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Rio de Janeiro, meaning the River of January, sits on the Atlantic coast of Brazil and is the country's second largest city behind São Paulo. For over two centuries it was the bustling capital of Brazil and even today it is one of the most important commercial and political centres in the country. The people’s sense of fun is matched only by the spectacular natural environment that Rio enjoys. There are mountains, nature trails and forests including Floresta da Tijuca, the world’s largest urban forest. Its beaches are among the most beautiful in the world while its waters are home to an abundance of marine life. In fact, no visitor should leave without experiencing the city’s beach life and Rio has hundreds of outstanding beaches from which to choose. Along with Copacabana in the heart of the city, popular beaches include Prainha and Grumari, the beaches of Búzios just along the coast and at Angra dos Reis the beaches of Piedade and Jurubaíba. Rio de Janeiro has famous landmarks too. Along with Christ the Redeemer, the massive statue of Jesus, there is Sugar Loaf Mountain the iconic image of the Rio skyline. The view from the top is amazing. The city also has many museums including the ‘living museums’ of Petrópolis and Parati where visitors can see authentic architecture from the time Rio de Janeiro was founded while sporting enthusiasts will be captivated by the Maracanã Stadium one of the world´s largest football stadiums. Rio de Janeiro is well and truly on the map as one of the world’s greatest cities.
Rio de Janeiro’s attractions are diverse, from festivals and landmarks to forests and nature trails. As a throbbing metropolis, Rio de Janeiro is legendary. Not only does the city host its fabulously outrageous carnival every year, the biggest, liveliest and most colourful party in the world to which everyone is invited, but it also sees its people break out into dance to the sounds of the samba at every opportunity.
Rio de Janeiro is a multi-cultural city which is reflected in its varied choice of restaurants. Whether you plan to eat traditional dishes like Brazil’s national dish and drink Feijoada and Caipirinha, or prefer Mexican, Oriental, French, Italian or Middle Eastern cuisine you will find a restaurant to suit your palate and budget.
Almost all areas of Rio de Janeiro have a lively nightlife scene with samba being the music of choice. If you add great restaurants and sunsets into the equation, such as those at Arraial do Cabo, then you have the ingredients for a perfect evening.
Shopping in Rio de Janeiro will be an experience. For top-notch clothes and accessories head for the Rua Visconde de Pirajá that runs parallel to the beach in Ipanema. Another good street for shopping, especially for crafts, is the Feira de São Cristóvão in the north of the city. A few of the greater shopping malls are The Fashion Mall in the Estrada da Gàvea and São Conrado that has nearly 150 upmarket shops plus restaurants and cinemas while the Barra Shopping complex in Avenue das Americas, Barra da Tijuca is one of the city’s largest.
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