• Great place!
  • Nice place!
  • Ok place.

Copacabana Beach

Female opinion

My aunt once said, “Copacabana is not a beach, nor is it a neighborhood, it's life!” And it really is! Copacabana is full of life almost 24/7. As a tourist, you can find here anything you are looking for. 4 km of sandy beach, lots of sports activities that you can join, numerous kiosks with live music on the promenade, dozens of bars and restaurants on the other side of the Avenida Atlantica, street vendors both on the beach and on the promenade who sell everything in the world... Occasionally big concerts and sports events are held here. Copacabana beach is also the most popular place in Rio to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Male opinion

The world famous beach. To be honest, you can find many nicer beaches in and around Rio. The crowded and often dirty Copacabana beach is nothing special during the day. But I love the beach promenade during Thu, Fri and Sat evenings. Just walk in the crowd, pass dozens of open-air bars, half of them with live performers. While walking, you will hear the perky rhythm of samba, soon taken over by popular hits from 90´s, just as they fade, you begin to grasp the sweet sound of bossa nova… endless variation of music. Sit down in a bar you like, enjoy the music, a beer or a fresh coconut, watch the furious waves hit the shore and continue your stroll. Repeat.

There are several hypotheses where Copacabana name comes from. It might be “blue beach” in the Quechua language spoken in the ancient Inca Empire or “lake view” in the Aymara language spoken in Bolivia. There is a small Bolivian town on the shore of lake Titicaca also called Copacabana.

In the 19th century Bolivian and Peruvian silver traders brought a replica of the image of Bolivian saint Nossa Senhora de Copacabana to Rio de Janeiro beach known at that time as Sacopenapã. They built a chapel in honor of the saint (in the place where today stands the Copacabana Fort), which gave its name to Copacabana beach and neighborhood.

In the middle of 20th centry Copacabana was popular among millionaires and celebrities who sought for exotic holiday destinations. Hotel Copacabana Palace, the most luxurious hotel in Rio, became a symbol of the city, hosting throught the time a lot of international celebrities like Edith Piaf, Walt Disney, Evita Peron, Lady Di, Brigitte Bardot, Bill Clinton and many others.

Nowadays Copacabana is not as exotic and luxurios as it once was. It's a middle class neighborhood, but it's still very popular among tourists from all the corners of the world.

Song about Copacabana

"Copacabana" song by Barry Manilow

Quick facts

Type: beach
Touristic: very
Getting there: easy
Minimal transport: walk
Length: 3.5 km
Cost: free
Other names: Praia de Copacabana, Copacabana beach, Copa
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How to get there

Address: Copacabana

Hood: Copacabana

From Ipanema, General Osorio: 
1. Walk to the beach.
2. Turn left towards Arpoador and Copacabana.
3. Walk the main street (follow the bike road) until you reach the second beach (Copacabana).

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