Join now
Log in Join

Barra living and commute to centre (Rio de Janeiro)

My wife and I are planning our move to Rio and are now at the stage of deciding on neighborhood. My wife is strongly biased towards Ipanema / Leblon, where we rent a small apartment today and where she has lived most of her adult life. While I am open to that, I am wondering if Barra could work.

I realize I will get twice as much for my money in the real estate market there (or better…even 50% less in Zona Sul). We are hoping to extend our little family of two plus a dog in the near future, and the condo style apartments with playground and all amenities would great. Plenty of beach stretch to run with our marathon dog, and walking distance to surf. The not negligible flip side, I understand to be, the commute (I will be working in the Centre / Almirante Barroso), and the fact that no one seems to really like Barra (Miami-like, no soul, need a car for everything, far from everything…). As for the first, I have seen it and believe it, but for the latter, I am wondering if Barra really sucks or if it suffers from everyone loving to bash Barra because Zona Sul is cooler and more Brazilian like.

I am wondering if:
1) Anyone of you are doing the commute from Barra to the Centre, and how you manage? How bad is it at different times of day? Bus or car? Will the Transcarioca change anything, and if so, by when?
2) To those who actually are living / have lived in Barra, what are the good and the bad?

3) If Barra is good, then I would be willing to do a trade-off between my spare time on weekdays and the quality of life for my family. And who knows, a job opportunity may come up in Barra some time in the future….At least it seems more likely than the opportunity to buy a three bedroom beach view apartment in Leblon any time soon.

Many have proposed Botafogo as an option, but none of us is really fond of it.

Any thoughts you may have would be greatly appreciated.