Things to Do in Ipanema

The twenty or so blocks that make up the Ipanema Beach neighborhood comprise one of the most popular attractions of Rio de Janeiro. The number of things to do in Ipanema include just about everything that Rio and Brazil beaches are famous for. You will find that most everything required for complete Ipanema vacations is within walking distance, including nightlife in Ipanema and daytime distractions.

First, there's the legendary Ipanema Beach itself. There are a number of things to do in Ipanema that don't require ever leaving the sand. This is the most fashionable beach to be seen at, and to people-watch on. There's Brazil beach volleyball, swimming and surfing. Little barracas (bars) dot the beach, and strolling vendors will supply you with everything from cold drinks to umbrellas. There's plenty of nightlife in Ipanema at the beach as well as in the nearby nightclubs, and you can probably find at least one open invitation beach party regardless of which night of the week it is.

Venture into the neighborhood streets to discover complete Ipanema vacations in what is a self-contained city within a city. Near where the Rio de Janeiro beaches of Ipanema and Leblon meet is an area known as Diamond Row, where you will find the famous Amsterdam Sauer Museum of diamonds and precious gems. You can marvel at the gems and learn about the history of diamond mining in Brazil. You'll also find some designer shops like Cartier and Louis Vuitton.

Also on the list of things to do in Ipanema is to browse the art galleries. Ask for directions to Bolsa de Arte and Galeria de Ipanema, which is right on the beach. Both of these exhibit works by important Brazilian artists. And be sure to seek out the weekly Sunday Hippie Fair in which nearly half a century of laid-back hippie history and art can be re-experienced. Or spend some time simply strolling along the streets, admiring the gracious residential buildings and elegant Rio hotels.

For nightlife in Ipanema you will want to explore the baixos, a word the local Cariocas use to indicate a block or area with a concentrated number of cafés, bistros, and nightclubs. Look for Baixo Quiteria and Baixo Farme. As in the New Orleans French Quarter, the streets outside these bars are party spots. Patrons, with their drinks in hand, stroll from bar to bar as they make merry in the streets. And, you can discover the history of the bossa nova in the Montenegro area. According to urban legend, a bar here is where the lyrics to "The Girl from Ipanema" were written on a napkin. Go to Peace Square (Praca da Paz) and Visconde de Piraja for the best restaurants in Ipanema as well as many boutiques and shops.

Ipanema benefits from an extensive bus transportation network, and you can catch a bus to most everywhere in Rio de Janeiro on the main avenue that runs parallel to the beach. In the event you tire of all that Ipanema vacations have to offer, buses will give you opportunity to participate in Rio tours to places like Corcovado Mountain, crowned with the towering Christ the Redeemer statue.

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