You may already know which gym you’re going to train at when in Rio. Maybe you’ll be training with a specific team or visiting your master’s master, or maybe you have no idea and you’re just going to seek out somewhere when you arrive.
What’s really important is to consider the distance to the gym from your accommodation. Rio traffic can be brutal at times, and sitting on a bus for three hours a day probably isn’t on your list of priorities – you’ll probably be more interested in training jiu-jitsu. After all, why waste half your time in Rio on a bus?
If you’re planning on doing two sessions a day, you’re going to want to stay somewhere close to the academy, though not all gyms are in areas where there are hotels or hostels.
Also, some academies are not in the best of places, so you don’t want to stay next to the gym if it’s an unsafe neighborhood that’s deserted at night and miles from anything.
Consider also the facilities available to you. Will you be able to wash and dry your kimonos? And depending on your length of stay and your budget, self catering might be something you’ll need.
Generally, hotels in the traditional tourist areas in Zona Sul (eg Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon) are only a few minutes from the beach and seconds from somewhere to buy acai! But facilities in a hotel will be limited and you’ll need the services of a local laundromat (lavaria in Portuguese).
The character of neighborhoods varies greatly and it might actually make sense to stay a short commute from your gym of choice. Rio is well served by a network of buses and has a decent if not extensive subway system, making it easy enough to get around even as a tourist.
For more tips and advice like this make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, it’s free and takes only a few seconds.