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RIO DE JANEIRO

Discover our favourite hotels, restaurants, nightlife and things to do in Rio de Janeiro right now.

 

This insider's city guide has been a long time in the making. We've eaten in countless Rio de Janeiro restaurants, dined in the coolest alfresco eateries, and visited the latest local hotspots. We've also asked the most discerning Rio de Janeiro locals we know to share their favourite hangouts – whether brand new or classic institutions. We bring you our hand-picked selection of our favourite places in Rio de Janeiro.

 

HOTELS

|   RIO DE JANEIRO   |

 

Whether you're looking for the ultimate design hotel, a cosy boutique hotel, or an ultra-cool apartment, here is our pick of the best places to stay in Rio de Janeiro.

 

1. Wow Factor!

FASANO

This is one of Brazil’s most jet-set luxury boutique hotels with a prime location on Ipanema Beach. It draws the fashion-conscious crowd with its Philippe Starck-designed interiors and personalised service. Dine in style at the award-winning Fasano al Mare restaurant, or head to the rooftop pool to sip cocktails while watching the sun set over Rio. $$$ 

Avenida Vieira Souto, 80, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
fasano.com.br  |  +55 21 3202 4000


2. Stylish Escape ...

SANTA TERESA HOTEL

A former colonial mansion in Santa Teresa has been transformed into one of Rio’s most stylish luxury boutique hotels. Surrounded by verdant vegetation, the 44-room Santa Teresa hotel features elegant interiors of rich Brazilian woods, locally quarried stones and burnt cement, and striking artworks by local artists. $$$

Rua Almirante Alexandrino 660, Rio de Janeiro
santa-teresa-hotel.com  |  +55 21 3380 0200


3. Classic Luxury ...

BELMOND COPACABANA PALACE

Brazil’s most famous 5-star luxury hotel on the Copacabana beachfront has played host to the world’s international stars for almost 100 years. You’ll be spoiled for choice with luxe amenities, such as a semi-olympic size swimming pool, a tennis court, a spa and fitness centre, and several dining and lounge bar venues.  $$$

Avenida Atlântica, 1702, Rio de Janeiro
belmond.com  |  +55 21 2548 7070


4. Bohemian Chic ...

VILLA NO. 174

One of the most charming additions to Rio de Janeiro’s boutique hotel scene, Villa N°174 will delight lovers of design with its conversation-piece interiors and captivating sense of style. Housed within an elegant villa on the bohemian slopes of Santa Teresa, spend an afternoon lounging in your own private terrace hammock. $$

Villa 174, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
villa174.com  | 
 info@villa174.com


5. Boutique Chic ...

CASA MOSQUITO

Nestled on a hillside only ten minute’s walk from Ipanema and Copacabana Beach, Casa Mosquito enjoys stunning panoramic ocean views. Four deluxe suites are nestled within the hotel’s restored colonial mansion, and six other suites are located in a modern annexe. Casa Mosquito offers a tranquil home away from home in the heart of Rio. $$

Rua Saint Roman 222, Rio de Janeiro
casamosquito.com  |  +55 21 3586 5042


6. Recent Opening ...

MARIA SANTA TERESA

This unique villa property with a distinctive personality offers personalised service as a top priority. Housed within a mid-century villa and boasting a soaring position in Rio´s bohemian Santa Teresa neighbourhood, this ultra-stylish hotel oozes a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. $$

Rua Aprazível, 163, Rio de Janeiro
mariasantateresa.com  |  +55 21 3259 7169


7. Cosy & Affordable ...

MAMA RUISA

A charming boutique hotel in Rio de Janeiro’s artistic district of Santa Teresa, Mama Ruisa guest house brings a sense of European elegance to Rio de Janeiro's boutique hotel scene. Each of its 7 rooms boast views of the Sugar Loaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay. Make sure to enjoy a refreshing dip in the palm tree-shaded swimming pool. $$

Rua Santa Cristina 132, Rio de Janeiro
mamaruisa.com  |  +55 21 2508-8142


8. By Dussol Hotel Group …

LA SUITE & LA MAISON 
Founded a decade ago by two French brothers, François-Xavier and Jacques Dussol, the By Dussol Hotel Group  have created a unique style of hospitality by providing its guests a home away from home. Their first secret haven La Maison By Dussol is located in one of the most desirable areas of Rio de Janeiro, Gávea; their second glamorous property La Suite By Dussol opened in the verdant Joá, offering incredible panoramic views of the Rio de Janeiro Bay. The brothers will soon open a third exclusive 20-room property in Rio de Janeiro's historic district, Le Paris by Dussol, housed in a neoclassic building built in 1902 with a rooftop bar and pool that will promises to become the place to be in Rio de Janeiro. €€€   bydussol.com

Average Price of a Double Room:     $ = Around $100 or less;   $$ = Around $200;   $$$ = > $300


RESTAURANTS

|   RIO DE JANEIRO   |

 

Whether you're looking for a fabulous foodie dining spot, the city's best beachfront cafe, or a see-and-be-seen restaurant, here is our pick of the best places to eat in Rio de Janeiro right now.

