make a walk by foot, as there are many small things to discover. On the main street leading to the other side of the island there are some simple shops, bars and restaurants.
Opposite the Bay of Guanabara is the city of Niterói, which can be reached by ferry boat or via the bridge crossing the bay. There is the architecturally interesting Museum Oscar Niemeyer. The city grew fast after the construction of the bridge as life is much calmer as in Rio. At the coast there are wonderful beaches and also several lagoons.
Another city, worthwile visiting, is about 70 kms from Rio de Janeiro located in the mountains: Petrópolis. The emperor of Brasil had his summer residence there, which is museum today. From the central bus station (rodoviaria) a bus of the company Viação Única leaves every 30 minutes in the morning.
Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
Links to Rio de Janeiro