Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro?

Wondering where to stay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s largest metropolis? Here’s a complete mini-guide to where to stay in Rio!

As Brazil’s second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro never ceases to inspire travelers. Are you finally one of the lucky ones who can visit Rio de Janeiro? With a population of 6.1 million and an urban area of 12.62 million, it’s one of the largest cities on the American continent.

World-famous for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, its carnival, and the statue of Christ atop Corcovado, you’ll need to choose the right neighborhood: not too expensive and, above all, safe. With 20% of Cariocas living in favelas, and despite the 250 deaths per month in the favelas, some districts can become dangerous at night due to the risk of violence and muggings. Here’s an overview of where to sleep in Rio.

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Ipanema, the luxury Rio

Loger, Ipanema, Rio

Photo credit: Flickr – Marcos Fernandes

Situated to the south of the cidade maravilhosa (marvellous city), Ipanema is an upmarket district, popular with wealthy tourists and known for its beach, which rivals Copacabana. It’s the place to be if you love luxury boutiques, fashion and high-end shopping. Relaxation and leisure will punctuate your days, between window-shopping and sunbathing on the beach. Paradoxically, Ipanema is also known as the birthplace of Bossa Nova, a style of music popularized in France by Henri Salvador (1917-2008). In Ipanema, you’ll also find some very good restaurants, as you’d expect from a chic clientele. One drawback, perhaps: the district is at the end of the metro line, a long way from Centro, the city center.

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Lapa, Rio’s party spot

Loger Lapa, Rio

Photo credit: Flickr – worldsurfr

Located between the historic center, Flamengo and the Santa Teresa district, it’s a very fashionable neighborhood, popular with nightlife-loving tourists. If you’re looking for a friendly neighborhood to stay in Rio, try Lapa. The Lapa district is crossed by the Lapa arches – an ancient aqueduct – over which the electric tramway runs to Santa Teresa. What to see in this lively district? Stroll along the rua do Lavradio, famous for its many traditional antique stores, or the famous staircase designed by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón (1947-2013). For accommodation in Rio de Janeiro, the lively and effervescent Lapa can also be noisy.

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Centro, Rio’s historic district

Loger, centre Rio

Located in the north of Rio, Centro is Rio’s financial center. In addition to the tall buildings housing Rio’s major multinational corporations, it is also home to most of the city’s historic monuments, museums, squares and churches. A cultural stay is guaranteed if you choose the Centro when looking for a place to stay in Rio. Visit, for example, the National History Museum, one of Rio’s finest museums, and the « Museu de Arte Moderna », a museum of modern art, which houses almost 11,000 works by Bruno Giorgi and Maria Martins. Relive Brazilian history at the « Praça XV de Novembro », November 15th Square, immortalizing the place where emperors and governors lived, and where the Brazilian nation was proclaimed on November 15, 1889. For relaxation, the Parc Campo de Santana offers a haven of peace if you’re looking for greenery and tranquillity. If your cultural appetite is insatiable – you’ll find shopping, music, libraries, theaters and bookshops – this is a good place to stay in Rio.

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Botafogo, Rio’s traditional neighborhood

Loger, Botafogo, Rio

Photo credit: Flickr – Marco Gomes

For late-night bar hopping, nightclubbing and views of the famous Sugarloaf, this is the place to stay in Rio de Janeiro. Situated in the foothills of the Morro de Sao Joao and Mundo Novo hills, this is a lively district with an impressive cultural heritage. From Botafogo beach, visit Sugarloaf Mountain and the Urca peninsula. Botafogo offers great cultural diversity and a high concentration of cafés, theaters and cinemas where art house films are regularly shown. If you like to party, between the center and the famous Copacabana beach, look no further for a place to stay in Rio.

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Santa Teresa, the « little Montmartre

Loger, Santa Teresa, Rio

Photo credit: Flickr – Rodrigo Soldon

The Santa Teresa district is built around the former convent of the same name, separating the northern and southern quarters. This district has retained its bohemian atmosphere, with numerous art studios, museums, restaurants and outdoor cafés. Admire the old tramway – the bondinho – 145 years old and still in service! Finally, take an urban hike up Corcovado to the foot of Christ the Redeemer and enjoy the Tijuca Forest, the world’s largest urban forest.

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Map of hotels and accommodations – Rio de Janeiro,br