 

1. Wow Factor! ...

FASANO AL MARE

This award-winning Italian restaurant at the Fasano luxury boutique hotel in Ipanema beach is one of the most stylish and fashionable restaurants in Rio de Janeiro. Creating award-winning Italian cuisine since 1982, chef Luca Guzzoni offers an inventive menu of contemporary Italian flavours that take inspiration from Italy’s widely varied regions. $$$

Avenida Vieira Souto 80, Rio de Janeiro
fasano.com.br |  +55 21 3202 4000


2. Trendy Japanese...

SUSHI LEBLON

Discover the best sushi hot spot in Rio de Janeiro with a celebrity-studded crowd. First opened in 1986 by Brazilian pro surfer Pedro “Pepe” Paulo Guise Carneiro Lopes, don’t be surprised if you see paparazzi waiting outside in the hope of seeing a famous face or two. Sushi Leblon’s menu offers a delicious selection of authentic Japanese dishes. $$$

Rua Dias Ferreira 256, Rio de Janeiro
sushileblon.com |  +55 21 2512 7830


3. Waterfront Dinner & Drinks …

BAR URCA

In-the-know locals love to pull up a stool on the sidewalk and watch the sunset over the water at Bar Urca's casual waterfront alfresco bar, while enjoying a refreshing chopp beer and traditional Brazilian bar snacks. Afterwards, make a night of it and stay for a more indulgent dinner at Bar Urca's upstairs restaurant. €

Rua Cândido Gaffrée 205, Rio de Janeiro
barurca.com.br  |  +55 21 2295 8744


4. Dine In The Forest …

APRAZIVEL

Situated in the verdant hills of Rio de Janeiro’s Santa Teresa district, this picturesque restaurant is nestled within a tropical forest. With beautiful views overlooking Rio de Janeiro, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more romantic setting at this open air tree-house with private gazebos and wooden tables scattered beneath a canopy of trees. $$

Rua Aprazível 62, Santa Tereza, Rio de Janeiro
aprazivel.com.br  |  +55 21 2508 9174


5. Local Gem ...

ZAZA BISTRO

One of the most popular casual dining experiences in Rio de Janeiro’s hip Leblon district, Zaza Bistro combines Brazilian flavours with a distinct Pan-Asian twist. Split over two levels, its outdoor terrace is perfect for alfresco dining, while upstairs, take off your shoes and settle onto the plush floor cushions in the romantic candle-lit dining room. $$

Rua Joana Angélica 40, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
zazabistro.com.br  |  +55 21 2247 9101


6. Foodie Favourite ...

LASAI

One of Rio de Janeiro’s culinary gems, Lasai is helmed by the talented young Brazilian chef, 
Rafa Costa e Silva, who was inspired by the flavours of the Basque region. The menu showcases fresh produce sourced from Lasai’s two private farms, where seasonal ingredients are complemented by produce from local organic markets and farmers. $$

Rua Conde de Irajá, 191, Rio de Janeiro
lasai.com.br  |  +55 21 3449 1834

Average Price of a Main Meal:     $ = Less than $10;   $$ = Around $20;   $$$ = More than $30


NIGHTLIFE

|   RIO DE JANEIRO   |

 

Whether you're looking for a stylish rooftop bar, a cosy cocktail bar, or the city's coolest late-night club, here is our pick of the best places to party in Rio de Janeiro right now.

 

1. Wow Factor!

FASANO

Set within the luxurious Fasano Hotel in Rio de Janeiro’s trendy Ipanema district, the sultry Baretto Londra bar is the favourite nightspot of the city’s fashionable, hedonistic crowd. The bar features dimly-lit interiors and a seductive British-inspired design of oversized flags and sumptuous Chesterfield leather lounges. $$

Avenida Vieira Souto, 80, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
fasano.com.br  |  +55 21 3202 4000


2. Chic Lounge Bar ...

BELMOND COPACABANA PALACE

One of the city's most well-known landmarks, Rio de Janeiro's luxurious Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel is home to the chic Copacabana Piano Bar. Don’t be surprised if you see a famous face in the crowd, as this is a favourite sophisticated hangout spot of the city’s celebrities, soap opera stars and Brazilian models. $$$

Avenida Atlântica, 1702, Rio de Janeiro
belmond.com  |  +55 21 2548 7070


3. Beachfront Views ...

ARPOADOR INN

The Arpoador Inn outdoor terrace cafe boasts a prime beachfront location directly on Ipanema beachfront. Hangout during the day, the late-afternoon or during the evenings and sip a potent Caipirinha cocktail laden with fresh seasonal fruits and more than a splash of the potent Brazilian liquor, cachaça. $$ 

Rua Francisco Otaviano, Rio de Janeiro
arpoadorinn.com.br  |  +55 21 2523 0060


4. Outdoor Lounge Bar ...

BAR DOS DESCASADOS

A stylish yet relaxed lounge bar removed from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Rio de Janeiro, Bar Dos Descasados at the Santa Teresa luxury hotel is a casual-yet-cool lounge bar surrounded by Rio’s natural beauty. The expertly-curated wine list and the wide selection of cachaças and liquors is also a highlight of the experience.

