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The Best of Rio de Janeiro in 1 week

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The Best of Rio de Janeiro in 1 week

Hi all, Im looking for any advice to the enjoy the city to the fullest for one week. We will be arriving this Febraury 7th and leaving on the 13th. We are a family of 7 people, 3 women, 4 men. 2 men on their fifities and the other ones btw 25-34. We want to go to the best restaurants, bars, shows, to hear live music, coffee shops and to do any activitie/excursion we should not miss. The activities and restaurants/bars, etc...have to be always good quality, but we good like to have a real taste of the city; so to have experiences in different parts of the city and learn about the culture will be great, but always keeping in mind security and good quality and avoding any touristic and groupal activity. We prefer private excursions. Thank you very much for any information you can give me! Mariela

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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1. Re: The Best of Rio de Janeiro in 1 week

1) You definitely should check Rio Scenarium


Rio Scenarium is very popular, so get there early in order to avoid lines (7pm is a good time). Also, check what's happening there at their official website. It's very likely it'll be nicer on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

2) I think you should do the Parque Lage + Botanical Gardens combo. Get early to Parque Lage and have a coffee at their café, enjoy the exotic construction with the Corcovado view (if there are no clouds). Then walk to the Botanical Gardens, which are not far from Parque Lage.

Parque Lage: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g303506-d3…

Botanical Gardens: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g303506-d3… (there is a small admission fee, like R$ 6 per person - not sure if it has been readjusted).

3) Christ and Sugar Loaf

Get EARLY to either one. There are two ways for you to get to Corcovado. The first one is by train, at Corcovado Station in the neigborhood of Cosme Velho. The other one is from shuttle vans, which depart from two locations (Largo do Machado and Praça do Lido). Praça do Lido is a square in Copacabana and Largo do Machado is a large square in another area of the South Side.

If you want to get to Corcovado Station, you can take a cab easily, as you are a large group. Two cabs, actually, due to the limit of 4 people per cab (4 + 3). You can also choose to go by public transportation. There are several buses that go to Cosme Velho, but guides usually recommend the 583 to go (it passes at the main streets of Ipanema and Copacabana, which are, respectively, Visconde de Pirajá and Nossa Senhora de Copacabana). If you choose to take the shuttle in Largo do Machado (the route taken by the shuttle is shorter, so in the end it's about the same thing of going to Copa), take the subway to Largo do Machado Station and you'll see the shuttle service ticket booth across a church.

There is limited public transportation to the Sugar Loaf, so I recommend you take a cab.

Cabs in Rio HAVE to use a taximeter, so refuse any rides with a "fixed price". Prefer cabs with a company name written on the side of the car. Cabs are yellow.

4) Airport transportation

Check our FAQ which is pinned here in our forum for information on the difference between a regular yellow cab and the radio taxis (that operate at the airport).

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2. Re: The Best of Rio de Janeiro in 1 week

Here are links that feature some of the best local guides in Rio:



Some things and places to consider in Rio:

Corcovado Information:

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 0:00 p.m., the train leaving every half hour.

Ticket price for adults: R$50


Sugar Loaf Information:

Hours: opens at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 7:50 p.m.

The park always closes one hour after the ticket office.

The cable cars depart every 20 minutes or whenever full capacity is reached (65 passengers).

Ticket price for adults: R$62



Lagoa is the neighborhood around the lagoon Rodrigo de Freitas. It is one of Rio's nicer areas for walking or biking.

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas:



Video of Lagoa:


Rio’s Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico) is a nature park containing more than 6,000 different species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees and 140 species of birds.



Jardim Botânico: An Oasis of Calm in Rio:


Paquetá is a district of Rio de Janeiro situated on an island in the middle of the Guanabara Bay. The island is an auto-free zone, so travel is limited to bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. You should schedule at least half a day to spend strolling around the island.

You can get to Ilha de Paquetá by ferry, departing in the mornings from Praça XV in downtown (Centro) Rio. The ferry trip takes about one hour. You can also take the speedboat, leaving from a dock adjacent to the ferry.


Most of Paquetá’s houses date from the beginning of the 20th century, but there are some older buildings dating from the early 1700's, all of them well preserved. The whole island is beautifully landscaped, and because of its size and the fact that it is accessible only by boat, Paquetá is one of the safest places in Rio, with virtually no crime. It’s charming, laid-back, and a favorite spot for working-class Cariocas.


Visit Santa Teresa. This is something you can easily, safely, and inexpensively do on your own via the Metro from the Zona Sul, which is also a wonderful way to meet everyday Cariocas, many of whom speak some English and seem eager to chat with visitors.



Santa Teresa, in the Lapa/Centro area, is replete with charming colonial houses, little shops, fruit and vegetable markets, galleries, and restaurants.





Get off at Carioca Metro Station, walk to a nearby bus stop for a bus that will take you to Santa Teresa in ten minutes.

You might like Bar do Gomez (Armazém São Thiago) in Santa Teresa, one of the oldest bars in Rio de Janeiro as well as one of its finest botequins (neighborhood pubs). It was featured recently in Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations: Rio.”





After Santa Teresa you might want to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral



and the Confeitaria Colombo in nearby Centro. This elegant Victorian tearoom hasn't changed much since it opened in 1894 and is a good example of Rio’s café culture reminiscent of 19th Century Europe.



Confeitaria Colombo now has a location in Copacabana, Café do Forte, located at Copacabana Fort, facing Copacabana Beach.


Centro, the Heart of Rio:


The beautifully restored neoclassical building housing Rio’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil is itself a work of art and definitely worth a visit. One of the city's most important cultural centers, the CCBB is located at Rua Primeiro de Março, 66, in the Centro (downtown) district. (Subway: Uruguaiana.)

The building includes an art gallery, three theatres, a cinema showing art films, and a large exhibit of fine arts and photography, with some permanent exhibitions like the collection of Brazilian money. With a bookstore, café, and tea salon, it is a favorite meeting point for both tourists and Cariocas.

Exhibits are always free and many of the programs are also free, although some theaters or events may charge a small fee. Check local newspapers for entertainment listings before you go. Phone: (21) 3808-2020. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Guided tours in English by appointment.


Also in Centro: Church of Our Lady of Montserrat, Mosteiro de São Bento, Rua Dom Gerardo 68.

The Benedictines founded this magnificent hilltop monastery and church in 1590. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Montserrat and boasts richly decorated interiors that date from the 18th century. The elaborate interior of the church took almost seventy years to complete and was the life work of a series of artists, notably the Benedictine monk Frei Domingos da Conceição.



Casa Daros, one of Rio’s newest museums, is housed in a neoclassical 1866 mansion in Botafogo and showcases one of the world's premier collections of contemporary Latin American art. Apart from its exhibition spaces, the building includes a library, an auditorium seating one hundred people, a restaurant, a café and a shop.

Opening hours:

Wednesday to Saturday--12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Sundays and holidays--12 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Main exhibition: R$ 12

Students and seniors half price with ID.



And don’t forget the Hippie Fair in General Osório Square in Ipanema. The Feira Hippie (“Hippie Fair”) in Ipanema is a street market that sets up stalls every Sunday on General Osório Square. The fair features items like clothing, leather goods, art and jewelry. If you want to buy something in Ipanema as a memento of your trip to Brazil then this is the place.




Insider Guide to Rio:


Top Places in Rio de Janeiro:


3. Re: The Best of Rio de Janeiro in 1 week

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