Everyone knows that Rio de Janeiro is awesome. The sea, the beaches, the energy, the tourist attractions, all make the Marvelous City a paradise for visitors. But how about setting aside the obvious, and go beyond what everybody knows, to enjoy the super special attractions recommended by the locals themselves? Check out the special tips we separated here, and enjoy the best of Rio, with a local flavor!
Step outside the box, and check out the tips from locals for the coolest things to do in Rio de Janeiro!
For those who like art, decor, and fashion with lots of personality, the Fábrica da Bhering is the ideal activity. The former chocolate factory now houses artists with various types of ateliers. There are special events every month at the Factory, such as Fábrica Aberta and Circuito Interno, where all the tenants open their ateliers to the public and the factory’s patio becomes the most pleasant spot in town, with a breathtaking view.
Since we mentioned the factory, we have to suggest Brechó Belchior, the most fashionable thrift store in Rio! Located on the first floor of Fábrica da Bhering, Belchior is a gigantic space, both in the size and variety of the items and the inspiration. The owners are card carrying local fashionistas, always bringing the latest hot little numbers from their trips to cities like New York and San Francisco. Also, the thrift store has a collection of personalities, like the fashion and sustainability consultant Chiara Gadaletta. A must see!
To shake your booty
Those who dig Brazilian music need to go to MUG, an open air party at the Lake. Named after the doll and good luck symbol that became a sensation during the sixties, MUG is a party open to all tribes. It is a great option for those who want to enjoy good music and tear up the dance floor!
The locals are bike friendly by nature. Not only is biking super ecologically correct, it is also good for your health. If you like to ride on two wheels, you have to visit Bike Rio Café, especially if you go explore downtown by bike. The Cafe offers parking for bicycles and a space to shower, so clients can freshen up before an appointment. Not only does it offer sustainable balance – with a bike friendly environment and recycled material used for furniture – it also offers balanced and healthy food. Cool, huh?
To chew the fat
I am sure you have heard of Lapa, right? It is cool. Very cool. But have you ever stopped to think that there are other less crowded options, where good conversation and cold beer is a sure thing? Our tip: Praça São Salvador. Try going to this square on a Thursday or Friday, like it’s no big deal. It is a mandatory after-work stop! The place is surrounded by bars and restaurants, but the best is to sit in the middle of the square, drinking beer and appetizers from the food stands. On Sundays, the chorinho music at São Salvador is a classic. All with an intimate feel, like a gathering of old friends.
To enjoy freely
If you are someone who doesn’t consider your trip itinerary to be complete without a gastronomical pit stop, then write down this tip. The collective Junta Local promotes several events throughout the city to gather those who make and eat the food. The idea is to value local production and fair trade, and the result is fresh and delicious dishes, and you can also take the ingredients – most of which are organic – home with you. Check out the calendar of fairs on the website, and plan to check out the selection of natural products sold by the farmers themselves. That way you can meet and talk to the producers in person!
To dive in head first
You already know that Leblon is beautiful and that the Arpoador sunset in a mandatory stopping point. But how about getting away from the obvious and visit idyllic beaches such as Prainha and Praia do Perigoso? Praia do Perigoso is part of the circuit of wild beaches in Rio, an incredible tour! It feels like you were teleported to some other place, faaaaar away. Prainha is nearby, after Recreio, and you can see it from the high point of the road connecting Recreio to Grumari. The best time to go is in the morning, very early, and if you can go bike bicycle that is even better, because parking is hard to come by. Since the beach is in front of Parque Natural da Prainha, an Atlantic Forrest park with high hills, the sun sets earlier, around 4:00pm. It is a favorite of surfers, is well protected for swimmers, and has a great restaurant that serves the best sea bass in Rio! All fresh and perfect for closing out the day in style.
Praia do Perigoso is a little further, in Barra de Guaratiba. Access is made by trail, with a light 40 minute walk. But the effort is well worth it. You will enjoy incredible views, you will be able to see the Pedra da Tartaruga for most of the journey, and if you come prepared, you can have a great time repelling. You will also go by Praia do Meio before reaching your final destination, a beautiful stretch of beach, but with rougher waters. At Praia do Perigoso you will find shade, fresh water, and a practically deserted beach, just for you! Take good sun protection, because the trail is very open, so besides sunblock, take a cap or a hat. A light t-shirt, comfortable sneakers, and water, lots of water, is essential, because the heat is relentless.
To cool your mind
When the locals want to get away from the burning sand and refresh somewhere peaceful, they don’t think twice: Cachoeira do Horto! This waterfall is inside the Tijuca National Park, and access is very difficult. From the busy Rua Jardim Botânico to the waterfall, on foot, you won’t take more than 45 minutes. The waterfall’s small cascade forms a wonderful natural pool, perfect for cooling off on a hot day in the middle of the Atlantic Forest. If you’re lucky, especially in the morning, you will see birds and even small mammals that are common in the region.
Wow! With so many tips, it will be hard to stay put. How about packing your bags and go explore Rio with a super insider tour? Select a hotel below and guarantee your reservation:
After all, the best part of travelling is checking out the incredible tips from those who know the Marvelous City like nobody else! 😉