The city of samba will open space to Rock’n’roll; know what to do in the West side of Rio
By the end of this week, the land of samba will be taken over by a different rhythm. Instead of tamborines and drums, guitars, riffs, and some harsh vocals. But the excitement is not smaller to the Rock in Rio festival newest edition. This year the line-up gathers bands like Aerosmith, Guns’n’Roses, The Who, Tears for Fears, and stars like Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake. Since the venue where the shows will take place is located in Rio’s West side, many people rented places to stay at Barra, Recreio and Jacarepaguá districts to avoid very distant trips in the middle of the night, when the shows are expected to end.
And the Rio’s West Side is not only beach and rock’n’roll. There are some very nice places to visit if you are in those neighbourhoods.
- Go to Cidade das Artes
Cultural center by the French architect Christian de Portzamparc. In some 97,000 square meters there are two theaters and 21 other spaces, including, movie theaters, art galleries, rehearsal rooms, places to read and for courses, besides stores, cafes and a restaurant. It’s open Tue-Sun from 10AM-6PM, located at Avenida das Américas, 5.300. You can access by bus, car or use the express line linking the South and West sides of the city. The events are listed here: http://www.cidadedasartes.org/programacao
- Visit Casa do Pontal Museum
It’s considered the largest and most important museum of popular art in Brazil. Its collection is the result of French designer Jacques Van de Beuque’s effort who spent 40 years of research travelling around the country. There are about 8.000 pieces of over 200 Brazilian artists, produced since the last Century. The permanent exhibit has 1,500 sq meters of galleries with the representative urban and rural art of Brazil. They are separated by themes, like daily life, festivals, religious, imaginary. The musem is at Estrada do Pontal, 3.295, and can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday, 9AM to 5PM.
- Take a stroll at Parque Ecológico Chico Mendes
One of the most important urban environmental protected areas in Rio, the park was estabilished 25 years ago. It was created to preserve Tachas Lagoon and its surroundings inhabited by rare species of plants and animals like the yellow-neck-alligator. It is also one of the last remaining areas in the city where you can see untouched sandbanks and small lagoons with salty water. The park was named after rubber tapper, union leader and environmentalist Chico Mendes, murdered in Acre state in 1988. He became one of the symbols of ecologists in Brazil. The place is located at avenida Jarbas de Carvalho, 679 Recreio dos Bandeirantes and can be visited Tue-Sun, 8PM-5PM. Free admittance.
- Last but not the least, the beaches
Unlike traditional and more famous Ipanema, Copacabana, some West Side beaches are less populated and urban, since they are far from downtown. That’s the case of Joatinga, Prainha, Praia da Reserva, and Grumari. But if you are looking for some hype, Barra, Recreio and Praia do Pepê might be the right spots for you. The waves are usually higher what makes some of them good for surfing.