Neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is a huge city, inhabited by more than six million people, it is the second largest urban area in all of Brazil and that means a lot. Upon arrival, the visitor can get an idea of the magnitude of the city while traveling the long highways that go from the airport to the most tourist areas of Rio.
The neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, their hallmarks
Like any big city, the famous “Wonderful City” has several different faces and full of contrasts. These faces are represented by their neighborhoods, some of which, either by their own characteristics or by their tradition, history or special location, have gradually become the hallmarks of the city, so knowing them is an excellent way of understanding the culture and character of the carioca, always cheerful, fun and open to diversity.
Surely the best-known neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro are the Copacabana neighborhood and the Ipanema neighborhood, two coastal neighborhoods that are the priority destination of most visitors to the city. The fame of Copacabana beach has crossed borders, among other things, thanks to the image of the immense fireworks with which the arrival of the new year or Reveillon is celebrated. For its part, Ipanema became known to the world thanks to the song «Garota de Ipanema» (Girl from Ipanema) that has been recorded in several languages by stars as prominent as Frank Sinatra.
In general both neighborhoods are modern, with large hotels and tall residential buildings, but fortunately in Copacabana you can still find important historical buildings such as the Copacabana Palace Hotel.
Although if it is modernity, the first place is for the modern neighborhood of Barra de Tijuca and its surroundings, which in recent decades has grown more than any other area of Rio and that thanks to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has moved to foreground, as it has been established as the Olympic quarter, by hosting most of the facilities built for sports competitions, including residences for athletes.
However, there are other neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro that contain the true history of the city. Of course the most important is the Historic Center where the Imperial Palace, the port, churches, museums, cultural centers and several of the public buildings that hosted the administration of the country while Rio was the capital. In this part of the city there are true architectural wonders such as the Municipal Theater or the Tiradentes Palace, which contrast with the modernity of the new office buildings and with groundbreaking designs such as the Metropolitan Cathedral.
To get an idea of what was the former colonial splendor of Rio de Janeiro, it is best to visit the neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa, where many old mansions and mansions still bear witness to the golden age of the city. While the charming neighborhood of Santa Teresa has earned the title of «Montmartre Carioca», Lapa is the epicenter of the bohemian, music and fun of Rio’s night.
For its part, the peaceful neighborhood of Urca not only houses one of the most famous tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro, the Sugar Loaf, but also offers different views of Guanabara Bay and the Christ the Redeemer. A residential neighborhood with hidden corners, which has the privilege of being established in the small peninsula that saw the city of Rio de Janeiro born.
In summary, each of the neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro offers a different experience to visitors, with something unique to show and with its own character that makes them special. Getting lost in its quiet or busy, modern or more traditional streets is a great opportunity to make the most of a visit to the Wonderful City.
Main neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro
Known as the «Princesinha do mar» (Princess of the Sea), the Copacabana neighborhood is one of the most emblematic places in the city. There are those who have dared to affirm that Rio de Janeiro is the tourist capital of Brazil and that Copacabana is the heart of that capital. Read more »