The Essential Travel Guide to Rio de Janeiro
What to pack, see, and do in the South American city
Golden beaches and lush mountains. Samba-fueled nightlife and spectacular football matches. Fresh fruit juice and hot cheese. There’s no place like Rio. Lucky for you, we’ve teamed up with euphoria Calvin Klein to create a Rio de Janeiro travel guide chock full of the essentials, so you’ll waste no time futzing with your itinerary and spend all of it soaking up the sun.
What to Pack
Practically 80 degrees year-round, the humid city on the coast of Brazil calls for, ahem, minimal attire. However, should you choose to wear more than a swimsuit, we recommend a pair of canvas espadrilles, an easy crossbody bag and a fuchsia maxi dress (for night’s on the town). Don't forget to include a bottle of euphoria Calvin Klein (the heady scent was practically made for a place like this) and anti-humidity hairspray. Trust us, they’ll both come in handy.
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Where to Stay
Anywhere along Ipanema Beach. But specifically the Hotel Fasano. You will find no chicer decor (because, Philippe Starck), no prettier view (hello, glass-encased rooftop pool) and no friendlier staff (obrigada, Ingles). It's also the preferred spot of Beyoncé and Madonna and pretty much every other celebrity. But if you're on the other end of the budget spectrum, rent out the poolside bungalow at the Ipanema Beach House. The place is technically a hostel, but this particular room is private with access to plenty of hammocks, Wi-Fi and breakfasts, all for a choice $75 price tag a night.
Where to Eat
The food. Oh, the food you will eat. The beauty of cariocas (sounds better than "locals," right?) is that they care deeply about wellness, fitness...and fried snacks. Equally. Stop at any of the street stands for a fresh fruit juice and pasteis (basically a thin, crispy empanada filled with hot cheese, beef, chicken or seafood). Or order it as an appetizer at most sit-down restaurants. But easily the best meal you'll eat in the whole city is at a walk-up counter in Ipanema called Polis Sucos. Order a coffee and a $5 steak sandwich and get ready for your life to change.
What To Do
It's not like you're in South America everyday. So first: beach. Second: the legendary Cristo Redentor statue (duh). And third: the Escadaria Selarón (that tile-mosaic outdoor staircase you've seen in movies...and Snoop Dogg videos). Those things and wandering around ogling the abundance of street art should occupy your daylight hours. But come evening, you can't go without a little samba-ing. Rio Scenarium in the Lapa neighborhood is where it's at. If you're worried about how, in fact, to samba? Trust that a fine young gentleman will teach you how.