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Rio de Janeiro Travel Tips – Samba Capital of Brazil

rio de janeiro travel tips
Rio de Janeiro Travel Tips – Samba Capital of Brazil

Rio de Janeiro Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Rio de Janeiro. How to get there and more…

mark ford

Mark Ford

Welcome, it’s great to have you here searching for Rio de Janeiro travel tips. In this article I will share with you how to get around this beautiful city, the best places to stay and what you just can’t miss. Hang on!

Rio de Janeiro, in southeast Brazil, is one of South America’s most famous hubs of energy and excitement. Rio fills the narrow strip between the Atlantic Ocean and the Serra do Mar coastal forest, and is home to some sixteen million people. In Rio de Janeiro, the soft glow of dawn reveals golden shores, and an urban jungle dotted with mountain peaks.

At this early hour, the coastline is a sea of serenity, but soon enough energetic locals fill the scene. Rio’s seductive beaches have a rejuvenating effect that appeals to everyone. With each sunrise, the city readies itself to put on a brand new show. Cariocas, as the residents are known, take pride in expressing themselves in less conventional ways. Even the city’s main house of worship is unorthodox. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian is modeled after a Mayan temple, a staircase to the sun. But it’s the statue of Christ the Redeemer that takes center stage on Rio’s skyline. 

Rio de Janeiro Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is served by Galeão International Airport, located around 16 kilometers from the city. When searching for Rio de Janeiro travel tips there are three ways to get into this great city. Let’s walk through them right now!


There are two bus lines that run from the airport to the city, the 2145 and 2016. Both buses cost R$1, and run every 30 minutes between 6.30am and 9.00pm. The

rio de janeiro airport

Rio de Janeiro Airport

bus ride gets you from the airport to the city, reasonably comfortable in 40 minutes. 


The metro is the cheapest option to get from the airport to Rio, and it’s also the slowest and least convenient one. There are no direct lines from the airport to the city, so you take the Express train to Vicenete de Carvalho and change train to L2 metro to the Presidente Vargas station. This ride takes around 60 minutes with waiting time included and costs just under R$0.50. 


Taxis are your best option if you want a combination of comfort, convenience and value for the money. Taxis will get you into the city center in just 20 minutes and costs around $28-$45, which is a steal compared to many other large cities. Booking a taxi inside the airport for a fixed rate is the easiest way to go about it, if you don’t know portuguese. 

Rio de Janeiro Travel Tips – How To Get Around Rio de Janeiro

When looking for Rio de Janeiro travel tips and how to get around the city, there’s a couple of things to have in mind to get the most out of your experience. This is a big city, but there are a few areas that visitors spend most time around and those are located in connection with each other. Let’s go through how to best get around Rio de Janeiro. 


By far the easiest way to get around Rio is by taking the metro. There are only two metro lines that combined with bus and subway lines covers almost every corner of this city. Line 1 runs north from downtown, going to big tourist attractions as Maracana and the Quinta da Boa Vista. Line 2 starts at Central station and runs south, covering most of the center, then riding through Gloria, Catete, Flamengo and Botafoga before landing at the final destination of Ipanema. The ride takes just 20 minutes compared to sitting in rush hour traffic for an hour or more. A single ticket costs R$2.80, or you can get a magnetic card for at least R$10 that is rechargeable. 

rio de janeiro public transport

Rio de Janeiro Public transport


There are plenty of bus lines that serve the city and they’ll get you around town on the same streets as the normal traffic. It’s a good compliment to the metro, especially if you’re going to Copacabana. There are over 30 different bus lines that ride to Copacabana and it’s pretty straight forward to figure out which ones. You pay directly on the bus, R$2.50-R$3.50 and they are safe to ride during the day. In the evening when the traffic is lighter, most people grab a taxi instead.


For a large city, taxis are plenty and relatively inexpensive in Rio. The best way to get around is in the evening when the traffic is lighter and regular taxis can be hailed directly on the street. A ride from the center to Copacabana costs around R$25-R$30. 

To summarize. The best way to get around Rio de Janeiro is a combination of metro and bus during the day and taxi by night. 

Best Places To Stay In Rio de Janeiro

There are many different places to stay in this city and when looking for Rio de Janeiro travel tips it’s not always easy to know which part of town that best suits your



wants and needs. Here we’ll go through the most popular parts of town and how to get the most out of your Rio experience. 

Ipanema & Leblon

This is a great location near the beach and the lake, with the best restaurants and views in Rio. It’s a little bit pricier than the most popular area of Copacabana, but

it’s also a little bit more sophisticated therefore. 


The most famous neighborhood of Rio, packed with narrow, long streets, close to the beach and with great connections to other parts of the city. This is the most touristy part, because of how famous it is. Watch out for some the tourist trap restaurants along Av Atlantica, but this is a great place to stay if a combination of beach and nightlife is what you’re looking for. 

Recommended Hotel: Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana



Santa Teresa & Lapa

This charming neighborhood has a different kind of bohemian vibe. With great architecture and art minded residents. A handful of good restaurants and drinking spots. Lapa is the samba nightlife center of Rio. Be aware that the public transport connections are not as good and it’s far from the beaches.

