Luis & Silvia: Here are our personal local tips: The Corcovado (The Christ) with open arms around Rio is the most amazing view. Another amazing view you cannot miss is the one from Vista Chinesa (Chinese View), located at Alto da Boa Vista, in the middle of Tijuca forest. This place gives you a full scale view, including the Guanabara Bay, the Sugarloaf and Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. It is really breathtaking. It is also worth taking a walk around Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, with great sightseeing and have some coconut water. Another great spot is taking the "Bondinho" (the Trolley) to Santa Tereza, where you can have lunch at this great restaurant called Aprazível. Great food, amazing view. Lapa is a neighborhood that you must visit, specially at night. It is the best night in Rio, to samba in one of their many clubs. Rio Scenarium is one of them, a three floor club with different rhythms and sounds. You can find typical finger food from Brazil all over Lapa, at these little bars we call "botequins". You can also taste a very nice "cachaça" (our typical spirits made from sugar cane). Be brave and order one. Of course you cannot miss Ipanema beach, the sunset at Arpoador beach, and at Leblon neighborhood you can go for lunch at Dias Ferreira Street with many restaurants.
Walking around downtown you can visit also a street called "Arco do Teles", at the historical downtown, which is a small street filled with bars and restaurants.
Another great sunset spot is Urca, a part of the city between Copacabana and Botafogo. So, if you go to Sugarloaf Mountain, stay there to catch the sunset, having a drink. The World cup will end in July, at the Maracanã football stadium, it is definitely worth a visit.
Luis: We have two Berlitz Centers in Rio. One of them is located downtown, at the Jockey Club building. This Berlitz center is called Castelo, the same name of the neighborhood it is located. It is a place surrounded by palaces and historical buildings. The second Berlitz Center is called Barra, because it is located at Barra da Tijuca district which is also a beach, a new area near Jacarepaguá race track.
Silvia: Relaxed, happy, informal and casual are some words that can describe the Brazilians, also we balance work and family and leisure very well - although we are famous for our samba, football and carnival, we are also hard workers.
Luis: Brazilians are extremely warm and welcoming at most, very artistic and musical, very laid-back and enjoy interacting a lot - and this is mostly a compensation for their hard working lives. Brazilians are really strugglers for Brazil is a fairly new democracy, and have a great personality and charisma to help them get by.
Silvia & Luis: Some fruit, juices, coffee with milk (machiatto), and bread with butter is the typical breakfast.
Silvia: A popular drink besides coffee is mate (an herbal tea). The national drink is caipirinha made from cachaça (Brazilian rum made from sugarcane juice), with fresh lime juice, sugar and crushed ice.
Silvia & Luis: Brazilians have a reputation for always trying to take advantage in all situations, or being too streetwise, but that is not all true. Most Brazilians are very hard workers, very religious, very caring, very keen to relationships, and as you can read from my sentence, very much exaggerated. But above all Brazilians are warm and have a nice soul.
Luis: We both have traveled a lot. Brazil is the most beautiful country in the world nature -wise. The weather is very pleasant and mild, and it is a huge country with many different natural landscapes, as beaches, forests, dunes, cerrados (savannas), waterfalls, etc. In our opinion, the Germans would feel very welcome by the Brazilians, for the reason of being somewhat different but at the same time so similar to us. We are both very warm and festive people. The reason to learn Brazilian Portuguese is so that visitors could interact much more with us and the place, but also to get to know a little bit more about our music... the classical Brazilian music is really beautiful.
Luis: We Brazilians spell the country's name "Brasil" and pronunce it "Brah-SEEL". In the U.S.A. the use the name "Brazil" and pronounce it "Brah-Zill".
Silvia: Brazil has been colonized by Portugal, but has had a huge influence from countries like Japan, Italy, African countries, Germany, Netherlands, France, and many others - and because of that we have a real diverse culture. Germans will be able to see different architectural styles, huge gastronomy, and our Octoberfest (one of the biggest in the country) in Santa Catarina will make them feel very much at home.