I am going to be in Rio from Jan. through Feb. and I have heard that many of the neighborhoods are pretty seedy(Copacabana). I want to stay in a mellow, safe area that isn't too far from the action. Botafoga? Im not too concerned about being near the beach, just close enough to get there if I wanted to. Does anyone have any advice as to what areas I might like as well as areas I would not like? Anything would help. Thanks
Ipanema is probably the coolest area, it is very mellow in comparison to copacabana. there are tons of bars, and eateries and juice bars which i highly recommend you try (acai) pronounced ahh-sahh-eee. cabs are everywhere which will be convinient especially at night as you might want to avoid foot excursions and hop into a car instead. there is a good hippy market on saturdays where you can buy really good crafts etc...and if bossa nova is your thing no better place then ipanema.
I agree, Ipanema is the best place to stay. It has an excellent location, between Copacabana and the fancy neighbourhoods (Leblon, São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca). It's lively, safe, and just as beautiful as the rest. A great starting point, lots of vans can take you to the main attractions of the city, which are within easy access.
Taxis are really expensive, but the only choice at night. Anyway, you can get the best pieces of advice from hotel staff.
If you need names or prices of hotels just let me know. Remember that Carnival is in February and hotels tend to sell out, try to book accomodation as soon as you can.
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