Rio de Janeiro, my favorite city in the world! I first visited the marvelous city in 2015, and have been in love since. The ocean, the people, the beautiful trees in Ipanema, the sun, the music, the caipis on the beach – I just love it all. Thankfully I’m currently in the position of visiting Rio a few times a year, so I’m enjoying it as much as I can.
We all know about the things to do in Rio de Janeiro: a visit to Christ the Redeemer, Pão de Açucar, Copacabana, the incredible samba parade during Carnaval, maybe even a visit to a favela. But the city has a lot more to offer, and to me, Rio is all about enjoying life. So where can you enjoy life the most in Rio? I’ve listed a few hotspots and other fun things to do!
Discover Rio by bike
This is one of the best ways to get a quick but good grasp of Rio. The guys from Rio by bike offer great bike tours that last about four hours. That may sound tiring, but it isn’t at all! You start in Copacabana and visit some famous places like Copacabana beach and the Selarón stairs, but you’ll stop for a coconut and a visit to a cemetery along the way. The guides are foreigners, but have lived in Rio for years and can give you a lot of history, information and a local perspective about the places you visit. I highly recommend the tour; I’ve even done it twice already!
Go for a run (or a marathon)
Running along the beach is one of my favorite things to do in Rio de Janeiro. The energy you’ll find there – as there are hundreds of people running, cycling, doing yoga or volleybal – is simply amazing. Feel like more? You can even run the Rio marathon like I did! Find my favorite running routes in Rio here.
Dinner at Zazá Bistro
Oh, my all-time favorite restaurant in Rio. It has a good and cosy atmosphere and the food is great. Go for the lamb croquettes and the tuna steak – you won’t regret it. You can find Zazá in Ipanema.
Or dinner at Salomé Bistro
Another great restaurant, but this one is located in Leme (near Copacabana). The restaurant also has a great atmosphere (both inside and outside) and the octopus is one you’ll never forget, mmm!
Saturday night drinks at Belmonte
Belmonte is a bar that you’ll find in various neighbourhoods in Rio, but the one in Leblon is definitely fun. The public pours out onto the streets, everyone is mingling with each other, and waiters are passing by with small glasses of beers which you can grab without specifically ordering one. A great, simple and down to earth place to start your carioca night.
Brunch at Parque Lage
And after all that drinking, you’re going to need a good brunch on Sunday. Go to Parque Lage, a beautiful small park with mata atlántica (Atlantic rainforest). It has a gorgeous Italian-style villa in it where you can sit down for huge brunches. You’re probably have to wait in line, but it’s worth the wait!