Do you happen to know the most famous beach in the world? Not? One tip: it is on this beach that it happens the biggest New Year’s Eve of the world!
Now you already know that we are talking about Copacabana, right? Yes! This post will tell you the secrets and details like histories, what to do in the neighborhood and interesting tourist spots of Copacabana Beach.
Until the end of the nineteenth century no one made much of the view on the beach. The cool thing was to have a place with fertile lands.
In other words, Copacabana was nothing more than a restinga surrounded by rocky hills, with strong winds, difficult to reach and that did not please at all.
And how has that changed? After a series of investments of barons and colonels.
Through urban planning and the work of engineers who began the task force to change the course of the history of Copacabana and Ipanema, both offered a wonderful view.
Thus the first and modest houses and huts appear, followed by cable cars, since Light Company was very important in this work.
Improvements in the neighborhood occurred around 1910, as many foreigners began arriving in the city and exploring services and goods.
In fact, habits, manners and customs began to emerge and along with the animation of Rio de Janeiro they have been creating this famous identity to this day.
O BOOM OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The real motive behind the Copacabana neighborhood was the construction of the Copacabana Palace, a hotel of the most iconic in the country, designed in 1919.
Then the place gained notoriety and became a meeting point, attracting from young on weekends, to international personalities.
Undeniably Copacabana is one of the best neighborhoods in the city, both in terms of safety and convenience.
THE COPACABANA NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE CURRENT DAYS
This is a neighborhood for those who love beach, with good access to public transport, good restaurants and bars, and lively nightlife too.
The advantage of Copacabana compared to the other neighborhoods that are near the beach, are the most affordable prices. However the disadvantage is the crowds (it is more crowded than the other neighborhoods near the beach) and the noise is present in many places in the neighborhood.
Nowadays it is a world tourism center.
It offers more than 70 options of lodging from small to large, that usually get full of tourists, especially during the summer and during the events that occur on the beach.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The entire beach promenade offers a good structure for beach goers, with kiosk options (64 in total with varied services), bars and restaurants with varied cuisine options.
Here are some options for what you can do in Copacabana, to make the most of your stay in the neighborhood, see:
WHAT TO DO IN COPACABANA
1- The beach of Copacabana is one of the world famous, plenty of space for those who play soccer and volleyball in the sand;
2- Free Walking Tour Copacabana e Ipanema, to know better about the neighborhoods;
3- On weekends and public holidays the trend is always crowded beach, so if you want to enjoy the quiet beach, seek alternate days during the week;
4- The beach promenade is a good spot for those wishing to ride a bike, skate or play sports;
5- Besides the beach, Copacabana Fort and Fort Leme are places that can be visited, with historical importance and incredible views of the entire beach;
6- Copacabana has a wide variety of restaurants, with typical Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish, natural food and good meat rolls;
7- Throughout the Copacabana Beachfront there are kiosks and many of them with live music, especially at night and on weekends;
8- Night Clubs like New Mariuzinn and Fosfobox, with more alternative style; (Other options of bars and nightclubs in Copacabana in our other post Guide to the best bars in Copacabana);
9- Bars and pubs with Samba and Bossa Nova;
10- Many of the hotels in the neighborhood also offer parties;
CURIOSITY ABOUT COPACABANA
Copacabana neighborhood is one of Rio’s most famous. One picturesque beach and traditional style bars and restaurants. But have you thought about the name Copacabana? Very different right?
In fact, COPACABANA is a word in Quechua, which is the language the Incas used to talk. And there are more than 8 million Quechua speakers in the world. It means a view of the blue lake.
There is a small town in Bolivia, next to Lake Titicaca, called Copacabana. History says that the name arrived here when some Bolivian and Peruvian sellers traveled to Rio and built a small church here.
This church was referred as Copacabana and located where today is the Copacabana Fort.
Copacabana beach is located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro and has an extension of 4 kilometers. Starting at Avenida Princesa Isabel to the Copacabana Fort.
Among the trademarks, is its sidewalk with waves drawn in Portuguese stone, designed by the landscaper Burle Max.
