Rio de Janeiro! Need we say more? Rio boasts the most breathtaking geography of any major city, and you should see it at least once in your life. Home of bossa nova and Ipanema Beach, of Carnival and Corcovado peak, Rio is sprucing up to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Come experience the legendary hospitality of the local cariocas and see for yourself the dynamism of Latin America’s emerging superpower – the world’s seventh largest economy and fifth most populous country.
Check out some of the recommendations below, compiled by the staff of Abraji and GIJN. You can find all of them color-coded in a map.
- Cultural/History: Yellow
- Nightlife: Pink
- Traditional Bars: Light Blue
- Samba: Red
- Tourist Points: Purple
- Restaurants: Green
Visualizar Things to do in Rio em um mapa maior
Located on the same street of the conference venue, the Moreira Salles Institute is based in a Brazilian modernist house where you can see a valuable collection with works from artists like Marc Ferrez, Marcel Gautherot, Maureen Bisilliat, and anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. There is also a huge collection of traditional popular Brazilian music. Every 5PM, from Tuesday to Friday, there are guided visits through the current exhibits.
Marques de Sao Vicente St., 476 — Tue-Sun, 11AM-8PM — +55 21 3284.7400
National Museum of Fine Arts
Located in a building from the early 1900s, the National Museum of Fine Arts holds the largest and most important collection of Brazilian art from the 19th century, acquired during the Imperial Period. The Manuel de Araujo Porto Alegre Library has rare materials, including journals and photographs.
Rio Branco Ave, 199 — Thu-Sun, 9AM-9PM — +55 21 2219-8474
A neoclassical building from 1906, the base of the Public Funds Stock Exchange. In the 1920s, it passed to the Banco do Brasil, which turned it into a cultural center in the 1980s. There are always good expositions going on there, from arts to theater, music to movies. You can also take a break at the coffee shop (Wed-Mon, 9AM-9PM) or at the library, and have a lunch or dinner at the Brasserie Brasil restaurant (Wed-Mon, 12PM-8.30PM). There is no entrance fee to the exhibitions or the library. The tickets for music, theater, and cinema are generally R$6.
Rua Primeiro de Março St., 66 — Wed-Mon, 9AM-9PM — +55 21 3808-2020
Served as the main residence of the early Rio de Janeiro’s governor in the 1700s. In the 1800s, the building became the head office for the Brazilian capital. Since the 1980s, it has been a cultural center with a library dedicated to architecture and a pleasant coffee shop.
15 de Novembro Square, 48 — Tue-Sun, 12PM-6PM — +55 21 2533 4359
This new museum hosts an art school and exhibitions within unusual architecture that integrates two distinct buildings: the Dom Joao VI Mansion, listed and eclectic, and the neighboring building (once a bus terminal, with a modernist style). On Tuesdays, entrance is free of charge. Other days, you pay just R$8. The Cristovao Cafe e Bistro is a good option to have a good Brazilian coffee (a little stronger than usual) and local cuisine.
Maua Square, 5 — Tue-Sun, 10AM-5PM — +55 21 3031 2741
A nightclub located in one of the trendiest Rio neighborhoods, Lapa. Rio 40º has four different ambiences, from a simple bar to sit and drink with friends to a concert place. Depending on the day of the week, there are shows of samba, forro (a traditional brazilian rhythm), or carioca funk. There is also a snooker space. Sometimes, Carlinhos de Jesus — well-known samba dancer — does a presentation. Locals recommend getting there early (before 10PM), for there is a long line to get in. You can buy tickets and take a look at the events calendar online.
Riachuelo St., 97 — Tue-Sat, 6PM-4AM — +55 21 3970.1329
A place to sit and have some drinks and snacks while listening to a live performance of traditional samba and choro, a typical carioca rhythm. Located in Rio downtown. Note: the pronunciation for the first word is something like “tripesh” (useful in case you have to tell a cab driver where to go!).
Sacadura Cabral St., 155 — Tue-Fri, from 6.30PM. Sat, from 8.30PM — +55 21 2516.0868
A bar specializing in cachaça, the typical Brazilian liquor that serves as base to the national cocktail, caipirinha. The place has nearly 100 labels of it and sits in an ancient house from the late 1800’s. From Mondays to Thursdays, there are live shows. At Fridays, from 9PM to 1AM, and Saturdays, from10PM, samba is the king.
