Making the Most of Your Time at Copacabana Beach

Travel Guide -

Making the Most of Your Time at Copacabana Beach

Among the Rio De Janeiro’s many attractions, Copacabana Beach stands out on its own. One of the most famous beaches in the world, this popular tourist destination spans 6 miles across the coast of Rio De Janeiro’s Zona Sul (South Zone), which is also home to many other tourist spots.

Within what the locals call the “Marvelous City”, there’s plenty of things to do other than soaking in the rays of the sun, lying on the yellow sand of Copacabana beach as the ocean breeze caresses your body, making you feel like you’re in your own personal paraiso.

Coordinating your stay with local events and festivals allows more fun during your stay in Rio De Janeiro, while an array of eclectic dining options surround the upscale neighborhoods of Zona Sul. And, if you’re looking to take part in Rio’s famous nightlife, there are plenty of clubs strewn about. As well, booking a room at any of the properties within the south zone allows you access not only to Copacabana beach but also to a myriad of other tourist attractions.

When to Visit Rio De Janeiro

The best times to visit the Marvelous City is during the summer months (December to March) where most tourists generally visit the city to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Copacabana Beach or attend other events  (Fashion Rio) and festivals such as Carnival (most accommodations are fully booked during this time of year, so consider booking at least a year ahead. Be sure to wear the appropriate clothing, however, as the summer months are especially hot.

#regram @Osklen A gente viu primeiro: Osklen Praia apresenta em Paris o Verão 2015 desfilado no #FashionRio

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In Autumn (April to May), things start to cool down—a little—though humidity remains relatively the same. Winter (June to September) brings moderate weather, mild temperatures, and cheaper prices, though no shortage of events (Independence Day, Festival do Rio). Spring (October to November) may not have an abundance of festivals or events, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had as mild temperatures, less humidity, and smaller crowds bring the appeal to those traveling on a budget!

Where to Stay

Book your stay near Copacabana conveniently through TravelCloud. Whether you’re looking to stay in a hotel, hostel, homestay or through a short-term rental property, you can find the best properties conveniently through the TravelCloud website, right on the homepage.

We’re partnered with booking.com, TripAdvisor, HomeAway, Roomorama, Luxury Homes, and more so you can find the best deals, discounts, as well as the most competitive prices available. Through the search engine, you can choose a myriad of properties, per your budget. Compare rates with our affiliates to find the best deal.

Looking for a short term rental? You can book your ideal property through our dedicated search engine found on our homepage, or here. Other options are through HomeAway, VRBO, and Roomorama. Hostels and homestays are fantastic for those traveling on a budget and can be conveniently booked through our search engine. For those with more to spend, there are numerous hotels splayed throughout Copacabana, so you’re never short on choices (great options are the Olinda Rio hotel and the Hotel Astoria Palace). Book your ideal room easily and conveniently through TravelCloud!

Getting Around

See here for the most up-to-date conversion rates (USD to BRL).

Taxis are widely available around Rio and are relatively cheap while Uber offers services at an equally affordable rate as well as having the benefit accessibility due to the presence of their mobile app and location spotting features. Meters are regulated by the city. Keep in mind, however, that many drivers do not speak English, so be sure to have the address or directions written in Portuguese when flagging down a taxi or requesting an Uber.

While buses are convenient and cheap, they’re quite dangerous—especially at night—to use unless you know what you’re doing. Frequented routes among tourists, which are safe during the day are Routes Nos. 583 and 584, running from Copacabana to Corcovado train station, and Routes Nos. 511 and 512 run up Sugar Loaf Mountain. If you’re looking for specific advice regarding your prospective commute, consider asking hostel or hotel staff, or the hosts of your homestay.

Rio’s subway system is accessible and highly affordable—running from 5 a.m. to midnight from Monday to Saturday, while Sundays and holidays run from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.. Line 1 (orange) runs from Uruguai to General Osório, line 2 runs from Pavuna to Botafogo, and line 4 (yellow) connects Nossa Senhora da Paz with Jardim Oceânico. Line 3 is currently being planned.  A one-way ticket costs $4.10 BRL while rechargeable IC cards allow you to store your fare if you’re planning on using the metro more than once (purchasable with a minimum charge of $5 BRL). See Metro Rio for more info.

Eating at Copacabana

There are plenty of dining options around Copacabana to choose from. Here’s a selection of some of the most notable places to grab a bite:

  • Churrascaria Carretão Lido (Rua Ronald de Carvalho, 55, ljs A e B - Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22021-020): Let your mouth over some of the tastiest meats, served in rodizio fashion. Skewers are served by an amiable staff and a salad and sushi bar allow a bit of a respite from all the meat you’ll be eating. Come on an empty stomach so you can make the most of the eat-until-you’re-full experience. 
  • Amir (R. Ronald de Carvalho, 55 - Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22021-020): This eatery serves some of the best middle eastern food in Brazil. Shawarma, tabbouleh, kebabs and more can be found here. Amir is also great for vegetarians looking for a great meal since meat is literally everything for locals.
  • Alfaia (Rua Inhangá, 30 - Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22020-060): If you’re looking for great seafood, Alfaia is a fantastic choice. Consider ordering the delectable grilled octopus or the cod special paired with the restaurant’s selection of fine wines.
  • Beach Vendors: From smoked salmon, fried sardines, sushi, to even pizza, there is a myriad of vendors strolling the beach, so you don’t have to move from your spot on the sand. Kiosks lining Copacabana beach also serves a diverse array of foods. The options are endless (consider Champagneria, Pizza in Cone’s, and the Copa e Arte Creperia)!

Take Part in the Nightlife

There are more places to have fun at night than just the beach.  Stop by a botecos, or casual bar, in the Copacabana neighborhood for reasonably priced drinks and snacks. A great option is the Pavao Azul.

If you’re looking to go clubbing, visit Fosfobox. Their basement is home to an eclectic, vivacious dance floor where, when live music isn’t featured, DJs play a variety of music: from hip hop, trap, pop, to rock and roll. The upstairs bar offers a bit of solace from the energy below, allowing you an easier time to mingle with your friends or with the locals.

Vibe lindaa!! Amei colocar todos pra rebolar até o chão com o lindo!! @meloleandro ❤️

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Where Fosfobox attracts hipsters and alternative folk, TV Bar is a cramped space dedicated solely to immersing yourself into the music and having a good time. Classics and modern pop hits are often played, without the pretensions of being part of the underground scene.

Rejoice the New Year at Copacabana Beach

As per tradition, millions visit Copacabana beach dressed in white (with some carrying red accessories) while a 20-minute fireworks display, as well as live music acts, carry the night of December 31st. The main celebration occurs here where locals cleanse themselves in the ocean waters while others throw flowers and other trinkets for prayer.

If you’re looking to take part, book ahead in order to secure a room during this time. Also, to prevent yourself from standing out, consider wearing all white as well!

Celebrate with the Locals During Carnival

Every February, vibrant parades and vivacious parties line the streets of Copacabana—and Rio De Janeiro. Street parties occur even before Carnival takes place and are a great way to celebrate with locals. Though if you’re looking to mingle with the local bourgeoisie, there are also a number of Carnival Balls taking place where the elite—and those that can afford it—celebrate away from the common folk.  For members of the LGBT community—or if you’re straight—the Gay Costume Ball is one of the most popular Carnival Balls to attend, though tickets sell out pretty quickly.