Rua Almirante Alexandrino 660, Rio de Janeiro
santa-teresa-hotel.com  |  +55 21 3380 0200


5. Samba Scene...

RIO SCENARIUM

Credited for placing Rio de Janeiro’s historic Lapa district on the nightlife map, Rio Scenarium is set within a multi-story 19th-century antiques warehouse with an eclectic collection of over 2,000 antiques and other eccentric knick-knacks. Rio’s samba-loving locals come here to dance the night away to the sounds of live local samba bands. $$

Rua do Lavradio 20, Rio de Janeiro
rioscenarium.com.br  |  +55 21 3147 9000

Average Price of a Drink:     € = Less than €10;   €€ = Around €20;   €€ = More than €30


SEE + DO

|   RIO DE JANEIRO   |

Don't miss these incredible Rio de Janeiro museums, art galleries and cultural landmarks.

Iconic Landmarks ...

One of the most dramatic landmarks in Rio de Janeiro, the breathtaking Christ the Redeemer statue soars high above the city, creating a dramatic backdrop against Rio de Janeiro’s spectacular mountainous landscape. As one of the seven wonders of the world, the statue is located in the Tijuca Forest and stands over 130 feet tall. Named in the 1600s after the block of sugar it resembles, Rio de Janeiro's iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain is another must-see landmark. An imposing cone of granite rock, the mountain towers 1,300 feet above the ocean. From the summit, you can see Guanabara Bay, Copacabana, the city of Niteroi. The best way to discover Sugar Loaf is by taking a scenic cable car ride; the two-stage journey begins in Praia Vermelha, with cable cars departing every 15 minutes. As one of the world’s most famous beaches, Copacabana Beach is located in the heart of Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana district. Its iconic curved beach and seaside promenade showcases turquoise-colored water and white sand, making it one of Brazil's most famous attractions. 

Best District

Nestled on the top of Santa Teresa Hill, the winding streets and picturesque views of the Santa Teresa district is a must-see area to visit in Rio de Janeiro. Take the historic tram - the only remaining line in the city - to the top of the hill and discover its cobbled streets, art galleries and colonial houses. A bohemian quarter, this charming district is a magnet for artists, with sweeping views of the bay and the city below.

Museums & Galleries ...

The Museum of Modern Art (MAM) in Rio de Janeiro was created as a cultural hub with modern art at its roots. The MAM (as it is known locally) also houses lecture spaces, classrooms and a large theatre for concerts and film exhibitions, alongside its extensive Modern Art collection of over 11,000 pieces. This landmark example of 1950’s modern architecture was designed by Affonso Eduardo Reidy using concrete, where its towering geometric ‘ribs’ create breathtaking open walkways. 

Best Beaches ...

Ipanema Beach offers clear waters, fine white sands and a vibrant beach scene. Discover locals playing action-packed games of beach volleyball and football or lazing on deck chairs soaking up the sun. The neighbouring Leblon Beach is equally picturesque and attracts a more tranquil crowd. Leblon's rolling waves are perfect for surfing, attracting Rio’s avid surfer community.

Best Local Parks ...

The Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is one of Rio de Janeiro's most popular attractions for visitors and locals alike. The area surrounding the lagoon is ideal for walking, jogging and cycling. The Parque do Flamengo (Flamengo Park) was constructed in 1965 by renowned architect Lota de Macedo Soares and its gardens were designed by Roberto Burle Marx, a famous Brazilian landscaper. This spectacular park is home to over 170,000 trees and is situated on 1.2 million square meters of verdant land. 

Rio de Janeiro Carnival ...

Rio's annual Samba Parade is one of the most important annual events in Brazil. Attracting millions of locals and visitors to Rio de Janeiro every February, the Sambodromo is the main event of the celebrated Rio de Janeiro Carnival, a tradition dating back to the 17th century. Samba fans can watch the highly skilled dancers give the performance of a lifetime, making the festival a magnet for samba enthusiast from all over the world. 

Football Mania ...

Football is the national sport of Brazil, where the Brazilian people maintain a fiery, passionate love affair with the game and its players. The Estádio do Maracanã football stadium in Rio de Janeiro opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, and has since been used to host games between the major football clubs in Rio de Janeiro. There are four major teams based in the city, including Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense, and Vasco da Gama. 

Weekend Escape ...

Situated in the heart of the idyllic Costa Verde, Paraty is a colonial gem. For two centuries, the port was used to transport gold from the mountains of Minas Gerais to Portugal. Discover typical colonial architecture in the whitewashed churches and cobbled streets of its pedestrianised old town, where buildings have remained unchanged for over 250 years. Paraty is also the starting point for the National Park Serra da Bocaina, and its bay is dotted with beautiful tropical islands.


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