What To Eat In Rio de Janeiro

While there are plenty of fresh and healthy options when looking for Rio de Janeiro travel tips there’s also a street food culture that is rampant in Rio. Plenty of deep fried snacks that stack up in the mobile food stalls around town. Let’s have a look at the most popular foods of Rio de Janeiro.

Acai bowls

Long before it became trendy around the world, the healthy acai berry has been consumed on the streets of Rio as part of people’s daily lives. The acai berry comes from the Amazonas and is blended into a yogurt like texture, served in a bowl often with banana, strawberry and granola. Enjoyed as breakfast, lunch or a midday

acai bowl

Acai bowl



Tapioca is cooked like a pancake, wrapped around a choice of filling, such as ham and cheese. For a sweet version, try the Nutella and strawberry or the banana with

condensed milk and coconut. It comes from the north of Brazil yet gained popularity in Rio for being a tasty and healthy alternative to bread. Made from the starch of the cassava root, it’s a great option for those who avoid eating gluten. 


A little bit less-healthy option is getting a pastel from the fair. It is a delicious and immensely satisfying deep fried food, and it’s common in Rio to go to the local fruit and vegetable markets on the street on a Sunday and have a pastel for breakfast. The most popular fillings include meat, cheese, carne seca (dried meat), and pizza that is cheese, ham, and tomato mixed together.



Fried sardines 

After cod, sardines are one of the most popular fish in Rio. Served fried and intact, they are perfectly presented simply with a pinch of salt and a dash of lime. The best way to eat the sardines is to wait for a vendor to walk past on the beach and grab some fresh. It’s hard to beat eating freshly grilled or fried sardines right next to the sea. Served in many restaurants and bars throughout the city, especially the smaller, traditional botecos.

Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have In Rio de Janeiro
  1. Christ the Redeemer statue

Known throughout the world, the most popular tourist attraction in Rio de Janeiro, The Christ the Redeemer monument has become synonymous with Brazil. Regally overlooking the city from the summit of the Corcovado mountain, a 700-metre tall jungle covered peak.

christ the redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

Reach the top by hiking, train, or van, and enjoy one of the most heavenly viewpoints in the city.

  1. Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain is located in the Urca neighbourhood and sits surrounded by ocean, only accessible by cable car, or by rock climbing. Take the cable car from the beach Praia Vermelha up to Morro da Urca, and then another cable car over to the famous Sugarloaf. Alternatively, hike up Morro da Urca through the forest with its monkey inhabitants, before taking the cable car for the second leg of the journey. The views are sensational and absolutely worth it, with a panoramic lookout over

the city and the ocean. Especially stunning right around sunset. 

  1. Samba in Pedra do Sal

Pedra do Sal is home to one of Rio’s most traditional improvised samba nights. This is one of the best ways to experience the city’s music and nightlife culture like a local. Groups of samba bands join together every monday night to sing and dance the night away at this historical and religious spot in the neighborhood of Saúde. Locals get together and sip on chilled caipirinhas made at

sugarloaf mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain

makeshift street stalls to mingle, and enjoy the city’s rawest and best samba.

  1. Hike the Dois Irmãos mountain

The Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Peak) hike begins at the top of the Vidigal favela, one of Rio’s safest communities. Take a moto taxi or van at the entrance of Vidigal to drive you through the twisting, busy favela roads up to the top. From there, it’s about one hour of hiking through forest and vegetation. The top opens out onto a flat, rocky platform and overlooks the ocean to the right, Lagoa and the Atlantic forest to the left, and the breathtaking strip of coastline dividing the two. The best hike to do in Rio, if you’re short on time and still want to enjoy the incredible views.

  1. Visit the Escadaria Selaron 

The Lapa steps were famously featured in the Snoop Dogg and Pharell Williams video, ‘Beautiful‘ and displays the multi-coloured mosaic that was handmade by Chilean-born Jorge Selaron who fell in love with Brazil and dedicated his life to producing this landmark in Rio’s honour. The steps begin in Lapa, with each one carefully decorated with vibrant patterns, and lead up to Santa Teresa.

  1. Maracanã stadium

To experience football like a Brazilian, head to Maracanã, Brazil’s largest football stadium. Maracanã was the host of the final game of 2014 FIFA World Cup and also was the main stage for several of the 2016 Olympics games. Head there on match day and check out a game between Rio’s rival football teams. One of the best games

maracana stadium

Maracana Stadium

to watch is between Flamengo and Fluminense, when the dynamic crowd drives the electric energy in the stadium.

  1. Copacabana and beaches

Copacabana is the most iconic beach in Brazil, yet it’s Ipanema where the laid-back, younger crowd hang flock to for the beautiful scenery and clean, clear waters. The south zone of the city is the most touristic, and is where some of Rio’s most beautiful beaches are found. Stay in Ipanema until the evening comes to watch the sunset over the ocean next to the Dois Irmãos peaks.

Rio de Janeiro Travel Tips Video

Accreditation: Jumping Places

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mark ford

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