Rio de Janeiro Journals

Beyond Carnival in Rio

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Rio de Janeiro by Clabrazil

Corcovado Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil More Photos
Quote: Rio de Janeiro has some clichés that help and harm the city: It's full of dream beaches, it has nice weather all year long, and the women... oh, the women!

Beyond Carnival in Rio

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Corcovado Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
The beaches: They are probably the most beautiful urban beaches in the world. But again: urban! This means they might be more polluted than you expect. The best solution is to lay down in one of the long sand areas and get the perfect tan, surrounded by beautiful people. And that's it! Swimming requires a resistant skin. The weather: Unless you're really unlucky, you won't catch bad weather here. It's never too cold in Rio — this Winter, now, for example, is the coldest in the last decade, and it's never less than 10 degrees C. Once in a while, it can even be 30 degrees warm in this season. The people: Cariocas, like natives here are called, come in different colours, various si...Read More

Santa Clara

Hotel

Quote:
It's such an old fashioned hotel! They even bring your breakfast to your door. So sweet! And it is in the quietest area in Copacabana. Good choice if you can stand those ugly 70's wallpapers.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2000

Santa Clara
Rua Décio Vilares, 316, Bairro Peixoto
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
256-2650

Angrense

Hotel

Quote:
Next to another possibility (Pousada Girassol), it's clean and located in the middle of Copacabana in a narrow street. The clerks are very polite and their email is angrense@antares.com.br

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2000

Angrense
Travessa Angrense, 25
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
548-0509

Copacabana Praia Hotel

Hotel | "Copacabana Praia"

Quote:
It's a whole building someone once decided to open for tourists. The rooms are huge, so it's best recommended when you are in group. There's also a kitchen, for those who really want to save on food. Also located on that cool area inside Copacabana, Bairro Peixoto.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2000

Copacabana Praia Hotel
RUA FRANCISCO OTAVIANO 30
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
2125225646

Quote:
It's the yellow building (girassol means sunflower in Portuguese) at the end of this narrow street. Lots of my friends stayed there, and it looks very neat. The owner is sometimes there, which makes everything work better.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2000

Pousada Girassol
Travessa Angrense, 25A
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
256-6951

Bar do Arnaudo

Restaurant

Bar do Arnaudo Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
This restaurant has all the ingredients to be perfect: great food (in big portions!), quick service, nice decoration and cheap prices. it's placed in one of the most interesting areas in Rio, Santa Teresa (an old quarter full of ups and downs) and though their food is nothing very typical from Rio, it's still very Brazilian, precisely from the northeast of the country. You'll have the unique chance of tasting great salty meat with pumpkin farine and a milk purée. Just fantastic.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 2, 2000

Bar do Arnaudo
Rua Almirante Alexandrino,316B, Santa Teresa
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
252-7246

Estrela do Sul

Restaurant | "Estrela do Sul (Rio Off Price Mall)"

Estrela do Sul Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Porcão is supposed to be the best meat place in Rio (mainly football players eat there), but there are many others, just as good as them, and much cheaper. Estrela do Sul is one of these places the waiters come and go all the time surrounding you with all the meat you can eat. And I mean it. You will certainly eat more than your stomach can take, but then who cares? Once in a while it's fine. Also the buffet is great. Several warm dishes and lots of salads for those who still want to avoid the meat.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 2, 2000

Estrela do Sul
Praia de Botafogo, 490
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
275-6280

Yemanjá

Restaurant

Quote:
If you are planning to come to Brazil, without going to Salvador, you might consider having dinner at Yemanjá. This restaurant offers you typical food from this northeastern area of Brazil, but right there, very close to the main hotels in Rio.

The food is very spicy and mostly with lots of fish, shrimps, coconut milk and palm oil. Fresh vegetables and rice to complete your exotic meal.

The place is very much visited by tourists, so feel free to order a delicious 'moqueca' (fish cooked in coconut milk and palm oil) in English.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 30, 2002

Yemanjá
Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 128A
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2523-4456

Kilo Restaurants

Restaurant

Quote:
Once I heard someone saying they were our response to the American fast-food. It could definetly be true, but the variety makes those kilo restaurants much more attractive than McDonald's. It works like this: you receive a blank bill when you enter. You walk through this huge buffet with salads, pasta, harty food and all kids of meat. You get a plate and chose what you want to eat. Then walk to the clerk who weights your food and writes down how much you should pay. And that's it. Why choosing for pasta or meat if you can have it all at once? And it's so cheap you won't believe your eyes. Just for your information, a very hungry man eats about 700g of food in a meal. In such...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2002

Kilo Restaurants
Throughout Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Marius

Restaurant

Quote:
Marius is one of those restaurants that night after night has hungry crowds at the door. They all wait to enter this palace of seafood (and I am not overdoing it, so call to book your place in advance. English and Spanish spoken there).

