Choosing where to stay in Rio de Janeiro is an important decision that can greatly impact your experience of the city. Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodations, budget-friendly hostels, or something in between, Rio de Janeiro has plenty of options to choose from. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best areas to stay in Rio de Janeiro, from the bustling beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema to the charming hills of Santa Teresa and beyond, so you can find the perfect home base for your Rio adventure.
Top Places to Stay in Rio de Janeiro
While in Rio de Janeiro, we stayed in several different hotels. By checking out several different neighborhoods in Rio, we have rounded up the best areas to stay in Rio de Janeiro to suit your travel style and budget.
Best Rio Neighborhoods for Tourists
- Copacabana – Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro for first timers
- Ipanema – Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro for nightlife and beaches
- Leblon – Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro for luxury
- Santa Teresa – Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro for Nightlife
- Lapa – Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro on a budget
- Flamengo – Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro for Families.
For a better understanding of Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods, we’ve created a map. You can click on the map to find your Rio hotel of choice.
Best Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Don’t want to read through this entire post? We’ve hand-picked the best hotels in Rio de Janeiro by neighborhood so you can check them out right away.
- Copacabana – Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel
- Ipanema – Fasano Hotel
- Leblon – Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort
- Santa Teresa – Hotel Santa Teresa Rio MGallery
- Lapa – Hotel Vila Galé Rio de Janeiro
- Flamengo – JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro
Copacabana Beach is the best place to stay in Rio de Janeiro for first time visitors. It’s where we stayed our first time. Copacabana is one of the most popular areas for tourists in Rio de Janeiro, with a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget. It is also beautiful.
There is nothing better than grabbing a coffee, stepping out of your accommodation, and going for a stroll on the boardwalk each morning while taking in the views of Sugarloaf Mountain and the famous beach.
Best Luxury Hotel in Copacabana – Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel
Luxury: Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel is an art deco hotel that dates back to 1923 and is located on Famous Copacabana Beach. It was the first hotel in the area and it takes up an entire city block.The each was basically built around this hotel and its history and its glamour cannot be denied. It has luxurious rooms that are fully modern and yet epitomize the grandeur of another era.
This luxury hotel has hosted many famous guests, including Fred Astaire and Princess Diana. When we were there, Arnold Schwarzenegger was staying in the hotel so that has got to say something!
It has one of Rio’s largest pools, a fitness center, beach service, and the Copacabana Palace Spa. It has 3 of Rio’s best restaurants including fine dining restaurants including Michelin Star rated, Cipriani Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Best Hotels in Copacabana
Luxury – Fairmont Rio de Janeiro Copacabana – You can never go wrong with a Fairmont and this luxury hotel is located on famous Copacabana Beach. Its panoramic pool offers views of Sugarloaf Mountain.
Mid Range: Miramar Hotel by Windsor: This sleek, modern hotel is located just across the street from the Beach and features elegant rooms with ocean views, a rooftop infinity pool, and a gourmet restaurant.
Budget: Hotel Novo Biarritz Copacabana: This hotel is located just one block from the Beach and offers simple and clean rooms at a budget-friendly price.
Note: Grand Mercure Rio de Janeiro Copacabana is undergoing renovations until 2024.
Things to do in Copacabana Beach
You could easily spend most of your time at Copacabana Beach and be satisfied with your Rio de Janeiro holiday. There are plenty of things to do within walking distance of the beach and here are a few suggestions.
Copacabana Beach – There is no doubt that the beach is the top draw in this Rio neighborhood. Play some beach volleyball, cycle along the boardwalk, or watch the surfers at The Arpoador. There is shopping and vendors lining the path at sunset so get out and do some shopping.
Forte de Copacabana – this historic military fort played an important role in Rio’s history. While it is still a working fort, visitors can browse the military museum and its artifacts. Located on a hill, the fort overlooks the beach and the ocean. While there, you can pop into the cafeteria for some snacks.
Avenue Nossa Senhora de Copacabana – this is a busy area for nightlife and shopping.
Bip Bip Bar – If you want to hear some live music, make your way to the Bip Bip Bar to hear the bands play Bossanova or Jazz.
“Tall and tan and young and lovely the girl from Ipanema goes walking….” Made famous by the song, the Girl From Ipanema, Ipanema Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Rio de Janeiro, with clear blue water and white sand. It’s also less crowded than Copacabana, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the sun.
