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It has been said that the anthem of Rio de Janeiro is, “the marvelous city, full of a thousand charms...” Who arrives in Rio in an airplane already knows that the words of the poet are true. It is possible to visit Maracanã, the Sugarloaf, the beautiful beaches, and Christ the Redeemer, whose open arms are ready to receive cariocas and foreigners. Whoever comes to the city can’t leave without visiting these places.
It can’t be debated that one of Rio’s best qualities are its beaches. It has beaches for every kind of taste, from the urban ones, like Copacabana and Ipanema, to the more secluded beaches far from downtown. Watching a sunset from Arpoador Rock is a must-see!
Maracanã stadium finished its renovations, and it has been completely updated for the World Cup in 2014. If at all possible, visit the stadium to watch a soccer match. The locals would recommend seeing Flamengo vs. Flumenese.
The beach and soccer aren’t the only parts of carioca life. Dozens of theaters and museums make Rio the cultural center it is. The recently opened Museum of Art in Porto Maravilha is recommended. The museum is part of a huge project to revitalize the port areas.
Rio has a relatively efficient transportation system. The Zona Sul, where most of the points of interest are located, is serviced by many metro and bus lines. It is good to avoid these during rush hour. The taxis are cheap, especially compared to other Brazilian cities, but it is good to choose one connected to a cooperative to avoid the bad drivers.
Finally, the restaurant scene. Many of the best restaurants of Brazil are located in Rio and the city can stand up to the other large restaurant capitals of the world. There are places for every taste and price range, from the famous and delicious bolinhos de bacalhau (codfish balls), to fine dining. For those with a more refined palate, make sure to explore the neighborhoods of Ipanema and Leblon!