...Rio best districts
If you want to enjoy your stay in Rio, Zona Sul is the place to be ! Zona sul which is, the city’s southern area, between the “centro” and Leblón. First of all, because you have a 15 kilometers mythic beaches path. Secondly, it is a full of life place, much more than Barra da Tijuca or Recreio – they both have large beaches, but not a lot of bars or shops and many closed and protected houses, named “condominio”.
At last, it is safer – but you have to remain careful and not being walking and showing your last iPhone…
Here, a short descriptions of Rio’s neighborhoods.
Copacabana & Leme
Most coveted district per tourists, because of its fame and its advantages : close to the beach, well served by the city public transports, safe, alive, near every kind of shops… You feel like being in the heart of Rio. Streets always are full of life, even at night.
Leme, is the end of Copacabana, a place locals are looking for because it is quiet.
Each “posto” has a number – 1 every kilometers – from Leme.
Ipanema & Leblón
Ipanema, the new Copacabana, more fashion for Cariocas because Copacabana’s inhabitants are getting older and older.
Housing standards are more expensive there than in Copacabana, with the same advantages – close to public transports and shops.
Moreover, a new subway line was built for the 2016’s Olimpic Games, which now enables Carioca’s to go all over the city, from north to south, for R$4,10.
Flamengo & Botafogo
Those neighborhoods gave their name to Rio best football clubs. Nowadays, they turn out to be very trendy. You can find cheaper housing, a less touristic atmosphere compared to Copacabana, and remain quite safe and near everything. Taking Aterro do Flamengo - the largest public park and recreation area within the city of Rio de Janeiro – thought by great modern urbanists from the 60’s, you arrive very quickly at Copacabana, riding a bike or running…
However, beaches are contaminated, so they are used as marina.
If you sleep next to seafront, you will enjoy Pão de Açucar view – no way you’d get tired of it.
Catete & Gloria
Back in the days where Rio de Janeiro was the Brazilian capital (before 1960), Cateta used to be an important place, housing the president and many politics. Yet, after this transfer, Catete has been little by little abandoned and its architectural heritage isn’t preserved at all.
Nowadays, it is a student district where are hostels, but also cheap and unusual hotels, such as Easygoing Hostel or Art Hotel.
Lapa & Centro
Two complementary districts : the “centro” with its business center very lively on workdays and Lapa at night and all night long. They are cheap places if you don’t come to Rio to sleep. Near shops and Cinêlandia subway, Lapa is easy to find because of its arcs, a white aqueduct over Cardeal Câmara Place, a cathedral and very modern buildings for background.
The only hill where reside inhabitants which is not a favela. You can go there fearless, but try to avoid empty streets. You feel like being in Lisbon, especially with the “bondinho”, a small streetcar that used to go under Lapa’s arcs but had to stop after 2011’s accident. Back in service since 2016 : very useful because it is not common to find cars there and quite expensive to be riding a motorbike taxi every day. Better to have strength in your legs ! Don’t worry, you will be rewarded by the amazing views, especially at night.
A very nice place to have a drink, with a bohemian atmosphere.
According to the new phenomenon which consists in living into favelas, we have to warn you about it :
Can we (safely) go for a room in Rocinha for example ?
Two answers !
Cecile : Yes ! Military police is guarding the place, you can rent a place in a pacified favela if you are young – because you have to “hike” with friends. Forget it if you are with your family or with elder people.
Remain careful : not a lot of money in your wallet, no Iphone or expensive jewelry… and last but not least – speak at least Portuguese-Spanish. The less you know Portuguese, the more vulnerable you are.
Marcelo : You NEVER know what is going to happen in a favela.