10 best things to do in Rio as Brazil gears up for the FIFA World Cup
With Brazil set to host the world’s largest and most popular football tournament, travelers from all over the world are gearing up for the trip to the country of powdery white-sand beaches, pristine rain forests and wild, rhythm-filled metropolises.
Skyscanner – a leading global travel search site, recommends the hidden sights, shops and bars of Rio de Janeiro,the city which is the birthplace of world-renowned footballers like Zico, Ronaldo and Romario. Get off the tourist trait and hit the hip hotspots and cool hangouts during the Football frenzy.
- 1. Rio Scenarium
To get in the real spirit of Brazilian music, it has to be live and people should really be dancing. This place is located in the middle of the hectic Lapa district. You’ll find it full of happy people dancing to a live band playing Brazilian music – mostly samba. The venue, decorated with antique objects, is really cool, located on the third floor of a huge colonial mansion, so there’s plenty of space to try a few steps.
- 2. Delirio Tropical
This is where you can come for a quick lunch during weekdays or on weekends after the beach. Serving fresh salads, quiches and other lovely, healthy, affordable food, the best thing is the price (depending on what you choose, of course). The main branch is located right at Ipanema beach, and there’s one in the city center too.
- 3. Bar Urca
Urca is the neighborhood that surrounds Sugarloaf Mountain. You can get one of the best views of Rio’s bay from this quiet, picturesque and residential area. You would not imagine that there is anything happening here until you arrive at the end of the street and see a line of people chilling out, drinking beers and enjoying good bar snacks like empadas(small pies) and pastries – fried pockets with a variety of fillings. Go for the mouth-watering dished of shrimps!
- 4. Meza Bar
Meza is a great alternative to Rio’s regular bar scene – more of a gastro-pub with class. You are seated at a table and there are normally live DJ sets to enjoy. The food here is fabulous and served in little bowls, so as not to make you feel heavy and ready to go to sleep. The chef’s philosophy is to keep you in the dancing mood and to make sure you have room left to enjoy their award-winning drinks menu. This place is on the expensive side, but worth it for the atmosphere.
- 5. Gilson Martin
If you want to buy cool gifts and souvenirs in Rio de Janeiro, this is the shop to visit. Find pop art accessories inspired by the city’s landmarks, cool vinyl bags, wallets and briefcases that come in all manner of shapes and sizes.
- 6. The Maze
This place really shows a different side of Rio. Inside a pacified favela (shanty town), a former English journalist from the BBC bought a tiny house on the hill, with a stunning view to Sugarloaf and the bay. Here he built a guesthouse and began hosting jazz nights. From the start this place has been packed with all kinds of people looking for quality live music, a decent bar and the main attraction: a panoramic view. To get there, you can take a taxi to the bottom of the hill and then a minivan or a mototaxi to get up the hill.
- 7. Palaphita Kitsch
This is a popular spot to watch the sunset with drinks and enjoy long chats. The exotic Palaphita Kitsch bar is located on the edge of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas and offers an incredible view over the city’s lagoon and beyond. It has a Balinese vibe and the chairs are made from Amazonian wood, some of which are even suspended among the trees. If you want a really alternative souvenir you can buy one of the chairs – they are all for sale! You will definitely enjoy their appetizers and drinks.
- 8. Zero Zero
This stylish and sophisticated venue has a sushi bar on the deck where the gay-friendly crowd assembles. The music is a variety of genres of dance music, a little more mainstream at the weekends, leaving Thursdays and Sundays for a more adventurous musical adventure with occasional international guests.
- 9. Farm
‘Inspired, and sold, by the beautiful girls of Ipanema’ – that is Farm’s philosophy. Their collections are colorful, feminine and young. This is a local brand, born and raised in Rio, they now even have a shop in fashion mecca – Paris! Farm was founded in the heart of Ipanema General Osorio’s square, which is where you still find its flagship store, and there are others in the main shopping malls in town.
- 10. ParqueLage
This beautiful mansion dating from 1840 has a unique and surprising style. The house was designed by a famous Italian architect and the grounds created by an English landscape gardener, who took his inspirations from the Romantic gardens of the UK.
Visitors have come here since the 1950s to see its huge tropical gardens and enjoy the pleasant cafeteria inside the mansion (where there are exhibitions from the art school). When you feel adventurous, you can hike the trail (it’s not easy though!) from their gardens up to the Christ. To find the trail just ask the guards for directions.
For help planning a trip to Brazil you can find flights to Rio and Rio hotels on worldtraveland.
culled from www.travelandtourworld.com