I was in Vietnam recently and started thinking about past travels and my favorite places that we’ve seen, and I realized Brazil might be right up there on the list. It’s just so vibrant and the vibe is very different from any other place I’ve been. While I think São Paulo is my favorite city, Rio is not to be overlooked. Stunning views, amazing beaches, good food,… With the Olympics going on over there, I’m constantly reminded of the wonderful time we had and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share some favorites in Rio. Look them up if you’re planning a visit!
*Sugar loaf Mountain – Classic but not cliché, this is a must visit in Rio. Go at sunset for the most magical light you have seen in your life.
*Jardim Botanico - We like to visit botanical gardens whenever we travel, bacause they tend to be a wonderful oasis in busy cities. Rio’s is a real treat. It was opened in 1808 and consists of 137 hectares of land and 8000 different plants.
*Metropolitan Cathedral of Sao Sebastiao – This conical cathedral was constructed between 1964 and 1979 to resemble a Mayan pyramid. The most impressive feature of the cathedral are the floor to ceiling stained glass windows, stretching over the 75 metres of the building.
*Museu de Arte Contemporanea – So, technically, this museum is in Niteroi, but it’s too good not to visit because of the simple fact that it was designed by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The building was completed in 1996 and is often referred to as the “UFO” because of its shape. Lovely views over the water too!
Eat & drink
*Zuka - Zuka in Leblon has truly mouthwatering Brazilian dishes, and the food is served in a cozy space with an open kitchen.
*Forneria Sao Sebastiao – This place has actually changed names to Anibal, but the amazing interior still looks the same. I can’t vouch for the food, but it used to be delicious!
*Brigite’s - Wonderful, light dishes in a space with a bistro feel.
*Sushi Leblon - If you’re craving some sushi, this is most definitely the place to be. I loved the sharp interior too.
*Garota de Ipanema - It was here that poet Vinicius de Moraes and singer Tom Jobim wrote bossa nova classic ”The Girl from Ipanema”. The most touristy restaurant we visited, yet it was surprisingly quiet and the fish we had was so tasty.
*Mercado Moderno - Beautiful vintage furniture. Mercado Moderno makes an excellent selection. The street where the shop is located has some other nice stores and bars.
*Adriana Barra - When I imagined Brazilian Fashion before I visited, this is exactly what came to mind. Barra designs feminine, colourful clothes and specializes in tropical prints. Her collection is full of exotic flower prints, with the occasional bird making an appearance, and somehow she makes all the prints work together. A maximalist’s dream.
The botanical gardens
The cathedral in the city centre
Bistro vibe at Brigite’s
Is it a bird is it a plane? Nope, it’s Niemeyer’s UFO.
Ipanema beach looking quite amazing.
weird and wonderful architecture
Lunch at Garota de Ipanema
The streets of Rio.
Seriously, that sunset is the most beautiful I’ve seen in my life.