Copacabana has already been cited in many national and international songs such as Tom Jobim and Gilberto Gil (Mar de Copacabana) and Alceu Valença (Ai de ti, Copacabana), for example.
POSTOS OF COPACABANA
One observation is that in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the beaches are located by listed stations.
In other words they serve as lifeguard points. With 1 kilometer distance between them, some of them offer showers and toilets as well.
DIVISION OF THE POSTOS
Starting at Posto 2, there you have the Lido Square which is a Gastronomic Pole. The venue has a ticket sales point for Corcovado and some nightclub options as well.
Posto 3 is a very central area of the beach and offers good options for shopping and restaurants.
in posto 4 and 5 is where the gang usually practices many activities on the beach of Copacabana, especially the sports.
Take a look at the options that roll in the sands of Copacabana:
Soccer in the Sand – Beach Volleyball – FootVolley – Altinha – Frescobol – Beach Tennis – Bodyboarding
Many choices for all styles and tastes. In addition, there are some spaces designed for bodybuilding exercises offered by Banco Santander.
The beach still offers bike paths and a good stretch of sand for those who wish to practice individual exercises, walking, pedaling or running on the waterfront, for example.
We have a suggestion to ride for you using a clean and fun transportation: Bike Rio.
This is a system of shared bicycles and is part of the Bike Itaú project, together with the City Hall of Rio de Janeiro. Then anyone over the age of 16 can use a bicycle, after acquiring a plan of use.
You can removal and return of bikes can be done through any system station scattered throughout the city.
If you want more information, to acquire plans and to locate the stations just access BIKE RIO.
The sea is bluish suitable for bathing and great for fishing, at posto 6 is where is located a fishing colony (Z-13). Certainly guarantee fresh fish always, besides being a cooperative.
Because is quieter area, it is very common to find athletes and amateurs swimming, rowing (kayak) and stand-up paddle.
Certainly after a day at the beach, you want to know what’s going on in Copacabana nights?
We have a list of the best bars in the neighborhood. You choose where you want to drink caipirinhas or a very cold beer and relax, click and see our post!
This hotel was very important to the neighborhood, isn’t it? Have you seen the Belmond Copacabana Palace? This is a historic hotel designed in 1919.
It is located in front of Copacabana Beach and was the first large construction in the neighborhood, surrounded only by small houses, huts and mansions.
The hotel was inaugurated in 1923. Although almost a century old, Belmond Copacabana Palace continues to be one of the most important hotel establishments in the city and Brazil.
In the meantime it became famous mainly in the period when Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the country.
OBJECTIVES OF CONSTRUCTION
The hotel was built by a very important businessmen at the time attending a request by President Epitácio Pessoa. A large tourism hotel was desirable to host the large number of visitors expected for the great Centennial Exhibition of the Independence of Brazil.
It would be an event of international dimensions to be held on the esplanade of Castelo in 1922.
In compensation, the Federal Government would grant tax incentives, as well as the license to operate a casino in it – a requirement of the entrepreneur.
The hotel has already received great names from personalities and international events, so until today it keeps its fame. Copacabana Palace is almost a fairytale hotel, with a lot of elegance and luxury.
It’s certainly the best option to watch the fires of New Year’s Eve in Copacabana, and why not? Or even know the common areas of the hotel, for example.
Although the Belmond Copacabana Palace hotel is one of the most expensive in the neighborhood, for all its elegance and historical importance, it’s a true icon of the city.
If you want to stay or know more details of this incredible place in the neighborhood, we leave you the site of Copacabana Palace, see more details.
We have another tour tip for you! And this place has one of the most beautiful views of the entire Copacabana waterfront. Do you know where we’re talking?
FORTE OF COPACABANA
Previously we had talked about the posto 6, where is located the Forte of Copacabana, Coronel Eugênio Franco Square nº 1 – Posto 6 / Copacabana.
It was built at the end of the 19th century, aiming to defend the coast of Rio de Janeiro from enemy invasions. While the city was the capital of Brazil, and many important historical events were succeeded in the fort, as the Revolt of the 18.
