Carnival capital of the world, Rio de Janeiro is awe-inspiring, fun loving, colourful, soulful and chaotic in equal measure. Colonial architecture meets modern skyscraper in this both tropical and cosmopolitan city.
Towering over Rio de Janeiro perched on Corcovado (Hunchback) Mountain sits the city’s guardian, Christ the Redeemer who, along with the coastline, has gained UNESCO world heritage status. Lush green forests cascade down Sugar Loaf Mountain which can be reached by cable car for breath-taking views. Below, the white sandy beaches like famous Copacabana Beach teem with locals enjoying the sea, sun, sand and surf, the water-sports, beach bars and all year round party atmosphere.
Within the city, magnificent churches, colonial mansions and gritty, urban Favelas vie for valuable space. One sight not to miss is artist Selarón’s famous steps – a spectacular work of colourful tiled art.
Downtown Lapa is a hive of live music, the Docks a cutting edge space filled with museums and galleries and the Barra, home to the famous Cidad da Musica Arts Centre, giant shopping malls and fantastic restaurants. The explosive annual Mardis Gras draws visitors in their thousands, but thanks to the Carnival Exhibition Centre, the Cidad do Samba, the colourful floats and samba shows can be seen all year round. With many a samba school dotted around Rio, it is never too late to learn!
Escape the frenzied activity of the city with a trip to Marine State Park Aventureiro or the Biological Reservation of South Beach. Over 200 square kilometres of natural forests, rivers, beaches and nature trails are pure paradise for walkers, hikers, sailors and divers.
Whether it is hang gliding over the city, taking in a show, dining in style or samba-ing, cocktail-in-hand, to Brazilian beats; it is not hard to see why Rio has been voted the happiest city in the world.
The following information is correct as of January 2015 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
Rio de Janeiro Galeao Airport is located 13 miles from the centre of Rio. It is easy to reach by car in approximately 40 minutes. Regular local bus services connect the airport to the city centre in around 45 minutes while shuttle buses and taxis are also available outside the terminal building.
What you need to know
Currency: The Brazilian Real
Visas: UK and EU nationals do not require a visa to enter Brazil. A passport valid for three months beyond the date of departure is a requirement. Nationals of other countries may require an entry visa. More information can be obtained at a local embassy or from the Foreign Office website.
Laws: The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol in Brazil is18. There is a smoking plan in force across Brazil in all indoor public places including cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels and public transport, apart from designated smoking areas.
Best Time to Visit
Summer in Rio is between December and February. Temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees or more during these months. Ideal for the beach, the summer is the most crowded time of year with flights at peak prices. For cheaper flights it is best to visit in March and April or October and November when temperatures are also more comfortable. Winters (June to August) rarely get below 17 degrees.
Entertainment in Rio is legendary – particularly the famous carnival in February when thousands of revellers descend on the city from all over the world to enjoy the live music, colourful floats and processions that take over the streets. The Rio Circuit cycling race happens in March while April’s River Boat show boasts some of the most expensive yachts in the world. In June the Bonfire Festival and the Rio Marathon take place while August hosts Folklore Day. October is the best month for children with Children’s Day and a whole week of activities dedicated to the little ones. December brings with it Christmas celebrations Rio-style with decorated palm trees and nativity scenes.
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Airports near Rio De Janeiro
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