The Best Hidden View of Rio – Parque da Cidade

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The Best Hidden View of Rio – Parque da Cidade

The Best Hidden View of Rio – Parque da Cidade

The Best Hidden View of Rio – Parque da Cidade

Experience

Blessed with an abundance of stunning viewpoints, Rio is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its undulating green mounts rise delightfully amongst the gleaming white tower blocks and colourful favelas as its perfect beaches line Guanabara Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Despite fantastic views over the city being readily available, one can never tire at seeing ‘a cidade maravilhosa’ from yet another angle. The most popular vantage points are Sugarloaf and Christ the Redeemer which offer up unbelievable panoramas of the city as does the view from atop of Os Dois Irmaos which towers over Ipanema. While the first two, in particular, are usually crowded with visitors, there are a couple of hidden viewpoints dotted about which are seldom visited in comparison.

For the best-hidden view of Rio, Parque da Cidade across the bay in neighbouring Niteroi offers up an awe-inspiring view of the beautiful city and when the sun is shining there is no better place to be as fluffy white clouds dot the skyline above Rio.

With the sun glinting off of the waters around Rio, the Christ Statue towering above the buildings below and the gentle curves of Rio’s beaches and forested mounts; the scene is simply divine. Sitting on the hilltop in Parque da Cidade, you can be alone with your thoughts and enjoy the view in isolation as visitors to the viewpoint are few and far between.

With the Atlantic Ocean on your left and the gigantic Guanabara Bay stretching before you and to your right, the distinctive mounts and peaks of Rio lie gloriously in front of you. Pedra da Gavea, Pao de Acucar, Morro dois Irmaos, Morro do Corcovado… the beauty of Rio’s skyline is jaw-dropping in its splendour. In any other city, Parque da Cidade would be a popular place to visit but Rio de Janeiro has so many outstanding viewpoints that few people make the journey to witness the city from a whole new angle.

While it does take a while to get to Parque da Cidade, the journey to the viewpoint actually offers up another two amazing views of Rio and Niteroi as a city is worth visiting in its own right. Lying across the bay from Rio, you can either take a ferry to Niteroi or a bus that crosses a marvellous thirteen-kilometre long bridge that cuts across the waters. Both options offer up amazing views of Rio and that is just on the journey to the ultimate view!

Often used to gently mock residents from Niteroi, Cariocas say that the best thing about the city is the view of Rio and while it is tongue in cheek, the view from Praia de Icarai – the main beach in Niteroi – really is astounding. Lounging on the beach playing fresco ball, futevolei or petequa is made that much better by the view across Guanabara Bay and the outline of the city against the sky is breathtaking.

Aside from Praia de Icarai, Niteroi also has the distinctive Contemporary Art Museum which is well worth a visit. While the collection inside is not much to look at, the building which was designed by the iconic Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer is impressive to behold. Looking like a UFO in appearance, the museum looks out imperiously over the waters that surround it and there is again a nice view of Rio and one of Niteroi for visitors to enjoy.

After having experienced the various beautiful views of Rio on the journey there, Parque da Cidade is the piece de resistance and is the ultimate hidden view of Rio de Janeiro.

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SEE – Photos & Videos

WSE Travel - The Best Hidden View of Rio - Parque da Cidade - Off in the distance you can see Christ the Redeemer - Pao de Acucar Os Dois Irmaos and Pedra da Gavea

Off in the distance you can see Christ the Redeemer – Pao de Acucar Os Dois Irmaos and Pedra da Gavea

WSE Travel - The Best Hidden View of Rio - Parque da Cidade - Seldom visited by tourists Itacoatiara is just outside of Niteroi and is well worth a visit

Seldom visited by tourists Itacoatiara is just outside of Niteroi and is well worth a visit

WSE Travel - The Best Hidden View of Rio - Parque da Cidade - The outline of Rio is amazing at all times of day from Icarai Beach

The outline of Rio is amazing at all times of day from Icarai Beach

WSE Travel - The Best Hidden View of Rio - Parque da Cidade - With the sun glittering off of the bay Parque da Cidade is a lovely place to spend some time

With the sun glittering off of the bay Parque da Cidade is a lovely place to spend some time

WSE Travel - The Best Hidden View of Rio - Parque da Cidade - Almost empty the viewing platform is a world away from the crowded viewpoints at Christ the Redeemer and Pao de Acucar

Almost empty the viewing platform is a world away from the crowded viewpoints at Christ the Redeemer and Pao de Acucar

WSE Travel - The Best Hidden View of Rio - Parque da Cidade - Niteroi has a number of beautiful views of Rio

Niteroi has a number of beautiful views of Rio

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GO – Getting There

Niteroi is a lovely city that lies just across Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janeiro and it is well worth staying there a night or two if you have enough time on your trip.

To get to Niteroi and Parque da Cidade, you have a couple of transport options. From the centre of Rio you can get a ferry from Praca XV to Niteroi which takes around twenty-five minutes and costs 6.10 Reais. From here you then take the 751D bus to Avenida Quintino Bocaiuva which costs 13 Reais, after which it is a half an hour walk to the hilltop where Parque da Cidade is located (or a short taxi ride!).

