Where to eat & drink
Michelin-starred restaurant Oro is a Rio favourite, serving revamped Brazilian street food in a swish setting.
Try the pork and pineapple kimchi or citrus-spiked tapioca with cured fish. Stick around the Leblon area for post-dinner cocktail vibes at Mixxing or seriously good ice cream at Momo Gelato. For a laid-back lunch, meander through the botanical gardens and stop at Jarbô, which feels miles away from the city bustle. Brazilians love to party, so join them at Bip Bip, a proper local’s bar that offers cans of Heineken and heart-thumping bossa nova bands, or Pedra Do Sal for samba dancing. Up for an afterparty? Head to the Lapa district, where the fun in the street (above) doesn’t even get started until 1am.
Where to shop
It’s not a proper trip without a rummage round a local market — the Feira de Arte (aka the Hippie Fair, above) in Ipanema holds real gems, from art to clothing. Be sure to stop by a Havaianas store to buy the famous flip-flops for as little as £3. For skin to rival the bodies on the beaches, visit apothecary-style pharmacy Granado in Centro to stock up on rich body butters fortified with vitamin E and Brazil nut.
What to do
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited (Getty Images)Start your sightseeing by hopping on the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain for incredible, 360-degree views of the city. At 396 metres, you’re perfectly positioned to spot the planes coming in to land at Santos Dumont Airport. Of course, Christ the Redeemer (inset) is a must — the beauty of the famous statue is that it can be seen from most of Rio, but it’s not until you’re right up close on Corcovado mountain that you can grasp the true scale of it. Get practising your inventive selfie angles. For somewhere a little more down to earth, the Jardim Botânico (botanical gardens) is a truly beautiful, peaceful space to escape the midday sun.
Where to stay
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited (Fasano hotel)Fasano, overlooking world-famous Ipanema beach (below), is a slice of minimalist heaven as cool as the ice in your Caipirinha. The rooftop pool is unbeatable for the views while the Dali-esque interiors come with spotlit corridors straight out of a David Lynch film. The magnificent breakfast is the best possible start to your day, thanks to the mouth-watering local mangoes and pineapples. Sophie was a guest of Fasano. Rooms from £315 (fasano.com.br/hoteis)