Popularly known as "Rio", the city's official name is "São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro". It is the second largest city in Brazil and the most famous internationally, so much so that it was chosen as the first city in Latin America to host the Olympic Games, coming in 2016. For all those reasons, it was awarded the nickname "Marvelous City". Within a few months it will also host the 2014 World Cup.
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While Brazilian cuisine is a fusion of various cultures, in Rio de Janeiro you can enjoy local dishes such as feijoada, the world famous black bean stew, a traditional Saturday dish in Brazilian homes; Leão Veloso Soup, a soup that includes different kinds of seafood or the Filet à Osvaldo Aranha, a steak served with a side of yuca, rice and fried garlic. All of these are perfect examples of carioca cuisine.
Where to eat in Rio de Janeiro
If you enjoy seafood, the restaurant Satyricon, Rua Barão da Torre 192, is the one you should hit first. With over thirty years in business, this is inarguably the best seafood restaurant in the city. Another traditional and internationally famous eatery is Mosteiro, Rua São Bento 13. run by chef José Temporão. It is located opposite the São Bento monastery, so you'll have an incredible view while tasting this restaurant's delicious dishes. If you want an in-depth experience of the local culture, you have to visit Rio Scenarium, ranked among the top ten bars in the world by The Guardian.
Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is a rather expensive city, and that shows most clearly in the price of lodgings. A hotel's proximity to the beach and general tourist area, in addition to the neighbourhood's perceived safety determine the average price of a hotel room, in addition to the services offered. It is generally recommended for tourists to stay in southern neighbourhoods such as Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon. These are quieter and areas, specifically designed for tourists and count with appropriate police surveillance. If you want to be near the beach, then Barra da Tijuca is the place to stay.
Types of lodgings in Rio de Janeiro
If you want to follow our advice on the safest neighbourhoods to stay in, then Everest Rio Hotel, at Rua Prudente de Morais 1117; Best Western Sol Ipanema, at Av. Vieira Souto 320; or Ipanema Plaza, at Rua Farme de Amoedo 34 are all very good options in Ipanema. They offer classic services for hotels in their category. In the area of Copacabana, hotels often have sea views. The Lancaster Othon Travel, on Av. Atlântica 3264; Astoria Copacabana on Rua Republica do Peru 345, and Hotel Savoy Othon, on Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana 995, are all stand-out examples of hotels facing the beach. The Windsor Barra, on Avenida Lucio Costa 2630, is undoubtedly the best hotel in the Barra da Tijuca.