Alternatively, you can take a bus over the magnificent bridge that connects Niteroi to Rio. There are various buses that will take you to Icarai or Niteroi but traffic can sometimes be horrendous on the bridge depending on what time of day it is.

WSE Travel - The Best Hidden View of Rio - Parque da Cidade - Map

The Best Hidden View of Rio – Parque da Cidade – Map

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Do – Activities & Attractions

Parque da Cidade is an absolutely lovely place to watch the sun go down over Rio and taking a picnic with you is the perfect way to spend a warm sunny evening. There are loads of great photos to be had here.

Not far away is the Fortaleza de Santa Cruz de Barra – a historic fort that used to protect the entrance of Guanabara Bay. An impressive building, the fort is great to visit and there is again a nice view of Pao de Acucar and the bay itself.

Wiling away the day on Icarai beach is a lovely way to kick back and relax and the view of Rio is stunning. Just ask one of the friendly locals if you can join in with one of the games that are going on on the beach and you’ll be making new friends in no time at all!

The Contemporary Art Museum is worth a visit if only for its distinctive design, the inside collection is free to visit so you might as well have a look although it is distinctly underwhelming. It is a beautiful building however to behold.

If you are staying in Niteroi (which is well worth doing), Itacoatiara – one of the best beaches in the state – is not too far away from Parque da Cidade and Niteroi itself. If your organisation skills are on point, you could easily combine the viewpoint and a visit to the beach in one day. Itacoatiara again has a lovely viewpoint for you to visit!

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Stay – Accommodation

Visitors to Parque da Cidade can either head back to Rio or stay in nearby Niteroi after having enjoyed the view. There are a wealth of places to stay in both cities and there are accommodation options that cater to all budgets. In Rio, you can spend as much or as little as you like on accommodation.

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Eat – Restaurants

Most restaurants in Rio de Janeiro and Niteroi deal in mainly traditional Brazilian dishes. While there are some Italian, Chinese and Japanese restaurants to be found, the majority of what you’ll be eating will be as Brazilian as it comes. For snacks make sure to try Coxinha and any type of Pastel you can find. Main dishes will usually consist of some type of meat accompanied by feijoada. Kilo restaurants are a great and cheap option for trying as much local food in one sitting as possible – the buffet meals are priced based on their weight.

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Time – Seasonality & Schedules

Rio and its surroundings are usually blessed with incredible weather the whole year round and even during winter it is a pleasant place to be. June to August is winter time in Brazil and so it is probably best to visit Parque da Cidade outside of these months. Having said that, you would be pretty unlucky not to get a great view of Rio in the sun even during the winter months.

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Safety – Possible risks

Residents of Rio and Niteroi are constantly warning foreigners about the risk of violence in their cities and both places certainly can be dangerous to visit. That being said, be careful about what possessions you carry on you, don’t flash your cash, don’t draw too much attention to yourself and you should be fine. Just be a bit wary of your surroundings.

Please Note: Travel inherently comes with an element of risk (just like crossing the road does). You are putting yourself in elements that are unfamiliar and foreign to your usual lifestyle and with that, become more susceptible to fall victim those who try to play off those unfamiliar to their local scams. There are also potential dangers in the environments to which you may not be accustomed to.

Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.

Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk, and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).

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Pay – How much does it cost?

Parque da Cidade is free to visit and so the only cost is the transport. Depending on what transport options you choose it can cost as little as $5 to get there and back from either Rio or Niteroi.

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Responsible Travel – Best Practices

Brazilians are very welcoming to foreigners and will nearly always help you out if you’re stuck. Try not to draw too much attention to yourself when making your way around the country and you should have a great time.

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Reality Check – Be Aware

Parque da Cidade can take quite a while to get to if you’re leaving from the Rio Sul part of Rio de Janeiro but it is definitely worth a visit for its amazing view of the city. To make the trip extra worthwhile stay the night in Niteroi and try and combine the viewpoint with a visit to Itacoatiara beach.

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JOIN US! WSE Travel Packages

This sounds like quite the adventure, right? We thought so too! Though we realize it can be pretty intimidating to get out there into the world on your own, especially when travelling to some of these off the beaten path locations. We love it when our readers give it a shot and try it for themselves! In fact, please leave us feedback if you do!! If trying something ‘this’ adventurous on your own is just a bit outside of your comfort zone, WSE Travel is here to help!

Follow this link for our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Tours – packages that are highly personalized and tailored at your request.

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Have you ever been to a city that had a really unique historical or cultural feature? Where was it and what made it so unique?

Please feel free to share your stories and thoughts in the comment section below!

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About the Author:

Currently living in Brussels, Alex´s life revolves around travel and he is constantly on the lookout for new experiences. Having studied nine languages to date, he really cares about getting to know new people, their cultures and customs. With a background in education and NGO work, Alex aims to help people develop themselves and experience new places through his travel writing for companies such as Finding Beyond.

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