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Travel Guide to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is a city with a long and rich history. After a short period of French reign, the city was occupied by the Portuguese in 1567. Initially, the city grew very slowly, but then gold was found in Brazil. From 1763 to 1960, Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the country. However, in 1960 this title was given to Brasilia. In the end of the XIX century, thanks to mass immigration from Europe and large influx of people from villages, the population of Rio started growing quickly. This was the period when such famous areas of Rio as Copacabana and Ipanema started appearing. However, this was also the time for the occurrence of «favelas» - poor peasant areas.
Rio de Janeiro attractions & nightlife
The majority of tourists tend to visit Rio during the days of carnival, which takes place annually in the end of February. Perhaps, it’s impossible to find a better entertainment than colorful...
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Excellent location is one of the main reasons for the beauty of Rio de Janeiro. The city is stretched along the coast like an endless strip. You will find here numerous beautiful beaches and rocky hills. Currently, the population of Rio is about 7 million people. This is one of the most populated cities in the world. By the way, local people call themselves "cariocas". Cariocas are friendly and self-confident. They love music, nightlife and, like most of Brazilians, they are fond of football. Rio de Janeiro is home to a large number of attractions. The city has many places to see and to go.
Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches.
Beach life in Rio is a true form of art, but it can be mastered without any problems. Prove yourself and don’t forget to look at others – this is the motto of world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. Perhaps, the second is even more important. This is the reason why many cariocas come to the beach. Of course, this doesn’t prevent them from enjoying the sun, listening to music, surfing, playing football or volleyball... Copacabana (show on map ) (view photos ) is the most popular beach in the city. The largest hotels of Rio are located here. The international elite usually prefers Ipanema and Leblon, posh suburbs of Rio. However, everyone is welcome to visit these beaches! Endless boulevards, which are located along the beaches, are full of life and music. You will always find a huge number of different bars and restaurants there.
Cuisine of Rio de Janeiro for gourmet
Dining facilities of Rio are always ready to amaze its visitors with unusual dishes. Brazilian cuisine is one of the spiciest and most exotic cuisines in the world, so tourists are very enthusiastic...
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The Statue of Jesus.
The very top of Corcovado Mount has become the location of a huge statue of Jesus. The statue is known as the symbol of Rio de Janeiro. Jesus, who hovers over the city with his arms stretched, is visible from any part of Rio. It is possible to get to Corcovado Mount by train, minibus or taxi. The view, which you will see from the top, is truly unforgettable and very beautiful. There are several cafes, a small museum and even a chapel at the foot of the statue. The train goes from Rua Cosmo Velho every half an hour, from 8.30 to 18.15. If you go back on the last train, you will be able to enjoy a fantastic view of the evening Rio.
Pao de Acucar.
Pao de Acucar Mountain (pão de açucar means “sugar head” in Portuguese) is another place with a beautiful panoramic view of the city and the bay (Bahia de Guanabara). This is a high rocky mountain to the south of Rio. There is one more mountain at approximately a half of the way to the top of Pao de Acucar. This is Urca Mountain . This mountain is the location of numerous restaurants and small galleries. In the evening the mount often becomes the venue of open air concerts. You can get to the top of Pao de Acucar by cable road or on foot. However, if you choose the latter, you must prepare for a difficult path. "Sugar head" is a favorite place of climbers, and there are tens of climbing routes there. You can also choose one more way to see Pao de Acucar and its neighborhoods - make a helicopter flight.
Cultural sights in Rio de Janeiro
Rio is home to numerous historical monuments. The city features some really unique natural attractions and widest choice of museums and galleries. An excursion to the rock called "Sugar head” (Pan...
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The central part of Rio is home not only to beautiful colonial buildings, churches and ancient monasteries, but also to ultra-modern skyscrapers. There is a wonderful historic route that will take you from Praça 15 de Noviembre Square, which is the location of the Royal Palace, to the building of the cultural center of Banco do Brasil and Candelaria Church across Rua 1 de Marco Street.
Santa Teresa District.
The district of Santa Theresa is located outside the center of Rio on several cool hills. This is an old colonial quarter, a bohemian place, a haven for artists and intellectuals. You can easily spend a night or more here, staying in one of numerous hotels and hostels opened in historic buildings. In the evening, the main square of the quarter Largo do Guimaraes is filled with music and fun. It is also not difficult to reach Santa Teresa Square from the center by a small old tram, which starts its route from a stop located in front of PetroBras .
Rio de Janeiro tips: making best out of
1. Those travellers, who plan to make taxi rides, will have to learn the names of major streets and landmarks. Local taxi drivers are very poor in understanding English, and so they may simply not...
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Tourists are recommended to devote at least half a day to an excursion to the so-called Parque Nacional da Tijuca , located in the center of Rio. The paths, that cross the hilly rainforest, lead along waterfalls and open spaces with beautiful panoramic views. This is a perfect place to have a picnic or dine at a restaurant. In order not to get lost, it is better to follow main routes or hire a guide who will tell you everything about plants and animals, as well as rare reptiles that live there.
Maracana Stadium.
Maracaña Stadion is one of the biggest stadiums in the world. Its capacity is approximately 120 000 spectators. Tourists are welcome to visit the stadium and the local museum together with a guide. Residents of Rio are passionate fans. You can feel this if you come to a football match. Not just a game itself is a special performance; fans make each game special, supporting their favorite teams passionately and performing samba. Tickets to football matches should be bought a day before in one of ticket selling offices in the city. Besides this, there are special tours that include transportation from your hotel and good seats in the stadium.
Habits and lifestyle of Rio de Janeiro inhabitants
Local residents are very smiling, cheerful and friendly people. They are very responsive and are always ready to help, so foreigners will literally feel in Rio like at home. The city is home to...
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Carnivals.
It is simply impossible to find more spectacular carnivals anywhere else in the world than in Rio de Janeiro. The main carnival is five days of complete merriment without any limits. In February, the whole city turns into one big area for the holiday. Shows are arranged simply everywhere. Multiple people, who play music, sing and dance can be found simply everywhere. By the way, everyone is welcome to join these groups. Various hotels and clubs organize their own costume balls, ranging from completely boundless parties to chic evenings.
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Rio de Janeiro: Major facts

Number of inhabitants 11.8 mln.
Local currency Brazilian Real R$ = 100 centavos
Working hours Shops stay open from 9 am through to around 6 pm although smaller shops and those in tourist zones often are open later. Banks open from 9am to 4pm weekdays.
Related sites http://www.rioguiaoficial.com.br
http://www.braziltravelinformation.com
http://www.ilhagrande.com
Major newspapers and journals O Globo
Jornal do Brasil
Jornal do Commerci
Jornal Copacabana
O Dia
Tribuna da Imprensa
Jornal da Barra
Emergency telephone numbers Police: 190
Fire: 193
Ambulance: 192

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Travel guides to neighbouring cities of Rio de Janeiro:


Santos - 337.1 km
Santos is a beautiful Brazilian port city located in Baía de Todos os Santos. The land here is very fertile and the nature is beautiful, so the continent has quickly attracted European settlers....
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Sao Paulo - 355.2 km
Sao Paulo is the undercover capital of Brazil and its economic center. Originally the city was considered the territory and the home of the Indians, but after the depletion of land resources in Rio...
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Brasilia - 931.2 km
This city can be easily called the example of modern architecture. Brasilia was built less than 40 years ago. Famous architect Lucio Costa has contributed much into the modern look of this place. If...
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All about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture and cuisine. Prepare your trip to Rio de Janeiro together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the things to do in Rio de Janeiro, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Travel guide by OrangeSmile B.V.