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Brazil

Welcome to Rio De Janeiro

City description  

Watched over by the legendary Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro is known for its iconic mountainous heights. From Corcovado, Urca Mountain, Pedra da Gavea, or the monolithic Sugarloaf Mountain, the views of Guanabara Bay will give anyone vertigo. The bustling city climbs up lush hills, wraps itself around vast sections of granite and flows towards a shimmering shoreline, studded with white sandy beaches and idyllic islands.

The magic of the Cidade Maravilhosa is that it enjoys an undeniably unique location. Opposite the Atlantic, on the East Coast of the largest country in Latin America, Rio bursts out of the tropical forest and mingles with its rugged greenery. The only city in the world to boast its very own national park, Tijuca, Rio lives to the rhythm of vibrant nature, filled with multi-coloured birds and flowers smelling of spicy fragrances. Its raw temperament is celebrated within its Botanical Garden, where its palm trees offer a welcome breath of fresh air.

Since the 1920s, Rio has also been a popular destination due to its long beaches lined by the deep blue sea. Although the golden age of Copacabana, popular with the international jet set in the 1950s, may be over, its fine sand will always be associated with the joyful, seductive life of the Cariocas. Today, visitors prefer the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon, which can be found next to the chic neighbourhoods of the same name. These hip districts synonymous with trendy, laid-back youngsters, are the epicentre of a way of life lived to a bossa nova beat. It comes to life in its stylish bars and restaurants and the string of elegant boutiques showcasing local designers. Although the malls, Barra Shopping and Shopping Leblon, are popular reference points, Brazil is also a land of inspiration for high-end designers.
Rio, a melting pot of different influences is buzzing with life, and imbued with a crazy kind of electric energy, by day as well as by night, when it hums with caipirinhas. Its intensity is never as striking as it is during the famous Rio Carnival, which brings the city to life every year. It draws on a prolific musical and artistic scene, driven by prestigious events such as the Rio Film Festival. In the bohemian neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, with its stepped streets and colonial buildings with genuine old-fashioned charm, you can really feel this cultural buzz. Explore its studios and art galleries, before seeking out the peace and quiet of Leme, a small seaside resort north-east of Copacabana, or Urca, famous for its stunning Art Deco buildings.
Next, you can step back in time to when Rio was discovered by Portuguese explorers by heading to Cinelândia. It is lined with historic buildings, like the National Museum of Fine Arts. Not far away, the modernist MAM tells the story of the 20th century through Brazilian art. But it is further afield, opposite the futurist architecture of Oscar Niemeyer’s MAC that you can really understand the essence of Rio de Janeiro, intrinsically linked to that of the whole country. Stefan Zweig summed it up when he said: “When one describes Brazil’s present, one talks without any knowledge of the past. It is only by having the future in sight that one can really understand what it means.” How true: the Football World Cup had barely finished in 2014 and Rio was already beginning to prepare for its next moment in the spotlight: the 2016 Olympic Games.

Rio De Janeiro

Enjoy our selection of finest attractions

  • All
  • Highlight
  • Art & design
  • Shopping

Where to Eat

  • Sofitel restaurants
  • Café
  • Restaurants

Gero & Fasano Al Mare

Enjoy excellent Italian cuisine in the heart of the vibrant Ipanema district at the Fasano Group’s two flagship restaurants, Gero and Fasano Al Mare, where the latter boasts a glamorous seaside locations and specialises in seafood-inspired Italian cuisine.

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Rio Scenarium

You’ll feel the rhythm of the Rio Carnival at Rio Scenarium, set within a former 19th-century antiques warehouse in the Lapa district. This popular late-night bar-club attracts the city’s samba dancers with the electric atmosphere of its dancefloor.

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Aprazivel

Boasting a breathtaking dining integrated within the forest in the wooded heights of the bohemian Santa Teresa district, Aprazivel is known for its beautiful alfresco terraces overlooking Guanabara Bay and its creative cuisine featuring local ingredients.

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Lasai

Let yourself be carried by the creativity of young Brazilian chef, Rafael Costa e Silva, who delivers a fresh and modern take on Brazilian cuisine at this unique and exciting foodie favourite dining spot.

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Olympe

Located in the heart of Lagoa district, Olympe is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most popular upscale dining restaurants. Acclaimed French chef Claude Troisgros and his son, Thomas revisit French cuisine with a Brazilian twist.

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Sushi Leblon

Sushi Leblon is a fantastic modern Japanese diner located in one of the most exclusive areas of Rio. Don’t be surprised if you see a famous face sitting around the restaurant’s wooden sushi counter-kitchen! Reservations highly recommended.

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Baretto Londra

The glamorous Fasano Hotel lounge bar and nightclub in the hip Ipanema district pays tribute to London throughout its sophisticated interiors. Settle into one of its comfortable leather sofas and enjoy one of their excellent cocktails.

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Bastarda

A laid-back hangout for lovers of good coffee, bikes and beer, Bastarda enjoys an enviable location in Rio de Janeiro’s Botanical Gardens. A favourite with the cyclists who come to the gardens to train, Bastarda is a hive of activity with its funky open-garage design, bike racks, outdoor seating and wholesome menu of fresh juices, cold brew coffee and traditional Brazilian carioca. 

