We spoke to our local guide in Rio De Janeiro, Flavia, and asked her about the best day trips you could do from the city. Here is what she had to say:
‘You should visit a city called Niterói, you can get here by just crossing a bridge. You could take a bus here but also a public ferry. You’ll certainly be experiencing the way of the locals. The city is well known for being the home of architect Oscar Neimeyer. He was a very modern architect and created many different masterpieces. People say that he is the Brazilian Gaudi. There work is different but both are very innovative and truly shaped the cities that they lived in. In the city there are many buildings that were created by Niemeyer.
Niterói has a park that you can go and watch hand-gliders as well as witness the view of the city. The view is of Rio but from a different perspective and is spectacular. You should go to the top of the mountain and you can also admire the work of Niemeyer. Crossing the bridge itself you will see some beautiful views.’
‘Another place you should visit is Petropolis which is only an hour away from Rio. There is a lot of cultural things to see here. When the emperor of Portugal came to Brazil, he decided to live there because the climate was milder than Rio because it is in the mountains. He built a castle there which is now a museum.’
‘There is also a crystal palace. You should also check out the house of the Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont contrary to popular belief was the original inventor of the aeroplane. The house where he lived is now a museum for all of his many inventions.’
‘Also, for those who like beer, there is a big Brazilian brewery that you can take a guided tour of. You can see how they produce the beer and of course, have a taste of their products.’
Petropolis is a small mountain town and a true oasis in comparison to the bustle of Rio. This little town might be a perfect destination for those struggling to find accommodation during the Carnival. It is an hour bus journey away but is nice to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city.
‘Búzios is another nice place to visit although is a bit further away from Rio. I would recommend staying over night in the city so that you have plenty of time to explore. It is a peninsula and so has many beaches with calm oceans.’
‘They also have a city centre with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops. It is a very charming and nice place to stroll around.’
Búzios is a truly glamorous town attracting some of the rich and famous. The town’s beaches are stunning and you can easily find a quiet spot to relax and watch the waves. The water is perfect to go paddle boarding and you can rent the boards out relatively cheaply on the water front. There are also a number of restaurants on the beach front as well as a few less tourist-y ones further back.