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Where to stay in Rio De Janeiro

Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro – The city of carnivals

Nicknamed the Marvellous City, Rio is the second-largest city in Brazil. Over the years, Rio de Janeiro gained a reputation among travelers and tourists, and as a result, it became one of the most popular and well-known tourist destinations in the world. It became such a popular tourist destination, in large part, thanks to the iconic statue of Christ – also known as Christ the Redeemer, the famous Carnival, the splendid beaches, and of course, football.

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5 best neighborhoods to stay in Rio de Janeiro

Rio is divided into four zones – North, South, West, and Central. The West Zone covers the most ground, around 50%, while the Central Zone is the smallest. Each of these zones is further subdivided into neighborhoods.  

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Green represents the West Zone, blue the North Zone, red the Central Zone, and yellow the South Zone. 

These are our top 5 picks:

  1. Centro
  2. Lapa
  3. Flamengo
  4. Santa Teresa
  5. Copacabana


Centro  Despite being the financial heart of Rio, there are still plenty of things to see and do for those travelers who are on a budget. This neighborhood is located in the Central Zone.
Lapa This neighborhood is best known for its exciting nightlife and historic monuments. It is located in the South Zone.
Flamengo A more quiet and residential neighborhood, great for people looking to stay long-term. This area is located in the South Zone of the city.
Santa Teresa  Located in the Central Zone, Santa Teresa is a neighborhood that is known for its cultural life and bohemian vibe. This is where you are most likely to encounter artists and intellectuals.
Copacabana  Located in the South Zone of the city, this is one of the most famous neighborhoods in the world, known for its incredible beaches. This is an excellent spot for first-time visitors.

Getting around Rio

Traffic, like in almost any major city, can be an absolute nightmare and a great cause of stress which you do not need. The safest, easiest, and most convenient way to get around Rio is either by bus or metro.

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Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro on a budget – The Centro


The Centro neighborhood is home to a number of museums, cultural and historic landmarks. As one of the most tourist-oriented neighborhoods, there are plenty of things to do and places to visit. Also, given its central position, it is really easy to get around on foot, and you have access to public transportation.

Things to see and do in Centro

Here are some of our suggestions: 

  • Visit the Imperial Palace Cultural Center
  • Visit the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading
  • Visit the Museum of Art of Rio

Imperial Palace Cultural Center

Built in the 18th century, this incredible building once served as the Imperial Palace, but nowadays it is a cultural center. Visit this great historic building and learn about the history behind it and Brazil.

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Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading

Proclaimed as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading is home to one of the largest collections of Portuguese literature. The interior of this building just might be one of the most breathtaking things you will ever get to witness.

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Museum of Art of Rio

Feast your eyes with some interesting and inspiring art. They organize various exhibits throughout the whole year, so regardless of your time of visit you will always have something to see. Entrance is free on Tuesdays.

Image source: museudeartedorio

Where to stay in Centro

The Centro neighborhood offers a great number of affordable accommodations despite its central location, which is usually quite pricey. 

Here are some of our suggestions for affordable accommodation in Centro:

This cozy apartment is located near public transportation and shops.

This small studio is close to all the tourist attractions and transportation.

This apartment offers you a great view of the city.

For other options in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Rio for nightlife – Lapa

During the day, Lapa gives off the impression of a low-key, bohemian neighborhood with gorgeous street art, however, during the night it comes to life thanks to the many bars, pubs, and clubs that attract both locals and foreigners. In Lapa, you can also witness a lot of street parties with excellent music and a captivating atmosphere.

Things to see and do in Lapa

Here are some of our recommendations for a great night out:

  • Carioca da Gema
  • Boteco da Garrafa
  • Café Cultural Sacrilégio

Carioca da Gema

This bar offers you an authentic Brazilian experience. Enjoy a night out with live music and great drinks.

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Boteco da Garrafa

A renovated mansion that serves Brazilian food and a wide variety of drinks.

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Café Cultural Sacrilégio

Dance samba with the locals accompanied by a live band in this fun and exciting bar.

Where to stay in Lapa

Most of the apartments in this area are quite small in size and have very vibrant decor. The apartments were chosen based on location, price, and convenience. On average, the price for a night is around $57.

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: this apartment has a very homey feel to it. It’s also close to restaurants.

Mid-range: a bright and conveniently located apartment in the heart of Lapa.

Luxury: a large townhouse with breathtaking interior design, close to all the main tourist attractions.

Check out other options in Lapa on Airbnb.

Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro long term – Flamengo

Despite its location next to the sea, Flamengo doesn’t experience a large number of tourists like some other areas in Rio de Janeiro. This neighborhood is located a bit away from the city center but there are buses that connect to the other areas, as well as three subway stations: Flamengo, Largo do Machado and Catete. Some of the more popular landmarks include the Carmen Miranda Museum, Flamengo Park, and the Museum of Modern Art. You can also see the statue of Christ the Redeemer and the Sugarloaf Mountain.

Things to see and do in Flamengo

Here are some of our suggestions to do in this neighborhood:

  • Dine at Armazém do Chopp 
  • Visit Flamengo Park
  • Visit Oi Futuro

Armazém do Chopp

An authentic local restaurant that sells dishes from Brazilian and South American cuisine.

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Flamengo Park

Flamengo Park is the largest park in Rio de Janeiro. Here you can skate, cycle, walk, play a variety of sports (football, basketball, volleyball, etc.), relax and unwind. You can also find restaurants, food stands, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Monument to the Dead of World War II, and a lot more. It is a great way to spend time outside.

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Oi Futuro

Oi Futuro is a building that houses a cultural center, an innovation lab, and a museum of technology, all in one. This space is dedicated to creative minds who like to explore possibilities and learn new things.

Image source: lucianaadao

Where to stay in Flamengo

The average nightly price for an apartment is around $84. 

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: this apartment might seem a little tight when it comes to space, but it is just 5 minutes away from the metro.

Mid-range: a modern apartment with a lot of charm; it is close to the metro and everything you might need.

Luxury: a vibrantly colored apartment with a balcony and vintage feel to it.

For other options in this area check out Airbnb.