In the words of the writer born in Minas Gerais, Fernando Sabino: “being a carioca, as it is well known, is a state of mind: it is a person that, regardless of where in Brasil (or in the world) he or she has been born, lives in Rio de Janeiro and fills the city streets with life”. Cariocas are easygoing, spontaneous, and authentic.
We applaud the sunset at the beach, we take hose showers in the terrace, and we experiment with music, cinema, art and photography. We go to bars to have a nice chat, we go to samba circles and, above all, we never abandon the carioca way of life.
Right in the heart of the city, you can find a tropical forest known as Tijuca Forest. There, in an area of over 4,200 hectares, you can get in touch with an amazing flora, and also find lakes, fountains, historical sites and marvel at the over 200 species of birds and other animals, like the capuchin monkey, the agouti and the crab-eating fox.
Other attractions are the many trails, scenic routes and overlooking points from where you can enjoy an amazing view of such beauty that is sure to mesmerize you.
Samba, caipirinha and feijoada are one of the most amazing and most carioca combos there is. For those who are unfamiliar with it, “feijoada” is a black bean stew made with different cuts of pork and beef, usually served with a side of rice, “farofa”, steamed collard greens and sliced orange.
“Caipirinha” is the most famous Brazilian cocktail, and is a hit among visitors. It is made of “cachaça” (sugar cane spirits), unpeeled lime, sugar and ice. There’s no way you won’t fall in love with it after trying it.
Located right beside Lapa Arches, Circo Voador is the place where all crews and all musical genres come together, and it is often the stage of some historical nights for the music scene in Rio de Janeiro. One of the most loved and most prestigious music halls in Brazil, the “spaceship” hosted some unforgettable concerts in the 90’s, and was the place in which numerous rock bands like Legião Urbana and Os Paralamas do Sucesso gave their first steps on the road to success.
Nowadays, besides the memorable concerts, Circo also offers an extensive calendar of festivals, cultural events and educational social projects.
Posto 9 is a popular spot among young, beautiful people, including the famous “girls from Ipanema”, who parade about the boardwalk. Under the cariocas’ favorite sunset, you can enjoy the freedom, the beauty and the tranquility that Posto 9 inspires.
The beach’s beauty is so peculiar that since the end of the 1950s people have been ritually applauding the last minutes of the sun, from Arpoador to Leblon – a common occurrence during summer that amazes visitors and locals that pass by. No one knows for sure when this habit began, but it became so popular among locals that it is now one of the trademarks of the cariocas and their love for the sun, the sky and the sea.
“Olha o mate, olha o biscoito Globo!” (Who wants mate tea, who wants biscoito Globo!)
This classical sentence can be heard daily from the mouths of the street vendors that help maintaining one of the city’s tastier traditions. The mate tea sold straight from the gallon and the biscoito Globo (manioc flour biscuit) have been a feature on the beaches of Rio for almost 40 years, when the first street vendor, known as “Seu Zé”, started working in Copacabana.
Nowadays, the mate tea and biscoito Globo street vendors have been declared a Cultural Heritage of Rio, and are still walking around providing refreshing moments for tourists and locals, with their ice-cold gallons of mate tea, either pure or mixed with lime juice, and the salty crunchiness of biscoito Globo. It sure is tasty.
Acclaimed all over the world for the richness of its features and for its many influences of different time periods, the architecture of Rio de Janeiro combines elements characteristic of the colonial style, of the modernist vanguards and of a impressive contemporary aesthetic – a mixture that can be seen throughout the city.
Here you can find centenary buildings, like those around Praça XV, the big Modern Art Musem (MAM) and large futuristic structures, like the Museum of Tomorrow – all magnificent examples of the cultural and aesthetic multiplicity of Rio that takes the breath of locals and tourists away.
Originated in the suburbs, the funk and charme balls conquered the hearts – and the feet – of cariocas from the North and the South zones. These rhythms and their electronic beats are a source of excitement and controversy: with lyrics that discuss dancing, and that are playful and erotic, the funk rhythm was declared by law a cultural movement, and has taken over the world with its vivaciousness, turning the funk balls into a place to meet up with friends and into touristic attractions.
It’s simple: with friends by your side and a cold glass of beer, the priority in the balls is to have fun, dance the “passinhos” and, of course, get low.
In carioca carnival, anyone can party, in a 24/7 celebration that takes over the city. Pierrots and Columbines invade the streets dancing samba with a lot of happiness and energy even before (and also after) the official beginning of Carnival.
It is one of the most popular parties in the planet and it brings people from all over the world together. There are no stages, and the real stars of the party are those who go to the streets to celebrate carnival, giving their energy to turn this few days in the happiest ones of the year.
“There’s something wrong with you if you don’t like samba. Either you have bad feet or you are a little mad”
Samba is recognized as a Brazilian rhythm, and Rio de Janeiro breathes samba all over. Some bars are famous for hosting live samba concerts, like the “Trapiche Gamboa”, in the neighborhood of Saúde, the “Carioca da Gema”, the “Bar Semente” and the “Beco do Rato”, all in Lapa, the “Boteco do Carvalho”, in Botafogo, and the “Casa Rosa”, in Laranjeiras. But if you want to experience an authentically carioca musical manifestation you must go to a “roda de samba”(samba jam session).
They happen in clubs, bars and sometimes even on the street. The musicians sit around a table and make some unforgettable music. The “Samba do Trabalhador” happens at Renascença Clube, in Andaraí, and is one of the most famous “roda de samba” of the city. Other “rodas” that you just can’t miss are the “Samba da Ouvidor”, on Downtown, and the “Samba da Pedra do Sal”, that happens every Monday, and in which the musicians perform without microphones and play traditional samba.