Monday, July 11, 2011


(includes Guaratiba & Petrópolis)

Assis Garrafaria – 174 Rua Cosme Velho (Cosme Velho); 011-55-21-2205-3598;; casual food, coffee & imported beer served in bookstore in Machado de Assis's former residence.
Confeitaria Colombo – 32 Rua Gonçalves Dias (Centro); 011-55-21-2505-1500;; stunning Victorian tearoom since 1894; 2 large counters at entrance serve snacks & sweets, with coffee or other refreshments; on Saturdays, feijoada (black beans & pork stew).
Confeitaria Kurt – 117-B Rua General Urquiza (Leblon); 011-55-21-2294-0599;; bakery.
Envidia Chocolateria – 106 Rua Dias Ferreira (Leblon); 011-55-21-2512-1313;; frilly, rococo cafe & chocolatier.
Mil Frutas – 134 Avenida Garcia de Ávila (Ipanema); 011-55-21-2521-1384;; great ice creams and sorbets.
Mil Frutas – 585 Rua Jardim Botânico (Jardim Botânico); 011-55-21-2511-2550;; great ice creams and sorbets.
Mil Frutas – 2120 Rua São Luís Gonzaga (Benfica); 011-55-21-3860-4848;; great ice creams and sorbets.
Talho Capixaba – 1022 Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva (Leblon); 011-55-21-2512-8760;; bakery.

Academia da Cachaca – 26 Rua Conde Bernadotte (Leblon); 011-55-21-2239-1542;; drinks and food; great, after-beach destination.
Academia da Cachaca – 800 Avenida Armando Lombardi (Tijuca); 011-55-21-2493-7956;; drinks and food; great, after-beach destination.
Armazém São Thiago – 26 Rua Aurea (Santa Teresa); 011-55-21-2232-0822;; known to locals as Bar do Gomez; open for over 90 years; for cold beer or caipirinhas.
Bar Bracarense – 85 Rua Jose Linhares (Leblon); 011-55-21-2294-3549;; extraordinarily casual; famous for codfish ball and salty cheese, manioc, and shrimp patty snacks.
Bar do Copa – 1702 Avenida Atlantica (Copacabana, in Copacabana Palace); 011-55-21-2548-7070;; upscale.
Bar do David – 66 Ladeira Ary Barroso (Leme, in Chapeu Mangueira Favela); 011-55-21-7808-2200; famous for seafood feijoada.
Bar do Joao – 72 Rua Jupira (Santa Marta Favela); 011-55-21-8294-7775; can listen to music wafting up from samba school (Mocidade Unida do Santa Marta) nearby.
Bar do Peixe – 16-B Rua André Cavalcanti (Lapa-Bairro de Fátima); 011-55-21-2222-0299;; huge, sprawling affair (stretching over 3 storefronts); plastic tables encroach on narrow street; beer and fried fish; cheap.
Bar do Serginho – 2-A Rua Dias Barros (Santa Teresa); 011-55-21-2509-6957; painted with beige and violet faces; beer and sandwiches.
Bar do Zequinha – 14 Rua do Mengão (Botafogo, in Santa Marta Favela); serves inexpensive plates of frango a passarinho (crispy chicken topped with garlic and parsley), along with beer.
Bar dos Descasados – 660 Rua Almirante Alexandrino (Santa Teresa, at Hotel Santa Teresa); 011-55-21-2222-2755;; ask for off-menu ginger caipirinha.
Bar Urca – 205 Rua Cândido Gaffrée (Urca); 011-55-21-2295-8744;; simple neighborhood bar and restaurant with marvelous setting on Guanabara Bay waterfront.
Cais do Oriente – 8 Rua Visconde de Itaboraí (Rio Antigo); 011-55-21-2233-2531;; 19th Century warehouse transformed into stunning bar-restaurant, complete with large gilt mirrors & opulent antique furniture; upstairs bar has live music on Fridays & Saturdays.
Carioca da Gema – 79 Rua Mem de Sa (Lapa); 011-55-21-2221-0043;; among best little venues in town; all samba all time; show normally kicks off at 9 pm so come early if you want to grab spot close to stage; can enjoy bite to eat while waiting for things to heat up; Monday through Saturday.
Casa da Matriz – 107 Rua Henrique de Novais (Botafogo); 011-55-21-2226-6342;; nightclub with trendy dance floor.
Chico e Alaide – 679 Rua Dias Ferreira (Leblon); 011-55-21-2512-0028;; also try snack, bolinho (shrimp and yucca fritter).
Circo Voador – Rua dos Arcos (Lapa); 011-55-21-2533-0354;; government-run, open-air dance hall; for bossa nova and samba, in particular.
