When we travel, while we enjoy the main attractions of an area, we also like to mix with the local population and truly experience what it is like to live like a native. The key to living like one of the locals is knowing where they live, where they dine and where they play.
How to Live like a Native
Instead of selecting a hotel in an area filled with tourists keep an eye out for a bed and breakfast in a residential neighborhood. One of the safest residential neighborhoods in Rio is Saint Teresa. Filled with artist and hippies it has a quaint bohemian style. It sits on top of Santa Teresa hill near the Centro district of Rio. Some of the better Bed and Breakfasts in the area include Pousada Pitanga just steps away from the tram and the eco-friendly Bellas Artes Guest House. Barra da Tijuca is another excellent residential neighborhood where many wealthy residents live. Get a room at Casa Da Guedes which is pet friendly and in walking distance to Pepe beach favored by the local residents. www.bedandbreakfast.com/brazil
Other options aside from Bed and Breakfasts are apartments, condominiums and homes for rent. Online companies have listings of apartments and condominiums in popular residential buildings located in Barra, Ipanema, Arpoador and Copacabana. Consider renting a home in a residential neighborhood as another means of immersing yourself in the local culture.
Dining Like the Native Do
Truly dining like a local means a breakfast of cheese and fruit, a very large lunch usually consisting of several courses and a light supper. Try to select restaurants that serve comida a kilo or buffet style where diners pay by the weight of the food they eat. The locals prefer Fellini restaurant in Leblon. Another style of eating in Rio is rodizio, which means “all you can eat”. One of the local favorites is Marius in Leme. Other options for rodizio dining include Carretão or Porcão. Try to select some of the local dishes such as feijoada; a black bean soup, coxinha; a chicken nugget or joelho; a ham and cheese dough ball.
Partying Like A Native
If you are into electronic music and want to dance all night consider visiting Bombar or Melt in Leblon. Keep in mind that many of these younger dance clubs are mainly pick up joints. Bars are very popular in Rio and locals visit to kick back a chopp or cold draft beer. Some of the favorite bars among the locals include Sindicato do Chopp on Avenida Atlantica in Copacabana near Posto 5, Cervantes on Rua Prado Junior and Academia da Cachaca on Rua Conde de Bernadotte in Leblon.