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8 The Best Arts & Entertainment

Alexandra deVries FrommerMedia ePub

The ornate lobby of the Theatro Municipal.

Arts & Entertainment Best Bets

Performance at Teatro Rival.

Most Elegant Theatre Venue

Theatro Municipal, Praça Floriano s/n (p 127)

Best Small-Venue Shows

Miranda, Av. Borges de Medeiros 1424 (p 129)

Best Acoustics

Sala Cecilia Meireles, Largo da Lapa 47 (p 127)

Best Bossa Nova Bar

Vinicius Show Bar, Rua Vinicius de Moraes 39 (p 129)

Best Brazilian Music

Teatro Rival Petrobras, Rua Alvaro Alvim 33 (p 129)

Best Live Samba Music

Carioca da Gema, Rua Mem de Sá 79 (p 130)

Best Foreign Flicks

Espaço Itaú de Cinema, Praia de Botafogo 316 (p 127)

Best Brazilian Soccer

Maracanã Stadium, Rua Professor Eurico Rabelo s/n (p 130)

Most Comprehensive Cultural Programming

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rua Primeiro de Março 66 (p 128)

Best Expensive Concert Splurge

Vivo Rio, Av. Infante Dom Henrique 85 (p 129)

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3 The Best Neighborhood Walks: Catete, Santa Teresa, Gloria & Lapa, Jardim Botanico, Ipanema

Alexandra deVries FrommerMedia ePub


This bustling, middle-class neighborhood, wedged between Glória and Flamengo, first developed in the 19th century, when the “nouveau riche” coffee barons spent their fortunes building opulent mansions here. The neighborhood’s turning point came in 1889, the year that Brazil became a republic and the president moved into the Palácio do Catete. For the next 60 years, Catete served as the political center of the country. When the capital was transferred to Brasília in 1960, Catete lost its raison d’être. Thanks to urban renewal projects and the recent real estate boom, however, Cariocas are now rediscovering Catete’s attractions. START: Metro to Catete. Palácio do Catete. This mansion was built in 1862 as the private residence of a coffee baron and was later acquired by the federal government; it served as the presidential office and home of 18 presidents, from 1897 until 1960, when the capital was transferred to the brand-new city of Brasília. The palace was then converted into a museum (see below). The lovely gardens, off-limits to the public until 1960, are now a popular leisure and cultural venue and feature a cafe, bookstore, outdoor exhibits, a craft museum (see below) and children’s playground.  1 hr. Rua do Catete 153.  021/3235-5124. Daily 8am–8pm. Free admission.

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1 The Best Full-Day, Two and Three-Day Tours

Alexandra deVries FrommerMedia ePub

Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer).

The Best in One Day

If you only have 1 day in Rio de Janeiro, experience the spectacular beaches and beautiful vistas that have made the city deservedly famous. Stroll along Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, mingle with laid-back Cariocas (residents of Rio), who always find time to enjoy life, and get your bearings from atop Arpoador and Sugarloaf. START: Metrô to Cardeal Arcoverde.

Copacabana Palace Hotel. This elegant hotel is a favorite among visiting celebrities for its old-world charm and glamour. Built between 1917 and 1923, the Copacabana Palace Hotel was one of the first commercial buildings along this once-deserted stretch of beach and dunes. Historic photos lining the wall at the rear of the building (facing Av. N.S. de Copacabana) show how much the city has changed. Start your day with a coffee in Pérgula restaurant, next to the swimming pool. On Sundays, the restaurant serves an excellent, although pricey, brunch with delicious seafood.  15 min. Av. Atlântica 1702, Copacabana.  021/ 2548-7070. www.copacabanapalace.com. Metrô: Cardeal Arcoverde.

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16 Favorite Moments

Alexandra deVries FrommerMedia ePub

View of Rio.

16 Favorite Moments

Nicknamed “Cidade Maravilhosa” (the Fabulous City), Rio de Janeiro conjures up images of golden beaches, tropical sunshine, and colorful Carnaval parades, but the city has much more to offer. Blessed with impressive natural beauty, Rio is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and steep mountains clad with coastal rainforest. The city’s architecture encompasses everything from 18th-century colonial baroque to modern minimalism. A rich cultural scene showcases some of Brazil’s most talented musicians and artists. And then there are the people, the friendly, high-spirited Cariocas, who know that they live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and make sure there is always enough time to kick back and enjoy life; to do otherwise would be disrespectful of the Cidade Maravilhosa.

Spreading your wings and soaring high above the city. Ever dream you can fly? Now you can, with no experience required! Your hang glider pilot will see to it that you are securely strapped in for take-off from Pedra Bonita, and accompany you on a safe, exhilarating ride through the city’s skies. After a 10- to 15-minute flight, you’ll land gently on São Conrado Beach. See p 93.

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The Savvy Traveler

Alexandra deVries FrommerMedia ePub

Aerial view of Ipanema.

Before You Go

Tourist Offices

Riotur ( 021/2271-7000; www.riodejaneiro-turismo.com.br) operates several information booths throughout the city and provides excellent information on the city of Rio de Janeiro. Service at Tom Jobim International Airport (Terminal 1;  021/3398-4077; daily 6am–11pm) can be spotty. Your most reliable bet is the well-stocked Riotur Information Center ( 021/2541-7522) on Av. Princesa Isabel 183, Copacabana, open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm, or the beachside booth on the Av. Atlântica (in front of Rua Hilário de Gouveia; daily 8am–10pm). Make sure you pick up a free map and the must-have Guia do Rio (Rio Guide) booklet, published every 3 months. Written in both English and Portuguese, it lists all tourist attractions, events, and festivals, and has many other useful phone numbers. Riotur also operates an information line, Alô Rio ( 021/2542-8080, or 0800/285-0555), with English- speaking staff, which is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.

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