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24 hours in Rio de Janeiro

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24 hours in Rio de Janeiro

story by: Anna Sarjeant

You'll want longer of course, but if you have 24 hours to fill, here are a couple of suggestions.

MORNING
Spend the morning at the beach; Copacabana or Ipanema. Albeit touristy, they’re also popular with locals, easy to get to and resoundingly beautiful. Travel as the locals do – light. Take just enough money to buy yourself a coffee and food, throw a sarong over your togs or neck (this will double up as a towel) and venture bag-free to the beach. Stop for a bowl of breakfast acai en-route; layers of frozen acai berry, granola, sliced banana and a drizzle of honey. Tasty as well as fortifying, Brazilians swear by it.

AFTERNOON
Beached-out by lunchtime, spend the afternoon exploring Rio’s highlights; Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain and the Lapa Steps. There are multiple tours that will cover all three in one day. Time it properly and you’ll be standing at the top of Sugarloaf just before sunset. Cocktail hour calls for Caipirinhas, followed by a traditional Brazilian Churrascaria, Brazil’s famed barbecue restaurants. Expect an endless supply of prime meat, all served table-side from enormous skewers. For the budget-conscious, Rio also boasts ‘pay by weight’ self-service buffets. Serving anything from traditional Moqueca (seafood stew) to sugar-laced desserts – Brazilians are notorious sugar fiends. You’ll be issued a ticket at the door and once you’ve loaded your plate, the staff will weigh it and charge you per kilo.

AND NIGHT
Rio is a year-round stellar destination for sport and you can’t visit Brazil without acknowledging the nation’s favourite pastime. Viva la futbol! Matches are commonly played at Maracanã Stadium. Arrive early so you can savour a beer outside, the surrounding streets will be throbbing with excitable football fans. Inside the stadium alcohol isn’t permitted, but the constant banging of drums, singing, chanting and ear-deafening roars will be more than enough to leave your head spinning. Home time? No way! If it’s 11pm, the Cariocas are only just going out. Time to experience Brazilian nightlife. Be warned, you’re unlikely to get home before sunrise, but fortunately it’s an excellent way to see the sun begin its daily ascent over Copacabana.


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

GET IN
TRANSFER:
Book in a transfer with an English speaking guide who will tell you all the ins and outs of the city so you're ready to go!
YELLOW METERED TAXI: Agree on a fixed-price beforehand. Don’t pay more than $R55 from Galeão International Airport.

GET AROUND
BUSES: Air conditioned buses with dedicated bus lanes and new stations ​were built for the Rio Olympics 2016. 
TRAMS: Rio’s new tram system comprises 6 lines connecting all the main attractions, including Santos Dumont Airport and the city's financial district.
METRO: Metro lines 1, 2 and 4 facilitate the entire city centre. ​Line 4 gets passengers from Barra to the city centre within 34 minutes.


> VIEW OUR HOT DEALS TO RIO DE JANEIRO AND BRAZIL HERE

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