Rio de Janeiro is a cosmopolitan city located in the southeast of the Brazil. It is one of the main economic, cultural and financial centers of the country. Rio is internationally known for some of its most popular icons such as the Pan de Azúcar, a prominent promontory that can be seen from anywhere in the city, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, the Maracana stadium, the beaches of Ipanema or Copacabana and the Carnival, perhaps the most popular show in all of Brazil. But what is the best area to stay in Rio de Janeiro?
Rio de Janeiro offers a wide choice of accommodation. However, it is a large city, and not all areas are touristy and not close to attractions. When analyzing the areas to stay in Rio de Janeiro, it is best to choose areas close to the beaches and with good public transport links.
Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is divided into four main areas. They are the historic center, the south area, the north area and the west area. Each zone is then further divided into neighborhoods.
The Old Town and South Zone have the best neighborhoods for travelers as they have the best mix of safety, attractions, restaurants, beaches, and nightlife.
Each neighborhood in Rio has its own lifestyle and culture, and each of them feels more like a quaint little town than a neighborhood.
Neighborhoods to choose from for those who love nightlife
The neighborhoods of Botafogo, Catheter e Limpet are the busiest areas of Rio for nightlife, where you will find many of the best samba bars and clubs in the city. These neighborhoods (all quite small and bordering on each other) are close to some of the city's most famous attractions, and in the evening, many of the streets and squares of these neighborhoods are teeming with young people, who congregate in the open-air bars and restaurants.
The best areas for the beach
If you want to be able to navigate straight from your hotel room to Rio's golden sands just across the street, stay at Copacabana, Ipanema e Leblon. Copacabana is very touristy and has hotels for all tastes and budgets, while Ipanema and Leblon are sophisticated areas full of trendy restaurants and boutiques.
Other neighborhoods to stay in Rio de Janeiro
- Catheter e Flamengo: they are located farther from the beaches but are convenient for visiting Sugar Loaf and Christ the Redeemer. In these neighborhoods you will find numerous budget hotels.
- Santa Teresa: it is located near the Center but located on the hill. It is a sophisticated area with beautiful boutique hotels.
- The district City Center is the business district of the city. Here is the Central Station of Brazil and it has good connections to the airport but it is not very safe at night.
- Barra da Tijuca it is the wealthiest neighborhood in the city and one of the safest high-class barrios in Rio. Here, however, there are design hotels at an excellent price, however, it is located very far from the interesting points of the city.