Why any visitor to Rio would want to go out to Barra da Tijuca is beyond me. OK the beaches are fine, but it is a long way from Rio and you need a car once you are there. It has shopping malls and lots of chain, themed restaurants, but it is not Rio. It has no character, no soul and should be avoided at all costs. Barra grew out of necessity, there was no more room in Rio so they started to build in the swamp. People who live out there, swear by it, they have no choice, they paid good money to live in concrete tower blocks, a long way from their place of work, down town Rio and are the only ones that promote the area. If you don't believe me, give it a try!
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