Carnival 2025

Feb 28th - Mar 08th

Ipanema, a famous chic area of Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Ipanema, a famous chic area of Rio de Janeiro

With a world-famous beach, Ipanema is a neighborhood full of options, stores, restaurants, nightclubs and art galleries.

Located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, this locality is known worldwide, if for nothing else, for the famous 1960’s song ‘Girl from Ipanema’. A well laid-out neighborhood, with a grid system, is easy to find your way around here. One can find a number of art galleries, a university, numerous restaurants/cafes and of course the beautiful beach. This region gets its name from the old Tupi word meaning ‘bad water’, a reference to the bad fishing area here, as the waves end too close to the sand and shove the fishes away.

Ipanema Beach

Amazing beaches in Rio de Janeiro

This beautiful beach provides a good view of the Dois Irmãos mountains, which rise on its western side. The relatively calm waters allow for swimming in certain areas, while popular water sports here include football, beach volleyball and footvolley - a brazilian sport that is a combination of football and volleyball. Bodyboarding and skimboarding are popular here, as is surfing, with the waves in winter going up to 9 ft. The beach also has a area highly frequented by the LGBTQIA+ community, located at Rua Farme de Amoedo, in Posto 9.

Sundays in Ipanema

Sundays provide an excellent opportunity to watch Capoeiristas perform around the beach area when the road nearest to the beach is closed to traffic. As a result, the road is also filled with cyclists, roller skaters, skateboarders and plenty of locals, who use the opportunity to stroll around the beautiful beach. Praca General Osario is turned into a Hippie Market every Sunday, officially called Handicrafts and Arts Fair of Ipanema, with numerous vendors selling local handicrafts, mementos, food, jewelry, musical instruments, clothes, figurines, photos and paintings. This is a great place to pick up a souvenir or gift to take home.

A center of iconic fashion

Most of the best clothing boutiques in Rio are supposed to be located in Ipanema, with many of them situated on Visconde de Piraja. This is no surprise, as the neighborhood has a history of setting fashion trends, especially in beach wear. It was here that the famous Tanga bikinis of Brazil were first worn in the 1970s and local actress Leila Diniz was the first pregnant woman to wear a bikini at the beach. Gisele Bundchen’s popular line of Ipanema flip flops also gets its name from here.

Museums and Art Galleries

Just a couple of meters off the beach is Galeria de Arte Ipanema which promotes contemporary Brazilian artists through shows but also has some permanent exhibits. Bolsa de Arte is another major art gallery. The Amsterdam Sauer Museum pays tribute to the work of French gemologist and jeweler Roger Sauer, who lived most of his life in Rio de Janeiro. On display are some of his rare finds, including Brazilian opals and imperial topaz stones, found only in Brazil. If you’re looking to purchase an expensive jewel, the adjoining store will provide you with the opportunity.

Shopping for handicrafts

While Brazil & Cia stock handicrafts made by local artisans and tribals, Gilson Martins has one-of-a-kind handbags and wallets also made by local artisans.

Culinary Delights

If you want to visit the place where Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim were inspired to write ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ then head to Garota de Ipanema. One of the few solely vegetarian restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Fontes, uses fresh and natural ingredients to serve vegetarian versions of popular Brazilian dishes such as moqueca and feijoada. Satyricon has become famous, as the restaurant that Madonna ate at when she was in the city, while Esplanada Grill is renowned for its steak and fish. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, as this locality has many more restaurants of all sizes and suiting a variety of budgets and tastes.

Nice beaches in Rio de Janeiro


Carnival time activities

One of the most famous bands of Rio’s Carnival is Banda de Ipanema, which parades on three days of the Carnival and attracts over 15,000 drag queens annually. The Bandinha da Ipanema is targeted at children and occurs in the safe confines of Praca General Osorio. Simpatia e Quase Amor is the largest "bloco" in Ipanema and chooses a new theme song every year. This parade which also begins at Praca General Osorio moves along the beach to the border with Leblon and takes place on the Saturday two weeks before the Carnival and on Carnival Sunday. 

Accommodation in Ipanema

The neighborhood offers mainly mid-range to luxury accommodation options. Ipanema Tower and Praia Ipanema Hotel are all centrally located and offer en-suite rooms with 24-hour room service, a business center, a variety of restaurants, and other mid-range hotel facilities. 

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