As a result it is a museum with ancient elements used by the army as cannons, artillery pieces among other objects. There are also exhibitions, music and entertainment events on site.
However, the space is still managed by the Brazilian Army despite being disabled, so a ticket fee is charged.
The outside there are two establishments among them a unit of Confeitaria Colombo, in addition to toilets for the visitors. It is a great choice of place to be visited, it has a beautiful view of the entire edge of Copacabana Beach.
More information about the Forte de Copacabana:
HOURS OF OPERATION:
There is no visitation on MONDAYS.
Historical Museum of the Army, Fortification and Exhibitions:
– Tuesday to Sunday and holidays from 10am to 6pm
Alameda, Dome of the Cannons, Cafes and Store:
– Tuesday to Sunday and holidays from 10h to 7h30pm
– Full: R$ 6,00
– Half-price: (upon verification): R$ 3,00
TIP: Free entrance on Tuesdays and daily, except Monday, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
Other information: website of Forte de Copacabana
In Copacabana, along the seafront, from Posto 6 to Princesa Isabel Avenue, one of the Avenida Atlântica avenues is closed from 7 am to 6 pm for leisure time.
REVOLT OF THE 18 OF THE FORT
The Revolt of the 18 of the Copacabana Fort was a tenentista revolt occurred in the city of Rio de Janeiro. It occurred on July 5, 1922, when Rio de Janeiro was still the capital of the country.
The revolt was the first tenentista revolt of the Old Republic and had the participation of 17 soldiers and one civilian. That’s why the name of the revolt.
The main causes of the historical event were:
– Discontent of the lieutenants with the political monopoly of power in Brazil by the oligarchies of Minas Gerais and São Paulo;
– The defeat of Rio de Janeiro candidate Nilo Peçanha (supported by the majority of the Rio de Janeiro military) to Arthur Bernardes (supported by the São Paulo oligarchy);
– Prison of Marshal Hermes da Fonseca, former president of Brazil and president of the Military Club. The imprisonment of Hermes da Fonseca was requested by the president of the Republic Epitacio Pessoa (also representative of the oligarchies);
– The rebellion of the tenentistas with the electoral frauds that occurred in Brazil in the time of the Old Republic; and
– Closing the Military Club.
In other words, they advocated a democratic political system for the country. Mainly, with a system of fair votes, without frauds (buying votes, fakes and use of violence in elections).
On July 5, 1922, although several military units had within the plan of participation for the movement, only the Fort of Copacabana and the Military School were in action that day.
The Fort was heavily bombed and the rebels were required to surrender. A large group of soldiers and Lieutenant Siqueira Campos armed themselves.
They had the purpose of marching through the streets towards the Catete Palace, which was the seat of the federal government at the time. On the way most of the rebel military were giving up and only 17 remained who received the support in the street of a civilian, totaling 18.
However they followed and were surrounded by the Federal Government troops. After a strong firefight in front of the posto 3 of the beach of Copacabana, sixteen members of the movement were killed.
Only Siqueira Campos and Eduardo Gomes survived, who were arrested. With the revolt of the 18 of the fort and its objectives arose the first movements of military (in the great majority of low patent).
Although it didn’t reach the proposed objectives, the revolt was a historical landmark that inspired other great movements in the country.
NEW YEAR’S EVE IN COPACABANA
In addition to enjoying the summer in the sands of Copacabana, came to spend New Year’s Eve on the waterfront? Surely you should know that this space is one of the most disputed in the world and considered the greatest New Year’s Eve on the planet! And it’s not a joke.
The party happens in the passage from December 31 to January 1. The party features a sixteen-minute firework display, shows by several artists, currently attracting about two million people.
HOW THE EVENT STARTED
And do you know where the tradition comes from everyone wearing white at the start of the year? Those who began to spend the turn of the year on Copacabana Beach were Candomblé practitioners.
In the 70’s everyone wore white to greet the Iemanjá, with offerings taken to the sea before midnight.
The party had smaller proportions, but gradually the tradition was incorporated into the habits of the Brazilians, because it is not only in Rio de Janeiro that this happens.
