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Barra da Tijuca picture in Rio de Janeiro
marchello74 / Getty Images

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  • Beaches, Shopping, Neighborhood/Area Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.0
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  • Value
    5.0
  • Food Scene
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    3.5

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Barra da Tijuca's expansive 11-mile stretch of coastline and adjacent shopping center, known to Cariocasas "Barra," is popular among locals. Recent travelers say it has a more relaxed environment than the sands at Copacabana and Ipanema. Visitors enjoy the clean waters, as well as its ideal conditions for water sports like windsurfing and bodyboarding. Along the shore, you'll find plenty of inexpensive shops, bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as kiosks selling coconut water.

Because of its extensive shoreline and less dense population, the area will be home to the largest number of venues for the 2016 Olympic Games. The neighborhood will stage 23 Olympic sports, including basketball, tennis and all aquatic events.

The adjacent shopping center, known as Barra Shopping, is Brazil's largest commerce complex, featuring retail, entertainment, dining and business centers totaling more than 700 stores. Hours for shops and other stores vary within the center, check Barra Shopping's website (written in Portuguese) for more information.

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#1 Christ the Redeemer This iconic landmark is a must-see attraction in Rio. Recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this statue of Jesus Christ stands with arms outstretched to the ... Read more » Image Source / Getty Images

#2 Jardim Botanico Spread out across more than 340 acres, this botanical paradise awes its visitors with more than 6,000 indigenous and exotic species of flora. This serene garden hosts everything from ... Read more » Kseniya Ragozina / Getty Images

#3 Tijuca National Park Outdoorsy types love exploring this expansive green rainforest. Covering 8,300 acres, Tijuca National Park is the largest urban rainforest on the planet. The natural beauty of the park can ... Read more » Leonardo Martins / Getty Images

#4 Ipanema Beach Made famous by the well-known bossa nova song, "The Girl from Ipanema," this beach has drawn tourists since the 1960s. The 2-mile stretch of sand boasts gorgeous mountain views, beautiful ... Read more » Marcia Rosa / Getty Images

#5 Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar) Standing high above Rio's bustling metropolis at 1,299 feet, Sugar Loaf Mountain cascades over the picturesque Guanabara Bay. From Praia Vermelha in the residential Urca district, you can ... Read more » dabldy / Getty Images

#6 Lapa If you come to Rio to revel in samba, Lapa is the place for you. This festive neighborhood ignites at night, when locals swing their hips and sip on delectable ... Read more » Courtesy of Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau

#7 Prainha Known as Brazil's "little" beach, this remote paradise  sits about 20 miles west of Ipanema Beach, but is well worth the jaunt. Prainha's magnificent shoreline features a backdrop ... Read more » Igor Prahin / Getty Images

#8 Copacabana Beach One of Rio's most popular shores, Copacabana is a public beach located in the heart of the luxurious Zona Sul neighborhood. The beach is marked by postos, or lifeguard ... Read more » Lost Horizon Images / Getty Images

#9 Santa Teresa This hilly bohemian district boasts an eclectic array of art and architecture. Strolling along Santa Teresa's cobblestone streets, you'll be enchanted by sidewalk mosaics, palatial mansions and artsy ... Read more » Luiz Grillo / Getty Images

#10 Barra da Tijuca Barra da Tijuca's expansive 11-mile stretch of coastline and adjacent shopping center, known to Cariocasas "Barra," is popular among locals. Recent travelers say it has a more relaxed ... Read more » marchello74 / Getty Images

#11 Grumari Beach You won't find beachfront restaurants, luxurious hotels or plentiful kiosks here. Without them, you'll have space to stretch out on the nearly 2 miles of white and red ... Read more » Luiz Felipe Castro / Getty Images

#12 Ilha Fiscal Set apart from the bustling sights and sounds of central Rio, this remote neo-Gothic castle rests on a tucked away island in the Guanabara Bay. Completed in 1889 and once ... Read more » PedroKirilos / Flickr

Christ the Redeemer picture in Rio de Janeiro
Jardim Botânico picture in Rio de Janeiro
Tijuca National Park  picture in Rio de Janeiro
Ipanema Beach picture in Rio de Janeiro
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Nightlife in Lapa picture in Rio de Janeiro
Prainha Beach picture in Rio de Janeiro
Copacabana picture in Rio de Janeiro
Santa Teresa picture in Rio de Janeiro
Barra da Tijuca picture in Rio de Janeiro
Grumari Beach picture in Rio de Janeiro
Ilha Fiscal picture in Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer picture in Rio de Janeiro
Jardim Botânico picture in Rio de Janeiro
Tijuca National Park  picture in Rio de Janeiro
Ipanema Beach picture in Rio de Janeiro
Sugar Loaf Mountain picture in Rio de Janeiro
Nightlife in Lapa picture in Rio de Janeiro
Prainha Beach picture in Rio de Janeiro
Copacabana picture in Rio de Janeiro
Santa Teresa picture in Rio de Janeiro
Barra da Tijuca picture in Rio de Janeiro
Grumari Beach picture in Rio de Janeiro
Ilha Fiscal picture in Rio de Janeiro

The Christ the Redeemer statue stands as a religious and culture symbol for the Brazilian people.  Image Source / Getty Images

Rio's serene Jardim Botânico sprawls across 340 acres. Kseniya Ragozina / Getty Images

Tijuca National Park covers 8,300 acres, making it the largest urban rainforest in the world.  Leonardo Martins / Getty Images

The sands of Ipanema Beach are ideal for people-watching.  Marcia Rosa / Getty Images

Sugar Loaf Mountain watches over Rio with it's peak at 1,299 feet.  dabldy / Getty Images

If you came to Rio to experience real samba music, Lapa is the neighborhood to go.  Courtesy of Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Prainha is known as Rio's "little" beach. Igor Prahin / Getty Images

Cariocas and tourists alike flock to Rio's world-renowned Copacabana Beach. Lost Horizon Images / Getty Images

Santa Teresa's hilly neighborhood boasts beautiful vistas of the water and plenty of impressive homes and art galleries. Luiz Grillo / Getty Images

Barra da Tijuca offers 11 miles of coastline and the biggest shopping center in the city.  marchello74 / Getty Images

Part of a nature reserve, Grumari Beach is a hidden treasure for locals.  Luiz Felipe Castro / Getty Images

A sparkling beacon for visitors, this Gothic castle is located on the remote Fiscal Island, near the Centro neighborhood. PedroKirilos / Flickr

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