Botafogo, Urca and Humaitá neighbourhoods

Beachfront Botafogo takes its name from João Pereira de Sousa Botafogo who was responsible for the galleon Botafogo’s artillery – the word Botafogo literally means, ‘set it on fire’. The area is a buzzing neighbourhood with a mix of business and residential areas and a growing scene of on-the-edge bars and restaurants. Nearby Urca is one of Rio’s oldest neighbourhoods and is best known for the iconic natural monument, Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf mountain) and the smaller Morro da Urca. At the base of Morro da Urca is the military base known as Forte São João where the first Portuguese settlement was established in Rio. To the other side of Botafogo and near to Lagoa is Humaitá, a place best known for its collection of bars and restaurants that come alive after work hours and on the weekends.

Where to stay in Botafogo, Urca and Humaitá
What to see in Botafogo, Urca and Humaitá
What to eat in Botafogo, Urca and Humaitá
What to do in Botafogo, Urca and Humaitá


Botafogo is a vibrant, buzzing region yet keeps the down-to-earth charm of a growing international village. No place in Rio captures the hipster vibe quite like this neighbourhood and this is reflected in the various experimental bars and restaurants popping up in the area. Although the Sugarloaf will always steal the hearts of tourists, we love the simple, unpretentious atmosphere of Bar Urca, a casual bar for outdoor drinking, eating, and mingling. Humaita is the hangout spot for Happy Hour and the relief of the crowds that comes from winding down after a long day of work is contagious.

A lesser-known museum in Botafogo is the Museu do Índio or the museum of indigenous people. This small yet concise museum is packed with insightful and eye-opening information about Brazilian tribes and seeks to educate and inform visitors of the indigenous populations that face danger from outsider development. It’s open Monday – Friday from 9 am until 5:30 pm and Saturday, Sunday and holiday 1 pm – 5 pm. It’s on Rua das Palmeiras, 55, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro and entry is free!

It’s a typical tourist attraction, yet for good reason – the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf mountain) in Urca is one of Rio’s most beautiful natural wonders with its cable car access and stunning, panoramic views over Rio de Janeiro and the ocean.


The main appeal in Humaitá is Cobal do Humaitá, a collection of bars, cafes, and restaurants that encircle an indoor market selling fresh farm products and other niche items. The atmosphere is electric throughout the week during the post-work hours and transforms to a buzzing nightlife area on the weekends with great food options and a wide range of drinks.

Head to Comuna in Botafogo for one of the meanest burgers in town. The hipster venue was at the forefront of Rio’s burger craze and its X-Wilson – 160g of beef served with gouda cheese and a choice of sauce – continues to be one of the most popular burgers on the menu. The burgers come wrapped in a simple paper, adding to the old-school appeal.

Where to Drink Wine in Rio de Janeiro

Where to Drink Wine in Rio de Janeiro

Nothing beats a glass of wine. It’s appropriate on so many occasions. Had a bad day? Have a glass of wine. Have something to celebrate? Have a glass of wine. It’s also suitable for all climates. If it’s hot, drink a nice, cold rosé and if it’s cold, go for deep,...