Before I went to Rio I spent ages searching the net, trying to find out if it was safe and what precautions to take – you know what – Rio is as safe as any other major city in the world (maybe), just keep your eyes and ears open and there are no problems. Don’t walk down Copacabana at 4am drunk, because your just asking for trouble!!
I stayed 2 blocks off the beach at the Copacabana Resedencia Hotel, great place. 3 minutes to the beach. Copacabana leads onto Ipanema (but it’s a long walk!), then onto Leblon. Ipanema beach is much nicer than Copacabana with a ton of police and friendly people. Leblon is the ‘rich’ area of Rio so expect to pay a bit more, same goes for Ipanema.
- If you want a taxi, just stand at the edge of the road with your hand out, make sure they are on a meter, believe it or not Rio has the cheapest taxis in Brasil. A taxi from Copacabana to Christo cost me R$22 or about £7. It’s a 20 minute ride.
- If your going to Christo at the weekend leave early, took me 4 hours to queue and get the train up the hill – but you have to go. It’s about R$40 for a ticket.
- A taxi from Christo to Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) should cost about R$25 – 30 max! And takes about 25 minutes. It’s about R$40 to get the cable car – remember to get both!!
- If you really want to see Rio at night, head off to Lapa (Taxi from Copabana is about R$20), open bars, samba, clubs, heaving. It’s very near to the centre of Rio. You know if you’ve gone to far when you wander past the Gas Station and the music changes to ‘Favella Funk’ – best to turn around :)
- If your on the beach getting hassled by the street sellers just say ‘Obrigado, não’ pronounced ‘Brigade, Noum’ and off they go – they can be pretty persistent.
Rio De Janeiro is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, beautiful weather, fantastic beaches surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains, friendly people, great food and a lively night life. Just go, let your hair down and have a great time.