By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – There are lots of reasons why Gávea is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone). Boasting world class educational institutes, a vibrant cultural scene, great night-life, and all while being surrounded by breathtaking forests and parks, it’s easy to see why everyone wants to live here.
Culturally, Gávea boasts numerous theaters (with two for children) including the state of the art Teatro das Artes, located in Gávea’s convenient and upmarket shopping centre. Also located inside the shopping centre is a NET cinema, showing all the latest domestic and international films.
When mentioning Gávea and culture together, the first thing that would come to a lot of minds is the Instituto Moreira Salles. Everything about this place exudes what makes Gávea special. It sits hidden away on a hilltop, surrounded by greenery. The building itself is an architectural marvel, and inside, it plays host to some of the best exhibitions in the city.
Gávea is also known for its world-class educational establishments. The campus of the American School of Rio de Janeiro (EARJ) is located in the leafy confines of the neighborhood, while the Catholic University of Rio (PUC), currently ranked as the fifth best university in Latin America, also has its main campus in Gávea.
The planetarium (Planetário do Rio) is another great asset to the neighborhood. It puts on interactive exhibitions, lectures, plus dome-projections that are wonderfully stimulating for both children and adults alike.
Gávea also has great nightlife, situated in what locals know as ‘Baixo Gávea’. Here, students and residents are spoilt for choice. Restaurants and bars sit side by side, sometimes blending into one, with popular favorites such as ‘Hipódromo’ and ‘Braseiro da Gávea’ offering straightforward Brazilian food served with ice-cold choppe beer.
For something a little different, there is ‘Bar do Alemão’ where customers can get one of the best currywursts in the city, or the historic ‘Guimas’, that serves a a more traditional slice of vintage Rio.
Almost two-thirds of the neighborhood is green space, so it is also perfect for nature lovers, with Rio’s world-famous Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro) only a walk away, and the city’s Municipal Park located just up the road from the Instituto Moreira Salles. This park leads onto the magnificent forest of Tijuca, with trails for trekkers and awe-inspiring views of the city.
While plenty of bus lines pass through Gávea, it is not currently accessible by the Metro subway line, despite plans to open a station before the 2016 Olympics. Unfortunately traffic in the region can be quite heavy during rush hour, mainly because Gávea is right outside the tunnel connecting Barra da Tijuca to Zona Sul.
A student, Talita Valle, commented on Gávea’s transport links. “A proposed extension to the metro line hasn’t yet been completed, which is both a blessing and a curse. It means that Gávea is more secluded than its neighbors, but that it doesn’t quite have the access to other parts of the city that other neighborhoods in Zona Sul have.”
To buy an apartment in this highly desirable neighborhood isn’t cheap, with apartments averaging around R$15.75 per square meter. However, this is still lower than prices were even last year.
For R$1.25 million, buyers can get themselves a two-bedroom apartment on Rua Professor Manuel Ferreira, with one parking space. An apartment of a more modest size on Rua Marquês de São Vicente, with two-bedrooms, and still with one parking space, can be bought for R$750,000.
Rental prices are currently around R$42.8 per square meter, down from R$53 per square meter in July 2015. To rent a two-bedroom apartment on Rua Marquês de São Vicente, with one parking space, will cost in the region of R$2,700 per month.