Rio de Janeiro, the multi-faceted city

Rio is a big city with traffic, noise and everything we don’t like a big city. But it is also a coastal city on the Atlantic Ocean, and around lakes where nature blends harmoniously with large ventilated buildings that do not hide the amazing view of the mountains that surround.

Some speak of a dangerous Rio, other festive Rio. If there was to it!



I stayed only five days in Rio and I was fortunate to be housed by fantastic people who showed me the real Rio. The one where you can go party in a favela, one to go out to the end of the night is not a problem, one where life is good!

So I wanted to tell you about the different facets of Rio you can see, even in five days. Be careful legs, we’ll walk now …

Rio, the historic center

Arriving the first day I thought I was back in the city of Buenos Aires! The historic center of Rio de Janeiro is more colonial baroque with its large buildings. Theatre, Metropolitan Cathedral, churches and museums … The narrow pedestrian streets where you can sit on the terrace to eat a snack or a drink. It is nice to stroll nose in the air!


Rio, beaches area

I will talk mainly the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema especially (my favorite!). All along the pier, there is a crowd, especially on Sundays. Children and adults play soccer, volleyball. Long board skating and mingle with cyclists. The baraccas (shacks that rent beach umbrella and beach chair) you install your deckchair for 4 reals a day. It is a pleasure to breathe the sea air 20 meters from the city bustle and relax to the sound of waves.


People walk only wearing their swimsuit into the city. It’s pretty funny to see the bare chests and bikinis in the street at dusk back from their day’s sunbathing.

Rio, chic neighborhoods

I went only one nearest the center, Leblon. The area is residential with trees and tropical plants everywhere, the windows of buildings, on sidewalks, balconies above.


A large park surrounding the lake Lagoa where families go out on weekends and do canoeing on the water, paddle boating, games, etc. There are very few shops or restaurants, only a large shopping center.

Rio, famous attractions

The statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf are the main tourist attractions of Rio and are actually doing. On the one hand for the breathtaking view they offer on Rio de Janeiro but also for their greatness itself.


These are ultra places protected, guarded, secure. You can leave your backpack full reals notes, camera and your smartphone without any fear. Here the tourist is king, and ride with confidence. All sites are accessible by bus and often the name of the “monument” is directly displayed on the front of the bus. It’s pretty easy. to reach wherever you are in the center of Rio.

Rio, favelas

Before you talk to, it should be noted what a favela. People too often associate with places or unfortunately crime is king, and it is impossible to access. The media and some movies have given them a poor face, dirty, dangerous, almost inhuman. It is so just the opposite, and that’s ultimately Rio.

A favela is actually a neighborhood that has grown a bit in illegality on the mountainsides. Initially, they are mostly immigrants who settled there before becoming a community of Rio itself. Today, no one knows how many people live there and there are different types of favelas, ranging in effect from that where the nights are riskier than others.

Everything is pirated, water, electricity … there is not really sewer! Everyone builds his own house alone. It’s a big mess in short with narrow streets so that one finally passes almost between, under or inside homes. If you get lost, ask people your way! The houses are very colorful, it denotes easy with Rio and its white buildings.

favela-santa-marta-rio (14)

Santa Marta is one of the first to have introduced non-violence, to be opened to the outside Rio, bringing education and mutual assistance in the heart of the favela. Now, you can go there. Tours are organized for 50 reals per person and this money is donated directly to organizations on site. But you can totally go there by yourself. The children will be happy to take you where is the famous bronze statue of Michael Jackson. You will see them laugh and of course playing football. You can even enjoy drinking a beer in one of the onsite bars and jiggle to the rhythm of drums that we hear all around.

Basically, I loved it, so much so that I went back three times.

Rio, by night

In the bohemian neighborhood of Lapa, one where everyone comes out, the streets are packed with people of all kinds sellers, terraces serving filled plates of squid, grilled meat, roasted, fried, accompanied liters and liters of beer and cocktails of all kinds. Generally, there are bands that play live and nightclubs around 2am take over.


From 4 am, everyone changes location and finds himself leaning on a kind of alcohol shop where one enquille the unknown mixture of shots. The return by bus or taxi can be found just as lively as the evening.

There are also more intimate bars, simpler where salsa dancing, where we shared pizzas made “house” over a glass of caipirinha.

A week in Rio, anyone?

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