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Nicknamed the Smiling City, Niterói is a large and prosperous metropolis in its own right, linked to Rio by a long bridge across Guanabara Bay. It’s best known for the Oscar Niemeyer–designed contemporary art museum that hovers like a spaceship on a promontory over the bay. Several massive forts look out onto the waters. Niterói also has fine beaches such as the long Itacoatiara and the Praia São Francisco, with its zigzag-patterned promenade. 

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