Another question, how did the fireworks tradition begin? This way of celebrating came with an old hotel called Meridien that was in Copacabana. The owners made a cascade of fireworks that burned from its top and descended from the 39 floors of the building.
The other hotels around, began to participate financially in the “fireworks party” attracting locals and tourists. As the event grew, concern for New Year’s Eve party people surfaced.
CREATION OF THE EVENT
Then in 1993 the city hall began organizing shows and programs for accessibility. So everyone could enjoy the show safely and this has become an official event ever since.
At the beginning of the millennium the burning of fires began to be made in ferries far from the beach to avoid accidents.
Altogether 20 tons of fires in more than 10 ferries make the pyrotechnic show that lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. To organize the many fires it takes about 90 days of preparation and a team of almost 2,000 people.
Also, with the pyrotechnic show, every year with different artists that make the audience happy. In fact, the show has already counted on international artists, with three stages and several attractions all night.
A large infrastructure is set up. This includes chemical toilets, service stations and even ambulances to welcome more than 2 million people who come to see the New Year at the beach.
The access to Copacabana is very complicated already on the 30th. Some streets of access to the neighborhood are totally interdicted with the assembly of the structures and preparation to receive the tourists.
They only come back to work on January 1st.
So the best recommendation is to always use the Metro. This is why an operation with special tickets was created that must be bought in advance (sold up fast), for convenience on the day of the event.
It’s one of the biggest tourist attractions of the city, tourists leave in the city about 650 million dollars every year in the period.
If you are interested in seeing this show, it’s good to book parties and hotels in advance. As we know it is a very crowded option, so guarantee your space, because there are some that cost up to R$ 4,000 reais!
ACCOMMODATION IN COPACABANA
If you are looking for comfort and security when searching for lodging, we have brought you some other suggestions for you to choose. Options with prices and facilities for all tastes (and pockets), haha!
It is worth mentioning that Copacabana has accessible transportation at all times and the buses of Rio are noisy this can disrupt your lodging.
Look for lodging facing the bottom and preferably that are not located in the main streets: Barata Ribeiro and Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana.
HOTEL IN COPACABANA
If you don’t give up comfort and privacy, we have here a list of the 10 best hotels in the neighborhood, with options that fit the everyone’s budget:
HOSTEL iN COPACABANA
For those traveling alone, we have Hostel option. Here you have the advantage of the economy and possibility to meet the people.
See here the 3 best HOSTELS in Copacabana:
This is one of the best known hostels in several cities of the country and the city of Rio is no different. The space has a good location with different units in the neighborhood.
The place offers several living areas, equipped kitchen, Wi-fi, with great value for money, and some other facilities that make your stay much more pleasant.
2– CHE LAGARTO SUITES: Rua Santa Clara, 304
This option offers you comfortable suites, equipped with beds, private bathroom, air conditioning and Wi-fi and a delicious homemade breakfast.
Excellent quality at the best price in a unique location: just one block from the most famous beach in the world!
3-WALK ON THE BEACH: Rua Dias da Rocha, 85
Hostel with a very international atmosphere perfect for those who are looking to make new friends and interact with the galley.
With comfortable social spaces with equipped kitchen and open 24hrs, Wi-fi and many other amenities. The space is very well located in the neighborhood, close to the beach and commerce, besides all this, it offers a good value for money.
If you are looking for more Hostel options in Copacabana, these links may help you find more interesting accommodation for you:
SUGGESTION FOR THE NIGHT
Are you staying in Copacabana and would like to party with a very lively group and for a very good price?
Then come and do our Pub Crawl em Ipanema, next to Copacabana, in a neighborhood very famous for offering very fun evenings!
RESTAURANTS IN COPACABANA
What better than to travel, rest and eat well? We know this and we put 7 options of the most recommended restaurants in Copacabana for you to delight.
See ours options:
1 CARRETÃO GRILL
We started with an option for meat lovers, with quality and good prices. Options of bread loaves, rib eye steak and rib, among other cuts.
