Rio de Janeiro Districts
Thankfully, Rio de Janeiro has several districts to be explored. Most of the fame and glory go to neighborhoods like Ipanema and Copacabana, but the wonder city has many other magic scenarios and districts waiting to be revealed. Belavista-Rio proudly presents one of the first Rio de Janeiro on-line district guides made by Cariocas with great passion and care, especially for foreigners. This on-line Rio district guide was developed to help you discover the most interesting restaurants, cultural centers, museums, boutiques, parks, beaches, and other locations and by standard official guides. Our idea is to present a local review of some of these settings and try to approximate for international tourists the real life led by locals. Below, you will find a summary of districts like Flamengo, Botafogo, Lagoa, Barra da Tijuca, Leblon, Copacabana and Ipanema. On this Belavista-Rio´s online district guide, you will find significant highlights in each district with many pictures and easy to read descriptions
is a vibrant middle class neighborhood located between Botafogo district and Rio de Janeiro center and has become increasingly sought out by tourists. Until the 1950s, Flamengo and Catete were the principal residential zones of Rio's wealthier class and that may be the reason why many embassies (today consulates) were established here. Flamengo district in Rio is known Brazil wide and abroad for containing with 296 acres or 1.20 km². Flamengo also hosts several cultural centers and museums, such as the , and the Carmen Miranda Museum. Finally, Flamengo is famed for its many and relaxed night-life, with bars like the . The Belavista-Rio district guide on Flamengo pays a special attention to its cultural centers and cozy restaurants.
may be for Rio de Janeiro what Tribeca or Soho represents for Manhattan, observing geographic and cultural differences. The neighborhood famed by the lovely song , is a synonym for new trends, fashion, and eclecticism. To a certain extent, Ipanema may be microcosm of the colorful Rio character itself. Although Ipanema is a relatively small district, being the strip of land between the and the , the neighborhood and world famous beach also show diverse identities. Ipanema is home to several tribes that live in a harmony: the tourists, the rich and famous, the new hippies, the jocks, and the typical local resident. Belavista-Rio site section on the Ipanema district reviews the best Ipanema restaurants.
, simply known as “Lagoa”, which means lake or lagoon is an upper middle class neighborhood in Rio´s South Zone. The Lagoa district is also one of Rio´s main local hangout spots with several day and night options, such as the Lagoa Kiosks. Lagoa is kindly described as “Rio ´s heart” since it is surrounded by the 7 other traditional districts in Rio, such as Ipanema, , Leblon, Copacabana, , Botafogo and . The Lagoa district also hosts the lively Tom Jobim Park, which is group of parks around the lake with several leisure options such as playgrounds for kids, sculpture gardens, roller skate rink, workout stations and sport courts. The Lagoa district on-line guide was centered on its nightlife, including a review of the Lagoa Kiosks and neighboring restaurants.
Botafogo is the name of a traditional neighborhood-district (bairro) in Rio de Janeiro. For the most part, Botafogo is a middle-class and small commerce community, located between the hills of Mundo Novo, Santa Marta (separating it from and Morro de São João. It is named after João Pereira de Sousa Botafogo, who was its landowner in colonial times. Its name literally means set it on fire and is related to the Italian surname Buttafuoco. Botafogo does have a couple of worthwhile sights of its own, including , , and Brazilian classical composer , and the vibrant food fair and nighttime music-jam in the . A nice thing about Botafogo is you can see from almost any part of the neighborhood. It is also home to two of the city's largest shopping centers, Unlike some years ago, Botafogo is becoming increasingly up-beat, due to new “botecos” and trendy restaurants. The district gained fame too due to the .
Leblon is one of the most charming and up-scale districts or neighborhoods of Rio. The Leblon neighborhood stretches 0.8 miles along the beachfront of Rio, being a continuation of Ipanema all the way to the . Being a very exclusive district, this Rio district today has the highest land prices of Brazil and its residents have an annual average income of US$40,800 which is considered high for Brazilian standards. Leblon beach and Leblon restaurants are famed to be one of the favorite spots of , housing several actors and actresses. It is very common to see them in trendy restaurants like one of the best Japanese restaurants in town, , or the fashion gourmet Aquim. The is considered to be a quieter low key hangout, with a surf spot at Leblon´s end, close the rocks, while Posto 11, (life guard post number 11) is more tranquil and cozy. Finally, Leblon today also hosts sophisticated cafés, bookstores and refined boutiques, most of them .
Copacabana is probably the most cosmopolitan district in Rio, due to its worldwide famed 2.5-mi (4-km) curved beach along the entrance to Guanabara Bay. Being a southeastern district of Rio, Copacabana occupies a narrow strip of land between the mountains and the sea, and has become part of the international imagination being a symbol of sun, fun, the tropics, caipirinhas, and carnival. The district has a population of about 170.000 and is also a true symbol of while Ipanema remains with an up-scale connotation. Because of this impressive global reach and popularity, Copacabana has been associated over the last decades with beauty, and romance as portrayed in several novels, movies, paintings ), sculptures, songs, jewels and other artistic expressions. Apart from the beach, Copacabana hosts movie theaters, night-clubs () museums and typical Carioca bars, called “botecos”. This Copacabana district on-line review sheds a light on some of Copacabana´s eclectic mysteries.
Barra da Tijuca
The last Rio district summarized on this Rio District opening page is Barra da Tijuca. The neighborhood simply called as “Barra” by locals, is located at Rio de Janeiro West Zone and its name can be roughly translated as “Swamp Sandbank”. Barra da Tijuca used to be an enormous sandbank in the seventies, with some scattered beach weekend and vacation houses. In the 80´s and nineties, Barra grew dramatically in terms of its population, , and fine hotels. Barra is today famed for its , with large avenues, new money residents, expensive cars and . On the other hand, Barra da Tijuca offers some of , with 11 miles of oceanic beaches, presenting ideal conditions for surfing, . Barra also hosts the largest convention center in South America called . On this section, Belavista-Rio reviewed some of the sport activities practiced at Barra.