Sundays are sacred. Whether you spend the day exploring local art and architecture, browsing market stops, or indulging in culinary delights, there’s no denying the seventh and final day of the week is reserved for discovery as a ritual. This Sunday, we explore the best of Rio de Janeiro.
Two Brothers Mountain on Ipanema beach, photo courtesy of Aleksandar Todorovic/ Shutterstock Inc
When it comes to stunning environs, you’d be hard-pressed to find a spot more awash in riches than Rio de Janeiro. Nature was generous with the city—its unique landscape is shaped by hills, mountains, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Rio is also known for its Carnival, celebrated just before Lent, but the festive atmosphere remains in the city throughout the year. Visiting Rio de Janeiro is an opportunity to enjoy a vibrant nightlife, see fantastic art galleries, and taste a creative cuisine.
Located in Leblon, one of the most elegant neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, this airy four-floor home impresses with its impeccable finishings, and is the perfect place to begin your Rio adventures. The spacious 1,240 square-meter house features a wine cellar, library, and five suites, and is surrounded by lush greenery. Outdoors, you can find a pool, steam room, and gourmet cooking space, all intended to create paradise in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Leblon beach in Rio, photo courtesy of Ines Sacrament / Shutterstock Inc
Sunday mornings are normally quiet in Leblon. Take advantage of the calm and enjoy breakfast at Talho Capixaba, where outdoor tables and homemade breads bring to mind Paris cafés. Or walk to the nearby Confeitaria Kurt to taste one of the famous Damascus pies. Breakfast pastries are in no short supply, and Leblon’s guests should most certainly indulge.
After breakfast, take a short bike ride or moderate walk to nextdoor-neighborhood, Ipanema, to visit the Galeria de Arte Ipanema, one of the first art galleries in Brazil. The gallery remains one of the most important in the country and hosts exhibitions of modern and contemporary Brazilian art. Another stop for art lovers is Cassia Bomeny Galeria, a hotspot for geometric abstract art featuring the works of important contemporary creators.
If you wander through Ipanema and Leblon on Sunday, you may come across local artists selling their work, most commonly at art and handicraft fairs at Praça General Osório and Antero de Quental Square.
Shop at the conveniently-named Shopping Leblon center, located near the beach and offering options ranging from Brazilian fashion brands to Coach, Hugo Boss, and Chanel cosmetics. In Ipanema, the Rua Garcia D’Avila is home to Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and a surprisingly charming Nespresso pitstop.
Helicopter tours around Rio de Janeiro, photo courtesy of Philipe Cavalcante / Unsplash
Ring in the afternoon by appreciating the best of Brazilian cuisine. Quitéria serves traditional dishes prepared with local, seasonal ingredients: the grilled octopus and pork ribs are two popular options. For dessert, the tapioca pudding is certainly worth trying.
After lunch, walk the half block to Ipanema Beach, famous thanks to the 1962 song “Girl from Ipanema”, written by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. The beach is where the Cariocas—Rio locals—spend their Sundays. Blend in by visiting one of the many beach kiosks: Kiosk Marea, managed by Hotel Fasano, is the ideal venue for drinking caipirinha and tasting their inspired menu.
Post beach drink, Rio’s more adventurous visitors can take to the air by heading west to Barra da Tijuca to rent a helicopter and see the city from an entirely new angle. The tours organized by Comandante Nobre can last up to 60 minutes, and provide stunning views of famous landmarks including Cristo Redentor, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Macacanã Stadium.
By the end of the afternoon, tourists and locals alike gather back at Ipanema at Pedra do Arpoador for just one reason: it’s impossible to have a better view of the sunset than from this rocky peninsula. The atmosphere is one that needs to be experienced to be believed.
Gurumê in Rio, photo courtesy of Gurumê
Dinner in Rio is, like the rest of the city, a winning experience. For those in search of sashimi, Sushi Leblon is one of the best options in the city and has a star-studded client list. Also in Leblon, Nola serves traditional comfort food, and the homemade pasta is a highlight.
If you find yourself in Ipanema, Gurumê serves Japanese fusion, while Gero offers sophistication and award-winning Italian cuisine. For a taste of the sea, try Satyricon for mediterranean flavors and fresh catches.
Having sampled the best of the city’s gastronomy, rest assured, nightlife in Rio doesn’t disappoint. In Leblon, Jobi and Bar Bracarense serve traditional appetizers in relaxed environs where you can sit back and have a chopp.In Ipanema, the Ocean 23 Lounge rooftop bar at the Sofitel Ipanema offers a mesmerizing view to the beach, with a drinks menu that plays with ingredients like cupuaçu and açaí berry. Award-winning cocktails and British-Italian panache can be found at the Baretto-Londra. Finding a picturesque after-hours spot in Rio is the work of a moment; ending the night is another challenge altogether.
Rio de Janeiro has more than earned its reputation as the “Marvelous City”. Full of inspiration and vivacity, Brazil’s seaside gem is the perfect place to spend a Sunday.
It’s tempting to make a Sunday in Rio last all week. Set yourself up to host at one of these local luxury homes, with the best of Brazil only a step away.