The 2016 Summer Games Are Coming To Rio
We are well under way with preparations for this momentous event; from organizing luxury Rio de Janeiro apartment rentals to tickets to the Opening Ceremony and from hosting corporate events to bespoke Olympic Games concierge. Make sure you don’t miss a beat with our definitive guide to the 2016 Rio Olympics with everything you need to know.
Rio de Janeiro is famous for hosting great parties, especially the breathtaking Carnival parades and the unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebrations in Copacabana attracting over 2 million people every year. Cariocas are proud of their marvelous city and love nothing more than an opportunity to show it off. Last year, in 2014 Brazil hosted arguably the best World Cup on record, with Rio de Janeiro and the Maracanã Stadium sitting pride of place in the spotlight. There are even higher expectations about the 2016 Olympic Games, the world’s largest sporting event, taking place in Rio de Janeiro. So what are you waiting for? Grab your Havaianas, suncream and book a trip of a lifetime to support your country’s national team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
1. Where to stay
One of the most important factors when you’re choosing a luxury rent in Rio is where it is located. Now, of course the best thing is to stay as close as possible to the venues where your favorite sports will be taking place and you can cheer on your favorite athletes. With venues located all over the city, we offer you our ‘insider advice’ on the best neighborhoods to stay for the Olympic Games.
Two main areas stand a head and shoulder above the rest; West Zone’s Barra da Tijuca and the South Zone. Both regions are vastly different from one another. While the former is famous for modern shopping malls and speeding freeways, South Zone is known for oozing that traditional Carioca-chic street-life energy. Buildings in South Zone also tend to be much smaller with traditional Rio architecture, whereas in Barra modern steel and glass high-rises are the norm. Both areas boast stunning beaches meaning you are guaranteed to get that famous Brazilian tan.
Renting an apartment in Zona Sul (including Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, and Jardim Botânico) offers the best of both worlds. Staying here means you’ll experience everything that Rio is famous for. Not only can you visit all the most famous spots including Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain, soak up the vibrant nightlife and dining scene, but you are also close to many of Olympic Games venues. Alternatively, Barra da Tijuca, Rio’s newest neighborhood is a short drive into Rio’s West Zone, offers a modern alternative to the classic Rio experience. With towering skyscrapers, modern restaurants and new shopping malls, you are guaranteed to stay in style.
2. The Olympic clusters
Competition venues will be located in four different areas of Rio, which are relatively far away from each other yet will be connected by a network of expressways easily accessible by taxi and bus services. While the road cycling and marathon competitions will be spread across more than one region of Rio, all other sports will be held in specific venues or areas as you can see below:
a) Barra da Tijuca – Barra is the newest neighborhood in Rio and the one in which the city’s impressive real estate boom has been concentrated. This is definitely the place to be if you want to be close to most of the action, as this is where the main Olympic Park for the 2016 Games is being built. Basketball, diving, fencing, gymnastics, handball, judo, swimming, synchronized swimming, taekwondo, tennis, track cycling, water polo, and wrestling competitions will take place here. Neighboring Riocentro, a traditional convention center, will receive badminton, boxing, table tennis, and weightlifting competitions, and an entirely new Olympic Golf Course is being built in another area of Barra.
b) Copacabana – Stunning and world-renowned Copacabana beach, located in Rio’s classy Zona Sul (South Zone) will be home to beach volleyball, marathon swimming, and triathlon competitions. Neighboring districts Lagoa (named after Rio’s beautiful heart-shaped lagoon) and Glória will host canoe sprint and rowing (Lagoa Stadium) and sailing (Marina da Glória) competitions.
c) Maracanã – The 65-year-old legendary stadium, once the largest in the world and one of only two to have ever hosted two World Cup finals, will naturally be home to the opening and closing ceremonies and to most soccer matches during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Two adjacent venues will host volleyball and some water polo matches. Finally, Engenhão Olympic Stadium and the city’s iconic Sambadrome, both located in Maracanã’s traditional Zona Norte (North Zone) will host respectively athletics and archery competitions. The latter will be the starting and finishing point for the Olympic marathon too.
d) Deodoro – This working-class district located in the city’s Zona Oeste (West Zone) houses Rio’s Military Village and in 2016 will be given a brand new Olympic Park with some of the most sophisticated sports venues in Latin America. Basketball, BMX cycling, canoe slalom, equestrian, hockey, modern pentathlon, mountain bike, rugby, as well as shooting competitions will take place here.
3. What to do in Rio de Janeiro?
If you’re looking for a little non-sport-related down time, there is endless choice to keep you entertained in the Marvelous City during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Be sure to check out our neighborhood guides for our pick of the best restaurants, bars, and sights. But for now, here are some must-do highlights:
- Watch the sunset on top of Arpoador rock in Ipanema and join the locals while they applaud the breathtaking spectacle.
- Get to know Rio’s increasingly eclectic and refined restaurant scene:
- High-end: Try Oro (20 Rua Frei Leandro, Jardim Botânico) for an innovative mix of traditional Brazilian ingredients and international haute cuisine;
- Mid-range: Aprazível (62 Rua Aprazível, Santa Teresa) for jaw-dropping views from Santa Teresa’s hilltops;
- Cheap & tasty: Fogo de Chão (Avenida Repórter Nestor Pereira, Botafogo) for gorging Brazilian-style barbecue.
- Join the street drinking culture in a Boteco (i.e. a small neighborhood bar). Sample an ice-cold chope (draft beer) and delicious appetizers in Bar Jobi (1166 Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva, Leblon) with its beautiful crowd.
- Stroll through Rio’s imposing 200-year-old Botanical Garden and find a haven of peace in the middle of this dynamic city.
- Street shop in Rio’s best flea markets, such as Feira Hippie de Ipanema on Sunday and Feira do Lido in Copacabana every Saturday and Sunday.
- Save a day or two to get to know the city’s historical center and its museums. Make sure to visit Museu Nacional de Belas Artes (MNBA), Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR), and Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM).