While Copacabana may be better known, Ipanema tends to be a tourists preferred option nowadays. Made famous world-wide by the classic bossa nova tune "Girl From Ipanema", the catchy song was apparently wrote in honour of a local beauty who would pass by the songwriters' local bar each day. Fast forward to today and you'll still never find yourself far from supernaturally good-looking people in the area.
Just like neighbouring Leblon, Ipanema is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Rio. Its stunning beach is flanked by the towering Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers) mountains, no trip to Rio is complete without taking in a sunset from the soft sand of Ipenama. Rather intriguingly the beach is informally split into sections according to various social groups. Choose your Posto (point of the beach) wisely - it could change everything, for example, the young and the beautiful tend to head to Posto Nove (lifeguard post 9), while gay beach-goers congregate by the rainbow flag in front of Rua Farme do Amoeda at Posto 8. Hippies and surfers normally hang out at the far end of the beach nearest to Copacabana - posto 11.
Check out our Beaches page for more information about the best beaches in Rio!
Ipanema shares a border with Copacabana, but you'll find this world-class beach destination is calmer than its more famous counterpart. Here you won't find people hassling you to buy things quite so often. Ipanema is home to universities, art galleries, top quality restaurants, wine bars, hip nightclubs, and a booming cafe culture. On the beach you'll find an interesting mix of students, surfers, professionals, tourists and much more. Stop to take in a game of the ridiculously talented locals playing foot-volleyball or sit and watch the world go by, you'll never be far from something entertaining in Ipenama.
At The Rio Vibe our favourite beach is Ipanema. Busy, but more relaxed than it's more famous counterpart Copacabana. Here you won't find people hassling you to buy things quite so often. Many tourists that now come also choose to spend most their time at Ipanema, but choose your Posto (point of the beach) wisely - it could change everything!
Check out our Beaches page for more information
Formal dining in Ipanema doesn't come cheap - whether it be all-you-can-eat meat feasts or colorful salads for the body conscious beach-goers, but you're on a budget, fear not - there are countless informal snack bars here where you can grab a fresh juice to go with a sandwich, burger, hot dogs or whatever takes your fancy. Many of the Per kilo restaurants are also very reasonably priced - around 25-30R normally for a decent sized meal. Or be like the locals and treat yourself to an Açai (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) - Rich in antioxidants, fiber, omega fatty acids and more - it's a delicious Amazonian superfood that is known for its chocolatey berry flavor and deep purple color and comes in a glass like a smoothie.
If it's pizza you're looking for, check out this famous Pizzaria in Ipanema at reasonable prices
Here you'll find a good food at a reasonable price. A good, large and varied menu, try one of their "pratos combinados". The atmosphere couldn't be better with good drinks, food and a pleasant ambience.
The Livraria da Travessa is one of Rio's best stocked bookshop, it also houses its own café style restaurant. Serious kitchen with good service in a well decorated ambient. Beautiful place, great drinks and service, pretty much guaranteed a well cooked bistro meal. The bar and cocktails are also very good.
A famous but expensive Italian restaurant with fantastic food and friendly staff. If you're not on a budget it's well worth a visit.
A nice Italian restaurant with great value for money, although be advised they don't accept card payments.
A good quality per kilo restaurant
With a modern, funky look about the place, it's an excellent option for lunch or food after the beach. They also offer great Açaí's and Juices!
After something quick and easy that won't burn a hole in your pocket? Stop for a sandwich, burger or juice at Polis Sucos next to the Tattoo Parlour.
The upscale clubs and bars of Ipanema are full of elegant types (and foreigners trying to summon up the courage to approach them). The entrance fees can be steep for anyone (sometimes up to 100R!), but budget travellers need not fear - more informal party spots such as travellers favourites Shenanigans Irish bar and Emporio will keep you partying all night long. With a good mix of locals as well as tourists, places like these may well be what you're looking for.
A good place to hangout and have a few drinks, Devassa also sells a good selection of Brazilian and International food.
A heavyweight of the Rio de Janeiro party scene, a great bar especially for tourists looking to mix with some locals. Empório has 2 floors and a DJ plays a wide range of music, mainly rock and roll. Crowds of people stand outside the of the bar on the street, it's got to be one of the easiest places to meet different types of people. Locals & tourists and people of all classes mix here and chat and dance the night away. It doesn't usually start to get busy until at least midnight but goes on through the night. At busy times of the year the crowds of people spill into the road and over to the bar opposite.
Food tends to be a bit hit and miss here but it's a buzzing, trendy place for a night out.
Feeling a bit homesick? Then look not further than Shenanigan's Irish Pub! You'll usually find groups of tourists here indulging and burgers, pints and Irish stews.
Check out the best of Rio's live music... clubs and much more in our Party section by clicking the button below
Ipanema is considered the more chic of Rio's famous beach neighborhoods. There are fewer places to stay here than in neighbouring Copacabana, however you will find plenty of family-friendly beach front high rises, such as Praia Ipanema and Sol Ipanema, as well as plenty of self-catered apartments.
Despite accommodation in Ipanema being more expensive than elsewhere in the city, budget travelers will find a good option of welcoming backpacker options along Rua Barao de Torre. We recommend to check out Hostelworld to book your hostel.
It's probably the most expensive hotel in Rio, but for the rich and famous that come to Rio, the Fasano hotel is the place to stay (well, here or the Copacabana Palace). Hordes of young screaming girls waited outside last year to try and catch a glimpse of One Direction who were staying there. If you can afford it, get a beach view to make the most of it, the view is stunning! Brilliant service and an amazing pool area on the roof. Located right at the heart of Ipanema beach, not only is it the best location. They also have an Italian restaurant at the hotel which serves great food.
Price you can expect to pay per night: $129 (520R)
If you're looking for somewhere welcoming, with a personal feel, we've found a true gem for you. With a wonderful, helpful and caring owner (who runs the hotel as well) who has done everything for the guests comfort, look no further than the Casa Bromelia in Ipanema.
Casa Bromelia is an interesting mid-range option. It is is an intimate boutique hotel located in a recently restored Portuguese Vila, 1 block from the beach, in the heart of Ipanema. You can come here to get a blend of local tradition and international taste, and to feel like you live in Rio. The owner takes care of each guest personally, to make sure you get to know the city from a local’s perspective. Each room has an individual French balcony, local artwork, handcrafted bed and linen sheets. A healthy, tasty, homemade breakfast is included every morning - don't miss the cinnamon coffee! For more info click here
Much like neeighbouring Leblon, shopaholics will no doubt love Ipanema too - with ample opportunity to splash some serious cash on everything from elegant summer dresses, to tiny Brazilian bikinis at stores such as Bum Bum.
Every Sunday nearby General Osório Metro station, Ipanema hosts the fabulous Feira Hippie de Ipanema (Hippy Fair), full of interesting local arts and crafts, hand-made clothes and much more among the inevitable tourist keyrings and fridge magnets.
The main road parallel with the beach is closed in one direction on a Sunday, you'll find it full of people walking, talking, running and enjoying the great outdoors. Check it out yourself!
Start your day in the best way. Wake up for sunset and take a stroll along the beach or go for a run. It's a different kind of vibe at this time of the day, revel in it's beauty without the crowds. What better way to start your morning?
“The Girl From Ipanema” - the second-most recorded popular song in history, some say was inspired by a bikini clad girl walking the beach in the 1960's.