If you're travelling to Rio de Janeiro next month for the world's biggest Carnival, we have some tips. The vibrant 10-day festival is full of drama and entertainment, taking place throughout the city both officially and not. We absolutely recommend making the most of every event (insider tip: purchase tickets to watch the Champions Parade from a box for the best views) and, in between, exploring this city. After a hiatus due to covid, this year is apt to be the best festival yet.
Your home base
Designed by Philippe Starck, luxe Fasano Rio de Janeiro is located at Ipanema's beachfront. Opt for an ocean-view room, which pairs chic comforts such as down bedding with sophisticated design credentials – think Sergio Rodrigues chairs – set the backdrop of a majestic ocean view. Two in-house restaurants offer plenty of dining options. However, it's the rooftop pool bar you'll want to head for. Set next to the infinity pool, the snacks and small plates are better than you'd expect at most poolside restaurants; expectedly, signature cocktails are tropical and delicious.
Museo de Arte de Ri
Absorb some culture
Rio's newest museum, located inside a restored palace, Museo de Arte de Rio, celebrates the colourful art and design in Brazil. Enjoy vast collections and a roster of rotating exhibitions – the onsite store is worth a visit in and of itself. Beyond the classic museum shop, it offers a comprehensive selection of design wares alongside an extensive library of books.
Sud, o pássaro verde Café
Wes Anderson, in Rio?
Decidedly picturesque in pale pinks and mint greens characteristic of a Wes Anderson film, Sud, o pássaro verde Café is a small restaurant within a Mediterranean-style house in a residential neighbourhood. Offering a strong family vibe, the authentic Brazilian food is crafted utilising local ingredients by chef Roberta Sudbrack. Ask for a wine recommendation: it's sure to be spot on.
Start with juice
Rehydrate with fresh fruit juice, courtesy of the popular Rio chain Bibi Sucos. Offering upwards of 30 options, available alone or in combination with each other, we recommend experimenting. Cocoa and coconut? Pitaya and papaya? Why not.
Tram up the hill
Santa Teresa, an iconic neighbourhood of Rio that exemplifies the city's inherent bohemian sensibility, sits hillside with tiny winding streets snaking through gorgeous restored mansions. Expectedly vibrant, there is a great sense of energy in this area, with samba music being played at businesses and live music in the streets. Walk around and explore until dinner – grab a seat (we recommend making a reservation) at Aprazivel, on the terrace, for incredible views and excellent home-cooked Brazilian food.
Keep the party going
Famous for its nightlife, going out in Rio doesn't disappoint. Samba is the keystone of Brazilian music, and Rio has plenty of options to hear it in all its glory… Carioca da Gema, in Lapa, features non-stop samba and dancing every single night. Between the tables, there is dancing everywhere until the early hours of the morning. Encapsulating the pure energy of the city it's a must-visit.
Head to Coordenadas, which hosts live music from Thursday until Sunday evenings, to hear some local rock and pop. Located in a townhouse offering three separate floors of entertainment, you'll mingle with the locals and get a taste of what it might be like to party like a carioca.
For more information or to book a holiday, please contact Quintessentially Travel.