Rio de Janeiro features some of the most iconic landmarks in the country, but the area’s heart is truly the Brazilian culture, which you’ll find in the city, and in the many worthwhile destinations just a few hours away.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is a symbol of the State of Rio de Janeiro. It was conceived by the renowned architect, Oscar Niemeyer, the creator of Brasilia, Brazil’s capital. Located in Niteroi, the Museum mixes the modern with the traditional. With its extraordinary exhibitions, it attracts tourists from around the world. In the museum are works from: Picasso, Miró, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Ivan Serpa, Manabu Mabe, Cândido Portinari, Tarsila do Amaral, Lasar Segall, Di Cavalcanti and Oswaldo Goeldi.Rio is more than beautiful people and pristine beaches. The city also offers several options for those looking for real Brazilian cuisine.
As a coastal town, it’s no surprise that the seafood dishes are excellent. But be sure you also sample the incredible array of international cuisine found in the unique restaurants that line the waterfront.
Restaurants range from the casual, hidden in the suburbs of Ipanema such as Za Za Bistrot, to fine-dining restaurants inside hotels such as Carême, the restaurant of the famous chef Flávia Quaresma. Although many of the newer restaurants are truly world-class, you can often find an unforgettable meal in an out-of-the-way area such as in Santa Tereza where you can find the restaurant Aprazível, with good food in a special ambiance. Be sure to try the Brazilian style steakhouses called churrascarias where waiters come to your table with swords of grilled meat. Check the local guides and magazines for the latest suggestions.When the sun goes down, the city truly comes to life. Bars by the sea are always very popular, and offer delicious snacks, drinks, and local specialties such as “Pao de queijo”, traditional cheese bread, or Pastel de camarao (pastries filled with shrimp) , bean soup, and cocktails including the famous caipirinha. Have a small afternoon chopp (beer on tap) with Rio’s professional happy hour set at Bar Amarelinho, on the plaza near the historical center’s most beautiful buildings, including the Municipal Theater and the National Museum of Fine Arts . If you’re looking for something more exciting, you can always enjoy international DJs at one of Rio’s many nightclubs such as Nuth Barra, which is in Barra da Tijuca. But if you prefer, take a Samba lesson with the Rio Samba Dancers.