Lavradio St., 23 — Mon-Tue: 11AM-12PM. Wed-Thu: 11AM-1AM. Fri-Sat: 11AM-2.30AM — +55 21 3852.1947
A popular nightclub that borders the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Opened in 2012, the club, which is co-owned by popular Brazilian actor Luciano Szafir.
Avenida Epitácio Pessoa, 1484 — Wed – Sat: 11PM – 6 AM — +55 21 2513.3898
More? Check out The Rio Times Nightlife Guide to find out where the hotspots are on any given night.
The following bars are like institutions of Rio. All of them are excellent places for a typical carioca hangout: have a good time chatting with friends, having a few drinks and, if you’re in the mood, flirting a little bit.
Jobi Bar: Ataulfo de Paiva Ave, 1166 — Mon-Thu/Sun, 9AM-4AM. Fri-Sat, 9AM-5AM — +55 21 2274 0547
Bracarense Bar: Jose Linhares St., 85-B — Mon-Fri, 8AM-12PM. Sat, 9.30AM-12PM. Sun, 10AM-10PM
Chico e Alaide: Dias Ferreira St., 679 — Mon-Thu, 11.30AM-12PM. Fri-Sat, 11.30AM-1AM. Sun, 11.30AM-10PM — +55 21 2512 0028
Bar do Mineiro: Paschoal Carlos Magno St., 99 — Tue-Sat, 11AM-2AM. Sun, 11AM-12AM — +55 21 2221 9227
Adonis: Sao Luiz Gonzaga St., 2156 — Mon-Sat, 8AM-10PM. Sun, 8AM-5PM — +55 21 3890 2283
Cachambeer: Cachambi St., 475 — Tue-Fri, 5PM-12AM. Sat, 12PM to 12AM. Sun, 12AM-6PM
Roda de Samba da Ouvidor
An informal public meeting of samba players, dancers, and people who just like the rhythm. Usually takes place on Saturday’s afternoons, but not every week — keep informed on the dates at their Facebook page.
Ouvidor St. x Mercado St. — Sat, 16.30PM (usually)
A traditional restaurant and bar located in one of the antique buildings downtown. The food runs from seafood to tortillas and German sausages, along with traditional Brazilian feijoada (served on Fridays). On Saturdays, you can join a samba meeting while drinking some caipirinha or beer.
Mercado St., 51 — Sun-Mon, 11.30AM-11PM — +55 21 2516 1734
Don’t forget to take some time to see the incredible sites of Rio. Our partner Abraji has an agreement with the OPCO tour company to be the official tourism and hotel agency for the conference. OPCO offers various packages and special tours.
The most famous spot in Rio. It’s better to buy tickets in advance; you can do it online using a credit card (R$46, about US$23). Keep in mind that visiting it on rainy and cloudy days can be a little frustrating, as the magnificent view will probably be impaired.
Cosme Velho St., 513 — Mon-Sun, 8AM-8PM — Trains departures every thirty minutes — +55 21 2558-1329
Created in 1808, when Rio de Janeiro was set the seat of government for the Portuguese court. It’s one of the ten leading botanic gardens in the world. You can see a huge variety of plant species (around 8,200) walking by the park’s avenues or visiting the greenhouses of orchids, bromeliads, carnivorous plants, and cacti. There are also six lakes in which you can view lilly pads and lotus flowers. The Empress’ Mansion was turned into the National School of Tropical Botany, the first of its kind in Latin America. You can have a picnic or buy some food at the coffee shop.
Jardim Botanico St., 920 — Mon-Sun, 8AM-5PM — +55 21 3874.1808 +55 21 3874.1214
Along with Christ the Redemeer, this is one of the most famous tour spots in Rio. After getting to it by suspended trains (the bondinho), you will have one of the most astonishing views in the world from the top of the Pao de Acucar mount. You can also take a walk in the surrounding park. The entrance fee is R$53/person. The ticket shop is open from 8AM to 19.50PM.
Pasteur Ave., 520 — Mon-Sun, 8AM-8.50PM — +55 21 2546-8400
Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Archs)
A popular tourist spot in Rio, this is the largest architectural work done in Brazil during the colonial period. Originally built to be an aqueduct, now it’s a viaduct for streetcars (whose circulation is currently suspended, unfortunately). The surroundings have a lively nightlife, with a variety of bars of all kinds and prices.