The whole place has been carefully and originally decorated, and the buffet of seafood, well, you need to see it to believe it. And if that wasn't good enough, you still get offered more of the huge fresh shrimp and grilled fish fillets every two minutes on your table.

Don't miss it!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2003

Marius
Av. Atlantica, 290
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 22010-000
+ 55 21 2542 2393

Help

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
I've been there alone, with a date and with a group of friends. It's obviously a place you can't miss when in Rio — it is a tourist point such as Corcovado or the Sugar Loaf. The main difference is on who are the habituées there. The first step is to take a beer outside the disco, in the terrasse; you'll surely notice that families don't sit there. The custumers are all foreign men and beautiful dark women in tight clothes. They do a kind of socialization there. Then, after midnight, pay about U$ 8 to get in. The first look inside Help will bring you back to the seventies (check those walls full of coloured glitters!!). But the main remark will be the girls. They dance in a very specia...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 3, 2000

Help
Avenida Atlântica, Copacabana beach
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Santa Teresa District

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Santa Teresa District Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
It's probably one of the most pitoresque areas in Rio. Prepare yourself for many ups and downs and delightful awards when you reach a high spot with a great view. For this, check the Parque das Ruínas, a cultural centre placed on the top, but somehow in a low area. The view you get there allows you to see Rio from very close, almost touchable. Fantastic. The rest of the district is composed of studios — most of Rio's artists live there — and old houses from a time Santa Teresa was the healthiest area to live in Rio, due to its fresh air. Don't forget to take a ride on the yellow old tram. It's just fun. To kill your hunger, after walking so much, go and have a nice lunch...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 3, 2000

Santa Teresa District
Near city centre
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Escadaria do Convento

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Escadaria do Convento Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
If you are German, you might have seen it already at a Fanta's tv commercial done here in Rio. They are very long and in many bright colours: green, yellow and blue. These stairs lead to the Convent of Santa Teresa, but they are not the only a way to it. They are peculiar and beautiful enough to deserve some pictures.

The idea of covering those stairs with antique tiles and coloured ones making a mosaic was from Salderón, a Chilean painter living here for ages. He always puts a pregnant woman in all his pictures, even when it's dead nature. It's his 'corny' signature. Thanks God he didn't make the same with his main oeuvre d'art, the stairs.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 3, 2000

Escadaria do Convento
Lapa/ Santa Teresa
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Bunker 94

Attraction

Quote:
Yes, we have eletronic music! Drum 'n bass and electrofunk, besides some rock, make the music at this disco. Located at Copacabana, very close from everyone's hotel, it's the temple of the modern people in Rio. Special attention to the doorwoman, Rosana, who plays the Dominatrix choosing who gets in or not. Normally, she doens't let single men or those in large groups get in, but let her know you're a peaceful cool guy and she won't say no. If necessary, tell her you've heard she likes peach. She'll get so excited that you might have her begging you to get in. (From Thursdays till Sundays)

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 13, 2000

Bunker 94
Rua Raul Pompeia, 94
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 22080-000
+55 21 25210367

Emporio

Attraction | "Empório"

Quote:
It's the only bar in Rio that follows no trends and still survives. The secret might be the great location (close to Ipanema beach), the beautiful waitresses(blondes, brunettes, all kinds), the cheap beer (you pay less than US $2 for a glass), the well-chosen hits (those you haven't heard in the last 5 years) or the typical bad mood of the owner. Anyway, people who once go there, become real habituées. And they are mostly young ones who search for alternatives to the corny world surrounding us.

The street name is right, though the number might be wrong. Anyways, just follow the crowd standing on the pavement.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 13, 2000

Emporio
Rua Maria Quitéria, 25
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

New Year's at Copacabana

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

New Year's at Copacabana Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Let's make the millenium celebration double. When you're in Rio, the place to be is Copacabana. The most Pacific celebration that takes place in the country. Imagine that we have the best temperature anyone could wish: about 28/30C at night, and the sea in front of us. Then, a bottle of champagne, some nice music and loads of tanned people dressed in white, throwing flowers to the sea Goddess, Yemanjá. At midnight, all the fireworks could even make Paris blush! Very close to Paradise.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 20, 2000

New Year's at Copacabana
Praia de Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
+55 (0)21 217 7632

Casa Da Matriz

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Get out of tourist places and mass discos. Casa da Matriz is a beautiful house where some of the most underground parties in Rio happen. It's the meeting point (or melting pot) for all the interesting young "cariocas" who have something to say. Be ready for one of the most eclectic selection of songs you've ever heard — in one hour you might listen to The Cure, Beatles, samba, Nirvana or anything you didn't even remember anymore. Besides, you can also relax with your friends in one of the huge cushions on the floor or, if you're over 20, get delighted playing the best video-game of the 70's/ 80's: Atari!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 27, 2001

