Rio de Janeiro is known as Cidade Maravilhosa (the Marvelous City), and it's apparent why the moment you arrive. The pristine beaches, samba-fueled nightlife, countless street vendors, postcard-worthy vistas, and overall energy illustrate why Brazil's second-largest city is one of the world's most exciting destinations. Cariocas (local Rio residents) know how to have a good time, and you will too by the time you leave.
Out and About in Rio de Janeiro
After unloading your luggage at one of the many Rio de Janeiro hotels, check out some views, First, head to the city's most famous sight, Corcovado Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer, and absorb all that beauty below. Next, see Rio from Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar) to understand the meaning of marvelous. Once you've taken in the whole panorama, dive headfirst into the local beach scene by visiting Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach, and watching the sunset at Arpoador. If you've come to relax seaside, hotels near Abrico Beach and other popular spots are abundant. For added luxury, book resorts in Rio de Janeiro near these beaches.
There's more in Rio, though, including a history lesson at the Catete Palace, football matches at Maracana Stadium, a show at Theatro Municipal de Rio de Janeiro, and trekking through Tijuca National Park. Taking one of those rickety old trams to the Santa Teresa neighborhood is a blast and if you want a feel for the city, simply walk around and soak up the sights, sounds, and smells - you'll never get bored.
Eating and Drinking
You're never short on options here, as seafood, fruit, barbecue, and pastries line the streets -- coxinha, a popular pastry, delights the taste buds. Enjoy grilled fish, expertly prepared meat, sushi, and standard Brazilian fare. Be sure to visit a juice bar and order a drink made with acai or guarana.
Once you're full, it's time to enjoy the nightlife, as samba clubs, rave clubs, and bars abound, especially in Lupa and Zona Sul, two happening party districts. If you can, visit during Brazilian Carnival for the time of your life.
With so much fun to be had in the Marvelous City, start early by searching for deals on the best hotels in Rio de Janeiro on Travelocity. From romantic hotels in Rio de Janeiro to laid-back budget lodgings, you can find it all.