Guide to Rio

Guide to... Rio

The Carnival City

Overview Where to Stay What to Do Getting There & Around Climate & Weather

The RealWorld Guide to Rio

Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s great cities, conjuring up images of beaches, football and carnival whenever it is mentioned. Along with cities like Sydney and Florence, it’s also widely considered one of the most attractive cities you can visit, and the spectacular view from the Christ the Redeemer statue of white buildings nestled between green hills, golden sands and the blue ocean is certainly hard to beat...

Taking its name from the 1502 date of discovery of the Guanabara Bay in which it lies (Rio de Janeiro literally means ‘January River’), Rio was the capital of Brazil from 1737 to 1960, when the new purpose-built capital of Brasilia took over. It is still far and away the most famous and probably the most attractive Brazilian city, and certainly the most famous. The city offers endless options for tourists, from the Maracana stadium to Sugarloaf Mountain; from the 17th century colonial architecture to glass-faced skyscrapers; to the sights of tremendous wealth and obvious poverty.

More than anywhere in Brazil, there is something for everyone in Rio, and happily, despite its six million inhabitants being spread over quite a wide area, it’s an easy city to get around with an excellent metro system. There are, however, a few areas which are particularly of interest and so we’ll concentrate on those in our quick guide to this lovely and fascinating city.