We’ve talked about why Rio is one of the best destinations to visit in the penultimate month of this decade, about Rio’s musical extravaganza and now it’s time to talk about the don’ts of Rio de Janeiro! Simply put, these are tips to enjoy the city with safety on your side of favour.
Like any city, Rio de Janeiro has both good and bad sides, while the latter is only mildly existential, you can never be too safe. If you’re planning your trip to Rio and you intend on enjoying the city’s sun-drenched coastline and samba-fuelled glory, keep reading and you’ll find out soon enough.
1) Things to Exclude from your exploration
Try to cross out any item of value from your outfit while your preparing to explore Rio. The city is fairly casual and if you want to grasp the sense of its tropical vibe, then keep it casual and comfy, unless of course your meeting up with Rio’s elite. Be sure to keep your passport safe in your hotel and only take out a copy of it with you when you go out. Try to have less cash in hand and use travellers’ cards or credit cards instead of carrying around a lot of money.
2) What to do while exploring Rio
During your exploration, keep your camera inside your bag at all times. Don’t leave your things unattended while you go for a swim at the beach because there’s a pretty good chance, like in any other city, of it being stolen, and more importantly, always have the exact amount of change you need when you’re getting on a crowded bus.
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3) Don’ts of Rio’s nightlife
Better safe than sorry don’t you think? That’s why if you’re partying it up in one of Rio’s sleek clubs or bars: you should never leave your drink unattended, never accept a drink from a ‘friendly’ stranger and even if you have to set your drink down, try to cover the opening. It might be stretch, but there’s no room to leave the possibility of you getting drugged neglected. In addition to this, if someone who looks like they’ve had a few drinks more than they’re supposed to spills their 15th drink on you, don’t let them clean it, it’s a common ruse to steal your wallet and the whole ‘I’m too drunk’ scenario is just an act.
4) Explorers limit
I get how tempting it must be to wander through the generous crossroads of Rio, but one particular part you might want to ignore is Favelas. The Favela areas are where Rio gets all its bad reputation from! So, steer clear and stick to the south zone where it’s all sunshine, happiness, less violence and where no one gets mugged on an hourly basis. The only two favelas that are safe to go in are Vidigal and Rocinha, although the latter is best with a guide and not alone.
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5) Additional words of advice
- In need of help? Then know that a smile can go a long way! Cariocas are upbeat and friendly, if you approach one of the locals with respect and remember your manners, you’ll find all the help you need.
- Remember to pack all the right clothing, mosquito repellent and sunscreen. Treasure the fact that if you stand out like a glowing beacon, vendors might more often than not, try to sell you things for more than its worth.
- If you are allergic to specific food ingredients then it’s best to stick to cafes and restaurants than street food, trust me, you wouldn’t want to spend a day at the hospital just because those coxinhas looked mouth-watering.
But perhaps the best advice for any tourist visiting a new destination is to be smart and use common sense. Trust your gut feeling and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do back home. Walk with purpose and look like you know what you’re doing, but most importantly, try to have a good time!
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