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Kraft Café

Only a short walk from the iconic Ipanema Beach, Kraft Café transports Australia’s cafe culture to Rio de Janeiro. Selecting and roasting the finest Brazilian beans, Australian founder Duncan Hay is always experimenting with new techniques to create the perfect espresso. With its open frontage in pale wood and relaxed beach-shack vibe, Kraft Café is a mellow all-day hangout in Rio. 

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Térèze

Rio de Janeiro’s celebrated Térèze restaurant offers an exclusive setting in which to savour contemporary Brazilian cuisine by Chef Pablo Ferreyra. The crown jewel of the stunning Santa Teresa Hotel MGallery By Sofitel, the restaurant’s menu hints at the chef’s international inspirations, where premium ribeye steaks can be found alongside fresh ceviche and succulent lobster. Arrive at sunset and enjoy sweeping views of Guanabara Bay from Térèze’s picturesque terrace, then settle into the seductive dining room of dark woods and scarlet lamp-light to enjoy this superb culinary experience. Far from the bustle of the city below, Térèze offers a fine-dining hilltop hideaway in Santa Teresa, one of Rio de Janeiro’s most charming districts.

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Practical information

  • where to stay
  • when to go
  • Travel transportation
  • event calendar

Rio de Janeiro • Brazil

Caesar Park Rio de Janeiro Ipanema Managed by Sofitel

Caesar Park combines sophistication and elegance to the minutest detail alongsid...

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Rio de Janeiro • Brazil

Santa Teresa Hotel RJ MGallery By Sofitel

The Santa Teresa Hotel RJ MGallery By Sofitel is located in the bohemian neighbo...

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Rio de Janeiro • Brazil

Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana

The Rio de Janeiro Copacabana hotel is located on the famous Copacabana beach an...

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When to go

Rio is a great destination to go all year around. It is characterised by a tropical climate with daytime temperatures superior to 25°C almost all year around. Expect a hot season from December to April, a rainy season from September to December and a cool season between May to August.
The average number of rainy days and rainfalls are generally at their highest from October to February, with frequent 30 minutes showers followed by a clear sky.
The best period to visit Rio is from February to April when the temperatures are warm around 23-25°C. However, the rest of the year is also great.

Rio De Janeiro annual calendar

  • Jan

    New Year’s Celebrations, early January

  • Fev

    Rio Carnival, all month of February

  • Mar

    Rio Circuit, cycling tournament, late March

  • Apr

    Holy Week and Easter celebrations, late March/early April

  • May

    Victory Day, commemorative celebrations WWII, 18th of May

  • Jun

    Festa Junina, June Bonfire Festivals, late June

  • Jul

    Paraty International Literary Festival, late July and early August

  • Aug

    Olympic Games 2016 in Rio, early to late August

  • Sep

    Rock in Rio, music festival, mid to late Septembere

  • Oct

    Rio International Film festival, late September to early October

  • Nov

    Fashion Rio, mid-November

  • Dec

    Christmas celebrations and parades, late December

Travel transportation

Transportation

Public transportation is not that easy to organise in Rio, mainly due to the size and geography of the city and the absence of developed infrastructure. If traveling by car or taxi, expect to get caught easily in traffic jam from early in the morning to potentially late at night.
Expect a short range of methods of transportation, including: local cabs, private car services, rental car, metro, tram, buses and bikes.
We highly recommend private car services and taxis since these they are quite inexpensive and easy to find in Rio de Janeiro. For safety reasons we would not recommend using buses or the metro at night or in specific areas of the city.
Keep in mind that when driving in Rio, you must drive on the left side of the road. Nevertheless we do not recommend to book a car in Rio for long distance trips.

Taxis

Taxis are quite inexpensive in Rio and are the best way to move around the city.
They can be hailed on the street, found at taxi ranks or booked in advance through one of the numerous Rio taxi company. Radio taxis such as Yellow taxis are safe and reliable even if they apply a 30% additional charge than regular taxis.
The initial charge is R$ 4,50 and add R$ 1,60 for each kilometer. Some additional charges may apply.
Credit cards are usually not accepted and keep in mind that you will have sometimes to negotiate the final fare with the taxi drivers when they will try to apply a fee instead of the metered system.

getting to & from the airport

Rio International Airport (Rio Galeao - Tom Jobim) is located about 25 kilometers from the city center. Expect a 45 minutes journey and a fare of R$ 63(depending upon traffic, the time of day).
Metered taxis are available and private transfers can be arranged at the airports.

Getting around

Other destinations

* Prices start from. Offer subject to the hotel's conditions and availability. See the sales conditions for the rate. Depending on the country, these prices may not include taxes, may include VAT only or may include all taxes (VAT and city tax). When prices do not include all taxes, the relevant taxes (VAT and/or city tax) will be stated in the following stages of the reservation process. The price is only guaranteed at the time of reservation.

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