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Ipanema

Another beautiful day on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro Bursting with great sights, fantastic dining, and plenty of shopping opportunities, it is no mystery why Ipanema is one of the most famous neighborhoods in Rio. Rua Visconde de Piraje is a sure spot for fabulous shopping. Some of the best restaurants and hottest nightspots await on Rua Pail Redfern. The area is also home to a handful of fine museums and top art galleries, an avant garde theater, and excellent hotels all within walking distance. However, the highlight of Ipanema has to be its legendary beach, where you'll be sure to find some of the most beautiful Rio residents relaxing within some of the most beautiful Rio scenery.

Ipanema is the birthplace of Bossa Nova, Brazil's greatest singer and songwriter, and just like his famous song, "Girl from Ipanema," the residents here truly seem to march to a different beat than the rest of the city. Locals can be found enjoying themselves, meandering around the quiet blocks while on their way to the beach.

Ipanema also offers some of the most exclusive stores in the city. Visitors can find fine leather goods, upscale men and women's clothing, and plenty of unique gifts at the many arts & crafts stores. There are also a couple of small malls, bookstores, and music stores scattered throughout the main thoroughfare that is Rua Visconde de Piraja.

Also worth noting is that Ipanema is given credit for spicing up the tradition of Carnival, helping it to become the amazing extravaganza that it is today. This is due to the Banda de Ipanema, which began as a celebration of a few dozen friends, exploding into the most celebrated neighborhood band in Rio. Recently, it is the Banda de Ipanema which always opens Carnival festivities in Rio.

Locations of Note
Praca General Osorio
This is where the weekly Hippie Fair is held, officially named Feira de Artezanato de Ipanema (Handcrafts & Art Fair of Ipanema.) Every Sunday this street is turned into a collage of Handmade art, Brazilian musical instruments, local foods and many other attractions that make this the perfect place to walk away with a piece of Rio to share with your friends at home.

Club Chocolate
A place for the fashion-conscientious 20 year old Brazilian girl (and you!). Offers accessories, clothing, music and even a cafe (though the last isn't recommended.)
Sao Conrado Fashion Mall - Estrada da Gavea



Bar 20
The Bar Vinte square is right next to Leblon and marks the beginning of Ipanema. A controversial Obelisk was erected to serve as a giant, 60 ft. street lamp. Designed by Paulo Case, the adjacent pedestrian walkways right next to residential windows created quite a stir with the locals, who prevented steps being installed leading to the walkway. This neighborhood also has one of the few traditional ice cream factories in Rio, the Sorveteria Italia, which serves up the best sorbet.

Emporio
Situated right next to the beach, this bar attracts a younger, more alternative crowd and serves very cheap drinks.
Rua Maria Quiteria 25.

Diamond Row and Rua Garcia D'Avila
Rio's Diamond Row is situated a couple of blocks from Bar 20 and between Garcia D Avila and Anibal de Mendonca. Check out the Amsterdam Sauer Museum of Gems, which has the largest private collection of precious stones. The museum also has life-size reproductions of mining sites, which contain replicas of emerald, aquamarine, and tourmarine mines. Similar to New York's 5th Avenue, the Rua Garcia D'Avila is one of the most expensive and sophisticated shopping areas in Rio. Here you'll find high-end designer furniture, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Mont Blanc, and many others.
Museum Sauer Website

Rua Vinicius de Moraes
This area has had a great influence on Brazil, particularly because of it's strong Bossa Nova flavor. There are many interesting bars and restaurants, including the famous Velloso Bar, where Vinivius de Moraes and Tom Jobim wrote the song, "Girl from Ipanema." The song became a hit in Brazil and soon the street was changed from Montenegro to Vinivius de Moraes. The bar is now called Bar Garota de Ipanema. For Bossa Nova fans or the curious, check out Toca do Vinicius, a specialty shop with music, literature, and memorabilia.

Praca da Paz
If you need a mid-day respite from the bustling city, Praca da Paz is a beautiful green plaza that is tranquil urban oasis. With it's beautiful art-deco sculptures, duck ponds, and statues, many people relax on the well-manicured lawns in the Peace Square. There is a farmer's market on Fridays and tai-chi-chuan practice in the mornings. All sorts of restaurants, bars, cafes, boutiques, and a small church also surround the plaza.

Praca General Osorio
This is the place to be during Carnival, where the Band de Ipanema gathers to open the festivities. Also, make sure to check out the hippie fair on Sundays, where Brazilians sell their finest handicrafts, artwork, music and local flavor. The area also has practical things like a supermarket, post office, and several restaurants.

Visconde de Piraja
This is the main commercial street in Ipanema and has many lovely boutiques. You'll also find bookstores, hotels, nightclubs, and restaurants along this beautiful street. Another street close by that is worth checking out is Farme de Amoedo.

Baixo Quiteria
Located on Ruia Maria Quiteria between Prudent and Visconde is Baixo Quiteria, an area with a strong bar and café culture. This is a great place to relax at an outdoor café and watch the young crowd hanging out. A popular bar is the Bofetada on the Rua Rame de Amoedo.

Art Galleries
The two major art galleries in Ipanema are Bolsa de Arte on Rua Prudente de Morais and the Galeria de Ipanema on Anibal de Mendonca near the beach. Both house some of the most important contemporary Brazilian paintings and sculptures.
Bolsa de Arte Website
Galeria de Ipanema Website

Theatres
Teatro de Ipanema features cutting edge avant-garde theatre and is located on the tree-lined street between the beach and Visconde de Piraja. Just around the corner on Visconde de Piraja is Estacao Ipanema movie theatre. Other film houses in the area are Laura Alvim on Av. Vieira Souto and Candido Mendes on Rua Joana Angelica.
Lodging
Listed below are some of the 5 and 4 star hotels of Ipanema.

Golden Tulip Ipanema Plaza (5 stars)
This is the newest deluxe hotel in Rio de Janeiro and is located right next to the beach and only 5 minutes from Copacabana. This hotel has 18 floors, 135 rooms, and easy access to great shopping and the downtown area. A very elegant and architecturally beautiful hotel.

Caesar Park Ipanema (5 stars)
This is one of the best hotels in Rio de Janeiro and is located right in the middle and in front of the beautiful beach.

Everest Rio Hotel (4 stars)
Holds 156 rooms and easy access to the main tourist attractions, including downtown and the beach. Located on Rua Prudente de Moraes.




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