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Copacabana and Leme

Copacabana is Rio's most famous tourist neighborhood thanks to its fabulous beach and grande-dame hotels such as the Copacabana Palace. The main thoroughfare is Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, two blocks inland from the beach. The commercial street is filled with shops, restaurants, and sidewalks crowded with colorful characters. Despite having some of the best hotels in Rio, Copacabana's heyday is over, and the neighborhood is grittier than Ipanema or Leblon. It's no secret to thieves that tourists congregate here, so keep your eyes peeled for shady types when walking around after dark.

Copacabana is Rio's most iconic neighborhood, and it's home to the city's largest concentration of hotels. The beach is the main attraction and is served by three metro stations. Cardeal Arcoverde is the closest to Leme, the quieter, family-oriented end of the beach, Siqueira Campos is right at the center, and Cantagalo is within walking distance of Ipanema. Plan to spend the best part of a day here, buying food and drink from beach vendors or the many kiosks that line the sidewalk.

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