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Home » All About Hotels & Flats in Rio » Rio Quick Tour - Where to Stay in Rio
BARRA DA TIJUCA AND SAO CONRADO
Before choosing your hotel or flat it's a good idea to learn your way around the city. Join us on a Rio Quick Tour, and  explore lodging options by area. We are following a scenic route along Guanabara Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean. Stop whenever you want for photos, highlights and attractions, insider's tips, and street maps. We have visited and reviewed all hotels and flats listed, and you are welcome to use may use our free booking service



Tall and tan and young forever... Ipanema spells love at first sigh and will leave a permanent impression on you. Cariocas are very proud of its free, avant-garde attitude. Street Carnival festivities are world-renowned. Ipanema Beach is a legend. There are first class boutiques, malls, country clubs, parks, and the famous diamond row with two gem museums. Some of Rio's best hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and cultural attractions are concentrated in this neighborhood. It is a sort of smaller and more upscale version of Copacabana, and can easily be mastered on foot. Av. Vieira Souto is the name of the beach strip.


Jardim de Alah Canal is the border of Ipanema and Leblon. It connects the Lake ( Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas ) and the Atlantic Ocean. Leblon is as fashionable and as affluent as its beach sister Ipanema. Hotels and apart hotels in both neighborhoods are even listed together, for your convenience. Leblon is centrally located, has excellent night life possibilities, first-rate shopping areas, restaurants, and all conveniences in a walking distance. Upper Leblon is a hilly residential area with mansions, and spacious apartments. The street along the beach is Av. Delfim Moreira.


Arpoador is between Copacabana and Ipanema, and it is one of Rio's prettiest areas (see Pictours of Arpoador). Attractions include two beaches, parks, top restaurants, bars, 24-hour convenience stores, a neighborhood mall, even a Bingo Casino. Ipanema and Copacabana beaches are steps away. Main street is Rua Francisco Otaviano. Hotels in this area are very popular.


This is an area that hardly needs any introductions. The Princess of the Sea has just turned 100 and is looking prettier than ever! Av. Atlântica, the beach strip, features charming beachside cafés, and a busy night scene. This is a self-sufficient neighborhood, and all conveniences are in a walking distance. There is a little (and sometimes a lot) of everything. Great restaurants, hotels, excellent shopping, cultural centers, world-famous discos , movie theaters, theaters and even strip clubs are among the attractions.

Leme is Copacabana's left brother, if you are facing the beach, that is. Av. Princesa Isabel is the borderline, connecting Leme and Copa to Botafogo through that tunnel we have just gone through. Leme Beach has clean waters, white sand and a family atmosphere you will love. There are good restaurants and excellent hotels. Being smaller and quieter while as centrally located as Copacabana, Leme is one of the best areas to stay in Rio.

As we leave downtown, Av. Beira Mar changes names to Praia do Flamengo. The view is magnificent, but the beach is unsuitable for swimming. From here you can see the Yacht Club at Urca, and the Gloria Marina is not far. The most important leisure area is the Flamengo Reclaim, one of the world's largest urban parks. This sprawling green strip with meadows and landscape planning by Burle Marx features a number of bicycle trails, 3 museums, and more sports courts than you can count. This is a neighborhood with tradition, many landmark buildings and interesting cultural activities.


As we leave Praia do Flamengo, we will take street Praia do Botafogo, also bordering the Guanabara Bay. Again this beach is unsuitable for swimming. Take a closer look at the dazzling view, instead- sailboats, yachts, the famous cable cars on the Sugarloaf in Urca... It's time to stop and take a few shots. Botafogo has a rich night life, a lot of personality, and a terrible traffic. There are two major malls, cultural centers, health clinics and schools in the area. We will take a short tunnel know as Tunel Novo to reach two of Rio's favorite neighborhoods.

Keeping along the Atlantic Coast we will take Av. Niemeyer to reach São Conrado. This is one of Rio's most scenic neighborhoods. There are posh buildings along the beach, an impeccable golf green, hang-gliders decorating the sky, an upper-class mall, and even a billionaire strip (Rua Iposeiras). It is also home to the largest favela in South America, the popular community of Rocinha (Roh-si-gnia) with an estimated population of 50,000. The beach is gorgeous, but often unsuitable for swimming. You will need a taxi or car to move around.

After a couple of tunnels, and one of the world's most scenic overpasses ever, we arrive at Barra da Tijuca. Barra is a sort of a self-contained city. It doesn't look much like other parts of Rio, as it was planned for drivers, not pedestrians. Rent yourself a car if you're planning to stay here. The beach is gorgeous, unpolluted, and over 10 miles long - a surfer's dream come true. This is the land of hypermalls, including the largest one in Latin America with its own monorail system. There are huge hypermarkets, condos, theme parks... any similarities to Florida are not coincidental. RioCentro, Rio's Convention Center, is 15 minutes off-Barra in Jacarepaguá.


Downtown Rio or Centro is Rio's historical and financial center (see history). Major Brazilian and international companies keep headquarters and offices in the downtown area. Landmark buildings and districts, museums, churches and cultural centers are waiting to be explored. Some areas, like Cinelândia and Praça XV, are perfect for walking tours. Green parks, myriad squares, traditional restaurants, and eclectic shopping are additional attractions. There are samba halls, night clubs, and musical shows on weekends. Av. Beira Mar is the name of the strip bordering Guanabara Bay.
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