Overview of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is the most popular tourist destination in Brazil. The city is the heart of Brazilian soccer and also boasts beautiful beaches and cultural attractions. Rio, known as Cidade Maravilhosa (Wonderful City), is the second most populous metropolis in Brazil with over 6.3 million inhabitants. The large population contributes to the diversity found among Rio's citizens. The city has seen many influences due to past colonization and continued immigration from European countries such as: Italy, Spain, and Portugal as well as many African countries over the centuries. Portuguese is the most popular language spoken in the city.
Introduction to Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is home to a unique display of contrasts: an active metropolis set amidst beautiful mountain ranges, rainforests illumintaing some of its wildlife, beaches packed with tourists from around the globe, great wealth amidst crushing poverty, and traditions mixing with desires for innovation. The city's diverse nature is also apparent in its architecture; certain buildings and monuments have withstood the events and elements throughout the centuries, while others are styled after the modern looks of other contemporary cities. The contrasting characteristics of Rio means that there are endless sites to visit and unique places to explore.
Rio de Janeiro is divided into three zones: the North (Zona Norta), the South (Zona Sul) and the Center (Centro), with the latter two containing the majority of the attractions. The South is home to the beautiful beach areas of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. The majority of the city's cultural highlights, such as museums and churches, are found in the Center.
Each section provides some background information and useful links to help you make the most out of your time in Rio de Janeiro:
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