Rio de Janeiro

Your travel guide for the 2016 Summer Games

The sporting world will have its eyes set on Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Games. The city played host for the 2014 World Cup, which was a wildly successful warm-up for the Summer Games.

The 28,000 hotel rooms in Rio are already filling up, so Fandeavor's Summer Games Experts are urging fans to lock down their accommodations as soon as possible. We created this travel guide to give you all the info you need to not only be ready to book your trip, but to determine all the things you want to do in Rio so you don't miss a thing.


We'll start by giving you a breakdown of the four best neighborhoods for you to stay and play when you're in Rio for the Summer Games:

Map of Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods


One of the most well-known beaches in the world, Copacabana is a culturally rich neighborhood with some of the finest hotels in all of South America. Despite its prominence of 5-star hotels, Copa had its heyday in the 80’s. The area is a tourist magnet and a bit grittier than the neighboring beaches of Ipanema and Leblon.

Pro's vs. Con's for Summer Games

If you want to stay in a historic 5-star hotel, then look no further than Copacabana. You’ll be able to walk to a number of events that are spread out along Copa’s beach. If staying at a historic hotel isn’t your cup of tea, then you’re much better suited for the Ipanema/Leblon area or near the Olympic Village in Barra da Tijuca.

Top Restaurants/Bars

Cipriani: Housed inside the plush Copacabana Palace, this is high-end Italian at its best. The restaurant overlooks the hotel's famous pool and has impeccable service.

Bip Bip: This spot is legendary. Go to see live musicians playing around a central table and through the night as the party spills out into the street.

Can't Miss

If you're looking to take gifts back to family or friends, the shops just inland of Copa are just what you're looking for.

Beach Details

Copacabana is a breath-taking 2.5 mile stretch of sand that's filled with people luxuriating in the sun and soaking up the atmosphere. Copacabana beach runs from Posto 2 to Posto 6 and will be one of the core areas of activity during the Summer Games.

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Connecting Ipanema and Copacabana, Arpoador is known for being one of the best surf spots in Rio de Janeiro. The rock outcropping creates huge breakers in the small peninsula.

Pro's vs. Con's for Summer Games

Because of its proximity to Ipanema and Copacabana, Arpoador is a very popular place for tourists and locals to walk. There are a number of cafes which allow people to stop to look at the sea or watch the sun come down.

The main commercial drag in Arpoador is Rua Francisco Otaviano, that connects Ipanema to Copacabana.

Top Restaurants/Bars

Azul Marinho: This is one of Rio's most sophisticated restaurant/beer locations. It offers formal service along with a beautiful panoramic window that overlooks a low-traffic street near the Arpoador Beach.

Can't Miss

Arpoador's main beach attraction is the huge, flat Arpoador Rock and of course the sunset. As the sun cascades behind the rocks, people bask in its beauty, couples kiss and everyone erupts in clapping and cheering, saluting the earth for the magnificence it possesses and appreciating life for the fullness it offers.

Beach Details

The beach is located at Posto 7, and is popular with families and surfers. It's usually quieter than the other postos, and at sunset it has a laid-back vibe.

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Ipanema is a food and bar epicenter located next to Copacabana and Leblon Beach and widely known as one of the safest neighborhoods in all of Rio.

Pro's vs. Con's for Summer Games

Ipanema is regarded as one of the safest areas of Rio. It’s an upper class neighborhood and is considered the second most affluent area in Rio after Leblon. Just like neighboring Leblon, Ipanema has world-class restaurants, shops, and cafes. No events will take place in this area but you’ll be centrally located between Barra da Tijuca and Copacabana.

Top Restaurants/Bars

Zaza Bistro Tropical: One of the best restaurants in all of Rio. Be prepared to wait for over an hour, but it's well worth it to experience their culinary creativity. Make sure you check out upstairs to witness one of the most unique dining room experiences you'll ever see.

Porcao Rio's: A convenient location makes this branch of Rio's famous churrascaria popular with travelers, though the Flamengo location is well known for its fabulous view.

Can't Miss

If you have a chance, grab a drink and watch the sun set from the rooftop bar at the crown jewel of Ipanema's hotel scene, the Phillipe Starck-designed Fasano Rio. This spot is the hangout of choice for visiting A-listers.

Beach Details

Posto 9 has a storied history, today it has the status of a "cool and alternative" space in Ipanema beach. The Travel Channel listed Ipanema Beach as the sexiest beach in the world.

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Leblon is widely known as the most affluent neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, and having the most expensive price per residential square meter in Latin America proves this the place for those to whom money is no object.

Pro's vs. Con's for Summer Games

This neighborhood is known for its top notch restaurants and late night clubs and lounges. Designer boutiques and residential mansions complete Leblon's perfectly styled ensemble. No events will take place in this area but you’ll be centrally located between Barra da Tijuca and Copacabana.

Top Restaurants/Bars

Sushi Leblon: Best sushi in Rio, most likely restaurant to bump into a celebrity.

Jobi Bar: This neighborhood bar is the Brazilian version of the British pub. One of the most lively bars in Leblon, with tables sprawling from inside to outdoors on the sidewalk.

Brigites: Emphasis on fresh, organic ingredients, this is a must for seafood lovers. Cocktails and wine can be enjoyed at the long hip balcony bar.

Can't Miss

Foodies should make a beeline for Leblon's Rua Dias Ferreira, where top-notch restaurants thrill diners.

Beach Details

Leblon's beaches are relatively secluded, which produces an air of exclusivity in this youthful stretch of sand. The beach is definitely quieter and more relaxed than the hip and trendy beach of Ipanema.

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Barra da Tijuca

Barra is a neighborhood on the western edge and 10 miles away from Copacabana Beach. Known for its beaches, lakes and rivers, chic condominiums and mega malls. Sometimes referred to as Brazil’s Miami Beach, Barra has an eleven mile stretch of beaches that are considered some of the best in Rio.

Pro's vs. Con's for Summer Games

Barra da Tijuca will be at the heart of the action for the Summer Games. Big events like Gymnastics, Swimming, Basketball and Diving will be take place in new venues being built specifically for the Summer Games. Barra will be home to the Olympic Village where the athletes will be staying and it will also be the headquarters for the large international media convoy.

Many new hotels are being built in advance of the Summer Games. There are several major chains for travelers including a Hyatt, Sheraton, Marriott, and others.

For fans looking to maximize the number of events they can watch and proximity to all the action, Barra is the spot to stay.

Top Restaurants/Bars

The Antiquarius: The famous restaurant is located at the Barra Shopping Mall and true to its origins, features Portuguese cuisine.

Romanella: Located at Recreio not too far from Barra, the price is very reasonable, and it's always packed with people looking to get their pizza fix.

Barril 8000: This bar features samba music. Get there early on weekends as they get packed and tables fill up quickly.

Can't Miss

Check out Barra Shopping, South America's biggest mall, where you'll see 700 stores and get a taste for local fashion.

Beach Details

While it’s a hike to get to these beaches (unless you’re staying here), Barra da Tijuca boasts white sand and plenty of space to sunbathe. You’ll find a younger crowd taking part in aquatic sports, everything from paddleboarding to kite surfing.

View hotels in Barra da Tijuca »