Ipanema is centrally located, making it easy to explore other parts of Rio de Janeiro and is within walking distance to Copacabana, and Leblon, and has easy access to the city center.
Ipanema Beach is most people’s favorite beach in Rio de Janeiro. It’s the local favorite and it is close to many restaurants and shopping. It is known for its upscale restaurants, designer boutiques, and sophisticated nightlife.
Best Luxury Hotel in Ipanema – Fasano Hotel
The Fasano Hotel is the choice hotel for stars, but that was all booked out during our stay sadly. Rumour has it that Madonna was so mad at the Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel for booking an actual president in the Presidential Suite that she moved to the Fassano and has never looked back. Henry Stiles, Kate Moss, and David Beckham have all stayed at the Fassano. I would have loved to have checked it out, but we were at another choice Rio Hotel at the Sol Ipanema.
This stylish hotel is located just steps from Ipanema Beach and features elegant rooms with ocean views, a rooftop pool, and an acclaimed Italian restaurant.
Best Hotels in Ipanema
- Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Ipanema: This luxurious hotel is located just across the street from Ipanema Beach and features spacious rooms with ocean views, an outdoor pool, and a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city.
- Praia Ipanema Hotel: This beachfront hotel features modern rooms with stunning ocean views, a rooftop pool, and an on-site restaurant serving Brazilian and international cuisine.
- Sol Ipanema Hotel – Sol Ipanema is all about its location. Located across the street from the beach. It is also just around the corner from the famed Girl from Ipanema Cafe where the famous tune was penned. It has a small rooftop pool and a rooftop bar with views of Sugar Loaf Mountain and the beach. Plus, our suite had stunning views. We suggest taking advantage of the sun chair and umbrella service offered at the Sol Ipanema on the beach. Umbrellas and chairs are hard to come by and having a hotel provide this complimentary service is a huge bonus.
Things to do in Ipanema
Ipanema is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, known for its beautiful beaches, trendy shops, and vibrant nightlife. Here are some of the best things to do in Ipanema.
Visit Ipanema Beach: Obviously, the Beach is the star attraction and one of the most famous beaches in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a great place to swim, sunbathe, and people-watch as many locals hand out at this beach.
Walk along the Arpoador: Arpoador is a rocky outcrop between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches that offers breathtaking views of the ocean and the sunset.
Visit the Hippie Fair: Every Sunday, the Hippie Fair takes place in Ipanema, offering handmade crafts, clothing, and artwork made by local artisans.
Shop at the Farme de Amoedo Street: This street is known for its trendy boutiques, designer stores, and souvenir shops.
Visit the Nossa Senhora da Paz Square: This square is a great place to relax and watch the locals playing sports or relaxing on the benches.
Explore the Garota de Ipanema Park: This park is dedicated to the famous song “The Girl from Ipanema” and features a statue of the song’s muse. And then make your way to over to the Girl From Ipanema Bar known as the birthplace of Bossa Nova.
Leblon is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro and this was our favorite place to stay in Rio de Janeiro. With luxury hotels, high-end shopping, and some of the best restaurants in the city. Leblon is known for those in search of a high-end vacation with fabulous beaches. Leblon also had one of our favorite Rio de Janeiro hotels.
It is a little further from sights than Ipanema and Copacabana, but that is what makes up its charm. It’s quieter yet just as beautiful. Plus, Leblon is considered one of the safest areas to stay in Rio de Janeiro.
Best Luxury Hotel in Leblan Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort
The Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort was a luxury hotel that we never wanted to leave. Located just a little farther down the beach from the more famous Ipanema Beach, the Sheraton has what feels like a private beach as only locals take advantage of the sand. It is the only hotel with direct beach access
It has multiple pools, a spa, a fitness center, and restaurants making the Sheraton the perfect retreat from busy Rio. The newly redesigned pool area was under construction when we were there, but now you can enjoy a dip in the outdoor pool surrounded by a tropical landscape.
There are several restaurant choices including French cuisine at L’Etoile, Casarão Restaurant, Bene Restaurant, Casa da Cachaça, at the pool area. Leblon Beach is within walking distance and if you are up for a hike, the Tijuca Forest National Park is 3.4 km away. This was our favorite place to stay in Rio de Janeiro.
Best Hotels in Leblon
- Luxury: Fasano Rio de Janeiro – This luxury hotel is located on the beachfront and offers stunning views of Leblon Beach. It features a rooftop infinity pool, spa, and gourmet restaurant.
