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With a cityscape that looks positively cinematic and a beach that’s out of this world, book a flight to Rio de Janeiro with Qatar Airways and discover the manifold delights of one of the world’s most exhilarating cities.
Flanked by soaring mountains and lush rainforests and fronted by a deep blue sea, Rio has what is probably the planet’s most spectacular location, and when you fly to Rio de Janeiro this intoxicating cocktail of tropical delights will leave you stunned.
The monolith of granite and quartz that is Sugarloaf Mountain rises to 1,300ft above sea level and is reached by a glass-encased cable car known locally as a ‘bondhino’. On your trip to Rio de Janeiro you can catch it every 20 minutes from Babilonia Hill and takes you up to Morro da Urca Hill, from where a second cable car accesses the highest peak for fabulous, exhilarating views of the city and ocean.
Ipanema Beach, enshrined forever in the bossa nova song of the 1960s, is still one of the city’s top tourist attractions. An arcing stretch of golden sands and rolling waves, it features regularly in lists of best beaches on the planet and is lined with theatres, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Vibrant Copacabana, next to the surfers’ favourite Arpoador Beach, has a real vibe about it. Stroll along the famous promenade or indulge in one of the many water-based sports on offer, as the fancy takes you.
Perched on top of the 2,330ft high Corcovado Peak is the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, an Art Deco masterpiece begun at the height of the fashion in 1922. It’s the biggest statue of its kind in the world and can be reached via a vertical cog train from the base of the mountain.
If you’re into cycling and jogging, the best place to indulge your passion on your trip to Rio de Janeiro is the Lagoa area. There’s a famous lagoon here called the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas and has a popular four-mile path that encircles it, which is studded with open-air cafés and restaurants for those mid-jog breaks.
Football is all the rage in Brazil, of course and the most important sporting landmark in Rio is the vast Maracana Stadium. It opened in 1950 and was for a long time the biggest in the world. Partially renovated for the 2014 World Cup, the stadium can seat 80,000 spectators and is still the biggest in South America.
The huge Tijuca National Park is one of the largest urban forests in the world and has some of the area’s best views from Pico da Tijuca, the highest of Rio’s many peaks.
For a colourful nightlife, the Lapa neighbourhood of Rio can’t be beaten. Lined with choro and samba entertainment hotspots, and with dancing and music spilling onto the streets, the atmosphere here is fantastic and not to be missed.
Rio offers a bewildering spectrum of superb and varied eating experiences. The main categories of food here are Italian, seafood, Portuguese and steak houses known locally as Churrascarias. The best Portuguese restaurants can be found in Leblon, much frequented by professionals and bankers.
Most eateries offer at least one or two seafood options, especially around the seafront, whilst most of the grills can be found in the downtown area.
When travelling to Rio de Janeiro for shopping, you’ll find plenty of great opportunities and a range of goods of all kinds on offer. A big flea market and numerous big stores are located in the city centre, and Copacabana has more upmarket stores as well as souvenirs and football memorabilia.
The Copacabana Night Market and Hippie Fair are great for finding clothing bargains, arts and crafts items and farmer’s markets.
Flights to Rio de Janeiro land at Rio de Janeiro/Galeao-Antonio Jobim International Airport, 20km from the city centre. Use the Yellow Line, Red Line and Brazil Avenue expressways to get into town.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Rio de Janeiro please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL)
Voltage: 110 / 220 V 60 Hz
Plugs: Type A / B / C
International dialing code: +55