by Hannah Basali
Over winter break my family and I traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was an amazing trip that I highly recommend! In this article, I will document where I went in Rio, as well as some travel tips.
1 Copacabana Beach
We stayed at Copacabana beach for our trip. It was much more crowded than normal because we went around New Year’s. New Year’s at Copacabana is basically the South American equivalent to Times Square except much better weather. The beach is always lively and entertaining. New Year’s Eve at Copacabana attracts over two million people. There is an amazing fireworks show and great performers (famous Brazilian singers. I didn’t understand anything and had no idea who they were but still had a great time). Tip: Wear white on New Year’s Eve. It is meant to symbolize the purity of entering a new year. If you don’t wear white you will look “misinformed and out of the loop”- the front desk guy at our hotel.
- Christ The Redeemer
Seeing Christ the Redeemer is a must do while in Rio, but it is honestly a pain to get up to the statue. Tip: Book tickets for the Corcovado Train in advance. We did not and ended up staying in an Uber for an hour to get halfway up the mountain and waiting for the train there after buying tickets at the last minute. The train lets you see amazing views of the city while on your way up to the statue. The Christ the Redeemer statue itself is honestly breathtaking, and it is a great photo spot.
- Sugar Loaf Mountain
Sugar Loaf Mountain, or Pao de Acucar, is known to have the most beautiful views of Rio. You take a cable car up to two separate mountains, and there are stores and shops built on each one. Tip: Go at the sunset. We were unable to because of time constraints, but they say that the most breathtaking view is during this time.
- Ipanema Beach
Ipanema Beach was honestly the coolest part of my trip. It is known to be a calmer and chicer version of Copacabana Beach, and I would say it is exactly that. It has amazing views of the city from the water. The beach is full of so many different types of people, and there is so much activity going on in every part. Tip: Stay at a hotel near Posto 9. The atmosphere here is cleaner than Copacabana’s, and we all wish that we stayed here. Also, if you have ever heard the song “The Girl from Ipanema,” it was based off of a girl who used to take her morning strolls along this beach, and there is a restaurant dedicated to where they wrote this classic song. Ipananema Beach also has really beautiful views of the sunset, so I highly recommend staying to watch it.
- Lapa and the Selaron Stairs
Lapa is known for being the center of Rio’s nightlife, but it has a lot to offer beyond this. Among this is the Selaron Stairs. These Stairs became famous for their bright artwork and colorful tile designs. They have built an entire tourist area around them, and you can easily spend hours here taking pictures, exploring the area, and grabbing dinner in one of Lapa’s great restaurants. Tip: wait in line for the picture with the entrance sign on the stairs. It is an annoying line, but it is so worth it once you see what great pictures you get!
Rio De Janeiro is an amazing trip, and I guarantee you will enjoy yourself no matter when you go or where you stay. The city has so much to offer, and of course there is so much beyond this list. I hope that you enjoyed learning some basic Rio travel tips! Tchau!