What to do in Rio
You picked your destination, you booked your tickets, you’re ready to have a blast and suddenly you wonder… How can I make my trip the best one? Here we have a selection of the Top Ten you can’t miss!
Rio de Janeiro is also referred to as Cidade Maravilhosa (Wonderful City in Portuguese).
Capital of the homonym state, for quite some time it was also the capital of the country, until this changed in 1960 (the capital today is Brasilia). Still, it is one of the most visited cities in South America, and the second most populated city in Brazil with over 6 million people!
If you say “Rio de Janeiro” you immediately think “beach, the redeemer, carnival”. But there’s so much more than that! The Municipal Theatre, the Church of Our Lady of Carmo, Cinelandia Square. Make some time to walk around the main highlights of the city, and you won’t be disappointed. You’ll fall in love with the architecture and the full Rio environment. You can always take a tour with the experts, take a look at our Rio de Janeiro Free Walking Tour.
Cristo Redentor (Christ the redeemer)
Let’s say you’re browsing a guidebook about Brazil: it is almost certain that this is what you see at the cover. On top of the Corcovado mountain, a 30m tall Jesus (38 if you count the pedestal, 124 feet) will welcome you to Rio’s most famous attraction! The view is breathtaking. Check out more details about this visit here.
Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)
To get there you’ll be traveling first in one cableway to Urca Peak. Then you’ll hop on the second one to get to the top of the Sugarloaf. From there, enjoy the amazing view at almost 400m (1300 feet) above sea level, all of the amazing things Rio has to offer will be at your sight, Christ the Redeemer included.
It’s impossible to leave them out of the list! Water sports, great temperatures, gorgeous sunsets and nightlife around them. Want to know some more? Visit our Beaches in Rio article!
It happens sometimes. You’re running from one amazing attraction to another one and at some point you think “I need a vacation from my vacation”. If you want to feel like you entered paradise, this place is a must! Take a relaxed walk and absorb the nature around you. Check this web for tickets!
Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow)
Explore the future of mankind, how we’ve affected our surroundings, what could happen in our planet, all in an incredible display. The area itself is great for walking around. Just 800m (half a mile) away, you’ll find Eduardo Kobra’s “Mural das Etnias” (Wall of Ethnic Groups): it’s the largest mural in the world!
The biggest one in Brazil and famous worldwide, football history has a few chapters in here (like Pele’s 1000th goal, the world cups of 1950 and 2014). Key pieces of Brazilian football are there to visit, you can get to see them in the stadium guided tour.
Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian
Any image that comes to your mind when someone says “Cathedral”, won’t be useful to describe this one! Enjoy this unique place, where the stained glass windows go up to the ceiling, meeting at the top of a conical shaped building to form a cross. The effect created by light is truly special.
Carnival might not last all year round, but that doesn’t mean that Rio’s nightlife is not worth your time! Whether you go around Lapa neighbourhood, or enjoy the “botecos” (bars) around the beaches of Copacabana or Ipanema, nobody parties like in Brazil!
These places are great to see, and if you’re lucky enough that you’re visiting at the right time, you’ll want to consider the next and last step of this list…
The most important event in Rio happens 40 days before Easter. It’s high season so make sure you have your hotel and tickets booked! But remember, not everything happens at the Sambodromo, on the streets you’ll find the “blocos”, where street bands play and you get to dance, drink and show off your own costumes!
(Oh, and you’ll need plenty of energy to survive, so here you’ll find some ideas for eating and drinking!)
Map of Attractions