Espirito Santa Emporio – 34 Rua do Lavradio (Lapa); 011-55-21-2509-5250; tapas-style snacks, called petiscos.
Jobi – 1166 Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva (Leblon); 011-55-21-2274-0547; busy any day of week, but on Friday and Saturday line guaranteed; cozy, intimate botequin; excellent beer, tasty snacks, and great atmosphere.
Maze – 414 Rua Tavares Bastos, #66 (Catete, in Tavares Bastos Favela); 011-55-21-2558-5547;; music nights.
Miranda – 1424 Avenida Borges de Medeiros, Piso 2(Lagoa-Zona Sul); 011-55-21-2239-0305;; expensive; modeled on Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York; for bossa nova, folk music, and samba.
Nuth – 999 Avenida Armando Lombardi (Tijuca); 011-55-21-3575-6850;; Barra’s premier nightclub.
Oui Oui – 85 Rua Conde de Iraja (Botafogo); 011-55-21-2527-3539;; surprisingly affordable cocktails and tapas.
Parada da Lapa – 10 Rua dos Arcos (Lapa, in annex next to Fundição Progresso); 011-55-21-2524-2950;; samba club; beer and cocktails; cheap (cover includes 1 caipirinha & 2 beers); multi-level bar and live-music venue with upstairs, open-air terrace; Lapa arches views; also hosts cabaret, jazz & rock performances; plus football (soccer) matches broadcast on big screen on Wednesday nights.
Rio Scenarium – 20 Rua do Lavradio (Centro); 011-55-21-3147-9000;; samba club.
Salitre – 4666 Avenida das Americas, loja 145 (Leblon); 011-55-21-3205-6977; trendy wine bar.
Semente – 138 Rua Joachim Silva (Lapa); 011-55-21-2507-5188;; pioneering nightclub from 1940s, recently renovated; even open Mondays & Sundays.
Taj Lounge – 949 Avenida Armando Lombardi (Tijuca); 011-55-21-2494-6456; good-looking but slightly older crowd; large bronze Buddha statue.
Triboz – 19 Rua Conde de Lages (Lapa); 011-55-21-2210-0366;; jazz bar.

Arpoador – between Copacabana & Ipanema; not great for swimming (strong undercurrent, can be dirty, rocky); best sunset-viewing beach; also, some consider it best surfing; near Posto 8 lifeguard station, well-established weight lifting and exercise area.
Copacabana – to east, transitions into Leme Beach, ending with 300' Morro do Leme (Leme Mountain), while on west end, 1914 Forte de Copacabana; crescent shaped, very flat, long (2.5 miles) & wide; marked by Postos 2-6 (life guard posts) about every km; illuminated at night but not safe to walk (better to stay on sidewalk’s hotel side; Post 2 is in front of Copacabana Palace Hotel (down to about Posto 5), well-established gay section (marked by rainbow flag); Posto 6 is calmer area, catering to affluent, as well as what’s left of small fishing village (in early morning, fishermen head out to sea in their small boats, and in early evening return to clean and sell catch right on beach); Forte de Copacabana is great place to walk out and look at sea (Confeitaria Columbo runs cafe at Fort, great place to walk for breakfast and coffee, lunch, or snack); calmer waves and waters than Ipanema Beach; can rent umbrellas, lounge chairs, and order drinks and snacks; try cold Água de Coco (Coconut water) or chope (draft beer, pronounced “show-pee”); on Sundays beachside boulevard closed to traffic.
Grumari – Nature Reserve Grumari (Recreio dos Bandeirantes, near Barra de Guaratiba); attracts many families and surfers who often spend day at beach; being area of environmental protection, limited to no construction in area.
Ipanema – bordered by Arpoador & Leblon Beaches; beautiful people; beach more narrow and water is pretty rough; on Sundays beachside boulevard closed to traffic and Hippie Fair is held at Praça General Osório; segmented every few 100 yards by Postos (life guard stations), which serve as meeting place, each having own reputation (Posto 9 is known as where beautiful and young hang, Posto 10 is for more affluent); along beach in sand are Barracas (tents) where vendors rent lounge chairs and umbrellas.
Joatinga – approximately 5 kms from Itanhanga, which is around 10 kms from Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas & Leblon (20 minutes outside of town); less well-known and beautiful.
Leblon – at Ipanema Beach’s far end (where Avenida Niemeyer rounds coast); beachside boulevard closed to traffic on Sundays; view looking towards São Conrado neighborhood framed by cone-shaped mountains Dois Irmãos (“2 Brothers“), and flat-topped, granite Pedra da Gávea; separated from Ipanema by Canal de Allah, which runs from ocean to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, large saltwater lagoon located behind Ipanema neighborhood (canal drains and fills lagoon as tide falls and rises); 2 lifeguard stations, Posto 11 and Posto 12, in between which are sidewalk kiosks that serve food and drink, as well as areas of shady trees covering sand near street; popular with affluent.
