Ipanema (12)

When there was no space left to build in Copacabana, the carioca upper classes moved into the neighbourhood where artists and the creators of bossa nova spent their evenings. At first, the neighbourhood was full of bohemian intellectuals, but eventually the cultural explosion gave way to a blend of relaxing beaches and the most luxurious city businesses.

If it hasn't changed, it has the most expensive price per residential square metre in Latin America.

Located between Leblon, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and Arpoador, it's easy to tell when you're passing from Copacabana to Ipanema on the promenade: while the Copacabana promenade features breaking waves, the black and white mosaics along the four kilometres of Ipanema feature more rounded geometric shapes.

This neighbourhood boasts some of the most expensive shops in the city, which are primarily located in the area known as the Quadrilatero do Charme. This is home to streets such as Visconde de Pirajá, which features several of the most exclusive jewellers in the world, renowned brands and some of the most exclusive restaurants, cafés, nightclubs and clubs. It reflects a spirit of sophistication, without losing the carioca essence. 

And just as we suggest you visit the most luxurious street in Rio, we also recommend that you head to Padaria Ipanema. It might be just a bakery, but it is perhaps one of the best lanchonetes in the city.

If you're a fan of bossa nova, Ipanema is the place to be. The Garota de Ipanema bar is not to be missed. Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim composed the famous song. We also recommend Vinicius Bar, which has live shows almost every day. 

And at number 129 Vinicius de Moraes, there is a shop called Toca do Vinicius that sells records, books, photographs and even autographs of the most famous carioca musicians. It's like a mini museum to Rio culture. It sometimes holds live music shows.

So that's Ipanema: an absolutely fantastic blend, where you can visit the most exclusive jewellers in the world, then go to the viewpoint of a favela, watch the sunset on a stone, enjoy a chope gelado (an ice-cold beer) while listening to bossa nova and then enjoy a lively night in one of the world's gayest streets. 

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