Guide: Planning a short trip to Rio? Here is everything you need to know

2.-christ-the-reedemerI get a lot of emails and Facebook messages from friends, friends of friends or people I haven’t heard from in decades asking for tips/suggestions for planning their stay in Rio de Janeiro; so I figured I would make it easy for everyone.  Here is your what you need to know to plan an awesome trip to Rio #guidetoRio:

Hotels in Rio de Janeiro:

Marina All Suites located in Leblon. Directly across from the beach, it has a nice roof top pool and is walking distance to great restaurants

Fasano located in Ipanema. This is one of the nicest (and most expensive) hotels with an incredible roof top pool, posh night club, restaurant and it is situated in front of Post 9

Caesar Park located in Ipanema. This hotel is a little older, it is more reasonably priced than some of the other hotels and has a nice roof top restaurant

Copacabana Palace located in Copacabana.  This chic hotel has been hosting glamorous celebs from around the world for decades, and serves  the fanciest champagne brunch in Rio!

Sheraton Sao Conrado, Read more here

Sheraton Barra Located in Barra it is a further drive away from the city’s main attractions however  the beaches are beautiful, perfect for surfing / kite surfing and if you are looking for a relaxing resort outside the city this is for you. Recently a number of new restaurants and shops have opened up near by that you can walk to, and of course it is close to ALL of the shopping malls!IMG_7696

Things to do/see (click to read more details about each):
Bike around Lagoa
Hippie Fair on Sundays in Ipanema
Visit Burle Marx (need to call ahead)
Stroll through Jardim Botanico and check out the graffiti!
Hike up Dois Irmaos, or Pedra Bonita for a great view (above)
If you have kids, there are beach play areas at Posto 12 and Posto 8
Beaches that you need a car to get to but are worth the trip: Praia Joa, Prainha, Grumari, Reserva
aprazivel (4)
Restaurants/ Night out

Santa Teresa/ Lapa:
Watch sunset and enjoy yummy cocktails at the Santa Teresa hotel bar and have dinner at the restaurant Térèze, OR have drinks then….
Head over to Aprazivel restaurant for some delicious amazonian food and  one of the most incredible views of the city (above). FYI for party of 6 or more book ahead and dine in one of the ‘bird cages’
Want to show off your samba moves? Cab over to Lapa and dance the night away at Rio Scenarium or 40 Degrees. There are lots of little bars, restaurants and samba clubs scattered throughout Lapa, just be careful with your iPhone (if you want to keep it!)

Leblon: Not sure what you are in the mood for? Stroll down Leblon’s Dias Ferreira, which is lined with all different types of restaurants (traditional Brazilian, Thai, sushi, tapas, Italian, Cuban, etc) and bars so you are guaranteed to find something everyone likes just keep in mind you will probably have to wait a little while to be seated.

To see and be seen you must dress your best and go to Sushi Leblon, Leblon’s trendiest sushi spot just be prepared for the usual 1-2 hour wait! FYI Personally, I think it is a bit over rated and very expensive, if you want sushi without the massive lines try:  Togu (great rodizio) or Manekineko (one of my favorites)
CT Boucherie is one of the best restaurants in Rio!  With it’s side dish rodizio and amazing steak you will have an unforgettable meal (every person I take loves it).  Walk down to street to Belmonte for after dinner drinks.
For traditional Brazilian food, the best beer in town and a fun late night bar scene Jobi (above)
Antiquarius, upscale and known for it’s traditional cod fish.  It is also fun to have a bottle of wine in the bar area before dinner and try the variety of traditional Brazilian snack foods.
Have drinks at the outdoor Bar do Praia at the Marina All Suites hotel.
Interested in trying the best Feijoada in Rio? Go to Casa Feijoada for a late afternoon ‘lupper’.. FYI you will probably need a nap after so plan accordingly
If you are looking for an actually ‘good’ salad then you must have lunch or dinner at Gula Gula.  You can choose up to 4 of their hearty salads to try from.  Really this is one of those restaurants that their truly is ‘something for everyone’.. There are a number of locations, but the nicest one is located in Ipanema.  It’s very cute, set inside an older house.
For a chill date night Zaza 
Have after beach drinks at Astor then party at Studio RJ’s later in the night
Try the hot new restaurant in contemporary cuisine, Gastro Iraja.  There are some trendy bars and traditional Brazilian pubs near by. Rua Iraja is lined with good restaurants, mostly contemporary or tapas, you can’t go wrong!
Looking for something more laid back, head to the Cobal do Humaitá, an area with a few different restaurants, outdoor bar area and night club upstairs.
After you go up Sugar Loaf, have lunch right next door at ZoZo which has an awesome salad selection and a variety of feijoada’s to choose from!
Places to visit just outside of Rio:
A short 1 hour drive will take you to the Imperial city of Petropolis, guide here
Looking to get away and visit the ‘St Tropez of South America”? Hop in your car or take a 3 hour bus to Buzios, guide here (pic above)
If you are looking for a little adventure and a change of scenery take the 5 hour drive/bus to Paraty, guide Here
Planning to drive to Sao Paulo? If you go the in-land route stop in Penedo (small Finnish town) for lunch, or make a weekend of it and go to Visconde de Maua
Have a great trip!! Let me know if you found this #guidetoRio helpful and if you want to see more like this:

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