Mosqueira Lane, 13 Downtown
Rodrigo de Freitas Lake
A place for jogging, walking, and relaxing. You can also have some food at the kiosks along the lake (the most famous is Palaphita). Just 5 minutes by car from the venue (or 15 minutes walking).
Borges de Medeiros Ave/Epitacio Pessoa Ave, Lagoa
If you want to vist a favela (slum), you can hire a local tour and hike to the Morro Dois Irmaos (Two Brothers Mount) for BRL 60 per person. The price includes a guide, one-day insurance, and transportation to the top of the mount (where the trail begins). You can have lunch at the Barlacubaco Restaurant, the best of the area, for BRL 15 to 24.
To hire the tour, you will need a minimum group of 4 and a maximum of 10 people.
The Morro Dois Irmaos is where the Favela do Vidigal is located. The community is now under the public program known as “pacification,” which means that drug trafficking was expelled and replaced by a strong police presence — in Vidigal, for two years already.
Be sure to wear light clothes, sneakers or comfortable shoes (not flip-flops or sandals), and pants or long shorts. Take some water, light food (cereal bars, for instance), sun blocker, and insect repellent. Avoid carrying valuable items or much money.
Near the Royal Tulip
A number of restaurants are housed within the well-known Fashion Mall (Estrada da Gávea, 899).
Near Pontifical Catholic University (walking distance)
- Botequim Seu Pires (favourite of students): Marques de Sao Vicente, 218
- Restaurante Costello (sandwiches and regular food; the specialty is the pork rib): Marques de Sao Vicente, 140
- Bacalhau do Rei (traditional Portuguese food): Marques de Sao Vicente, 11
- Shopping da Gavea (mall; several options): Marques de Sao Vicente, 52
- Sushimar (Japanese food): Oitis St., 6 – Stores D and E
- Braseiro da Gavea (meat lovers): Santos Dumont Square, 116
- Hipodromo (meat and pizza): Jose Roberto Macedo Soares St., 4
- Delirio Tropical (vegetarian options): Marques de Sao Vicente, 68
- Garota da Gavea (ecletic): Santos Dumont Square, 148
Money & Valuables
Before you go, make two photocopies of your passport and visa. Keep one copy with you and leave another copy with someone at home. Read more about protecting your valuables here.
Many restaurants and stores accept credit and debit cards.
Accessing cash using an ATM will get you the best exchange rate. You will find an ATM on the third floor of the airport and throughout the city. But beware: 24-hour banks really mean 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with bank branches closing on weekends at 3 p.m.
- A 10 percent tip is usually included at restaurants.
- Taxi drivers do not expect large tips. Round up or give an extra R$1 if service was excellent.
- Bellboys and maids expect at least a R$1 tip.
As in any big city, we recommend you take some precautions while visiting Rio de Janeiro. Tourists are particularly vulnerable to street thefts and robberies later at night, especially in areas next to major tourist attractions or on weekends when fewer locals are present. Guests should lock up valuables locked in their hotel room safes. See our section on Security.
In Rio de Janeiro you’ll find different kind of electrical outlets: some places have the US one (pictured on the left) but many others use a three round-pin plug (on the right).
To ensure you can connect, we recommend bringing universal to brazilian adapters (see photos below). That way you will be able to plug in your devices everywhere in the city.
Need a charge? One of the conference sponsors, UOL, will have a charge station for cellphones in the exhibit area.
Pharmacy: City Farma Leblon (R. Dias Ferreira 618, Leblon) is located near the conference and is open 24 hours.
Doctor: Clínica Galdino has doctors who speak English, French, and Spanish as well as Portuguese.
Hospital: Hospital Ipanema (3111 2300; Rua Antônio Parreiras 67, Ipanema) is a well regarded hospital not too far from the conference site.
Ambulance: In a medical emergency dial 192.
Weather & Clothing
Dress code at GIJC13 is casual. Brazilian journalists usually wear jeans, shoes, or sneakers and a shirt or a t-shirt during Abraji conferences. You may want to dress up for our awards evening at the elegant Theatro Municipal on Monday evening, October 14, and afterwards for the blues night at the nearby Brazooca Beer Bar.
Climate in Rio is warm year around. Average high temperature in October is around 25°C (77°F) and average low temperature is around 18°C (66°F).