Our Hometowns: An exclusive guide to Rio de Janeiro with tips from an authentic carioca

Explore the Marvelous City's best restaurants, bars and experiences hard to find in traditional guides - plus a great place to stay.

Welcome to the second installment in our “Hometowns” series! Here, we take advantage of the multiculturalism our colleagues bring to trivago (we are travelers from 90 nationalities!) to bring you exclusive local tips from different destinations around the world.

First, we heard from Andreia, sharing authentic recommendations on her home city of Porto. Now, we hear from Rafael, one of the editors of trivago magazine Brazil. Rafa brings you a mini-guide of the incredible Rio de Janeiro. “Carioca”, and very proud of his origins, he shows you how to experience the Marvellous City like a true local.

Rafael Branco

A content creator at trivago, Rafael is so passionate about adventures that he travels even within his own city, Rio de Janeiro. Having lived in Germany for 3 years, he hasn't lost his carioca way of speaking, dressing and walking. And woe to anyone who dares to speak ill of Rio in front of him - he is able to convince the person with 1001 advantages of the Marvelous City.

And more...

Rio is full of typical and delicious gastronomic options – here are three unmissable Rio delicacies and the best places to taste them.

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Check out more ideas for places to have a cold beer or enjoy a nice drink in Rio.

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There is so much to do in Rio, but I tried to separate three other very local attractions that I love.

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In the past few years, I have become a tourist within my own city – and I invite you to explore more alternative attractions in Rio!


If I had to pick one hotel in Rio, it would be Le Relais de Marambaia, located on Barra Guaratiba – an underrated region (far from the main tourist spots, but worth visiting if you have time and a car in Rio). The hotel is almost all made of glass and guests have a panoramic view of the sea – an unexplored one by tourists, but amazing for an alternative Rio visit.

However, if you didn’t rent a car or want to stay closer to the main tourist attractions, try one of the many nice options in Leblon, Ipanema or Copacabana.