One day, or less, in Rio de Janeiro
June 20, 2015 9:13 AM   Subscribe

The good news is I’m going to be in Rio de Janeiro soon for work. The bad news is, it’s for work. I’ll probably be able to free up a day, or maybe a half-day, to be on my own.

So the question is: what’s the best way to feel like I’ve seen Rio in a very limited amount of time? My hotel is right next to Copacabana beach — is the right thing to do just to walk around that neighborhood? Are there sights so magnificent that I should spend my limited tourist time seeing them? I like the usual things tourists like — natural beauty, museums, amazing buildings, etc. — but my priority is getting some sense of a place I’ve never been and am unlikely to see again for a long time, if at all.
posted by escabeche to Travel & Transportation around Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I was there for a day earlier this week, had a friend show me around. We walked along Copacobana and Ipanema beach plus the touristy area a block in, and went up the cable car to Sugarloaf to see the view. (Actually we hiked up the first half, which took about 45 minutes - but you have to buy the cable car ticket at the bottom and if you are pressed for time probably skip the hike). In the evening I watched Brazil v Colombia, if you'll be there while the Copa America is still on then finding a bar to watch it at should be fun.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 10:00 AM on June 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In between Copacabana beach and Ipanema beach, there sits a small neighborhood called Arpoador. If you can, try to sit on the outcropping of rocks at the end of Arpoador that look onto Ipanema beach and beyond to the Dois Irmaos ("Two Brothers") at sunset. If it isn't cloudy, it's a pretty cool view, and there will be other people sitting there watching with you. If it's a particularly good sunset, there will be applause. Afterwards, walk along Ipanema beach, then back into the neighborhood of Ipanema, which is better than Copacabana for sightseeing from a charm standpoint, then stop and drink fresh-squeezed juice at any corner juice shop (I am partial to cupuaçu).
posted by msali at 6:23 PM on June 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Love the suggestions above. Oh the wonderful memories from my working trips in Rio. I always tacked on a few days to visit. My recommendations - Have a capirinha. Eat at a rodizio ( all you can eat meat restaurant ).

After sundown listen to some fado in a cafe in Leblon district ( it's near Ipanema ). My experience was delightful - the audience was singing with the singer, they knew all the beautiful songs. It was unpretentious and so ...real.

I miss Rio. I hope that this trip of yours will be first of many.
posted by seawallrunner at 7:53 PM on June 20, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody, for great advice! I made it to Arpoador, and the amazing botanical garden, and while I didn't take the cable car up Sugar Loaf, I did walk up to the fort at the end of Leme, which was a beautiful quiet walk through a nature preserve with an almost-as-great view of the city at the end. I had several juices -- graviola was my favorite. Oh, and I ate rodizio and capirinha. Together. Still recovering.
posted by escabeche at 6:47 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

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