Ipanema is the ideal neighborhood to explore on foot. You can
walk your way from one end to the other in less than 30 minutes -
if you resist the temptations along the way, that is. It is easy
to find your way around as the streets are arranged in a neat grid
limited by the beach, the lake, and charming neighbor Arpoador.
One of the most legendary places in the planet. Ipanema Beach lives up to the hype. The spots opposite across from each street or Posto have developed different personalities. Walking from one end to the other on a sunny day is one of the best ways to get introduced to the social diversity of the city. If you don't enjoy the sand go on a Sunday when most of the action happens in the street - the beach lane is closed to traffic. A stop at Laura Alvim Cultural Center is mandatory.
This is Rio's most sophisticated commercial strip. Start at Bar 20, and question whatever they had in mind when they decided to stick an obelisk right in the middle of the street. Do not miss the small neighborhood malls and specialty stores. Window-shop at the fancy stores along the Diamond Row. From street Aníbal de Mendonça to Vinícius de Morais you will see a sort of who's who in the business world. From the world headquarters of H. Stern Jewelers, to exclusive handbags at Glorinha Paranaguá, perfect bikinis at Salinas, designer luggage at Louis Vuitton... Bring your credit cards - or better - cut them in two before you dare take this walk!
The tree-lined street between the beach and Visconde de Pirajá is mostly residential, yet worth a stop or two. The highlights include a 24-hour supermarket, the avant-garde Teatro de Ipanema, restaurants, a major art gallery, snack bars, and even a Baixo (popular nightspot) at Rua Maria Quitéria.
Another mostly residential street full of attractions. If your time is limited start your walk at the corner of Maria Quitéria and go all the way to Vinícius de Morais. You will pass by top nightclubs, restaurants, an university, bars, pet shops, you name it! Most buildings are four-stories high and there are still many charming townhouses as well.
The strip along Lagoa in Ipanema is particularly interesting and scenic. Do not miss Caiçaras, a country club for members only in an island near street Henrique Dumont. The park and bike lane were recently renovated. Across from Lagoa there are several restaurants, including legendary Bar Lagoa in a landmark art-deco building.
This is the name of the poet that wrote the lyrics of song The Girl from Ipanema. It was written on a bar then named Veloso, at the corner of Rua Prudente de Morais. The bar is still there, renamed - you guessed! Garota de Ipanema. This is one of the most interesting cross streets to walk along. Start at the beach for a glimpse of the posh buildings and go on towards Lagoa. Stop at Toca do Vinícius, a small shop with literally everything Bossa Nova (including rare CD's, books, memorabilia, etc.)
This tour starts at the beach, where Rio's gay and lesbian community gets together on sunny days. Gay Farme is a little to the left of the street, if you are facing the ocean. There are restaurants, snack bars and boutiques to be explored. At night the action revolves around Bar Bofetada, a gathering spot for bohemians, intellectuals and eventually jiu-jitsu boys (go figure!).
One of the prettiest cross-streets. Start at Muscle Beach, a gym on the sand with machines and free weights that is open to the public on a daily basis (it's free). Building number 16 is where Leila Diniz (Ipanema's quintessential diva) used to live. Explore the art gallery and stop for a snack at the corner of Prudente de Morais. Or walk a little more and window-shop at the malls on the corner of Visconde de Pirajá. You can always have a salad at Gula-Gula or a prime steak at Bufallo Grill further down. Go on all the way to Lagoa or turn at Barão da Torre.
These squares play an important role in the cultural and social life of Ipanema. Praça da Paz with its well-manicured lawns and statues is surrounded by attractions on all sides. Praça General Osório is Banda de Ipanema's gathering spot and home to the Hippie Fair on Sundays.
All main streets and cross streets in Ipanema are worth exploring. Zigzag your way along, and discover your favorite spots yourself. The store that sells hundreds of buttons, the juice joint that prepares the most exquisite suco, the restaurant where you are greeted by Baianas in white colonial dresses... We are sure you will learn to love Ipanema as much as we do!
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