First Impressions of Rio de Janeiro

First Impressions of Rio de Janeiro

I have been in Rio for the past three weeks and as I land back in the UK I thought it was time I began talking about my time in this amazing city. As I explained in this post earlier this week I’ve been struggling to actually sit down and write any blogs about travelling. However, my note book is full of journal entries and notes about the city I do really want to share, so here goes.

When I arrived in Rio there had been such a big build up to that moment I couldn’t contain my excitement/nerves. It was dark when I arrived and as I looked out of the plane window coming into land all I could see was twinkling lights on the ground. I remember walking off the plane and being hit by the heat (a welcome hit I must add). I patiently waited for my luggage, which took forever, and finally I could leave the airport, find JP and be driven back to his apartment. In the dark everything was hard to piece together, the lights were dazzling and I wasn’t sure if the shapes in the sky were mountains or clouds. By morning all became clear.

Ipanema Beach

Ipanema Beach in the day

These are my first impressions of Rio

-> It is hot

-> Beer is cheap

-> It is noisy

-> There are incredible views everywhere

-> Ipanema and Copacabana beach are just like in the photos

-> The beach is much busier at the weekend and on super sunny days

-> No pushes you to buy things at the market, browsing is okay

-> They are very proud to be Brazilian

-> Sometimes there is a weird smell

-> Each neighbourhood is very different

Sunset on Ipanema Beach

Sunset on Ipanema Beach

-> People are very friendly

-> They will continue to speak to you in Portuguese even after you apologise for not speaking the language

-> Everything is quiet before 9am except people exercising

-> The metro is really easy to use

-> It is easy to find your way around in Ipanema and Copacabana

-> Coconut water really is the best

-> You can actually see Cristo from everywhere

-> They go out any night of the week to party

-> The supermarket is like a war zone every visit

-> The supermarket also doesn’t stock much food

-> Everybody takes taxi’s because they are cheap

-> No one worries about rushing/queuing/wasting time

-> It feels safer than I imagined

-> Menus are confusing – they don’t seem to have their main meal at dinner time, oh and every meal involves meat

Ipanema at Sunrise

Ipanema at Sunrise

-> I like kilo restaurants

-> Everyone is ridiculously tanned

-> You can get by with English but it makes me want to learn Portuguese

-> If you want to exercise outside you are restricted to early morning or late evening

-> Lots of people wander around in their gym kit

-> At night the lights in the Favelas twinkle

Have you been to Rio de Janeiro? Do you agree with any of these?

Jodie Signature


  1. 9th January 2016 / 9:08 am

    Great post Jodie! I am so envious of your trip to Rio! I really want to try and get there for the olympics this summer so trying to save my ass off! Glad you had such a great time and can’t wait to read future Rio posts!

    • Jodie Louise
      11th January 2016 / 6:17 pm

      Thanks Sophie, keep saving your pennies, Rio really is going to be amazing for the Olympics (I am incredibly lucky to have tickets!)

  2. 12th January 2016 / 11:42 pm

    Hehe, that last one about the gym kit made me laugh Jodie because one of my first impressions were that people seem very comfortable walking around the Copacabana not wearing much – but the men even more than the women, which came as a bit of a surprise I must admit! I loved the vibe out there, such a buzzing city. Hope you both had a wonderful time together 🙂

    • Jodie Louise
      18th January 2016 / 9:51 pm

      Thanks Shikha, it really is an incredible city 🙂

  3. 5th May 2016 / 10:20 am

    I was impressed with the amount of people jogging, walking, biking or just being active. People were all super friendly, but I’m biased since I can speak Portuguese 🙂

    I also loved the metro, but hated the buses!

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