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BOTAFOGO/FLAMENGO

Botafogo and Flamengo offers Bars, Restaurants, Cinemas, and Museums. Almost always with Great Views of the Sugar Loaf and the Christ.

Overview

The areas of Flamengo and Botafogo were the first region in the south zone that was occupied residentially. The urban reforms of this region in the early and mid twentieth century led to the removal of slums, widening of roads and all round improvement in the region’s infrastructure. This obviously led to an increase in population and commercial interest in this area.

Thanks to the reforms, these two neighborhoods offer a high quality of life. The neighborhood of Flamengo is more residential in nature while nearby Botafogo, is more commercial and hosts several companies and shopping malls. Botafogo is a shopper’s paradise. It has an array of shops while most of its malls have over 600 shops and restaurants designed to cater to the needs of every shopper.  Flamengo Park is home to great bars, quality restaurants, museums and plenty of tourist attractions that make it a great place to visit. Several streets in the area offer magnificent views of Corcovado and Sugar Loaf mountains.

Botafogo

Tourist Attractions

The Urca neighborhood, which is adjacent to the Botafogo neighborhood, is a place which you must add to your itinerary. The district has some of the most beautiful views of the city and has managed to maintain its rustic charm over the past century.

Flamengo is home to several important museums such as the Palace of the Republic, which served as the seat of the Brazilian government for manyyear's. The museum is also known for its impressive architecture.

The Museum of Modern Art in Flamengo Park is worth a visit both for its modernist art and for architecture. It houses over 11,000 works including paintings, sculptures and engravings by both Brazilian and foreign artists. The Modern Art Museum is also the home to highly specialized library and a popular cinematheque. The Museum Oi Futuro frequently hosts temporary exhibitions which are usually of contemporary art.

The Flamengo Park features gardens designed by Burle Max and is an attraction that you must not miss when touring the region. It is the largest leisure park in Rio de Janeiro. You can embark on an guided tour in an electric car, which is a great way to learn more about the history of neighborhood. The views of Guanabara Bay and Sugar Loaf are particularly impressive.

A great place to watch the sunset and cool off with a pitcher of beer is at Bar Urca. If you are feeling energetic, you can take the Claudio Coutinho that leads to the first stage of Sugar Loaf. Although the ascent may be a bit strenuous at times, it is well worth the effort considering the spectacular view of the surrounding.

Practical Tips From a Carioca

The cinema halls of Botafogo are a pleasant attraction. It doesn’t matter whether you are a movie buff or not, the experience of these places is completely different. The largest is located at the Botafogo Praia Shopping Mall and Rio Sul Mall. However, the most charming cinemas are the ones that show films outside the commercial circuit. The Grupo Estação Chain owns the Unibanco Arteplex, Espaço de Cinema and Estação Botafogo which showcase independent and offbeat cinema. Some of these cinema houses also have cafeterias, bookstores and a very cozy social space which is the perfect way to relax and unwind.

If you are an avid photographer, you can head over to the 8th floor of the Botafogo Priaia Shopping Mall to take some beautiful shots of Sugar Loaf in the background.

Avoid walking on Botafogo Beach and Flamengo Park at night for safety purposes. Another fun activity is to navigate the waters of Guanabara Bay. The water quality may not be the best, as is to be expected from a bay that is by a metropolis, however, the fantastic view more than makes up for it. You can take a boat ride for about $50 per head. The Pint Fleet boat plies between Copacabana on Friday at 21:15 and Saturday at 11:45.

Botafogo

Botafogo at Night

Botafogo has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of bars that are open to those from alternative societies as well. Most of the bars are concentrated in the Baixo Botafogo area near the beach. Voluntários da Pátria Street is home to several bars. You can have loads of fun by the beach then head on over to the bar for a cold beer and delicious appetizers.

The Bukowski bar at Alvaro Ramos Street is perfect for those who know how to appreciate their drinks and enjoy a round of hookah. The nightclubs usually play indie and international music and national pop/rock. Pista 3 and Casa da Matriz are famous clubs. Casa da Matriz is known for its traditional atmosphere and young alternative audience. It’s definitely a place worth visiting if you are tired of the trendy club scene.

The neighborhood of Flamengo has some of the most elegant bars in the region.  There are several scattered throughout the neighborhood although the most popular place ones are on   Marquês de Abrantes Street. Devassa, Belmonte, Adega do Juca and Picote are the most famous bars.  Devassa is reputed to be the largest bar and it specializes in a variety of international beers which made the bar a hot favorite.

Cobal, located in the small neighborhood of Humaita, adjacent to Botafogo, is a place worth a visit. This is basically a large open square with many bars and restaurants with open air seating. You can enjoy a drink on the sidewalk while observing the variety in the nightlife. One the weekends you will find plenty of locals and tourists throng the pubs and restaurants in the area.

 Botafogo’s Culinary Hotspots

The neighborhood of Botafogo offers a variety of fine dining options. Apart from these, a number of inexpensive restaurants serve some of the best cuisine in the region. The neighborhood is home to several companies; therefore, it isn’t to find cuisine of your choice.

Majórica is one such famous restaurant which offers a fine and cozy atmosphere with a delicious menu. Another great choice is Intihuasi, which is the only restaurant that specializes in Peruvian food in town. Don’t forget to sample the most popular dish, Chicarron al pisco, which consists of pork ribs and sirloin in pisco sauce.

Laguiole is another well known restaurant housed in the Museum of Modern Art that specializes in contemporary dishes. The black and white décor suits the restaurants contemporary look. The Barracuda, located on the shores of Guanabara Bay, is the ideal place for a romantic evening. The restaurant serves a variety of seafood dishes that are a local favorite.

Cariocas love their meat and Estrela do Sul is the right place for a delicious barbecue and buffet. For a fixed price you can eat as much as you like. ‘A Mineira’ is another restaurant that specializes in cuisine from Minas Gerais and has a large and loyal following. Tourists ought to definitely stop by for buffet.

Miam Miam is a favorite among the young generations and is highly recommended by many in Botafago. Apart from a wide range of cuisine and drinks, the restaurant is well known for its efficient and hospitable staff who are always ready to serve you with a smile.

Accommodation in Botafogo

The region does is not known for larger, five star luxury hotels.  Most of the existing hotels are targeted at business clientele due to the large number of businesses located in the area. The Caesar Business and Windsor Florida are the largest hotels catering to a number of tourists and local businessmen.  Hotel Novo Mundo is also another good option with reasonable tariffs.

Several hostels in the region of Botafogo are highly sought after by travelers looking for cheap accommodation outside of Ipanema and Copacabana. Brothers, on Farani Street, which has a few bars that are highly frequented on weekends, is one of the most recommended hostels.

The reopening of Hotel Gloria is expected to revitalize the neighborhood. Gloria is a 5 star hotel that is expected to compete with Copacabana Palace as one of the best and fanciest hotels in town.

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