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* Rio de Janeiro is one of the best international destinations in the world
* Rio’s distinct neighborhoods and districts each have their own unique flavor
* See our favorite areas with hotel suggestions nearby
Rio de Janiero is the second largest city in Brazil, famous for its breathtaking landscapes, laid back beach culture and its annual carnival party. It’s comprised of smaller districts and neighborhoods that each have their own unique cultural flavor. Here are the 5 best neighborhoods to explore in Rio.
Copacabana is often referred to as the world’s most famous beach, running for 3 miles along the densely populated residential area of Rio de Janeiro. From the beach front, a short walk will guide you to one of the best shopping centers in Rio, as well as movie theaters and playhouses, restaurants and nightclubs. After midnight, the “clubber’s circuit” is where you’ll find a choice of samba, bossa nova and other local and international dances and live music options.
2. Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa is a neighborhood located on top of the Santa Teresa Hill. It’s known for its winding, narrow streets, which are a favorite spot for artists and tourists alike. Colorful historical buildings and some of the best views of Rio from the top of Santa Teresa Hill provide tourists with the quintessential Brazilian experience.
The Centro District is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, known as the financial and historical heart of Rio. Lined with beautiful churches, museums and monasteries, its architectural makeup blends modern skyscrapers with historical buildings with ornate facades. Once you’ve done your historical tour, head to the area’s bustling shopping area and flea markets.
Ipanema is an affluent neighborhood in the Southern Zone of Rio de Janeiro, with some of the most luxurious fine dining and entertainment options in all of Brazil. Ipanena’s beach has some of the best surf in Brazil, and the area is home to a busy nightlife scene, and some of the most sophisticated shops in town. This region of Rio is also great tourists also, as it’s very walkable and it’s easy to navigate your way around thanks to the street’s grid layout.
5. Jardim Botanico District
Just north of Ipanema in the Southern region of Rio (Zona Sol) is a residential neighborhood called Jardim Botanico (Botanical Garden). This is a great destination of choice for anyone looking for a break from the sticky heat and fast pace of Rio’s beaches and downtown areas. Described as leafy, tranquil and sedate, this district is where you can go to wind down. Most famous for its exquisite Botanical Garden where you can stroll, see plant life, and enjoy the quiet beauty of tropical nature, this area is one of Rio’s most underrated destinations.
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