Whether you’re visiting Rio de Janeiro for the first time or you’re heading back for another trip to this wonderful Brazilian city, there’s always something new to discover and explore. We’ve put together a list of things to do in Rio so you can be sure that you haven’t missed anything that’s on your bucket list!
Christ the Redeemer
The Christ the Redeemer statue is one of Rio de Janeiro’s top points of interest and is the most popular tourist attraction in the city. It’s known all over the world and has become synonymous with Brazil. The monument regally looks over the city from the summit of the 700-metre tall Corcovado Mountain. You can get to the top by hiking, train or van and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city; it’s not to be missed!
If you’re stuck on what to do in Rio de Janeiro and fancy doing something a bit different then take a trip down to the Botanical Gardens. Spread out across more than 340 acres, these gardens entice visitors with more than 6,000 indigenous and exotic species of flora, hosting everything from orchids to jasmine-mango heliconias. It’s been open to the public since 1822 and is a popular spot amongst tourists and locals.
If you love relaxing by turquoise sea, then taking a trip to Copacabana beach is definitely one of the best things to do in Rio. It’s located in the heart of the luxurious Zona Sul neighbourhood and stretches for 2.5 miles of beautiful soft sand that’s perfect for laying back and relaxing on. The beach is marked with lifeguard stands (postos) that offer changing rooms and restrooms at a small fee. The beach is lined with great accommodation and amazing restaurants so it’s easy to spend the whole day…or even your whole holiday here!
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, then visiting Sugarloaf Mountain should definitely be on your list of things to do in Rio. It stands at 1,299 feet above the city and overlooks Guanabara Bay. Hop on a cable car and within three minutes you’ll be at the top of Sugarloaf. From there, you’ll witness panoramic views of the city and the sea that are guaranteed to take your breath away, especially if you’re lucky enough to catch the sunset.
Samba in Pedra do Sal
One of the best things to see in Rio is samba dancing in Pedra do Sal. It’s home to one of Rio’s most traditional improvised samba nights, if you want to see Rio’s nightlife and music culture as a local then this is the place to be! Take a trip down on Monday nights and you’ll find groups of samba bands joining together to sing and dance throughout the night.
Another one of Rio’s attractions is Ipanema Beach; it’s been attracting tourists since the 1960s and we can see why. It’s a 2-mile stretch of beautiful soft sand that boasts incredible mountain views and cobalt blue waters, sit back and relax while you watch locals playing futevolei (the Brazilian version of volleyball without hands). It’s worth noting that this beach can get very busy being one of the most popular in the city, meaning that it’s often crowded and can be tricky to find a spot in Rio’s peak season, which runs from December to March. Make sure your secure a prime position by heading down to the beach as early as you can!
Tijuca National Park
If you want to go on a hike in Rio de Janeiro, take a trip to Tijuca National Park. It’s all that’s left of the Atlantic rainforest that once surrounded Rio de Janeiro. This tropical jungle is home to beautiful trees, creeks and waterfalls. Expect mountainous terrain and high peaks, serious hikers climb the 1012m to the summit of Pico da Tijuca, but you can also enjoy a nice, quiet picnic in the park and there are good (and free) trail maps that are given out at the entrance.
Taking a trip to the Selaron Steps should definitely be on your list of things to do in Rio de Janeiro. They are the art of work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selaron who claimed it as his “tribute to the Brazilian people”. Construction for the 215 steps started in 1990 and they were eventually finished in 2013. The 410ft stretch of steps is covered in more than 2000 tiles that were collected from over 60 countries around the world!
Whether you’re a football fan or not, taking a trip to Maracanã Stadium is absolutely essential! It was originally built to serve as the flagship venue for the 1950 world cup and was meant to become the biggest stadium in the world. When Brazil was awarded the 2014 world cup in 2007, Maracanã Stadium was an obvious choice to host the final and underwent a massive redevelopment. It went on to hold several matches in the world cup, including the final between Germany and Argentina!
We’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg with what to do in Rio! If you’re thinking of booking a trip to Rio de Janeiro and any of these activities (or more) take your fancy then give us a call and we’ll help you book the perfect tailor-made holiday. What’s on your top nine things to do in Rio? Let us know in the comments or get in touch with us via our Facebook or Twitter page!