The international Airport of Rio de Janeiro carries different names: Antônio Carlos Jobim, Tom Jobim and Galeão; the shortcode GIG isn’t self-explaining, too. It is located in Zona Norte on an island (Ilha da Governador), 17 km away from the city center.
On my last day in Rio de Janeiro, the two most favorite teams in Rio – Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas (Botafogo FR) and the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo (CR Flamengo) matched at Estádio do Maracanã. Of course I had to be there. So I chose the colours red and black (kind of strange for me) and went to support Flamengo (“mengo – mengo – mengo!“).
When arriving in Rio de Janeiro, I had mostly seen rural life in Brazil (exempt São Paulo). I had the image of the big bad city in mind, having read too many security advices from guidebooks and state authorities. And I had to get rid of this and to find out, that Rio de Janeiro is in fact the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city).
I heard a lot about the Feijoada, a typical Brazilian meal; especially because FIFA tried to forbid selling it close to the venues of the world cup 2014. So I needed to try this stew of beans with meat, meat and … meat. Close to “my” metro station General Orsório in Ipanema I found a good restaurant that only serves this meal.
Rio de Janeiro has quite some museums, some older ones needing repair and some newer ones; they are even still building new futuristic places for art and science. Most impressive I found the Museo de Arte do Rio, which is situated close to an old favela and therefore faces this topic. Close to it, the new Museu do Amanhã (Museum of tomorrow) is still in the making.
As always in big cities like Rio de Janeiro, the place for building houses and having residential neighborhoods is limited. That is why on the other side of the bay of Rio, directly opposite to the city center at a place called Niterói, people started to settle down and to commute into the city by ferry boat.
A lot of songs have been sung about these two beaches in the Zona Sul de Rio de Janeiro, both only divided by the Forte do Copacabana. Remember The Girl from Ipanema? The areas are in the rich south of Rio and are touristic zones secured by the police. If you don’t have your hotel here (might be better, cause the prices in the area are a bad joke) – the metro is running all along Copacabana and for Ipanema you can go to the terminus General Orsório.
The Sugarloaf mountain is a place I’ve seen first in the James Bond movie Moonraker (1979). And it is quite an unreal scenery: Two stone needles in the bay of Guanabara, connected by a cablecar. It’s kind of a strange feeling to stand upon this 396 m high peak, but it gives you really nice views on Rio de Janeiro.
It’s the work of a man with a vision. While roaming through the neighborhood of Lapa, you will definitly find a strange but beautiful staircase. It is covered in tiles of all colours and with themes from around the globe. Jorge Selarón, an artist from Chile, decided to renovate the steps in front of his house – and never stopped until his death.
If you’re going southbound from Rio de Janeiro city center you come to a part of Rio called Lapa – a district which you might visit especially for nightlife. If you do so you should better take a taxi. If you come by daylight, you can see a really nice aqueduct: the Arcos da Lapa.