Travel: Rio de Janeiro – My top 7 fave spots

Rio de Janeiro, the city makes me think of Madrid combined with Cuba (never been, I’m relying on the pictures haha) but then all of this in the middle of the jungle. Seriously! Concrete jungle got a totally new meaning to me. Today I’ll share with all of my personal Rio favorites…

Santa Teresa
This is the neighbourhood in which I stayed and it was (lucky me) also the neighbourhood I liked most… Why? Because of it’s awesome street art (seriously, on every corner you’ll find another cool piece). In case you want to see more of that. Check => http://sneakersandsmoothies.com/?p=1699

But also because of it’s restaurants and bars. There is this one cosy street called Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno in which you’ll find a great variety of restaurants. Some days a guy is selling records in the street. From Michael Jackson to John Lennon, this guy knows his classics. Also there’s this lady that’s selling fresh coconut juice at a little square all the way at the end of this street. Yum! 

Bar Do Mineiro
When you go to Santa Teresa at a Saturday afternoon, most certainly stop over at this bar called Do Mineiro at the beginning of the street (depends from which way you’re coming of course…). At this bar there’s some sort of cool and very relaxed atmosphere with peeps drinking beers and caprinhas at the stoop. Seriously: you’ll feel like a local right away. A very cool local so to say 😉

Bar Dos Descados 
Looking for something somewhat more upscale? Then go to Bar Dos Descados. At this place you’ll find a chique spa, fancy restaurant, rooftop pool + lounge (great views from here) and… a cocktail bar.
I have to admit I only tried the cocktail bar, which I hereby recommend, but the other elements also looked really very good! 

Escadaria Selarón
Jup! The famous stairs. They are famous for a reason, I tell you that! It’s the life work of one man (!!) only! At a sudden point people became such fan of his work, that they started bringing tiles to expand the stairs even further. I love the result! It reminds me of Gaudi’s Parc Guell.

Perfect place to take some pictures. And of course many people, amongst whom I myself, do! Fun thing to do besides taking some pictures? Watching people pose! Especially the frivolous Brazilians can be very funny…

Leblon
Looking for some fancy and/or some trendy restaurants? Then Leblon is the area to go to! Great lunch- and dinerspots are to be found every 20 meters. I had lunch at Yalla; an Arabic restaurant with the best houmous I ate in times! 

A nice place to go for coffee is: Void. Although when we were there, they where out of coffee. Typical Brazilian way of life… But the place looks cool, so in case you’re lucky and they have coffee, grab one of their wooden crates and enjoy your hot drink in a fancy paper cup. 

Botanical Gardens
If you’re looking to just stroll a little, or the city is so hot that you need some shadow, the Botanical Gardens are a great choice. 

They are not the most beautiful botanical gardens I’ve ever seen (Singapore for example beats Rio big time when it comes to this) but still it’s fun to watch the huge waterlilies, variety of cactuses and if you’re lucky… monkeys! 

Casa Coolbeans
I got this tip from ‘My Little Blackbook’ and it sure was a good one, so I thought I should pass it through to you!

Great breakfast, very clean, big rooms, cool art AND located in the awesome neighborhood Santa Teresa. It’s not too expensive either. So, good choice I’d say! www.casacoolbeans.com

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