- Mid-range: Marina All Suites – This boutique hotel offers luxurious suites with balconies and ocean views. It features a rooftop pool, spa, and gourmet restaurant.
- Mid-Range: Leblon Spot Design D049 – This 2 bedroom apartment has a full kitchen, close to the beach.
Things to do in Leblon
Leblon is a trendy and upscale neighborhood that offers a variety of things to see and do that are within walking distance. Here are some of the top things to do in Leblon:
Visit Leblon Beach: This beach is less crowded than the more famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and is known for its clean sand and clear water. It is a great place to swim, sunbathe, and relax.
Take a walk at the Jardim de Allah: This park is located next to the beach and is a great place to take a walk or have a picnic.
Enjoy the nightlife: Leblon has a vibrant nightlife with many bars and restaurants that offer live music and DJs. Leblon also has has many restaurants and cafes that offer a variety of cuisine, including Brazilian, Japanese, and Italian
Visit the Cidade das Artes: This cultural center offers concerts, theater performances, and art exhibits.
Explore the Parque Natural Municipal da Catacumba: This park offers hiking trails, bike paths, and beautiful views of the city.
Visit the Museu do Acervo de Arte Urbana: This museum features graffiti and street art from local and international artists.
4. Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa is a cool, bohemian neighborhood located in the hills above Rio de Janeiro, with narrow cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and stunning views of the city. Santa Teresa is known for its boutique hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfasts. Santa Teresa is a great area to stay in Rio de Janeiro for a local vibe.
Best Luxury Hotel Santa Teresa – Rio MGallery
Hotel Santa Teresa RJ MGallery: This luxurious hotel 5-star boutique hotel is housed in a 19th-century mansion and offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool, a spa, and a gourmet restaurant.
This little oasis is surrounded by gardens and has a full-service spa offering spa treatments. Make sure to eat at its Térèze restaurant, listed in the Michelin Guide.
Suited to its bohemian neighborhood, this hotel features Brazilian designers and art from the ikes of Sergio Rodrigues, Studio Vitty, and Rock Lane.
Best Hotels in Santa Teresa
- Mama Shelter Rio: This trendy hotel features colorful rooms, a rooftop bar with stunning views, and a restaurant serving Brazilian and international cuisine.
- Casa Amarelo Boutique Hotel: This boutique hotel is located in a restored mansion and offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving French-Brazilian cuisine.
- Casa Cool Beans: This boutique hotel offers colorful rooms, a swimming pool, a rooftop terrace, and a daily breakfast with fresh fruit and Brazilian specialties.
- Santa Vista
- Casa MangoMango: This bed and breakfast is located in a colonial-style house and offers spacious rooms, a garden, and a terrace with stunning views of the city.
Things to do in Santa Teresa
Visit Parque das Ruinas: This park offers stunning views of the city and hosts cultural events, exhibitions, and concerts.
Explore the Selarón Steps: These colorful and iconic steps (Also known as the Lapa Steps) were created by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón and feature over 2,000 tiles from around the world.
Visit the Chácara do Céu Museum: This museum houses an impressive collection of Brazilian art and offers beautiful views of the city.
Wander through the streets and alleys: Santa Teresa is full of narrow streets, colorful houses, and beautiful gardens, making it a great neighborhood to explore on foot.
Have a meal or drink in one of the many restaurants and bars: Santa Teresa has a vibrant and diverse culinary scene, with options ranging from traditional Brazilian dishes to international cuisine.
Take the Bonde Tram: This historic tram takes you through the narrow streets of Santa Teresa and offers a unique perspective of the neighborhood.
Visit the Santa Teresa Convent Museum: This museum is located in a beautiful colonial building and offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the neighborhood.
Flamengo is a quiet, residential neighborhood located near the city center, with easy access to public transportation and many cultural attractions. Flamengo is known for its parks and gardens, as well as its historic architecture and museums.
It is located between Botafogo and Santa Teresa and has an ideal location making it easy to explore downtown Rio de Janeiro, and the city center, as well as other popular neighborhoods like Copacabana, Botafogo, and Lapa
Best Luxury Hotel Flamingo JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro
JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro: This elegant hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites, multiple restaurants and bars, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city and the bay. This 5 Star resort has a rooftop swimming pool offering stunning views of the beaches. Enjoy sunset at Moonlounge Rooftop Bar and international cuisine at The Carioca restaurant. There is a full service spa, beach access with sun loungers and umbrellas.
