Rio de Janeiro ( GIG )


City Guide, Rio de Janerio

Rio de Janeiro commonly referred to simply as Rio,is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper.

Rio de Janeiro is on a strip of Brazil's Atlantic coast, close to the Tropic of Capricorn, where the shoreline is oriented east–west. Facing largely south, the city was founded on an inlet of this stretch of the coast, Guanabara Bay (Baía de Guanabara), and its entrance is marked by a point of land called Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar)—a "calling card" of the city. Rio de Janeiro features some of the most iconic landmarks in the country, but the area’s heart is truly the Brazilian culture, which you’ll find in the city, and in the many worthwhile destinations just a few hours away.

Tourist attraction

Most visitors start with Rio’s main attraction, Christ the Redeemer. Inaugurated on October 12, 1931, at the top of Mount Corcovado, Christ complements the beautiful landscape perfectly, so it’s no wonder it became one of the wonders of the world on July 7, 2007. Christ the Redeemer attracts around one million tourists per year, and the city offers a variety of package tours for visitors. Options include everything from a simple walk to the ascent of Mount Corcovado, to a fancy helicopter tour with a spectacular view of the statue.

Culture and entertainment

Every December 31, 2.5 million people gather at Copacabana Beach to celebrate New Year's in Rio de Janeiro. The crowd, mostly dressed in white, celebrates all night at the hundreds of different shows and events along the beach. It is the second largest celebration only next to the Carnival. People celebrate the New Year by sharing chilled champagne. It is considered good luck to shake the champagne bottle and spray around at midnight. Chilled champagne adds to the spirit of the festivities.

The Brazilian Dance/Sport/Martial art Capoeira is very popular. Other popular sports are beach football, beach volleyball, Beach American Football, surfing, kite surfing, hang gliding, motor racing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, sailing, and competitive rowing. Another sport that is highly popular in beaches of Rio is called "Frescobol"

Food and drink

Rio is more than beautiful people and pristine beaches. The city also offers several options for those looking for real Brazilian cuisine. As a coastal town, it’s no surprise that the seafood dishes are excellent. But be sure you also sample the incredible array of international cuisine found in the unique restaurants that line the waterfront.

Restaurants range from the casual, hidden in the suburbs of Ipanema such as Za Za Bistrot, to fine-dining restaurants inside hotels such as Carême, the restaurant of the famous chef Flávia Quaresma. Although many of the newer restaurants are truly world-class, you can often find an unforgettable meal in an out-of-the-way area such as in Santa Tereza where you can find the restaurant Aprazível, with good food in a special ambiance. Be sure to try the Brazilian style steakhouses called churrascarias where waiters come to your table with swords of grilled meat. Check the local guides and magazines for the latest suggestions.


Shopping in Rio de Janeiro will be an experience. For top-notch clothes and accessories head for the Rua Visconde de Pirajá that runs parallel to the beach in Ipanema. Another good street for shopping, especially for crafts, is the Feira de São Cristóvão in the north of the city.

Whether it is bartering with street vendors and peddlers, thrifting at the fashionable boutiques or wandering through any of the two dozen shopping malls, shopping in Rio is affordable and enjoyable. Unique artistry and clothing are everywhere; funky jewelry, chic bathing suits, and thousands of handicrafts, paintings, and hammocks are among some of the fabulous finds waiting to be discovered. Brazil is one of the largest world producers of gold and colored gemstones, and its beautiful amethysts, emeralds, diamonds, and rubies can be found in authentic jewelry shops throughout Rio as well.

Rio de Janerio City Map

Rio de Janeiro/Galeao International Airport Map