There was once a time when Botafogo Bay was the fortuitously placed conduit between downtown Rio and the glamorous southern beaches. Put another way, if travelers came to Botafogo it was solely as a break while traveling between two of Rio’s most popular zones. Today, however, with a recent infusion of shops, restaurants, infrastructure, and cafés, Botafogo has become a neighborhood that’s a Rio site in itself. By day, visit the colonial mansions where Portuguese royalty ruled from afar, and stroll the shores of Botafogo Bay while sailboats bob with the tide. As night falls on the middle class suburb, head to one of the trendy new restaurants popping up around town, where cheaper rents than Ipanema allow the chefs to spend more money on fresh, local ingredients. Finally, for one of the best views in all of Rio, take a taxi to Pasmado Overlook where a panoramic view looking down on the city is the type of scene you’d expect to see on the front of a Rio postcard.