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10 individual (secret) tips for RIO DE JANEIRO

Sugarloaf mountain, Copacabana and Christ the redeemer are "ticked off". But what exactly makes Rio de Janeiro a special and breathtaking city? An exquisite collection of sightseeing highlights "Off the Beaten Path".

1. Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico) is well suited for a quieter walk in the city. Relatively extensive grounds and right at the entrance there is a small French bakery with fresh, homemade and healthy sandwich creations "La Bicyclette". You can sit inside as well as outside. Very cute atmosphere.

2. Footsteps of Oscar Niemeyer

Oscar Niemeyer is certainly the architect who most impressively influenced all of Brazil. Especially in his native city of Rio de Janeiro, there are some impressive works. Although it is a bit of a drive from Rio to Niteroi, the location of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Museu de Arte Contemporânea) is simply breathtaking. The exhibition is certainly not the most convincing, but the view over to Rio, on the other side of the bay, is worth it. In addition, the museum houses a restaurant in the basement, which also holds a nice surprise in terms of architecture. Only sitting, you can enjoy the view of the water and the city. In Niteroi there is another impressive building by Niemeyer that could be combined with a trip, the Teatro Popular.

3. Hippie Market in Ipanema

For those who love small markets, on Sundays in Ipanema there is a hippie market on the square of Praça General Osório. It offers a lot of jewelry, art, clothing and all sorts of homemade things. On the same spot there is a fruit market on Tuesdays, which offers a large variety of Brazilian fruits and invites you to try.

4. Lake of Lagoa and life of the locals

Rio residents, also called Carioca, usually do not attach much importance to a very stylish outfit, but more so on your body and your fitness. One of the most by the sporty Cariocas frequented places is the promenade around Lake Lagoa. From Ipanema you can start a short walk (preferably to the right) and give you the opportunity to watch the Rio residents doing their favorite activity. A must-do is drinking a fresh coconut at one of the many street vendors. Above all, the opening techniques are admirable, because the machete of the stall owner creates in generous and not too squeamish blows in a few seconds the access to the refreshing coconut water. On weekends, the leisure life of the Cariocas flourishes here from morning to evening. From children's birthday parties to friendship meetings, this is the local "place to be". Also beautiful, watching the sunset sitting in the grass at one of the Lagoa bars (just meters from Ipanema on the right there is one with wooden furniture right on the water). If you are looking for a delicious, simple and cute lunch or dinner option, then on the way around the Lagoa, the small French-style restaurant Guy offers some. Fantastically fresh, homemade baguette, sympathetic and cordial service and delicious home cooking.

5. Street art of a different kind

The colorful mural "Etnias" by the Brazilian Eduardo Kobra is said to be the biggest graffiti image created by an artist. It was created on the occasion of the Olympic Games and is intended to unite all the ethnic groups of this earth in one image. One World. One symbol.

Being entitled to it is just overwhelming. The colors are unique and the three-dimensionality that Kobra has achieved in his work is fascinating. Definitely a must - even if someone generally does not prefer street art in general.

6. Strolling through Santa Teresa

One of the loveliest neighborhoods is Santa Teresa. Old colonial buildings, historic mansions, small idyllic cafes that invite you to stroll, great graffiti, greenery and old walls. In addition, Santa Teresa is located on a slope, so that there are almost everywhere breathtaking views of the rest of the city. Very authentic option for a small lunch or just to soak up the atmosphere is the Cafecito. For a high-class dinner with breathtaking night views over Rio and then "nightcap" in the bar Dos Descasandos (bar of the divorced men - do not be afraid, also women have access :-)), the TEREZE in the hotel Sofitel Santa Teresa is a wonderful and delicious decision. Also lovers of healthy and vegetarian cuisine will find it here.

7. Visiting a favela

The favelas - borrowed from the Portuguese for „slum" - are inevitably part of the cityscape of Rio. They even significantly influence the character of this city. To understand how it works in a favela and its role in Rio, you must definitely visit one. Even if adventure is always part of a journey, one should not be too reckless here. Many are - especially after dark - nothing for foreigners. But there are some favelas that you can visit - only then you can feel all the facets of this metropolis. It is recommended to take a knowledgeable guide who knows the nooks and crannies that you should walk along. A trip on the "favela motorcycle taxi" is a must!

8. Breakfast in an artistic atmosphere

For a breakfast or a lunch outside in good weather, the Plage Café in the Parque Lage is recommended. When the weather is fine, there are only outside courts and the view of the Christ statue is simply more beautiful when the sun is shining. The cafe is located in a historic atmosphere in a well-preserved ruin. The small park location itself is a bit "wilder" than the Botanical Gardens, but that's why it's idyllic and adorable.

9. Party and nightlife in Rio

Arcos da Lapa. The famous Carioca Aqueduct is one of Rio's landmarks during the day. Every Friday it becomes the center of party life. From about 8/9 pm there are several street stalls selling caipirinhas and the adjoining street Avenida Mem de Sá with its many pubs becomes a music mile for every taste. A little note on Caipirinha, the national drink of the Brazilians. Although we "foreigners" know it all over the world with the liquor cachaça, this is avoided by the locals and preferably exchanged for vodka (called then Caipiroska). The background is the poor quality of the cachaça and the resulting headache the next day …

10. On the way with Uber

Although controversial in some places, the Uber App in Rio is a must. Every local is swearing by Uber and is moving almost exclusively with this terrific simple and cheap system in Rio. Many locals even give up a car, as well as shopping etc. is cheaper to do with Uber. Simply download it in the App Store and get started. After the first rides you can not imagine getting around in Rio without Uber ...

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Image sources:,,,,, © travelART by ELLEN


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