Leme – next to (almost part of) Copacabana; favela kids and older people.
Pepe – Tijuca; beautiful public beach.
Prainha – Avenida Estado da Guanabara (Recreio dos Bandeirantes, near Grumari Ambiental Proteccion Area); secluded half-moon-shaped beach, bordered on each side by rocks and high cliffs; among Rio’s best surfing spots.

Copacabana Palace – 1702 Avenida Atlantica (Copacabana); 011-55-21-2548-7070;; ask for 6th floor suite with swimming pool access.
Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro – 80 Avenida Vieira Souto (Ipanema); 011-55-21-3202-4000;; sexy rooftop bar; 91 rooms; understated décor with nice perks (touch-lighting dimmers and free flip-flops); some corner rooms have wrap-around balconies; no bathtubs; room #707 is best but is $4K night.
Gavea Tropical – 85 Rua Sérgio Porto (Gávea); 011-55-21-2274-6015;; 6 suites with private terraces & panoramic views over Corcovado, Sugar Loaf Mountain & Rodrigo de Freitas lake; monkeys on property in Beverly-Hills-like neighborhood.
Hotel Solar do Império – 376 Avenida Köeller (Petrópolis); 011-55-24-2103-3000;; occupies 2 19th Century mansions; elegant hotel is minute from Praça da Liberdade & minutes from Museu Imperial; with paintings depicting historical figures, refined rooms feature free Wi-Fi, minibars & flat-screen TVs with DVD players (some have canopy beds); breakfast & parking are free; bar & library, as well as polished restaurant with hand-painted mural; indoor pool, outdoor heated pool, hot tubs, sauna & steam room.
Ipanema Plaza – 34 Rua Farme de Amoedo (Ipanema); 011-55-21-3687-2000;; favorite with fashion crowd; spacious rooms.
Pousada Imperial Koeller – 99 Avenida Köeller (Petrópolis, Centro); 011-55-24-2243-4330;; colonial-style structure from 1875, now upscale B&B; 6-minute walk from Imperial Museum, 10-minute walk from Teatro Dom Pedro & 13-minute walk from Parque Natural Municipal de Petrópolis; elegant rooms come with antique furnishings, exposed-beam ceilings, free Wi-Fi & TVs with cable channels; upgraded rooms add private verandas; buffet-style breakfast served in casual dining room; outdoor pool & garden & cozy library.
Promenade Palladium – 200 Rua General Artigas (Leblon); 011-55-21-3171-7400;; 3-stars; on beach; many rooms have balconies.
Hotel Santa Teresa – 660 Rua Almirante Alexandrino (Santa Teresa); 011-55-21-3380-0200;; modern, clean, sleek; in restored, 19th Century mansion.
Sofitel Rio de Janeiro – 4240 Avenida Atlantica (Copacabana); 011-55-21-2525-1235;
Solar Real – 32 Ladeira do Meireles or 39 Rua Aprazível (Santa Teresa); 011-55-21-2221-2117;; beautiful mansion that offers comfortable accommodations in lovely setting; main house features 2 apartments with private bathroom and veranda overlooking garden and Santa Teresa; also bungalow with very private deluxe room, king-size bed, and large bathroom set back from house; large common dining room and living room, which open to large deck and veranda, beautifully decorated with high-end crafts made by local artists.

Academia da Cachaca – 26 Rua Conde Bernadotte (Leblon); 011-55-21-2239-1542;; drinks and food; great, after-beach destination.
Academia da Cachaca – 800 Avenida Armando Lombardi (Tijuca); 011-55-21-2493-7956;; drinks and food; great, after-beach destination.
Antiquarius Grill – 4666 Avenida das Americas, #160 (Tijuca); 011-55-21-2431-9931;; some of Rio’s finest Portuguese cuisine; try roasted goat in red wine sauce; also, almond cake (touchinho do deu) for dessert.
Aprazivel – 62 Rua Aprazivel (Santa Teresa); 011-55-21-2508-9174;; charm derives from setting in hilltop mansion; tables spill out over gardens and patios, offering downtown Rio views by day; exotic and warm in evening; ask for table on veranda or on patio tables outside by bar; food, though good, not as striking as setting; Brazilian cuisine, using many ingredients from Nordeste; signature main is peixe tropical (grilled fish in orange sauce, served with coconut rice and baked banana).
Arpoador Inn – 177 Rua Francisco Otaviano (Ipanema); 011-55-21-2523-0060;; grab table outside for people-watching and snacks.