Casa Da Matriz
Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Bar Luiz

Attraction

Quote:
The best beer in Rio, in my opinion. The place is supposed to be a German bar, what else could you expect? Since it's located in a busy commercial area, try going there after 17h, always during the week. Then you'll be able to see the office people relaxing after a whole day of work.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2001

Bar Luiz
Rua da Carioca, 39 - Centro
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Quote:
Rio is one of the few cities in the world where you can find a huge variety of bookstores with a nice and cosy cafe. What is more, a lot of them are open 24h a day, just like Letras e Expressões. You can fetch a book, drink your port and enjoy the nice people around you at any time in their Cafe Ubaldo. One of my favourites places in Rio after the cinema or a whole night out dancing.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2001

Letras e Expressões
Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 276
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 22410-003
+55 21 25216110

Motels

Attraction

Motels Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Forget about the American definition for motels. In Brazil, pre and extra marital sex are a taboo, although everybody does it. Besides that, young people tend to live with their parents until they get married. Considering the fact that they do not stay virgins until 25, the question is: where do they practise it before getting married? Motels are the answer. You pay almost nothing (around US$ 20) for a period of 4, 6 or 12 hours and get the best of kinkiness back: a nice room decorated with a mirror in the ceiling, a round bed, bathroom, and very often a sauna and a jacuzzi. Everything is very discreet, you barely see or hear a person. I do recommend you trying it if you come to anywhere in Braz...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 17, 2001

Motels
Everywhere in the city
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Semente

Attraction

Quote:
This bar is tiny and cosy. About 80 people fit in there but much more get together around the corner on the streets to hear the choro players perform.

Choro has its origins in Rio at the second half of the XIX century. In the beggining it was just a very peculiar way of Brazilian musicians to play foreign rhythms, like polka, waltz or tango. The name choro came out for its it's almost crying notes (choro in Portuguese means crying).

Semente is the place for very cold and cheap beer and lots of socializing in the charming old neighbourhood of Lapa. Moreover it is on fire with its performances on Mondays, when all the other bars are empty or closed.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 19, 2002

Semente
Rua Joaquim Silva, 138
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Emporio 100

Attraction

Quote:
The bar to listen to good choro and samba. The advantage of it over Semente, also listed here, is its unique decoration, with chairs hanging over your head and old antique tables and couches to chill out. The service is very nice; you do have the feeling that the owner and his friends work there.

300 people can fit there, but since many of them do dance (it's gorgeous to watch!), I wouldn't recommend it when it's too crowded.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 19, 2002

Emporio 100
Rua do Senado, 53, Lapa
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2210-0310

Girls from Ipanema and other areas

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Ipanema Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
I am a female writer and I am not lesbian. But I understand enough of the topic cause I am a girl from Rio! What I write here is based on long observations, female friends and personal experiences. All right, here it goes. It's not without a good reason that most of the tourists you see here are single men. It might be that men travel more than women, or that I pay too much attention on the male representors. But it's true, anyway. Brazil is known all over the world by its beautiful and charming women who wear tiny bikinis and go often to the beach, mainly dancing the samba on the way. So typical! But women here also work, also wear roomy clothes — though much less than in colder countries — and...Read More

Topless in Rio

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
It's absolutely clear for any tourist who arrives here that Brazil is a catholic country. On the other hand, it's remarkable how sensual people can be. 'How is that possible?', you might ask... Ít's pretty easy. We are catholic, though not always religious, so we can't talk about certain things. But who told you that we can't do it while God takes his nap? Well, we can even insinuate, make sure the other understands that we do the 'wild thing', but we can't simply be that open to say it out loud. Therefore, Rio's people are so sensual. men have their penises leading them, and women wish they had a mirror backwards so that they would know if their butts are looking nice all the time. Then w...Read More

Drinking in Rio

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

orange juice Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
I assume you enjoy a cold fresh beer. Well, then have fun ordering a 'chopp' at any of the bars in Rio. Remember that you're not in Germany, so don't expect 3476 different kinds of beer. Just relax while drinking it in boiling hot weather. If you prefer something stronger, than try 'caipirinha' instead. Please be careful, as it might taste more like a lemonade than anything alcoholic. But, when you least expect it, the acid of the lemon together with the 'cachaça' (our national rum) and the sugar will take you higher than ever. Ok, you prefer alcohol free drinks. You're in the right place then! Order a 'água de coco' at any of the cafés on the beach. Fresh green coconut water you drink with a...Read More