Rio de Janeiro has everything you might want in a city. Glistening beaches, world reknowed landmarks and a shed loads of history to boot. There is so much to see and do that 48 hours just would not give this city the time it deserves.
But we have brought together our most loved parts of Rio into one condensed 48 hour time period that will bring you the best of what this city has to offer.
Visiting Centro (the central business district) is a must, but is unwise at weekends and in the evenings when it turns into a deserted ghost town. Therefore, get there as soon as you arrive, and enjoy the streets teaming with life – modern busyness hiding the colonial past hidden under the surface.
While in Centro, visit Confeitaria Colombo. Opened in the late 1800s, it once served Queen Victoria a cup of coffee. You can really taste the citrus in the coffee that’s grown in Brazil. It will leave you buzzing for hours.
Before the light fades, head over to the Lapa Stairs, a beautiful mosaic with tiles from all over the world. Worth it for the photos alone, you’ll feel right in the middle of history.
Later, put on your dancing shoes and let the coffee (& maybe a few caipirinhas) fuel your dancing at a Samba Street Party. People from all walks of life gather at Pedra do Sal to boogie the night away.
The next morning, put on your sunglasses to hide your weary eyes and take the metro down to Gal. Osorio. From there, its just a short walk over to Ipanema Beach. Less crowded than its more famous sister, Copacobana, Ipanema is favoured by locals and is a brilliant place to go chill out in the sunshine.
Once you’re bored of sun, sea and sand, take a taxi over to Urca, the base of SugarLoaf Mountain. Head up to the top in good time to nab a prime spot to watch the sunset. Marvel as the lights come on below you and the Rio of the day gives way to the night.
Once you’re satisfied, go back to Morro da Urca (the smaller of the two mountains) and have drinks, dinner and even buy some Haivaianas!
In the morning, get up early, while the sun is not roaring in the sky, and take on the Corcovado Hike. Make sure you take lots of water and something to protect you from the sun at the top – there is no shade! Marvel at another awesome view of Rio and at the world famous landmark that is Christ the Redeemer. Take as many crazy photos as you want – you’ll never see these people again.
If you have time, go to the Hippie Market in the Square at Gal. Osorio. This mixed market of traditional Brazilian fare mixed with the usual tourist crap will provide you with all the souvenirs your heart desires.
Where to stay
Our favourite hostel in Rio, and so far is Brazil, is Discovery Hostel. They have privates and Dorms, which all come with an amazing breakfast included. It’s a short walk from Gloria Metro Station and the staff there are the loveliest and most helpful people we’ve met in Brazil.