Nowhere in the world is more seductive than Rio de Janeiro, the city with perhaps the most stunning physical setting of any on the planet. The city’s many faces can charm even the most discerning travellers - from its dazzling beaches to its sultry bossa nova bars. Undoubtedly one of the most iconic beaches in the world, Copacabana is the city’s calling card, a mass of beautiful bronzed bodies and stylish promenading.
If you can drag yourself away from its soft white sands, the surrounding swish neighbourhoods of Ipanema and Leblon beckon with design-led architecture and upscale restaurants. For an entirely different, but equally beguiling perspective, head up into the hills to the artsy Santa Teresa district, home of superlative feijoada and the famous mosaic - Selaron Steps. It would almost be a sacrilege not to visit the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, which watches over the city, during Rio de Janeiro holidays, as well as taking a trip to Sugarloaf Mountain to soak up the sunset before plunging into Rio’s samba scene.
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Rio de Janeiro holidays offer everything under the Brazilian sun. Whether it’s your first visit or you’ve been countless times before, this vibrant city caters for travellers who lust after everything, from beautiful beaches and yacht-dotted bays to salsa clubs, shopping and artistic enclaves. Millennials can revel in highly-instagrammable beach life - surfing, strolling or reclining in a barely-there bikini, with a caipirinha in hand. Music lovers will find a seventh heaven, swaying to the sounds of samba or joining in a flamboyant parade at the world-famous Carnival. Those willing to dig a little deeper will uncover a host of different experiences like favela visits, architecture tours and hiking into the lush mountains. Otherwise it’s all too easy to hang by the infinity pool with an icy mojito, gazing out over the ocean.
What can you find in Rio that you won’t find elsewhere?
You can almost hear the nostalgic strums of The Girl from Ipanema resonating from the patterned promenades. Rio’s many iconic features come in different forms - from natural landmarks such as Sugarloaf Mountain to unmissable manmade structures like Christ the Redeemer. While you can find charming local artwork in the bohemian neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, contemporary art lovers will find refuge in the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, a striking futuristic building designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Additionally, the city is a melting pot of different cultures, prevalent in the Portuguese architecture, Japanese cuisine, African families, cariocas style. Then there’s Rio Carnival - the world-famous festival where the music is as extravagant as the dancing and infectious gaiety runs riot in every bloco (street party). You can experience the sultry beats year-round in the Lapa district, quite literally the beating heart of samba.
A special experience to do in Rio:
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in something quintessentially carioca, then take to Rio’s coolest samba clubs. Dancing is an integral part of Brazilian life and a symbol of national identity so before you hit the floor, you may want to learn the basics. Head to one of the top samba schools for a fun dance lesson with teachers near-obsessed with samba. After an hour, you’ll be ready to hit one of Rio’s best-known nightclubs with your newfound moves and join in the hypnotic rhythm, twists and turns on an unforgettable night out.