4 Places where I still feel safe in Rio

Everyone who has been reading my blog for the last year has been following how my concerns about personal safety had increased and how that has affected my life style.

I definitely stopped doing certain things, as carrying my DSLR camera, in certain places or certain hours and being alert all the time is something that I can’t avoid even if I’m just going to the bakery.

But there are still some few places where I feel a little safer,where I can relax a little bit, where I can turn my “Alert-mode” to “Stand by” . Well, that doens’t mean that those places are immune to violence, but I would say that in those places the chance of living a violent event is a little lower or even improbable comparing to other places. So I found relevant to share them with you.

1. Forte de Copacabana –  The Historical Museum of the Army and Copacabana Fort

In the very right side of Copacabana beach, the location called Posto 6 by locals  lays Forte de Copacabana, a military base, once a fort to protect Guanabara Bay, now a Military Museum and an open Fort to visitors. The Fort constructed in the piece of land that limits Copacabana and Ipanema beach provides a breathtaking view of all Copacabana beach, from Posto 6 to Leme, at the other side of the shore. The two café/restaurants located at Forte are great options for taking a coffee or a whole meal, while feeling the breeze of the sea and enjoying the beautiful view.

When to go? If you can choose, visit it during the week, as during weekends the restaurantsare usually crowded and with long waitings line. I personally like to go for a complete breakfast at Confeitaria Colombo.

Praça Coronel Eugênio Franco, nº 1 – Posto 6 of Copacabana Beach                                           Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: Adults – R$ 6,00/ Over 60 years old – R$ 3,00 /Students with Student ID – R$ 3,00

Sugar Loaf View from Forte de Copacabana

Sugar Loaf View from Forte de Copacabana

2. Barra da Tijuca Beach

It doesn’t matter how many beaches I visit , Barra da Tijuca will always be on my top list places to relax in Rio. The beach is quiet, even during weekends (well, I’m mean besides from summer time it is also crowded, but not as much as Copacabana or Ipanema), a totally family friendly atmosphere, cleaner water and sand than in any Zona Sul beaches and less or I would say almost “none” cases of “arrastões” during summer time or along the year. There I lay down my “canga” and can relax under the sun while watching my boy playing, or while my husband surf without being paranoid that my things are gone be stolen, as I would be in beaches like Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon.

Although reaching it can be a little difficult (Barra is around 15 km far from Zona Sul), and getting there by bus can be quite an unconfortable trip and going by taxi or booking a transfer can be very expensive, it is something that you should definitely consider if your looking for a little bit of relaxing moments while visiting Rio.

The distance from other neighborhoods is exactly what makes Barra da Tijuca beach less busy and less touristy than the South Zone beaches, like Ipanema and Copacana, which can easily be reached by anyone by bus or subway.

With the expansion of the Subway lines to reach Barra da Tijuca, that is said to be ready before the Olympic Games next year, Barra da Tijuca Beach will be a neighborhood that must be considered by tourists looking for relaxing moments in Rio.

When to go? Anyday will be a good day to go to Barra da Tijuca beach, but if you plan to do during the week avoid the rush hours ( 7-10am and 4 to 8 pm) or otherwise you can hit a lot of traffic. Go to spend the day at the beach or to watch the sunset on a beautiful sunny day.

Barra da Tijuca Beach, Barra da Tijuca

Barra da Tijuca Beach

Barra da Tijuca Beach

3- Praia Vermelha

A small beach with a short strecht of sand, quiet sea,  located between two mountains, Morro da Urca (the first mountain to the Sugar Loaf) and Morro da Babilonia, and surrounded by Military buildings, which makes it a safe place to visit, that’s Praia Vermelha  (Red Beach, translating to English).

It is a perfect place to go with kids,practice Stand up Paddle, Kayaking, or just walk by the short sidewalk and have a coconut water while watching the view. I like to enjoy a little of the beach and go to walk along Pista Claudio Coutinho trail for some exercising.

From Praia Vermelha sidewalk you will be able to take a great photo of Sugar Loaf mountain, like this one I already shared here.

When to go? Everyday is perfect to visit Praia Vermelha, but keep in mind that on weekends Praia Vermelha tends to be busier.

Praia Vermelha view from Pista Claudio Coutinho

Praia Vermelha view from Pista Claudio Coutinho

4.Jardim Botânico

I never get tired of writing or talking about Jardim Botânico (The Botanical Garden), I’ve written about it before, as you can see here, but it is one of my favourite places in Rio, not only for being a safe place, specially if you like photography like me, and the only worries you want to have is with the perfect shot, but also because the place is clean, well preserved and with a great variety of botanical species. When planning your trip to Rio, don’t forget to schedule a day for visiting Jardim Botanico. You won’t regret it!

When to go? Only check the working hours and plan the best day for you.

Rua Jardim Botânico, 1008 – Jardim Botânico – Monday – from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m /Tuesday to Sunday – from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Admissions: R$ 9,00 (cash only) (Gratuity: Children and seniors over 60 years old)


The Fountain at Jardim Botânico


  1. While I was in Rio, Jardim Botanico was a favorite place to relax! I did get turned around at the subway station a few times which was stressful! I’m impressed by your pictures, mine don’t even compare! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Parque Lage is also beautiful and it is only a few a few minutes away from Jardin Botanico on the same street.
    Rio is not safe but they do not have terrorist attacks like London or Paris only people killing people for a mobile or some money.
    Just like any other big city in the world (incl. London)
    Unfortunately the big cities became even more violent in the last 25 years.

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