Where to Stay

Ipanema & Leblon

For

Great location near the beach and the lake, with Rio's best restaurants and bars surrounding. Great views possible: ocean, lake or possibly Corcovado.

Against

Pricier than other locations. Fewer options than Copacabana.

Copacabana & Leme

For

Wealth of lodging possibilities packed into a long, narrow high-rise-lined neighborhood. Proximity to the beach. Good transport connections to other parts of the city. Good restaurants and bars.

Against

Nightlife more limited than Ipanema or Botafogo. Very touristy; some cariocas avoid it. Sex tourism in some parts; tourist-trap restaurants along Av Atlântica.

Botafogo & Urca

For

Good neighborhood with restaurants, bars and nightclubs that attract a local crowd.

Against

Not within walking distance of the beach. Noisy, traffic-clogged avenues. Few attractions.

Flamengo & Around

For

Better prices than the beachside districts.

Against

Few options, mostly budget. Very few restaurants and bars, and very little nightlife.

Santa Teresa & Lapa

For

Santa Teresa is a charming bohemian district with great architecture and alternative, art-minded residents. Has a handful of good restaurants and drinking spots. Lapa is the epicenter of Rio's samba-fueled nightlife.

Against

Santa Teresa is far from the beaches; poor transport links. Lapa is unappealing and gritty by day.

Barra da Tijuca & Western Rio

For

Great beaches with a laid-back vibe.

Against

No neighborhood vibe; most locals use cars to get places.