The Olympics are soon to descend upon Rio de Janeiro. For those of you lucky to snag tickets and make travel plans, we present a few options for what to do when the games end... or when you find you've had about enough of them. Whether you want to party, chill, or check out some cool architecture, here are our top picks for easy day trips from the Cidade Maravilhosa.
1. Glam Getaway: Búzios
It's not quite the same era as when Brigitte Bardot was spotted here with her Brazilian boyfriend, firmly putting the one-time sleepy fishing village on the map. Búzios (two and a half hours from Rio) retains much of the glamour of its midcentury heyday, however, and is filled with chic restaurants and boutiques. Spend your days chilling on the beach and strolling Orla Bardot, the beachfront promenade, then hit the bars and clubs of Rua das Pedras.
2. Chill Out: Paraty
Modern-day celebrities — from Mick Jagger to Kirsten Stewart — are also drawn to Paraty, four hours west of Rio, but the coastal town hasn't lost its low-key charm. Set around a beautiful bay and backed by verdant mountains, whitewashed colonial buildings line cobblestoned streets of Paraty, making a delightful place for idle wandering. A number of artists call Paraty home, providing good opportunities to pick up some locally made art and crafts on your visit.
3. Destination Design: Niteroi
Design lovers shouldn't miss the chance to gawk at one of late architectural genius Oscar Niemeyer's most famed designs. Resembling a UFO hovering over the bay, the Niemeyer-designed Niterói Contemporary Art Museum — MAC not only boasts striking modernist design but also gorgeous views of Sugarloaf Mountain. Best of all, Niterói is only half an hour by boat across the bay from Rio.
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