Barra da Tijuca
A trendy district in western Rio, Barra da Tijuca brings together the mountain, sea, Atlantic forest and lagoon in one place to the delight of residents and visitors.
Pedra da Gavea (Gavea Rock)At 840m high, one of the most stunning lookouts of Rio de Janeiro takes you to the edge of the city and sits between the south and west zones. Described as the “world’s largest block of stone by the sea”, it is one of the highest points of the Tijuca National Park, which is said to be the largest urban forest in the world. The walking trail might be difficult and lasts about three hours, but there are accredited guides on hand to ensure the safety of visitors. Those game for an even more unforgettable experience can get a bird’s eye view of the area by opting for a hang gliding flight or paragliding from the nearby Pedra Bonita. You will be able to book these activities at the main entrance of the attraction. Address: Estrada do Sorima, Barra da Tijuca, Parque Nacional da Tijuca – Setor C Tel: +55 21 2492 2252 Opening hours: 8am – 5pm, Monday – Sunday
Praia de Grumari (Grumari Beach)It might be 20km away from the centre of Barra, but the rustic Grumari Beach is worth the trip and ideal for anyone seeking an alternative to the crowded southern beaches of Rio and who likes to spend all day relaxing on the sand and end it with a beautiful sunset. This is a nature reserve, with few facilities and homes around, so don’t expect many food and drink options. Nearby are also the surf beaches of Macumba and Prainha. It’s important to arrive early though, as access and parking are limited to a small number of cars. Address: Via Recreio dos Bandeirantes through Avenida do Estado da Guanabara, close to Canal do Rio Morto
Gero BarraThe most informal restaurant of the famous Fasano’s group located in the western zone of Rio serves fresh pasta prepared in a glass room, greeting all those who enter the restaurant. The atmosphere is casual and the house has an executive menu at lunch from Monday to Friday – great for a good carioca ambience. Address: Avenida Erico Veríssimo, 190 - Barra da Tijuca Tel: +55 21 3523 5700 Website Opening hours: 12pm-3.50pm and 7pm-12am, Monday-Friday; 12.30pm-1.30am, Saturday; 12pm-12am, Sunday
Village MallThis upscale shopping mall is where you’ll find brands such as Apple, Amsterdam Sauer, Louis Vuitton, a movie theatre and restaurants such as Pobre Juan, all in a location that overlooks Lagoa da Tijuca. It’s also home to Teatro Bradesco, whose design is inspired by the iconic Carnegie Hall in New York and has a capacity of over a thousand people. Address: Avenida das Americas, 3900 - Barra da Tijuca Tel: +55 21 3003 4177 Website Opening hours: 11am-11pm, Monday-Saturday; 12pm-9pm, Sunday
Deodoro, one of the four zones for the 2016 Summer Olympics, is a lower-middle class neighbourhood and is home to Brazil’s largest military barracks.
Aerospace Museum (Museu Aeroespacial)Known as the “Brazilian Aviation cradle”, this is the most eminent aviation museum in Brazil. Established in 1976, it has some 80 airplanes showcased and has become a symbol of the country’s flying history. The museum even has a replica of the 14-bis, the aircraft built by Alberto Santos-Dumont – also known as the “father of flight” in Brazil. Address: Avenida Marechal Fontenelle, 2.000 Sulacap, Rio de Janeiro Tel: +55 21 2108 8954 Opening hours: 9am-3pm, Tuesday to Friday; 9:30am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays
Quissamã House (Casa Quissamã)Previously an old farm that was transformed into a museum, Quissamã was once an important sugar production centre. Sugar was one of the most important foods of Brazil’s imperial economy. In this museum, the visitor will also get to learn the history of slavery in Brazil. Address: Rodovia RJ106, s/n | Centro, Quissamã Tel: +55 22 2768 1332 Opening hours: 10am-5pm, Wednesdays to Sundays
Refúgio CariocaA typical bar in Rio de Janeiro where you can get cold beer in buckets and bar food. The place is great for people watching, dancing or listening to music. The bar also offers shows of pagode, which is a Brazilian style of music derived from samba. Address: Av. Marechal Fontenelle, 5497 - Realengo, Rio de Janeiro Tel: +55 21 3344 3148 Opening hours: 11pm-4:30am on Thursday to Saturday; 4pm-2am on Sunday
The Maracana neighbourhood in the north of Rio de Janeiro is where you’ll find the Maracana stadium, the sacred ground of football.
Aconchego CariocaInfluenced by Brazilian’s northeastern cuisine, the star attraction here is the traditional feijoada and chefs Katia Barbosa and Rosa Ledo serve up other amazing local recipes too. For a good drink, ask for a craft beer or a caipirinha. Address: RuaBarao de Iguatemi, 379 - Tijuca Tel: +55 21 2273 1035 Opening hours: 12pm-11pm, Tuesday-Saturday; 12pm-5pm, Sunday
Bar do MomoA typical pub, the place is snug and tables are spilling onto the sidewalk, but this only makes it more charming. Father and son Toninho and Tonhao helm the kitchen, which offers burgers and classics such as roast beef sauce. Address: Rua General Espirito Santo Cardoso, 50 - Tijuca Tel:+55 21 2570 9389 Opening hours:6pm-10.30pm, Monday- Friday; 6pm-10pm, Saturday; Closed on Sunday
The Olympic zone of Copacabana covers some of the greatest sights of Rio, offering easy access to the beautiful landscapes of Marina da Gloria.