Three days in Rio de Janeiro

Guide + Tips

We just came back from vacation in Brazil where we spent three wonderful weeks of family fun & travel, including Rio in some of them. Our trip to Rio was somewhat a special occasion that I can’t wait to tell you about. Here is everything we did in the three days we spent in my wonderful city.

Day One

Chilling in Copacabana

We stayed at the Porto Bay Copacabana, and it was our third time there. We keep coming back and this is for sure our favorite Hotel in Rio. It’s not budget friendly by far, but the location and service are amazing. It’s right at the Copacabana beach!

We had drinks by the pool, went to the beach and for a jog along the beach sidewalk until the end of Copacabana, where the Fort of Copacabana is. If you pay R$ 6 per person you can go in (~3 euros), check out some of Rio’s history, get an amazing ocean view from the top and sit by a cafe with a view of the whole beach of Copacabana. A great local-ish thing to do. If you are a tourist in Copacabana during the weekend don’t forget to enjoy the Sunday at Avenida Atlantica (the street in the picture above), half closed to cars.

Places: Copacabana Beach, Copacabana Fort, Hotel Porto Bay Rio.

Day two

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Santa tereza & Aprazível

We had lunch in an amazing restaurant called Aprazível, with delicious food and a great view of the mountains and part of the city. It’s really high so as you go up you can get a good feel of the bohemian Santa Teresa, a very old and traditional neighbourhood of Rio, that has a very cool and laid back vibe. It’s a beautiful ride up there & one of the best and most unique restaurants in Rio. It’s a whole experience for sure. If you would like to eat there, book in advance specially for the weekends or breakfast.

Places: Santa Tereza, Aprazível.

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Selaron Steps

These famous steps are a work of art by chilean artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people” with 215 steps are a vivid explosion of color. They are located right at the beginning of the neighbourhood of Santa Tereza, before you go up the hills. It’s definitely something you can’t miss if you’re visiting Rio, but you need to be aware of your surroundings. Go during the day only, and do not let your cab or uber driver leave you anywhere else other than AT the steps. The street in front of the steps is crowded with homeless people and heavy-drug users. I might be from Rio and we Cariocas love to defend our city, but I gotta be real with you here. To get out, just walk along the street in the directions of the bigger venue with cars and get a cab or call an uber while you’re still on the steps.

Upon leaving the steps you will already be in Lapa, a neighbourhood full of bars and cafes with Brazilian Jazz and Bossa Nova.

Places: Only the Selaron Steps

Day Three

Parque Lage + Cafe du Lage

One of the prettiest parks I’ve ever been to.. It has english style gardens, little lakes and fountains, and a reformed mansion that now houses the School of Visual Arts, so expect to see some free art exhibitions and occasional performances. You can get a view of the back of the Christ the Redeemer, check out the greenery from the Native Atlantic rainforest that surrounds Parque Lage. Sometimes you can spot monkeys and toucans. The park is a laid-back & super relaxed place and the cafe here offers some nice food.

Places: Parque Lage & Cafe du Lage.

Dinner at Marius Degustare

This place is amazing! The decor in this restaurant is really insane. It’s a huge mess of neatly arranged items, if that even makes sense to you. It’s all pirate/ships themed so you can find a lot of really cool items hanging everywhere, from the ceiling to the walls. The atmosphere is really moody with the yellow warm lights and the service is one of the best I’ve ever gotten. They serve a buffet of various foods you can have along with a Rodizio (that means the waiter will keep serving many types of your selected meat to your table) of either red meat or sea food. To top that, there is a dessert buffet!

Places: Mariu’s Degustare

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Do you have any Rio Favorites?