Brazil may seem waaaay intimidating to a first time traveler, but we’ve got you covered. From gorgeous beaches to colonial architecture, wild parties to cultural festivals, here’s our legit #CosmoGirl guide to the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro.
1. Get your culture on in Centro! There’s no point in traveling if you don’t immerse yourself in local history. Centro is Rio’s oldest neighborhood filled with imperial palaces, baroque churches, theaters, and museums. Check out the French-inspired Teatro Municipal, the grand colonial-era Paco Imperial, and the Sao Bento Monastery where you can listen to monks as they perform the Gregorian chants. Totally IG-worthy.
Municipal Theatre of Sao Paulo
Sao Bento Monastery
2. Have a flexible itinerary. Download a good travel app like the Nativoo Travel Guide or Brasil Mobile, which create itineraries based on your preference. It also gives real time suggestions of restaurants based on where you are located at the moment. Soooo simple.
3. Soak up the Copacabana sun. Who hasn’t heard of Brazil’s famous beach? Extending 4.5 km along the Brazilian coast, each stretch has its own unique activity—from men playing football to tanned loungers sipping the national cocktail caipirinha, and vendors selling everything from bracelets to bikinis.
Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro
4. Be a smart spender. Seamlessly convert dollars, euros, and pesos to real and vice versa with the XE Currency app. This will prevent you from buying overpriced tourist trap items, too!
5. Channel your inner foodie. Brazil’s ethnically diverse cuisine—a fusion of Lebanese, Japanese, Spanish, French, and Portuguese—makes for an amazing culinary experience. Brazilian locals are known to eat and drink on the move, and Rio is dotted with barzinhos de praia—beach bars which serve fresh agua de coco, as well as botecos—little restaurants that serve empadinhas, similar to our local empanada.
6. Experience a samba show. What’s a trip to Brazil without a samba show? Soak up the vibrancy of Brazilian culture and go on a music and dance journey at the Plataforma where bejeweled, befeathered dancers perform capoeira to the beat of African percussion and rhythms of samba.
7. Download a reliable translator app. The locals speak Portuguese, and not all of them may be fluent in English. It's advisable to have Google Translate on your mobile phone just in case.
8. Be a little picky when it comes to your accommodations. Choose your hotel wisely. As good hotels are located in nice neighborhoods, it is easier to find restaurants, shops, and ATMs. Yelp, Trip Advisor, and apps such as the Brazil Travel guide, and Brazil Tourism guide feature reliable restaurant reviews.
Town of Rio Grande do Sul
9. It’s okay to be clingy! Be in contact with you travel group at all times through WhatsApp or Viber. Make sure you have access to all channels of communication.
10. Your smartphone is your best travel buddy. Your mobile phone isn’t just for taking pictures in gorgeous IG-worthy locations. It’s always good to know what you’re getting into. Whether you require a specific app or even just a way to upload your beach #selfie, it’s always ideal to have your phone with you.
Luckily for us, Smart has expanded its coverage of Smart Postpaid Surf Abroad 550. Data roaming is now available anywhere in Brazil. There’s no need to register and no need to manually select a roaming network because Smart does it automatically for you all for a flat rate of P550 per day.
So pack your suitcase, get your VSCO filters ready, and grab your mobile phone for your upcoming Brazil trip!
Want to know more about Smart Postpaid Surf Abroad 550? Click here.