The house offers snack options like catupiry Pastel, crabcatcher and other delicacies. For those who desire an executive order, these include a salad, two trimmings and gravy.
Adress: Rua Siqueira Campos, 23. Copacabana.
Telephone: (21) 2236-3435.
Opening hours: daily from 12:00 to the last customer.
2 STALOS CAFÉ E BAR
With a very cozy and well located space, the house offers a very varied menu that fits all tastes.
It offers executive dishes, special dishes, soups and broths, sandwiches, pizzas, desserts, breakfast menus. In addition to different types of drinks that include coffees, vitamins, açaí and juices, for sure is a good option.
Adress: Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, 986 – Copacabana.
Telephone: (21) 2521-5143.
Openin hours: 24h.
3 MANOEL E JUAQUIM
This space has three units in Copacabana, spread out so that everyone can enjoy the delights of the place as close as possible. The house retains its success by offering well-served dishes to customers.
In addition, snacks and options such as cod, paella and sole, feijoada, desserts and various drink and tap beers deals for everyone.
1 Avenida Atlântica, 1936. Copacabana. Telephone: (21) 2547-8192 ou
2 Rua Siqueira Campos, 12. Telephone: (21) 2549-3550 ou
3 Avenida Atlântica, 3806. Telephone: (21) 2523-1128.
Opening hours: daily from 12:00 to the last customer.
This is a beach version of the restaurants on the Spanish coast. The country’s cuisine offers tapas and paellas as main courses. Because they are located by the sea the choice of fish and seafood is much higher.
The space has a partnership with the colony of fishermen of the 6th posto of Copacabana beach, which guarantee fresh produce and promote the local market.
Adding the menu of the place, are options of rice and fideuás prepared in view of the client.
The house drinks are fresh juices and sangrias, which can be bottled to be tasted to the customer’s preference.
Adress: Avenida Atlântica, 3880 – Copacabana.
Telephone: (21) 3264-9806.
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday, 12 am to midnight; Thursday to Saturday, 12 am to 1 pm; Sunday, 12 am to midnight.
5 LA TRATTORIA
Setting totally Italian, the decor is so special that even the towels are square. The pasta used in the restaurant is made by them, which makes the kitchen even more intimate and wonderful.
The menu has entree options with garlic and carpaccio breads, pasta for celiac as well, truffled dishes, fish, salads, pizzas, risottos, soups and assorted meats. So a very complete menu that appeals to anyone.
The drinks menu with more traditional options and good wines to accompany the pasta, of course.
On weekdays the house offers different executive dishes for each day.
Adress: Rua Fernando Mendes, 7 Loja A. Copacabana.
Telephone: (21) 2255-3319.
Opening hours: daily from 11am to midnight.
6 TASCA CARVALHO
Typically Portuguese house, with decorative details that make us feel in the land, like the pictures with landscapes of Lisbon.
On site the cheeses are displayed in a refrigerated display case, for the customer’s choice.
In the menu, octopus à lisboeta, Portuguese chorizo or lupines. In addition to the choice of beers, they offer a good selection of red, white and green wines at very good prices. A good tip is the Quinta do Sol red from the Douro region.
Adress: Rua Ronald de Carvalho, 266 – loja D – Copacabana.
Opening hours: daily from 18h to 01h.
7 ROTA 66
Rota 66 offers the best of Tex-Mex cuisine. A typical border kitchen, the base is Mexican with adaptations to American habits in the state of Texas. The result is surprisingly good.
The place has a selection of drinks that are well appreciated by the regulars of the house. As an example: the mojitos, margaritas, besides other more traditional drinks.
The menu consists of tacos, nachos, flutes, burritos, quesadillas, sandwiches, salads, pastas and desserts, with portions well served and price that pleases most. Certainly worth a try.
Adress: Avenida Atlântica, 3092. Copacabana.
Telephone: (21) 2256-2855.
Opening hours: from Monday to Thursday from 11:30 am to midnight; Friday from 11:30 am to 00:00 am Saturday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.
We have many other tips with nice places to see in the city, check out our post about the other neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro.