Monday, December 3, 2012

Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro

The area and beach of Ipanema is soon becoming if not already is the hottest area for tourists in Rio de Janeiro. The area has for a long time had higher class than the area of Copacabana. It is not considered as chick at the area of Leblon. However, when in Rio it makes a lot of sense using the metro system. The end station is just in the border between Ipanema and Copacabana. Making it chick and a place for easy access to the rest of Rio de Janeiro.

Beach of Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro

As a testament to the recent history and rapid expansion of Rio de Janeiro, a mere 120 years ago there were hardly any infrastructure here and when the Royal family escaped Portugal to settle in Brazil 200 years ago this area was only a mixture of farms and swamp land.

Today it is easy to navigate and with its location just in front of the lake, the opportunities to relax and enjoy your vacation is enhanced if you stay in this neighborhood. Due to its high prices it is an idea to look for rental apartments as opposed to Ipanema hotels. If you like to go for a walk you will not need to stay close to be beach. The neighborhood is large but quite narrow. You will always be not too far from neither the beach or the lagoon. If I were you I would choose to be close to Arpoador (the rock formation between Ipanema and Copacabana). The beach of Leblon on the other side is also beautiful, but demands you having a car.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rio de Janeiro in comparison to Brazil

One of the most fascinating parts of Brazil is its huge diversity in cultures and people within the country. So where is Rio de Janeiro placed in the larger context?

In my opinion Rio de Janeiro is a place that has to be seen when visiting Brazil. It would, however, be a big mistake to equate Rio de Janeiro with Brazil as a whole. The cultural differences are vast across various regions.

If you visit Rio de Janeiro it is a very short distance from there to the city of São Paulo. If you plan on visiting many small cities within the state of Rio de Janeiro, you really should considering taking a short trip to São Paulo instead.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

About Cultural spots in Rio

I just published an article about the area of Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro. In the mentioned article I give an explanation about how to get to the top of this Neighborhood.

One of the advantages of visitting Santa Teresa is that you get too see the city center and Gloria from above. Also a visit to Tijuca national park has its advantages also due to the view.

The overall discussion, however, is whether it is worth it to visit a lot of places while in Rio or whether a visit to Rio de Janeiro should be a visit where you enjoy the beaches and to party.

In general, you can safely avoid visitting the city center. Rio de Janeiro has an interesting history, but not so interesting that you cannot have a 2 week vacation without a city tour. The buildings are not particularly beautiful and the few areas with some beauty you will see when visitting Santa Teresa.
Tijuca National Park gives a great view from the Chinese view, but beyond this there are not much wildlife in this area.
The surrounding cities are of some interest and can be worth a visit. However, if you travelled far to visit Rio de Janeiro and are only to stay for a little more than a week - it might not be the best use of your time.
In conclusion: After Sugarloaf and Christ the Redeemer statue, you can safely just try to relax and enjoy yourself without stressing about seeing the whole city.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

English in Rio de Janeiro

If English is the only language you know and you are going to Rio de Janeiro, you would naturally like to know if that will cause a lot of problems. The short answer is yes. Whether that is detrimental or not depends on your need to communicate with the locals when visiting a new country. The service personell in the hotels will be able to inform you in English. Outside of the tourist areas, the people will not be able to speak English. For your visit it will not be an overall problem. A bigger issue is whether being a gringo in general is a problem. As a gringo that speaks Portuguese with a heavy accent - this is always a recurring problem.

Another site - Ingles Porto Alegre.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Lapa in center of Rio de Janeiro is known as the bohemia neighborhood of Rio. For the more adventurous traveler, this area can be well worth a visit. There are numerous guesthouses and Hotels available in the neighborhood, and if you plan on partying with other Brazilians it is advisable that you stay in the area.
The area is the most genuine area that is advisable for foreigners to visit. That being said, most people from lower classes goes to pubs closer to their homes. On the other hand, many people of less modest means prefer places which are more classy. The genuine in a diverse country as Brazil is an illusion.
In Lapa you will, however, find pubs and discos with a wide variety of music styles.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Low season in Rio de Janeiro

Low season in Rio de Janeiro started on 1st of April and will last until 1st of December.
If you want to visit Rio de Janeiro it is from now until then that is the optimal timeframe.
Everything will be cheaper and it will be much more relaxing to visit the tourist spots.

In my opinion the climate will be quite comfortable during the entire period.
Of course, if you like very warm weather you should check the temperature forecasts.

My general web site - MBergo

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Information - Corcovado mountain

Corcovado is the most famous and visited tourist spot in Rio de Janeiro.
Question is how to get there. I have written a guide about the place´s history and how to get there.
Visit the place at Corcovado Rio de Janeiro.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro

Short history of Ipanema in Rio de JaneiroThis neighbourhood is relatively new. Only in 1894 this area was turned from farm area to  parcelled land prepared for residential construction. The earliest movement in the city development was from Botafogo to Jardim Botanico and then slowly towards the beach. Only after the construction of tunels from Botafogo to Copacabana did it become easy for Cariocas to move to the beach areas.

Until the 1960s the noble neighbourhood was Copacabana. As this lost some of its status and persons in the intellectual elite started to frequent bars and restaurants in Ipanema, this area eventually became to more chique area in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro Guide

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Carnaval Lapa 2012

This was my first Carnaval staying basically in Lapa and city center. As a Gringo, certain elements were disapointing, mostly so the Bola Preta parade on the first saturday of the Carneval. Bola Preta parade is the most popular one, with estimate of up to 2 and a half million, and considered a must see. I do not know, however, if it primarily became a must see after it had become the largest parade. For me, again as a Gringo, the music was very dull. Lacking toilets you can not drink, and with so many people one really can´t move around at all.
The most positive experience - of which there were many, including daily free concerts next to the archs - was concerts with the Samba School bands. For R$50 one got access to live show at Circo Voador right next to the Archs. If you think of Carneval as dancing mulattas and catchy rhytmic music, THIS was the place to be with the most famous bands in the city, including Beija-Flor, which was an amazing experience. Unlike when listening to the street bands, you also have easy access to toilet. Easy access to toilet means you can drink plenty and enjoy.

For more information about this city visit our Rio de Janeiro guide.
Online learning resource with Norwegian Learning.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Copacabana's Short History

Particular for European tourists the short history of southern part of Rio de Janeiro is met with surprise.
A mere 120 years ago what is the areas of Leme and Copacabana were basically farm lands.
Only when Tunel Velho (old tunel) was inagurated inagurated in 1892 and Tunel Novo (the new tunel) was inagurated in 1906 there were easy access to this neighbourhood.

Fast forwarding the neighbourhood became area for the rich until 1950s when smaller apartments were built. Today most buildings are neither new or older than 60 years.
The building which to the largest degree has been associated with development of the area is Copacabana Palace built in connection with the 100th anniversary of Brazil in 1922. A joint governmental and private enterprise with architceture heavily influenced by hotel Negresco in Nice.

To see more information visit Apartamento Rio de Janeiro.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Carnival history and background

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is held before Lent every year.
The Carnival is considered the biggest in the world with two million people per day on the streets.

First records of the festivities dates back to 1723.

Basically there are two parts of the Carnival. The one most on TV are the competition between the Samba Schools. Each school choose a theme and present it via a 80 minutes parade. The parades are performed in the Sambodromo.

For the visitors the street carnival is atleast as entertaining. Program which usually includes daily activities in city center and in the south zone.

Daily activities from 18th to 21nd of february 2012:
From 20:00 Concerts at Samba Land
From 20:00 Concerts in Lapa
From 23:00 Rio Scala Ball

For the Complete schedule visit - Carnival schedule 2012.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New years eve experience

This year my new years eve experience was not what it used to be.
Generally I have only good things to say about celebrating new years eve in Rio de Janeiro.

I still hold the same view - however with a few modifications.

This year I stayed in Santa Tereas/Lapa region. Which means I would have to take the metro to get to Copacabana. This experience in itself was not as bad as I thought it would be but still hardly comfortable. One has buy the tickets in advance. Due to bad weather we bought our tickets for 21-22hs. The metro was completely crowded. We left the metro in station Cardeal Arcoverde which is the first metro station on Copacabana. Leaving the tunnel propably took 20-30 minutes as it was completely crowded. Imaging walking in the speed of a 2 year old for 400 meters.

Secondly we ended up in front of Copacabana Palace. Here the crowd was much worse. In the tunnel it was orderly - in front of this hotel we were not alone in trying to get away and when it started to move one had no control - one got pushed from many sides. Some people panicked and a few got problem breathing problems.

Thirdly, the weather was bad. Despite this it was not too bad taking the metro back home.

In short, it is extremely more comfortable to stay close to the beach in south zone of Rio. This probably holds more true when weather is not optimal. Of some reason I believe I have always been away from the most crowded places on the beach previous years. You HAVE to avoid the most crowded places after 23hs.

If you can afford a hotel or rental apartment in walking distance to the beach - go for it!

English definition is an online resource for adult English learners.