Barra da Tijuca

Glitzy nightclubs and ritzy condominiums rise above the beach far from the core of the city.

Far-removed from the core of the city, Barra da Tijuca exchanges Rio de Janeiro’s traditional apartments and villas for chic condominiums and mega malls. This glass-towered neighborhood borrows its entertainment éclat from cosmopolitan hotspots like Miami, USA. Primped socialites gather in Barra da Tijuca’s glamorous boutiques and glitzy nightclubs. Its beauty goes beyond skin-deep—this neighborhood boasts scenic mountain vistas, the city’s longest stretch of beach, and the notoriety of being South America’s first city to host the Summer Olympics in 2016.

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On the Map

Barra da Tijuca is bordered by Joá and Recreio dos Bandeirantes

Galeão International Airport: 35 minutes by cab without traffic
Santos Dumont Domestic Airport: 37 minute by cab without traffic
Corcovado's Train Station: 26 minutes by cab or 1 hour and 50 minutes by bus
Sugar Loaf Cable Car: 31 minutes by cab or 1 hour and 45 minutes by bus
Lapa: 37 minutes by cab or 2 hours by bus

  • Public transit is Possible
  • Having a car is Easy

A Far Away Beachfront Destination

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Unlike the crowded core of Rio's more central beaches, Barra da Tijuca boasts white sand and plenty of space to sunbathe.

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It's a trek to get to Barra da Tijuca, but aquatic sports enthusiasts don't seem to mind.

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Once they get here, there's more room for them to play.

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A relatively young neighborhood, Barra da Tijuca has yet to establish as many seaside kiosks as beaches like Ipanema or Leblon.

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The neighborhood expresses its growing urbanity in other ways.

Barra da Tijuca is a new and luxury neighborhood, with several restaurants, cinemas, large shopping centers and big supermarkets. We call Barra da Tijuca as Brazilian Miami."

An Emerging Economy

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Shiny indoor malls are more Miami, USA than Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Reminders of Rio's Carioca culture still exist in Barra. Intimate moments at seaside cafes extol Rio's emphasis on relaxation.

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Commercial centers and corporate offices swiftly change your beachside state of mind.

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Barra is a nice, safe, isolated mid-class neighborhood with clean, nice beaches. To be pointed out - if you want to be in the center of Rio, Barra is a 25 minutes drive to Ipanema ($20 per cab) so you might feel slightly isolated."


Visited in 2012

Towering Suburbia

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Most suburbs spread out. In Barra da Tijuca, they spread up.

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Looking for more space to nurture growing careers and growing families, recent generations have moved farther and farther from the core of the city.

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Housing thousands of newcomers, the towering edifices rise from the land without remorse.

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Even their shadows can't hide the splendor of their natural surroundings.

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Barra da Tijuca is far. Let us tell you, you'll want a car.

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Especially as 2016 approaches.

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Barra da Tijuca is poised to host the Summer Olympics.

Barra beach is less crowded/touristy than Ipanema/Copacabana/Leblon, so would be my preferred option to spend a day purely sunbathing and relaxing on the beach."


Visited in 2011


Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Andre Joaquim

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Andre is both a dentist and photographer, living in Rio de Janeiro. He has a huge passion for Rio, and after shooting this project for Airbnb, he is certain that there is no place as beautiful as the city placed between the mountain and the sea.

Fabio Blaser

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Fabio Blaser is a Swiss photojournalist based in Rio de Janeiro. Before moving to Brazil, he graduated from the University of Plymouth in the UK. When not behind his camera, he enjoys the beaches, waterfalls, rainforest and Brazilian way of life. He loved the opportunity to shoot the wonderful tropical city that he is privileged to call home for Airbnb.

Sam Comen

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Sam Comen is a 32-year-old bon-vivant and LA native who counts Esquire, Details, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal among his clients. He has been awarded national grants and honors for his long-term portrait essays. On assignment in Rio de Janeiro for 11 days with Airbnb, Sam came to love and admire the city's environment, natural splendor, and the Cariocas' easy-going attitude.