Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Débora, 26
Studying Architecture & Urbanism
see her Rio De Janeiro city guide

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vegetarian gourmet pizza vegan café bakery

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm currently working at Roberto Marinho Foundation and graduating in Architecture and Urbanism at the same time. I'm constantly looking for self-knowledge and high-performance skills to achieve my life goals. I think my life mission is "unite". It might seem vage but is the essence I search for and that’s why I'm preparing myself to work at United Nations and be part of something greater then me, helping people and sharing an amplifieing conscieness about our context and how big are the world and humanity. Ambiscous I know... but I like to think that there's nothing in the world that I can't do. We can change the world!

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

I'm a totally melancholy broken heart. I listen to all MPB tracks (Popular Brazilian Music) with some revolt and sadness touch in it. But, in other hand, it raises my spirit to know that there're in Brazil really good music and artists like Cazuza, Caetano Veloso and Tom Jobim. They're fabulous and remind me how we can transform "ups and downs" in a great piece of art.

Name some spots in Rio De Janeiro that are good for a Tinder date.

I'll suggest places with low and indirect lights in it, for a mystirious and hormones racking night. Could be Teto Solar Botafogo or Caverna Bar. Every tuesday in Teto Solar Bar there is a pretty good jazz with a New Yorker named Alma Thomas on the vocals, max quality! In other hand, Caverna Bar has a really good music too, but in this one we're talking about Rock n' Roll. Drinks and food are great and also have delicious vegetarian options.

Who’s your hero and where in Rio De Janeiro would you take them out for a serious hang?

I have a problem. I get extremly nervous when I'm around people I worship. So, if I could chose a place to take an idol, I would think of my own house. I could offer a great dinner and invite some of my closest friends so he / she could feel welcomed, and since I'm in my house I could be more at ease.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Rio Aquarium. Definitely! Say "no!!" to that cruelty, please!

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I LOVE Stand Up Paddle. In Copacabana Beach, by side Copacabana Fort, there is a lot of stands renting boards. I don’t do this often but it is something I truly like. I’m able to forget any problems that I have just in a half hour paddle. Also you’ll have an amazing view of Copacabana buildings skyline and beach.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Rio De Janeiro that you particularly like?

Have a good walk through Botafogo and you'll find plenty of hidden spots.

What restaurant in Rio De Janeiro looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Bar Urca, definetly. The place is situated in one of the best neighberhoods in town: Urca. Has a great view and food amazingly well prepared, but even with all those qualities is a 30 square meters hall, with cheap decoration and for access need to climb a very tight staircase. See that's not a place you give much for. Generaly, people go at sunrise to stay in front of Bar Urca, wich also have a bar below that serves all kind of tipical cariocas snacks and cold beer. Since there is no place to sit inside the bar, everybody sits on the small wall in front, looking directly to Guanabara Bay and Botafogo Cove.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

A lot of locals think that Açaí is a tipical carioca iguary, sorry disapoint you guys but it is not. Açaí came from Northest side of Brazil and what we consume here in Rio has not half of the original consistance and flavor. Even though, here in Rio we have a place called Tataca do Norte, where you can try the true, or near to that, Açaí. Ask them to prepare with sugar and ask separately some cassava / manioc flour (farinha de mandioca, in Portuguese). I should tell that is not everybody that likes it, its a strong flavor that you need to get used to but... I recommend it.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Rio De Janeiro?

Rio are famous for its beaches and sometimes it seems to me that neighborhoods without beach front like Laranjeiras, Flamengo e Cosme Velho are forgoten. But they’re really good to a walk since there is a lot of residences and arborized streets, also has metro and plenty of bars and restaurants. Laranjeiras and Flamengo are good places to stay hospedated.

What are the Rio De Janeiro spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Although it seems overrated, Redeemer Christ it's a must see. I love to go up there and see how big and beautifull this city is. Also it's quite shocking and important to see the both sides of Rio: south zone and north zone, wich is easy to tell by the extense non-green area that goes infinitly in northward and compare with the city most sold view we have in southward. Doesn't even look like is the same city, but it is... And we need to have that image in mind so we don't generalize and stereotipy Rio because is so much more then great beaches, sugar loaf and girls from Ipanema.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Rio De Janeiro. How do you spend it?

Well... I think I'd take to the next level the "all in one" city that I was talking. Would wake up in the morning, like 7AM, and practice some yoga. I'd have a strong breakfast at home and choose an mountain to hike that could be Pedra Bonita or Pedra da Gávea. After I'd go to Joatinga beach for a few hours, then I'd walk to Costa Brava Club - wich I'm associated but you can pay for a day use - there I'd spent some relaxe time at the pool and watch the sunset. I'd be back home at 7PM for some quality sleep time, then I could wake up 8PM and arrange a dinner with friends towards to end up my day in a big party!!!

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Till now I would say that Barcelona is the best place I've ever been besides Rio. Is the same "all in one" kind of city that makes you think every thing is possible and don't matter wich season and weather, you will always have some cool options to explore. But I got a lot to know yet. My dream is to have a Orient round trip, going to China, Japan, India and Middle East.

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