Best Hotels in Flamengo
- Hotel Novo Mundo: This historic hotel is located in a beautiful building dating back to the 19th century, offering spacious rooms and suites with views of the bay, a rooftop pool, and a restaurant serving Brazilian and international cuisine.
- Hotel Regina: This charming hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites decorated in a classic style, a restaurant serving Brazilian and international cuisine, and a bar with live music.
- Ibis Rio de Janeiro Botafogo: Located just a few minutes away from Flamengo, this budget-friendly hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and a bar.
Things to do in Flamengo
Flamengo is a great location that offers a mix of cultural attractions, outdoor activities, and scenic views of the city’s famous landmarks. Here are some of the best things to do in Flamengo:
Visit the Museu de Arte Moderna (Museum of Modern Art): This museum features a diverse collection of Brazilian and international art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations.
Walk or bike along Flamengo Park: This large park is located along the waterfront and offers beautiful views of the bay, as well as sports facilities, playgrounds, and a bike path.
Explore the Centro Cultural Oi Futuro: This cultural center offers exhibitions, workshops, and performances in the fields of art, music, and technology.
Flamengo is home to several cultural attractions, including the Museum of Modern Art (MAM), which houses a collection of contemporary artworks, and the Monument to the Dead of World War II, a significant memorial in the neighborhood. Additionally, the Municipal Theater and the Museum of Image and Sound (MIS) are located nearby in the city center.
Take a scenic cable car ride to Sugarloaf Mountain: The Sugarloaf cable car is located near Flamengo and offers breathtaking views of the city from the top of the mountain.
Visit the Casa de Rui Barbosa: This historic house museum was the former home of Brazilian statesman and writer Rui Barbosa, and features a collection of his personal belongings and documents.
Enjoy the views from the top of Morro da Viúva: This hill is located in Flamengo and offers panoramic views of the city and the bay, as well as a park with trails and picnic areas.
Lapa is a historic and lively neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, known for its samba clubs, nightlife, and cultural attractions and is a great place to stay in Rio for people on a budget.
Lapa is a historic neighborhood located in the center of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is bordered by the neighborhoods of Santa Teresa, Centro, and Glória, and it is situated near the Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Arches), a famous landmark and tourist attraction in the city. Lapa is known for its vibrant nightlife, samba clubs, bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions, such as the Selarón Steps and the Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro.
Best Hotels in Lapa
- Hotel Vila Galé Rio de Janeiro: This luxurious hotel is located in a historic building and features elegant rooms and suites, a rooftop pool and bar, a spa, and a restaurant serving Brazilian cuisine. It has a wellness center and outdoor pool with an excellent location just 600 m from Carioca´s Aqueduct and the bohemian center of Lapa.
- Selina Lapa Rio de Janeiro: This trendy and stylish hotel offers colorful and eclectic decor, comfortable rooms and suites, a rooftop bar, and a range of activities and events.
- Hotel Atlântico Avenida: This budget-friendly hotel offers basic but comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant serving Brazilian cuisine.
Things to do in Lapa
Visit the Arcos da Lapa: This historic aqueduct is an iconic landmark of Rio de Janeiro and offers stunning views of the city.
Dance the night away in one of the many samba clubs: Lapa is famous for its lively samba scene, with many bars and clubs offering live music and dancing.
Visit the Rio Scenarium: This popular bar and club is housed in a beautifully restored colonial mansion and features live music, dancing, and a lively atmosphere.
Explore the street art: Lapa is known for its vibrant street art scene, with many colorful murals and graffiti art adorning the walls of the neighborhood.
Visit the Selarón Steps: These colorful and iconic steps were created by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón and feature over 2,000 tiles from around the world.
Visit the Carioca Aqueduct: This historic aqueduct is another iconic landmark of Rio de Janeiro and offers beautiful views of the city.
Botafogo offers a great mix of nature, culture, and entertainment, making it a great place to stay in Rio de Janeiro. Located between Copacabana and Flamengo Botafogot is a central and well-connected area without the price tags of the two mor famous beaches. Making a base in Botafogo also provides easy access to other popular areas of Rio de Janeiro, such as Ipanema, Leblon, and the city center.
Best Luxury Hotel in Botafogo
Novotel Rio de Janeiro Botafogo: This modern hotel offers spacious rooms with great views. Located in the heart of Botafogo it is close to restaurants and bars. This contemporary rio hotel has a fitness center with hot tub and sauna.
