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The Most American Neighborhood of Rio is also the least Touristic.


The Western zone of Rio de Janeiro doesn't have the seductiveness and charming atmosphere of the Southern zone, but there are still some who love its wide open beaches and numerous shopping malls.

The Western zone of Rio is fast developing with property prices on the rise over the last twentyyear's or so. The neighborhood is known for its distinctively broad avenues and big condos, Moving around Barra without any personal transportation can be a harrowing experience.

This place has some awesome malls and the beaches are a paradise for surfers and for those who just want to get away from the crowds in the Southern zone. It is also a sort of Mecca for business travelers as Barra da Tijuca has the majority of investments of the Rio Olympic Games of 2016.

The Most American Neighborhood of Rio is also the least Touristic.

Practical Tips From A Carioca

Be sure to sample some varieties of tropical fruit juices. Also taste the fruit of the moment, the Açal, which is purple in color and comes from the Amazon. There are different versions mixed with other fruit and granola, a type of mixed grain. It is very popular among the locals. Also, try the Ballad Mix sandwiches. They are a welcome snack after a day at the beach. While in town, try getting some information from the box office of Citibank Hall and the HSBC Arena. These are the largest venues and have the best shows in the neighborhood.

Tourist Attractions

People tend to give the beaches a miss as getting to the beaches is difficult due to the lack of public transportation. Don't let this stop you. Once you get there, you will see how amazing they really are. Grumari and Prainha beach are both located in a nature reserve and the untouched, natural landscape are bound to impress you.

Joatinga beach is one of the most gorgeous beaches of the city.  It can only be accessed by car but it is certainly worth the trip. Once you witness its incredible natural beauty you won’t want to leave the area.

The Barn Shopping center is also great and connects to another mall in the region, the New York City Center Mall. This alliance makes these the largest malls in the city. With over 600 stores, they are well worth a visit.

Barra’s Culinary Hotspots

They say that the best restaurants are located in the Southern zone, but Barra da Tijuca has its fair share of affluent places to eat. The famous Portuguese restaurant, Antiquarius Grill, elected as the best restaurant several times, has now opened a branch in Barra. The restaurant is located at Barra Shopping. Be sure to try the cod dishes, which are simply delicious.

For those who love their barbecue, the most prominent option would be the Ponderox High bar and Grill. The food courts also offer various types of cuisine at an affordable rate. Also worth checking out is the Rialto. It offers a cold buffet and grilled Japanese food for around 20$ a head. There are plenty of food courts at the shopping malls in Barra. You have a choice of fast food to fine dining at affordable prices. Rialto, is another great

The Most American Neighborhood of Rio is also the least Touristic

Barra by night

Some of the best nightclubs and bars can be found in Barra da Tijuca, which has a vibrant nightlife. Take some time out to have a few pre-night drinks and then visit the nightclubs to dance. The locals usually get into the party mood around midnight and those who can manage it usually go on until about 5 or 6 in the morning having fun. You can follow the local tradition of having a few drinks in the bar, commonly known as “pre-night” then head on over to the nightclubs for some dancing.

Among the well known bars in the region is Barril 8000 at Barra beach. You can dance the night away to the samba and pagode presentations or just enjoy a great appetizer while listening to Brazilian music and sipping a chilled beer.

The famous Cat Walk and Nuth Lounge are great for clubbing. The latter is very well frequented and has a daily program with a lot of dance music. The décor is quite different with its straw covered ceiling and super stylish use of wood and trunks. For those who like it a little quieter there is a garden well laid out with tables and chairs. There is also a restaurant on the second floor worth checking out.

For those who like Brazilian funk music check out the Castelo das Pedras nightclub. It is a craze among the locals, but make sure you arrive and leave by taxi since it is situated closer to the poorer section of town.

Accommodation in Barra

As the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games are due to be held here, the region has plans to build several hotels. Because of the structure of the neighborhood and its natural beauty construction has increased on a massive scale.
Currently, the best hotels are undoubtedly the Windsor and the Sheraton, both of which are located in front of the green sea and white sands of the region. Both these hotels offer impeccable service. While these are upscale hotels that may seem pricey for some, there are several less expensive options that include the Promenade Chain. Barra da Tijuca has no well known hostels, but affordable hotels such as Praia Linda and Barra Bella Flats are a good alternative for those who want to spend less.
Staying in this region has several benefits like the enormous, clean, beautiful beaches, which are not crowded and some great nightclubs and awesome malls. The drawback is the heavy traffic and the difficulty of moving around on foot which can sometimes be a nightmare.

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