One of the most charming neighborhoods in Rio, Ipanema became internationally famous thanks to the song Garota de Ipanema, by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. Ipanema is the meeting place for young people, artists and intellectuals. Besides its beautiful beach, if offers a variety of hotels, bars, restaurants, stores and markets. It is one of the five wealthiest neighborhoods in the city, with a high level of human development, and one of the highest per capita income rates.
Beginning in the 1960s, the neighborhood developed a reputation as a trendsetter. It was here that bossa nova became famous, that Leila Diniz shined, that the Band of Ipanema passed through. It was also during this period that the growth in real estate began, that prices took off, and Ipanema became one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro. A synonym of the avant-garde, during the 1960s and 1970s, Ipanema was the stage of Tropicalismo, of the Theater of Ipanema, the tanga and topless bathing. More than a hundred years old, this neighborhood remains innovative, with tree-lined streets and a wide variety of services, art galleries and pleasant cafes.
Its shoreline, which is over 2 kilometers long, offers a beautiful tropical beach with fine, light colored sand, clear water, beach volley, a bicycle path and lots of good looking people strolling by or exercising. A variety of stands selling coconut water, Moraes or Itália popsicles and the famous Globo cracker complete the scenario. No tourist can visit the city without seeing the famous sunset of Ipanema, a ritual that includes applause from those watching. The Posto 9 Lifeguard Station is a great location to watch the sunset.
Ipanema also became known as one of the main gay points of the city. Rua Farme de Amoedo has many bars and restaurants that cater to a gay clientele.
The sale of luxury items has grown in this neighborhood. Osklen, Mont Blanc and Louis Vuitton, and the headquarters of large jewelry stores like Amsterdam Sauer and H Stern, are located in Ipanema, concentrated around Garcia D’Avila, Visconde de Pirajá and Maria Quitéria streets. The neighborhood is still home to some of the most traditional restaurants of Rio de Janeiro, like Bar Garota de Ipanema and Bar Vinte.
Tourists love the fruit and vegetable markets held in Nossa Senhora da Paz and General Osório squares. And on Sundays, the latter hosts the traditional “Hippie Fair” of Ipanema, where paintings and arts and crafts are sold. Nossa Senhora da Paz Church and the Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim also deserve mention, as does the fabulous view of Morro Dois Irmãos and Pedra da Gávea, another symbol of the city.