Best Hotels in Botafogo
- Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro by Intercity: This upscale hotel offers modern rooms with stunning views of the bay, a rooftop pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving Brazilian cuisine.
- Lobie Botafogo Privilege: This mid range hotel offers comfortable rooms with great views of the bay, a swimming pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant
- Ibis Budget RJ Botafogo: This budget hotel offers basic rooms with great views of the bay, a snack bar, and a 24-hour front desk.
Things to do in Botafogo
Botafogo offers a great mix of nature, culture, and entertainment, making it a great place to explore while in Rio de Janeiro.
Visit Sugarloaf Mountain: Take the cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for stunning views of Rio de Janeiro and the bay.
Enjoy Botafogo Beach: Relax on the sandy beach, swim in the calm waters of the bay, or try stand-up paddleboarding.
Explore the Casa de Rui Barbosa Museum: Visit this historic museum dedicated to the life and work of the Brazilian jurist Rui Barbosa.
Discover the Indian Museum: Visit this unique museum dedicated to the indigenous cultures of Brazil and the Americas.
Walk along Flamengo Park: Take a stroll along the beautiful park that runs along the bay, visit the Museum of Modern Art or the Monument to the Dead of World War II.
Shop at Rio Sul Mall: Check out this modern mall with a variety of stores, restaurants, and cinemas.
Visit the Museum of the Republic: Explore this historic museum that showcases the history of Brazil and the life of former president Getúlio Vargas.
Take a boat tour of Guanabara Bay: Book a boat tour to explore the bay, see the city from a different perspective, and visit nearby islands.
Go to the Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences: Discover the universe at this fascinating museum, which features interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and telescopes for stargazing.
The city center, also known as Centro, is a bustling area with a mix of historic and modern buildings, museums, shops, and restaurants. It is also a transportation hub with easy access to other parts of the city, including the beaches, the mountains, and other neighborhoods.
Staying in the city center can be a good option if you want to be close to the main tourist attractions, cultural venues, and transportation options. It can also be a more affordable option compared to other areas of the city, such as the beach neighborhoods.
However, the city center can be crowded, noisy, and not as safe as other areas of the city, particularly at night. Some parts of the city center can also be deserted after business hours, making it less convenient for tourists who want to explore the city after dark.
Ultimately, it depends on your priorities and preferences. If you prefer a more relaxed and beach-oriented atmosphere, then staying in neighborhoods like Copacabana, Ipanema, or Leblon might be a better option. However, if you are interested in history, culture, and city life, then the city center might be a great place to stay.
Best Hotel Atlantico Business Centro
Novotel Rio Atlantico Business Centro – this contemporary hotel is located in the hippest neighborhood in Rio. With an outdoor swimming pool and fitness center with a steam room. It is close to Riocentro Convention Center and is great for business or pleasure. Barra Shopping or Metropolitano Barra are located opposite the hotel.
Best Hotels in Centro
Windsor Asturias Hotel: This modern and functional hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites, a rooftop swimming pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving Brazilian cuisine.
PortoBay Rio Internacional: This stylish and contemporary hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites with ocean views, a rooftop swimming pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving Brazilian and international cuisine.
Hotel Atlântico Business Centro: This budget-friendly hotel offers basic but comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving Brazilian cuisine.
Things to do in Centro
Visit the National Museum of Fine Arts: This museum houses an impressive collection of Brazilian art, as well as European paintings and sculptures.
Explore the Confeitaria Colombo: This historic café and bakery is known for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture and delicious pastries.
Visit the Candelaria Church: This impressive neo-classical church is one of the most beautiful and important religious buildings in Rio de Janeiro.
Take a stroll through the historic streets: Centro is full of beautiful colonial architecture, including the Municipal Theater, the Royal Portuguese Reading Room, and the Sao Bento Monastery.
Visit the Paço Imperial: This historic palace was once the seat of government in colonial Brazil and is now a cultural center, with exhibitions and events.
Take a tram ride: The Bonde de Santa Teresa is a historic tram that takes visitors on a scenic ride through the streets of Centro and the bohemian Santa Teresa neighborhood.
Shop at the Saara Market: This bustling market is known for its wide variety of goods, including clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs.
A trip to Rio de Janeiro is an adventure you’ll never forget. It truly is one of the best cities in the world. Not only is it beautiful, it has some of the best beaches, nightlife, cuisine, and attractions on earth. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Rio today, you won’t regret it.
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