Most tourists who come to experience Brazil inevitably pass through the great metropolis that is Rio de Janeiro at some point or another; and with good reason, it is a wonderful city which is well worth visiting. Carnival, samba, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Sugarloaf Mountain viewed from Christ the Redeemer… there are endless excuses to visit Rio!
Here we have listed a series of tips to make your life easier when you are there!
If you are looking for accommodation, the offer is infinite, varied and can suit absolutely any price range, but if we are talking about tranquility and safety, the best areas are in the south of the city, in particular Ipanema and Leblón. Botafogo is also a peaceful area.
The public transport is very efficient, particularly the ônibus (buses), which, while they may not be cheap, are safe and punctual. There is also a metro which is safe and punctual as well, but it is preferable to avoid it at rush hour when it becomes extremely busy. Taxis are relatively cheap, so if the bus does not pass through your route, taxis are efficient and will not cost you an arm and a leg – to a tourist it may seem a little stiff, but at least your legs will not be!
Despite all the stories about Rio being a dangerous city, it must be said that it has greatly improved and that if you obsess over this idea you will not be able to enjoy the wonderful city. So taking the obvious, basic precautions should be enough, and what is more, the city has a high police-presence which always adds to the level of security. As a precaution, it should be noted that the city center empties on weekends and at nighttime, so these are not the best times to visit it. Nor is it advisable to carry items of value in plain sight, such as cameras, jewelry, watches… but you can calmly take photos! In any case, and not just in the center, the best thing, before going ahead, is to ask the cariocas (locals) or in the hotel if the zone you wish to visit is safe enough. Do not always trust what tourist guides say: safety has greatly improved, such as, for example in Copacabana but in old guides, it may indicate that the zone is dangerous when this is simply not the case.
In summary, the important thing is to take precautions, but at the same time to enjoy your visit because the city deserves it, and the vast majority of cariocas are good, friendly people!
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