Rio De Janeiro Travel Guide

Education

For tourists there are many interesting things to learn. Why not take a rainy day in town to have samba (the national rhythm) classes or capoeira, a mix of dance and fighting created by the then enslaved African community. Is not as hard as outsiders may think, and it's original and fun. At Casa Rosa Cultural, an antique house in Laranjeiras neighborhood, they offer special classes for the beginner tourists.

If you are staying in Brazil for an extended time, major universities offer Portuguese courses for foreigners, usually for a very low price and with high educational standards.

Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) - Offers courses at various levels in Portuguese for Foreigners . R$428 for one semester, or R$214 if you're a regular student at UFRJ.
Universidade Federal Fluminense (located in Niterói)
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) - Its courses Portuguese for Foreigners are popular, but a bit pricey at R$1632 per semester for the beginner's levels.
Goethe-Institut
Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos
Cultura Inglesa
Instituto Cervantes
Aliança Francesa
Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA) - the National Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. A centre with an international renown for scientific excellence and superb working conditions in Mathematics. You can take any course for free. The summer courses (Jan-Feb) are very popular and there is even the possibility of getting some modest funding for the summer.
Casa do Caminho Language Centre - Learn Portuguese here with the profits going back into the Casa do Caminho
Shopping

When shopping in street commerce, always bargain; this can lower prices considerably. Bargaining in stores and malls, though, is usually impolite. But naturally merchants won't bargain unless you ask, especially if you are clearly a tourist. To tourists, items can easily be overpriced by a factor of 20% especially in highly informal markets such as Saara or on the beach.

A typical Brazilian hammock shouldn't be more than R$20–30 but they can sell for up to US$150.
A beer on the beach should cost around R$3.00
A caipirinha can be had for the same price (around R$3.00-R$4.00) and you get a great show as the ingredients are produced from a cooler and lime slices muddled before your eyes
You can get coconut water for R$2.00-3.00
For trinkets, your best bet is the "hippie fair" in Praça General Osório in Ipanema every Sunday.

Great bargains can be had on Brazilian-made clothing, as well as some European imports. Most imported items, however, such as electronics, tend to be insanely expensive due to protective import duties. For example, you will find digital cameras sell for about twice what they sell for in Europe or the U.S.

Store managers in Rio often speak some English, as this gains employees an almost-automatic promotion. But "some" can be very little, so it is useful to learn at least some very basic Portuguese. Just knowing basic greetings, numbers, and how to ask directions and prices will get you at least a "B" for effort, and despite finding that store clerks may know more English than you Portuguese, it can still come in handy to know a bit of the language. Don't be afraid to resort to writing numbers, pictures, or resorting to pantomime. Shop assistants will often tap out prices for you on a calculator. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Brazil, with American Express to a significantly lower degree. But beware that many stores will accept either Visa or MasterCard, but not both! If you carry only one, look for the sign in the store window before attempting to buy.

A great choice of gift, since they do not take much space in the suitcase back home, are bikinis, a trademark from Rio for its quality and fashion style.

Shopping malls can be found all over town, with the cheaper ones in the Zona Norte like Shopping Tijuca and Shopping Iguatemi and popular upscale shopping malls concentrated in the Zona Sul like Shopping Rio Sul and Shopping Leblon and São Conrado Fashion Mall and BarraShopping in Zona Oeste.

Organic Food

Organic food arrived in the Brazilian supermarkets but if you want to support local small scale farmers you might consider the following fairs of Circuito Feiras Organicas Carioca:

Tuesday:

Ipanema, Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz, de 7h às 13h

Thursday:

Tijuca, Praça Afonso Pena, de 7h às 13h | LEBLON, Praça Antero de Quental,de 7h às 13h

Saturday:

Bairro Peixoto, Praça Edmundo Bittencourt, de 8h às 13h | GLÓRIA, Rua do Russel, de 7h às 13h | JARDIM BOTÂNICO, Praça da Igreja São José da Lagoa, de 7h às 13h

source: Wikivoyage

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