Copacabana is among the most popular neighborhoods in the dynamic city of Rio de Janeiro. Predominantly known for its spectacular two-and-a-half-mile beach, this neighborhood has little trouble attracting tourists, not to mention locals. Numerous hotels line the world-famous beach, as do a number of residential properties, and closer to the water, the long Copacabana Promenade invites visitors to stroll, jog, and roller blade along the sand. Among the best beach destinations in South America, Copacabana offers plenty for the visitor enjoy, and the fun definitely doesn't have to stop when the sun goes down.

When it comes to things to do in Copacabana, spending time at the beach is the top priority. The neighborhood's curved beach boasts soft white sand and turquoise-blue waters that are rarely rough. It's a splendid beach for swimming, and when the waves are up, you can also consider trying your hand at surfing. Sunbathing is also popular, and should you be feeling more active when it comes to land-based activities, you might build a sandcastle or play some beach volleyball. The Copacabana Promenade is always there when you don't want to get sand in your shoes.

Spending time at the beach might top the list of things to do in Copacabana, but it's not the only option. Shopping and dining are also among the top pursuits. The wide Avenida Atlantica runs along the beach, and the neighborhood streets that move inland off of it are home to scores of restaurants. Two blocks inland, Nossa Senhora de Copacabana runs parallel to the Avenida Atlantica. This is the main shopping street in Copacabana, and it's also home to its fair share of hotels, bars, and restaurants. As for the shops that you will find in the neighborhood, they include a bunch of enticing boutiques and specialty stores.

Enjoying some nightlife and taking in a special event are just two more options for things to do Copacabana. The bars and night clubs in this renowned neighborhood are among the most lively in Rio de Janeiro. As far as events are concerned, Copacabana Beach is the place to be for the city's New Year's Eve celebrations. Free concerts, some of which are large and feature big name acts, are also held at the neighborhood's prized beach from time to time, as are volleyball and sand soccer tournaments of varying kinds. Getting back to the New Year's Eve celebrations, it is worth noting that they attract millions of people on an annual basis. Most of the revelers wear white for good luck, as according to local tradition, and many also bring a white flower to offer to the Brazilian goddess of the seas. At midnight, a dazzling fireworks display helps to usher in the new year.

When looking for things to do in Copacabana, you might venture over to the Copacabana Fort for a quick tour. This fort at the corners of Copacabana Beach and Arpoador Beach is now a cultural center and is open to the public. On a visit, you can check out the interior, not to mention enjoy excellent views of Copacabana Beach, Ipanema, and Leblon from its various vantage points. It is also worth noting that Sugarloaf Mountain isn't far away if you're interested in amazing views while in the area.

There are more than 60 hotels in Copacabana, and for budget travelers, several hostels can be found in the neighborhood. When staying at a luxury hotel is the aim, it's hard to beat the Hotel Copacabana Palace. This landmark hotel is among the most glamorous hotels in all of Rio and has hosted more than its fair share of dignitaries and luminaries over the years.

If you aren't staying in Copacabana during your time in Rio, getting there is made easy by the fact that the neighborhood is home to three metro stops. These stops include the Cardeal Arcoverde, the Siqueira Campos, and the Cantagalo stations. More than 40 bus routes serve the borough, offering another cost-effective means of transportation, and you can always take a taxi or hire limo for the ride over if you please. If nothing else, you might drop by for a quick stroll along the Copacabana Promenade before you venture off to another attraction or another part of town. No trip to Rio de Janeiro would arguably be complete without some time in Copacabana, even if you don't have a lot of time to spare.

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