Strolling along the Copacabana in the evening is no longer dangerous, since the lights installed for the Football World Cup have made it safer. The beach front is lined with a myriad of numbered 'postos', or snack bars, which also serve drinks. There is always live music playing at one or more postos in the evening. Because every posto attracts its own crowd, there's something for everyone– surfers, families, young or old. Definitely worth a visit for a chilled beer or a caipirinha.
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Anyone who has no plans for the evening should definitely pay a visit to Arpoador cliffs, between Copacabana and Ipanema. This is the perfect place for sipping a caipirinha whilst watching the sun go down.
This restaurant is spread over several floors and decorated with beautiful plants. It has a Brooklyn hipster style to it and attracts a mixed, hip clientele. There is also a wide choice of dishes on the menu – meat lovers can enjoy tasty Brazilian cuisine, while Mediterranean-influenced dishes cater for vegetarians. Service is very friendly and the ambiance outside simply fabulous. After dinner, you're already in the right district to move on to a bar. Santa Teresa is my favourite district in Rio. It's hilly and has an old tramway like the one in San Francisco and Lisbon, and the cool graffiti lends the district its distinctive charm.
Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 121 - Santa Teresa
Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20240-290
I really recommend a trip to the Morro Dois Irmãos, which translates as the Twin Brothers Hill, when you need to cool off and fancy a half day's excursion. You can hike up the two cliff formations, which can be seen from far and wide – adventure guaranteed! Getting up to the top, passing through the peaceful favela, is an experience in itself. You can take a taxi to the Sheraton Hotel, from where you can take a motorbike taxi to the sports ground. This is where the hike begins. It follows easy paths through beautiful Atlantic rainforests on the coast, where you may be lucky enough to spot some common marmosets. Those reaching the summit are rewarded with a sensational view. It is one of the few places where you can admire the Sugarloaf Mountain, statue of Christ and the beaches all at once. And you don't have to share the view with hundreds of tourists, either.
This pizzeria could almost be described as part of the furniture in Rio, having been around for 50 years. And it specialises in – yes, you've guessed it – the Portuguese pizza culture. The Italian gusto won't find outstanding pizzas here, there's nothing stunning about the venue and the service leaves a little to be desired. However, this place pulls a local crowd and lets you live the Rio lifestyle. It's loud, energetic and efficient. Plain and cheerful. And what's more – the pizzas come in different sizes. This is one of my favourites when I want to eat cheaply among the cariocas, the people of Rio.
Rua Domingos Ferreira, 221
Loja A – Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22050-010
+55 21 2236 7771
Away from all the commotion, the small, charming district of Urca is located at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain. It is home to a small beach, quaint streets and – on the furthermost tip – the Bar Urca, where food and drinks can be enjoyed while sitting on the quay wall.
Rua Cândido Gafree, 205
Urca, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22291-080
+55 21 2295 8744