Barra da Tijuca (Barra) is one of Rio de Janeiro’s newest neighborhoods. It earned its nickname as the Brazilian Miami for its gorgeous sandy beaches and palm-fringed boulevards, which are flanked by mega malls and glass-fronted skyscrapers.
Enjoy Barra for its long sandy beach—hailed as one of the best in Rio—and the enormous Barra Shopping Mall, home to more than 700 shops and restaurants. Other highlights include the Cidade das Artes (City of Arts) concert hall; the New York City Center Mall, fronted by a replica Statue of Liberty; and the Olympic Village, home to several venues from the 2016 Olympics. Tours of Barra da Tijuca typically also visit the coastal neighborhoods of Prainha, Grumari, and Joatinga.Things to Know Before You Go
- There’s a large selection of hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in Barra.
- Barra da Tijuca is known to be one of Rio’s safest neighborhoods, making it a good choice for accommodation outside of the downtown area.
- The nearby Tijuca National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers opportunities for hiking, climbing, and wildlife watching.
How to Get There
Barra da Tijuca is located in the southwest of Rio de Janeiro, 22 miles (35 kilometers) from Centro (a 40-minute drive) and 13 miles (21 kilometers) from Copacabana (a 30-minute drive). It’s possible to ride the subway (Line 4) from Rio’s South Zone to the Jardim Oceanico district in western Barra da Tijuca, while buses run to various locations from outside the Barra Shopping Mall. When to Get There
Barra da Tijuca is a lively spot to visit at any time of day; head to the beach in the morning for the best surf and then escape the heat at an air-conditioned shopping mall in the afternoon. Stick around until the evening to experience some of Rio’s best bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues.
Barra da Tijuca Beach
At 11 miles (18 kilometers) long, Barra da Tijuca’s namesake beach is the longest in Rio de Janeiro, making it a popular spot among families and water sports enthusiasts. Take a surfing or kitesurfing lesson, hire a bodyboard, or zip along the coast on a Jet Ski. Alternatively, if you don’t want to get wet, wander the beachfront promenade, bike along the cycle track, or drink and dine at a beachside bar or restaurant.