Bar do David – 66 Ladeira Ary Barroso (Leme, in Chapeu Mangueira Favela); 011-55-21-7808-2200; famous for seafood feijoada.
Big Polis Sucos – 505 Avenida Ataulfo Paiva (Leblon); 011-55-21-2511-5543;; juice bar with light food (good grilled cheese and ham sandwich).
Bira de Guaratiba – 68-A Caminho da Vendinha (Guaratiba); 011-55-21-2410-8304;; day trip outside of Rio, near Nature Reserve Grumari; order moquecas, pasteis, and any fish on menu; lovely views, from high up in restaurant to Restinga de Marambaia and large Mangrove area behind, with Mico monkeys trying to join your lunch table.
Cais do Oriente – 8 Rua Visconde de Itaboraí (Rio Antigo); 011-55-21-2233-2531;; 19th Century warehouse transformed into stunning bar-restaurant, complete with large gilt mirrors & opulent antique furniture; menu travels from Orient to Mediterranean; breakfast lunch and dinner.
Carlota – 64 Rua Dias Ferreira (Leblon); 011-55-21-2540-6821;; chef-owner Carla Pernambuco earned her stripes in New York before coming home to Brazil and starting her own restaurant; cuisine blends ethnic flavors of cosmopolitan New York and her own Italian heritage with fresh Brazilian ingredients to create dishes such as the camarao pacifico: shrimp grilled with sesame seeds and Thai chile sauce on vegetable-fried rice; great grilled duck with Dijon mustard on mashed mandioc; beef with balsamic port sauce and fig risotto outstanding; several pasta options, such as ravioli stuffed with brie or codfish; no reservations.
Churrascaria Porcão – 591 Avenida Armando Lombardi (Tijuca); 011-55-21-3389-8989;; high-end churrascaria.
Confeitaria Colombo – 32 Rua Gonçalves Dias (Centro); 011-55-21-2505-1500;; stunning Victorian tearoom since 1894; 2 large counters at entrance serve snacks and sweets, with coffee or other refreshments; on Saturdays, feijoada (black beans & pork stew).
Envidia Chocolateria – 106 Rua Dias Ferreira (Leblon); 011-55-21-2512-1313;; frilly, rococo cafe.
Escola do Pao – 10 Rua General Garzon (Lagoa); 011-55-21-3205-7275;; mother-daughter restaurant and cooking school; French; perfect for brunch; near Jardim Botanico.
Espirito Santa – 264 Rua Almirante Alexandrino (Santa Teresa); 011-55-21-2507-4840;; Amazon-style cooking heavy on fish and exotic fruits and vegetables.
Espirito Santa Emporio – 34 Rua do Lavradio (Lapa); 011-55-21-3970-0836; Cariocan comfort food, such as farofa (ground yucca mixture) and tapas-style snacks, called petiscos.
Feijoada do Pituca – Morro da Babilônia (Leme, Babilonia Favela); 011-55-21-2295-3771; outdoor restaurant known for feijoada and among best views in Rio.
Giuseppe Grill Leblon – 370 Avenida Bartolomeu Mitre (Leblon); 011-55-21-2249-3055;
Jobi – 1166 Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva (Leblon); 011-55-21-2274-0547; busy any day of week, but on Friday and Saturday line guaranteed; cozy, inimate botequin; excellent beer, tasty snacks, and great atmosphere.
Olympe – 62 Rua Custodio Serrao (Jardim Botanico); 011-55-21-2539-4542;; French approach with Brazilian ingredients such as roast quail stuffed with farofa & raisins with sweet-&-sour jabuticaba or coquilles St. Jacques with caviar tapioca; wine list drawn largely from France.
Pizzaria Guanabara – 1228 Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva (Leblon); 011-55-21-2294-0797;; other locations.
Palaphita’s Kitchen – 20 Avenida Epitacio Pessoa (Lagoa); 011-55-21-2227-0837;; Sharat’s favorite restaurant.
Porcão Rio’s – Avenida Infante Dom Henrique (Flamengo); 011-55-21-3389-8989;; ultimate Brazilian churrascaria experience; bow-tied waiters flit between linen-draped tables, wielding giant skewers & slicing beef, chicken & pork; on Saturdays, more than 15 feijoada types; nearly floor-to-ceiling windows at this location, with Guanabara Bay view extending to Sugar Loaf make this branch most desirable.
Quadrifoglio – 19 Rua José Joaquim Seabra (Jardim Botanico); 011-55-21-2294-1433;; pan-Italian; try pheasant ravioli with black truffle sauce.
Quadrucci – 233 Rua Dias Ferreira (Leblon); 011-55-21-2512-4551;; Italian.
Rio Minho – 10 Rua do Ouvidor (Rio Antigo); 011-55-21-2509-2338; classic, traditional fish restaurant, open since 1884.
Roberta Sudbrack – 916 Avenida Lineu Paula Machado (Jardim Botanico); 011-55-21-3874-0139;; Sudbrack served 7 years as Brazil’s presidential palace chef; expensive; tasting menu, on Tuesday nights, affordable, as is Friday’s lunch; small, modern bistro only seats 62.
66 Bistro – 66 Rua Alexandre Ferreira (Jardim Botanico); 011-55-21-2266-0838;; chef Thomas Troisgros is Claude Troisgros’ son; cozy; authentic, outstanding French cuisine at still-affordable prices; try Moules Mariniere (mussels in fragrant white-wine sauce); house specialty is risotto with Parma ham, brie, and rucula; famous for desserts; very, very expensive wine list.
Sushi Leblon – 256 Rua Dias Ferreira (Leblon); 011-55-21-2512-7830;; exotic offerings (quail eggs and truffles).
Tereze – 660 Rua Almirante Alexandrino (Santa Teresa, at Hotel Santa Teresa); 011-55-21-3380-0200;; Brazilian-Franco fusion dishes and haute comfort food, such as steak burgers stuffed with foie gras; great views.
Trutas do Rocio – Estrada da Vargem Grande (Petrópolis, Rocio; 011-55-24-2291-5623;; all trout menu in idyllic setting; reservations are must.
Zozo – 520 Avenida Pasteur (Urca, Praia Vermelha); 011-55-21-2542-9665;; dramatically situated on beach near cable car.
Zuka – 233 Rua Dias Ferreira (Leblon); 011-55-21-3205-7154;; among Rio’s best restaurants; can’t miss grilled fish of day with mandoquinha (sweet root vegetable) purée; good cocktails (particularly lychee saketinis) and desserts.

Gionia Belmonte –; expensive ($250 per day) but charming and knowledgeable tour guide.
Dehouche – 332 Rua Almirante Guilhem (Leblon); 011-55-21-2512-3895 or 800-690-6899;; travel specialists; arrange cultural tours; access to great Ipanema penthouse; personal knowledge re hotels (and specific rooms therein), hideaway beaches, romantic restaurants, nightlife, and, most importantly, people.
Martin Frankenberg – 22 Rua Tapinas (Itaim Bibi, São Paulo); 011-55-11-3071-4515;; very dialed-in travel agent, based in São Paulo; can arrange private villas, entree to private art collections, etc.
Rio Hiking – 70 Rua Coelho Neto (Laranjeiras); 011-55-21-2552-9204 or 011-55-21-9721-0594;
Roberta Sudbrack – 916 Avenida Lineu Paula Machado (Jardim Botanico); 011-55-21-3874-0139;; Sudbrack served 7 years as Brazil’s presidential palace chef; monthly cooking classes (check website).

Assis Garrafaria – 174 Rua Cosme Velho (Cosme Velho); 011-55-21-2205-3598;; casual food, coffee & imported beer served in bookstore in Machado de Assis's former residence.
Atelier Chamego Bonzolandia – 31 Rua Leopoldo Froes (at Rua Aurea, next to Montreal Supermercado, which address is provided); in trolley-shaped, streetside workshop; artist Getulio Damado (effectively homeless after series of personal tragedies) makes dolls and toys out of found objects (= trash).
A Gentil Carioca – 17 Rua Goncalves Ledo (Centro); 011-55-21-2222-1651;; avant-garde art.
Bossa Nova & Companhia – 37 Rua Duvivier (Copacabana); 011-55-21-2295-8096;; for bossa nova lovers (books, CDs, memorabilia, and old photographs).
Lenny Niemeyer – 149 Rua Garcia d’Avila (Ipanema); 011-55-21-2227-5537;; swimwear.
Osklen – 85 Rua Maria Quiteria (Ipanema); 011-55-21-2227-2911;; clothing.
Quality Market (Feira) – Rua General Glicerio (Laranjeiras, 15-minute walk from Largo do Machado subway, between Ruas Cristóvão Barcelos & Ortiz Monteiro); Saturday, 11 am event; both food and stuff.
Shopping Leblon – 290 Avenida Afranio de Melo Franco (Leblon); 011-55-21-2430-5122;; city’s most fashionable new mall, with stores by Blue Man (swimwear), Ellus (jeans), Maria Bonita Extra (satin and silk summer dresses), and Carlos Miele (dresses).
Carlos Vergara – 70 Rua Progresso (Santa Teresa); 011-55-21-2508-9169;; art gallery.

Academia Brasileira De Letras – 203 Avenida Presidente Wilson (Centro); 011-55-21-3974-2500;; replica of Trianon at Versailles; built to house French delegation at International Exhibition celebration of Brazil independence in 1922; later donated by Government of France to host Brazilian Academy of Letters; guided tours last 1 hour; institution itself founded on 20 July 1897; museum collection consists of ABL artworks, period furniture & decorative art pieces as well as personal belongings of Academicians; painting & sculpture include works by Portinari, Rodolfo Bernardelli, Carollo Gomes, Manuel Santiago, Leo Veloso & Bruno Giorgi.
Assembleia Legislativa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Palácio Tirandentes) – Rua Primeiro de Março (Centro, Praça XV); 011-55-21-2588-1000;; Tiradentes Palace was occupied by Brazilian National Congress (1926-60) until National Congress moved to Brasilia; building currently used by State of Rio de Janeiro’s Legislative Assembly; Palace was built on land occupied by “Old Jail,” which housed colonial period prisoners; palace named for Lt. Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier Tiradentes, imprisoned there before being taken to gallows on 21 April 21 1792; palace has eclectic style; outside, dome is adorned with allegorical sculptures representing “Independence” & “Republic”; inside, dome decorated with paintings by Brazilian artist Rodolfo Chambelland, boasting stained glass painted like sky night of 15 November 1889; on 1st floor you can find paintings representing Brazil’s political history; on 2nd floor can attend Assembly meetings.
Assis Garrafaria – 174 Rua Cosme Velho (Cosme Velho); 011-55-21-2205-3598;; casual food, coffee & imported beer served in bookstore in site of Machado de Assis’s former residence.
Cantagalo Elevator – Praca General Osorio (at Rua Teixeira de Melo’s & Rua Barao da Torre’s corner);; progressive architecture that affords best city views, including favelas.
Casa das Canoas – 1246 Estrada das Canoas (São Conrado); 011-55-21-3322-0642;; 20 minutes from downtown; Oscar Niemeyer Foundation’s home; built by architect for himself in 1950s.
Casa Stefan Zweig – 34 Rua Gonçalves Dias (Petrópolis); 011-55-024-2245-4316;; museum dedicated to author Stefan Zweig, where he & his 2nd wife Lotte resided for 5 months until their joint suicide in February 1942.
Catedral Metropolitana – Avenida República do Chile (Centro, at Esplanada dos Ministérios); 011-55-21-2240-2669;; enormous cone-shaped cathedral inaugurated in 1976 after 12 construction years; among its sculptures, murals and other artworks, 4 vivid stained-glass windows, which stretch 120' to ceiling, are breathtaking; Museu de Arte Sacra in basement contains historical items, including baptismal font used at royal christenings and Dom Pedro II throne.
Cemitério dos Ingleses (Gamboa) – 181 Rua da Gamboa (Santo Cristo); 011-55-21-2233-4237;; John VI of Portugal ceded 2.5 acres off Guanabara Bay to British in 1809; British Ambassador to Emperor’s court (Percy Smythe, 6th Viscount Strangford), founded cemetery; 1st burial was in 1811; 8 WWI & 4 WWII Commonwealth war graves in cemetery.
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil – 66 Rua Primeiro de Marco (Rio Antigo); 011-55-21-3808-2020;; began in 1986; 3 centers in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro & São Paulo; among world’s top 100 most visited art museums; in art-deco building designed by Francisco Joaquim Bethencourt da Silva; contains cinemas, multiple art galleries, and theaters.
Centro Cultural Correios – 20 Rua Visconde de Itaboraí (Rio Antigo); 011-55-21-2253-1580;; art museum & theater in old post office; quiet bistro on ground floor.
City Center – area between Avenida President Vargas, Rua Primeiro de Março, Rua São Jose (where Machado de Assis lived) & Avenida Rio Branco; especially Rua do Carmo, Rua Sacadura Cabral & Rua da Quitanda; for Rio de Janeiro pictures that capture city feel; see Rua do Carmo & Rua Carmarino, which retain some nice colonial architecture; see also Largo de São Francisco de Paula da Prainha, re same.
Clube dos Caiçaras – Avenida Epitácio Pessoa (Lagoa); 011-55-21-2529-4800;; private swim club; would have to arrange permission to go.
Corcovado – Estrada da Redentor (Floresta da Tijuca);; 2 advantages over Sugar Loaf; 1st, nearly twice as high; 2nd, offers excellent Pão de Açúcar view; name means “hunchback” and refers to shape; statue erected in 1921; French artisans, headed by sculptor Paul Landowski, took 10 years; rises more than 100' from 20' pedestal, weighing 700 tons; in evening, powerful lighting system transforms it into dramatic icon; best viewing is in early morning, though, before haze sets in; 4 ways to reach top: (1) cogwheel train, (2) taxi, (3) car, or (4) on foot; train built in 1885, provides delightful Ipanema and Leblon views from absurd ascent angle, as well as close look at butterflies and thick vegetation (oblong medicine ball-looking-things hanging from trees are jaca (“jackfruit“)); trains leave Cosme Velho station (513 Rua Cosme Velho (Cosme Velho), 011-55-21-2558-1329); steep, 3 mile, 17-minute ascent; trains run from 9 am to 6 pm and depart every 30 minutes; late-afternoon trains are most popular; on weekends, be prepared for long wait; to get to summit, you can climb up 220 steep, zigzagging steps, or take escalator, or panoramic elevator; if you choose stairs, pass little cafés and shops selling film and souvenirs along way.
Flea Market – Praca 15 de Novembro (Centro, at waterfront); Saturday mornings; china and silver sets, watches, Asian rugs, and chandeliers.
Igreja Nossa Senhora da Candelária – Praça Pio X (Centro); 011-55-21-2233-2324;; built between 1775-1894, once was Brazil’s largest & wealthiest churches; interior combines baroque & Renaissance styles; ceiling above nave reflects original structure; cupola, fabricated entirely from limestone shipped from Lisbon, among most striking features; original church dates from late 16th Century, on present site (credited to ship’s captain who was nearly shipwrecked at sea - upon his safe return, he vowed to build church).
Igreja Nossa Senhora do Monte do Carmo da Antiga Sé – Rua Primeiro de Março (Centro, Praça XV); 011-55-21-2242-4828;; dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel (literally “Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel of Ancient See”); old Carmelite church that served as Rio de Janeiro cathedral () from 1808-1976; during 19th Century, also used successively as Imperial & Royal Chapel; where Princesa Isabel married; among most important historical buildings in city.
Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Sociais da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) – 1 Largo São Francisco de Paula (Centro); 011-55-21-2224-8125;; colonial architecture.
Jardim Botanico – 920 Rua Jardim Botanico (Jardim Botanico); 011-55-21-3874-1808;; exotic, 137-hectare garden; over 8K plant species; designed by Prince Regent Dom João (later Dom João VI) in 1808; enclosed orquidário is home to 600 species; also on-site is Museu do Meio Ambiente, which opened in 2008 and houses temporary environmentally focused exhibits; English-language tours arranged by appointment; pleasant outdoor café overlooks gardens; take insect repellent.
Carmen Miranda Museum – 560 Avenida Rui Barbosa (Flamengo); 011-55-21-2299-5586;; concrete bunker in postage stamp-size park surrounded by 4 traffic lanes hardly seems fitting tribute to flamboyant ’40s film star who created worldwide mania for banana & pineapple headgear; inside, however, small collection shows life-size publicity photos and numerous pictures illustrating her career and life in music and movies; large video documentary collection, plus all of her movies, and song compilation (receptionist delighted to play these for visitors).
Roberto Burle Marx Home & Gardens – 2019 Estrada da Barra de Guaratiba (Guaratiba, about hour outside of Rio); 011-55-21-2410-1412;; man who designed Rio’s undulating sidewalks.
Museu da Vida - Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) – 4365 Avenida Brasil (Manguinhos); 011-55-21-2590-6747;; castle-like structure built in neomourisco style; life sciences museum.
Museu de Arte do Rio – 1 Praça Mauá (Port); 011-55-21-2203-1235;; aims to promote “cross-reading” of city’s conflicts, contradictions, challenges, expectations, history, social fabric, and symbolic life; in 2 interconnected buildings: Dom João VI Mansion & modernist former bus station, latter housing ”School of Look” (”environment for production and provocation of experiences, personal and collective,” focusing on training public school educators); complex comprises 15 square meters and includes 8 exhibition halls and about 4K square meters, divided over 4 floors; 2 buildings joined by square, glazed walkway covered with fluid, waveform.
Museu de Arte Moderna – 85 Avenida Infante Henrique (Flamengo, at Parque de Flamengo’s north end); 011-55-21-2240-4944;; immediately recognizable by striking postmodern architecture and design (Alfonso Eduardo Reidy); Burle Marx landscaping no less impressive; devastating fire in 1978 consumed 90% collection; finally back on its feet, housing 11K permanent works, including pieces by Brazilian artists Bruno Giorgi, Di Cavalcanti, and Maria Martins.
Museu de Arte Popular Casa do Pontal Museum – 3295 Est Pontal (Recreio dos Bandeirantes); 011-55-21-2490-4013;; hour’s drive from Copacabana along coastal road, past Barra de Tijuca; nice museum in gorgeous location, with ocean on 1 side and mountains on other; inside, more than 5K pieces collected by French designer, Jacques Van de Beuque, present beautiful Brazilian culture overview; collection’s charm lies in naive portrayal of traditional rural Brazilian life; Ks small clay sculptures, combined with woodcarvings and cloth and metal tableaus, depict religious and music festivals and family and farm routines; x-rated sculpture department contains hilarious sculptures in very compromising positions; 1 of most famous rooms houses wonderful mechanical diorama that represents an escola de samba (samba school), complete with cheering audience, marching in Carnaval parade.
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes – 199 Avenida Rio Branco (Centro); 011-55-21-2219-8474;; established in 1937, collection initially arose from transfer of Portuguese Court to Brazil in early 19th Century, when King John VI brought along with him part of Portuguese Royal Collection; art collection stayed in Brazil after his return to Europe; in 1908 eclectic-style building by Spanish architect Adolfo Morales de los Ríos; rich in 19th Century paintings and sculptures; more than 20K pieces, among paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, of Brazilian and international artists, ranging from High Middle Ages to contemporary art; also includes smaller assemblages of decorative arts, folk and African art.
Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum – Mirante da Boa Viagem (Niteroi); 011-55-21-2620-2400;; among city’s main landmarks; designed by Oscar Niemeyer with structural engineer Bruno Contarini’s assistance; projects itself over Boa Viagem (“Bon Voyage,” “Good Journey”), 817 sq m reflecting pool that surrounds cylindrical base; wide access slope leads to Exposition Hall; 2 doors lead to viewing gallery, through which can be seen Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, and Sugarloaf Mountain; saucer-shaped modernist structure, which has been likened to UFO, set on cliffside, at bottom of which is beach.
Oi Futuro Ipanema – 54 Rua Visconde de Pirajá (Ipanema); 011-55-21-3201-3000;; cultural center with live music shows, among other things.
Paco Imperial – 48 Praca 15 de Novembro (Centro); 011-55-21-1533-4491;; art.
Palácio Gustavo Capanema – 16 Rua da Imprensa (Centro); 011-55-21-2220-1740;; among finest examples Brazilian 1930s modernist architecture, designed in 1935-36 by team composed of Lucio Costa (future designer of Brasília master plan), along with Affonso Eduardo Reidy, Ernani Vasconcellos, Carlos Leão, Jorge Machado Moreira & Roberto Burle Marx; Oscar Niemeyer was intern in Costa’s office; group invited Swiss-French Modernist architect Le Corbusier to oversee project; construction completed in 1943, to house Brazil’s new Ministry of Education & Health; in 1960 national capital moved to Brasília & building became regional Rio office for ministry; building named after author & educator Gustavo Capanema, Brazil’s 1st Education Minister; project extremely bold for time; 1st modernist public building in Americas & on much larger scale than anything Le Corbusier had built until then; modernist tropical gardens laid out by great landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx & include Brazilian native plants; building also includes specially commissioned works of notable Brazilian artists, most importantly mural tiles outside & large wall paintings inside by Cândido Portinari, among Brazil’s most famous painters.
Pão de Açúcar – 520 Avenida Pasteur (Urca); 011-55-21-2546-8400;; atanding on its peak, view entire cidade maravilhosa: beaches (Copacabana & Ipanema), favelas (Babylonia), Tijuca Forest, Corcovado, Guanabara Bay, and Niterói fortresses; cable car leaves every half-hour from 8 am to 10 pm daily, at least.
Parque da Catacumba – 3000 Avenida Epitácio Pessoa (Lagoa); 011-55-21-2247-9949;; park and sculptural garden with 7 m rock-climbing wall, zipline, rappelling down 30 m rock-face & canopy walk through treetops; free to stroll through park, including short but steep trail (15 minutes’ walking) to Mirante do Sacopã, which offers scenic views over Lagoa.
Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí (Passarela Professor Darcy Ribeiro) – Rua Marquês de Sapucaí (Central);; designed by Oscar Niemeyer and built in 1984; 700 m stretch Marquês de Sapucaí street, converted into permanent parade ground with bleachers on either side; 90K person capacity; complex includes Samba Museum (entrance on Rua Frei Caneca) and area located at parade route end, Praça da Apoteose (Apotheosis Square), where bleachers set further back from parade area, creating square where revelers gather as they end their parade.
Selarón Steps (Escadaria Selaron) – from Rua Joaquim Silva street to Rua Pinto Martins (Rua Manuel Carneiro), in Lapa & Santa Teresa; 250 steps, 125 ms l, covered in over 2K tiles collected from over 60 countries; featured in Snoop Dogg video.
Teatro Espaço Tom Jobim – 1008 Rua Jardim Botânico (Jardim Botanico); 011-55-21-2274-7012;; dedicated to Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (Tom Jobim), Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist who was primary force behind bossa nova & widely known as Garota de Ipanema (Girl from Ipanema) composer.

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