Travel guide to Rio de Janeiro

Facts

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Local name
Rio de Janeiro
Inhabitants
7,000,000
Timezone
When it is 12 noon in the UK, it is 7 am in Rio de Janeiro.

Best time to visit

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The carnival in February/March is an excellent opportunity to experience Rio de Janeiro in steaming hot ecstasy. But then you have to expect sky-high prices and be prepared to share everything with a wealth of people. Rio de Janeiro is an attraction year round. If you 'want the city to yourself', it's best to visit between August and November.

Literature

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Lonely Planet Rio de Janeiro Fodors Pocket Rio De Janeiro Berlitz Rio De Janeiro Pocket Guide

Culture and entertainment

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Life and people on Copacabana beach are just one of the city's unique attractions. Otherwise you can experience Brazilian passion at a soccer game at the huge Maracana station or visit a samba school where people train for the yearly carnival. Very often it ends in a big party. A visit to Rio should also include some live music. Whether it is the soft Bossa Nova or the samba-inspired Axé, a concert in Rio is a must for all visitors.

Accommodation / Hotel

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Many visitors wish to stay in the Copacabana area. Here are the luxurious hotels with wonderful views and the district is very lively. It's possible to find lodging at reasonable rates, but it demands quite an effort. For longer stays it pays off to rent an apartment. Look for Aluguel de imoveis. Many of the landlords speak English. Also in Glori and Ipanema there is a good choice of accommodation. Book your hotel in Rio de Janeiro here

Local transport

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Taxi

Rio's blue and yellow taxies are the cheapest. About 20 per cent cheaper than the white radio taxies. Taking a taxi in Rio, however, is not always a cheap solution and if the driver can tell that you aren't familiar with the area, in most cases he will try to make a detour while the meter happily ticks.

Other transport

Rio has an excellent subway, which is both cheap, safe and lovely cool. It runs from 5 am to 23 pm and can transport you fast under the city's traffic jam. Buses are often necessary, but they are not something for people with weak nerves. The bus drivers all seem to think that they are the new Ayrton Senna. At nighttime gangs of thieves operate in the city buses from time to time. Have exact change when you get on and sit in front of the bus.

Special conditions

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Rio has a bad reputation when it comes to personal safety. And the city rightly deserves a part of this reputation. However, it shouldn't keep anybody away from Rio de Janeiro. Avoid deserted places, shantytowns and dark streets. Only bring the amount of money you need the same day and leave jewellery at home or in the hotel safe. Then Rio is just as safe as any other big city.
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