Barra da Tijuca

Exploring the newest and wealthiest district in Rio

Expansive view of Barra da Tijuca from the mountains
Expansive view of Barra da Tijuca from the mountains cc licensed photo by Barrazine Da Barra

Noted as being the most Americanized and developed area of Brazil, Barra da Tijuca is an interesting place to visit even if just for curiosity. But it is not the development which keeps people coming back, being situated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean the beach is definitely one of the biggest attractions.

With clean water perfect for swimming and surfing and a 17 kilometre long sandy white beach ideal for sunbathing and relaxing, you will find that Barra da Tijuca has just as much, to offer as Ipanema and Copacabana, if not more. You will be able to enjoy walking along the promenade drinking coconut water and stopping off at one of the many sea side bars or restaurants. One of the things people mention when coming to the beaches at Barra is that it is not as over-crowed as in Ipanema for example.

You will find that the design of the neighbourhood of Barra da Tijuca is very different from the rest of Brazil. There are three main roads or highways which connect different sections of the district. These big highways are what you would typically see when you are in America. The Barra Express Bus from Rio takes you to Terminal Alvorada which is pretty much in the centre of Barra da Tijuca and within walking distance of a couple of major shopping malls. We provide detailed instructions for walking to the malls on our shopping page. Barra covers a large area so you may need to pay an additional fare and take a local bus if you want to explore beyond the central area.

Originally a big beach with lots of swamps, this area was once desolate. Large expanses of this area were owned by very few people and so development was very retarded. It was also a region that was isolated from other regions due to it being almost enclosed by high mountain ranges.

It was when the new Governor was appointed, Governor Negrão de Lima that things began to really change. He appointed an urban planner named Lucio Costa who was inspired by the American urban styles marked by large highways, boulevards and big spaces. This plan was put in place in 1969 and over the years construction grew at a rapid pace.

A fairly new approach to the high density population in Barra was to introduce lavish condominiums. Each condominium was built to be a neighbourhood complex created in such a way that people never have to leave. Many of the condominiums have pools, gyms, spas, sports centres and coffee shops. They provide a high level of security giving residents and their guests a safe and private place. These luxury condominiums house some of the most famous and richest Brazilians.


Metro + Bus Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Line 4 - YellowJardim Oceânico3 Minutes + Connecting Bus

How to get to Barra da Tijuca by Metro + Bus

Start by making your way to General Osório Station located on Metro Line 1. Transfer to Line 4 and continue to Jardim Oceânico Station which is located near the eastern edge of Barra da Tijuca. From there you can transfer to the 301 bus to continue west into the Main Shopping area and other parts of Barra da Tijuca. There are other buses along this route as well, but the 301 is the least expensive.

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