Hi, my name is Eva, welcome to my travel blog.
I travel since I was a kid but seriously started to discover other continents and more countries in 2006, first in Europe, then in Central America and Africa.
Currently I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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The Feel Of Rio

17 May 2019

Rio de Janeiro is a huge metropolis and probably the most famous city of Brazil, to the extend that most foreigners think it is the country's capital. Well, it isn't, not anymore at least. It used to be the capital city but the centre of power moved in 1960 to well planned and build from scratch Brasilia.

Still, Rio has full right to be at least the cultural capital of the country. Nobody is able to follow how many events are happening every week, every weekend or even every day in the centre or beyond: spontaneous live music performances, parties, organised cultural events, festivals - not to mention the most famous carnival in ther world - the list is endless. Lots of them 'advertised' only by world of mouth.

Rio de Janeiro Panorama

And even though it is a big metropolis, it doesn't feel as such. There isn't any particular financial or business city here or anything that makes it feel too serious. In fact the city centre is a patchwork of old colonial buildings and new business or residential skyscrapers - everything mixed in a bizzare and seemingly unordered manner.

It doesn't change the fact that the distances are significant and neigbourhoods are vast. The whole area is traditionally divided into Centro (the Centre), Zona Sul (South Zone), Zona Norte (North Zone) and Zona Oeste (West Zone). The east zone doesn't exists simply because on the east side of the centre lays the Guanabara Bay. The opposite shore of the Guanabara Bay hosts Niteroi - a city on its own.

Commercial and cultural hub is concentrated in the centre of the city. Here is the historical heart of the old Rio with former imperial palace, main squares and most of old and modern galleries such as Museum of Tomorrow, Modern Art Museum and AquaRio. Central bus station and ferry station with connections to Niteroi, Ilha de Paqueta and Ilha Governador are located in this area. Lapa neighbourhood is the home of Selarón Steps and famous for its night life and generally entertainment activities. The centre hosts many popular samba and forro clubs such as Pedra do Sal or Bar Leviano. On its west side raises Santa Teresa - a charming neighbourhood with many old colonial houses now falling in crumbles and traditional bondo tram which connect it to Lapa through the old aqueduct (Arcos da Lapa).

Rio de Janeiro view on Sugarloaf from Corcovado

South Zone is the home for Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Sugarloaf Mountain and the most famous Corcovado with its Christ the Redeemer statue. It is considered safer and also richer and more expensive part of the city. South Zone is also better planned urban area with parelel wide streets as it is newer and more modern than the historical centre of town.

If you don't have much time then the perfect way is to visit all most important places with a guide, I recommend Big Dude Tour which is cheap, comprehensive and includes everything you need to see in Rio de Janieor.

West Zone is great for outdoor activities - with its Park of Tijuca spreading along and just north of the South Zone. The park has lots to offer for green lovers - it's  an incredible nature retreat in the heart of the city. Here you can find many trekking trails, waterfalls, climb summits, and challenge yourself with rock climbing. It's also easely accessible by public bus.

If you get a chance to go to Sao Paulo you'll notice that even people dress differently in both cities. In Rio you get impression people dress like for holiday: colourful summer dresses, skirts, shorts and sports wear is a norm. Don't miss a chance to get your own Havaianas too! As it is a Brazilianbrand of flip-flops they're also cheaper here then in Europe. At the sea side of course the beach fashion is the most popular. Although never forget a shirt and skirt/ trousers because you won't be let in to a bar or even public transportation without full dress.

 

TBC...