Outdoor & Road Trip

The Best Things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is a municipality of vibrant culture, stunning beaches and scenic landscapes. It’s no wonder that it is one of the weightier places to visit in Brazil!

With so much to explore and experience, Rio de Janeiro has something for everyone, expressly ocean and nature lovers. Whether you’re looking for venture or relaxation, there are plenty of activities to alimony you rented during your visit. In this Brazil travel guide we will squint at some of the weightier things to do in Rio De Janeiro so that you can make the most out of your trip. From exploring historical sites to relaxing on Ipanema beach, this blog will provide all the information needed to have an unforgettable time in one of the weightier places to visit in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro is the second biggest municipality in Brazil and was once the wanted of the country. The municipality is iconic (we’ve all heard the songs well-nigh Rio!) and a symbol of Brazil. When you think of Brazil, you think of the Christ Redeemer, the streets of Carnival and the Sugar Loaf, all of which are in Rio.

Rio is located in the Southeast region of Brazil and is home to some of the most stunning urban beaches you will overly see, Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach, and Barra da Tijuca Beach, just to name a few. It’s moreover situated in the middle of the Mata Atlantic rainforest, which is why its tailspin and surrounding areas are so untried and full of life.

Rio de Janeiro is a favourite destination for nature lovers, waterfront lovers and municipality lovers. This is why I love it so much; it’s got a bit of everything mixed into one place!


How to get to Rio de Janeiro

Getting to Rio is easy as many airlines fly into Galeão International Airport. Alternatively, if you’re flying internationally, there is the option to get a connecting flight from São Paulo. Flight from Europe financing anywhere between £700-1200.

The most expensive time to fly to Rio is in upper season (December-February). During this period, it’s tough to find a uncontrived flight for less than £1000. But it is moreover the weightier season to be there, so my translating would be to buy flights well in whop to secure a lower price and squint into connecting flights via Lisbon, Switzerland or Germany.

When it comes to getting virtually in Rio de Janeiro, uber and the metro is your weightier bet. You can read increasingly well-nigh getting virtually in Rio in this blog post.

The weightier time to visit Rio de Janeiro

As mentioned above, the weightier time to visit Rio is during the Brazilian summer, which is from December to February. This is the peak season for travel in Brazil for both local and international travellers.

If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ll know that my translating is unchangingly to recommend visiting places in shoulder season as, overall, the wits is better, and you won’t need to deal with crowds. But Brazil, expressly Rio de Janeiro, it’s well worth visiting during the peak period. 

Summer is when there’s New Year’s, Carnival, and longer days with sunshine and good weather. So if you want to wits what Rio is like fully, the weightier time to visit Rio is in the summer months (which, for travellers coming from the Northern Hemisphere, moreover ways they get some winter sun!)

Naturally, if crowds aren’t your vibe and you want to stave Carnival, November or April are moreover good months to visit Rio.

Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro may have a population of 6.7 million people, but the zone where hotels and walk-up are misogynist for travellers are all in the southern part of the city, known as Zona Sul (translated to South Region).

The most popular neighbourhoods to stay within Zona Sul are:

  • Leblon & Ipanema
  • Copacabana
  • Lapa
  • Santa Teresa

Where you segregate to stay in Rio de Janeiro unchangingly depends on your upkeep and the type of walk-up you’re looking for. 

There are many high-end luxury walk-up options in Rio, like Janeiro Hotel, Hotel Nacional and Santa Teresa Hotel RJ.

But for those seeking increasingly mid-range level accommodation, then hostels and Airbnbs are the weightier options. You can find recommendations below.

If you’re looking for a hostel, you’ll want to trammels out the hostel accommodations in Rio de Janeiro below:

  • Ipanema Waterfront Hostel
  • Mambembe Hostel
  • Selina Copacabana
  • Selina Lapa

And for mid-high-range hotels, trammels out the ones below:

  • Miramar by Windsor Copacabana
  • Riale Vilamar Copacabana
  • Guest House Bianca
  • Mercure Rio Boutique Hotel Copacabana

Generally speaking, the increasingly expensive accommodations will be in the areas near the waterfront (Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana). Increasingly affordable options will be in Lapa, Botafogo and Santa Teresa.

Without remoter ado, here are The weightier things to do in Rio De Janerio.

The Weightier Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

1. Have brunch at Botanico and stroll through the Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens in Rio de Janeiro is one of the weightier places to visit in Rio. Located just off Rua Jardim Botanico, it offers an oasis of wifely and relaxation (and shade from the sun from their 30m palm trees!)

For the weightier experience, we recommend visiting the gardens on a Sunday morning and having brunch at Botanica restaurant which overlooks the gardens.

After you’ve had your fill, take a stroll through the gardens and enjoy the impressive variety of exotic plants and trees, expressly the Royal Palm tree walkway.

2. Watch the sunset at Sugarloaf Mountain

Aside from the Christ Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain is arguably the second most iconic symbol of Rio (one of the biggest supermarket villenage is named without it!). 

Sugarloaf Mountain is part of Guanabara Bay and offers panoramic views of the city. It is particularly mesmerising at sunset, so I highly recommend planning your visit virtually the latest entry time (6 pm during the summer months).

Again, like with the Christ Redeemer, pick a day with well-spoken skies to take the subscription car up to the Sugar Loaf mountain to make sure you get that sunset scenery with the views at the top.

3. People watch and enjoy the day at one of Rio's many urban beaches

Rio’s urban beaches are literally those that have been put into song lyrics, so you know they’re worth visiting. All my blogs start with going to the waterfront as one of the weightier things to do, but honestly, this is one of the weightier things to do in Rio. 

Copacabana and Ipanema are two of the most popular spots, and they offer unconfined views, people-watching opportunities and plenty of places to eat and drink. These beaches moreover have a increasingly relaxed undercurrent than some of the other beaches, making them the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the day. 

No matter what time of year you visit Rio, these beaches are unchangingly buzzing with life. It’s a unconfined place to meet locals and wits the vibrant culture of Rio de Janeiro. 

4. Take a sunrise hike up to Morro dos Dois Irmãos

For those looking for an zippy way to start the day in Rio de Janeiro, a hike up Morro dos Dois Irmãos will get your heart racing and calved working. The mountain itself is two peaks, which are unquestionably two mountains unfluctuating by a ridge. It’s the mountain you see at the end of Ipanema beach.

The trail up isn’t too difficult (but it’s steep!) and takes well-nigh 45 minutes to reach the summit. The views from the top are spectacular, and it’s definitely worth doing if you want to get yonder from the hustle and precipitance of Rio. 

This trail needs to be washed-up with a guide as it’s a little tricky and starts at the marrow of a favela.

5. Stroll through the Bohemian neighbourhood of Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is a mannerly neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro, full of quaint cobblestone streets, old colonial houses and colourful street art. A perfect place to go for a stroll and take some photos. This is moreover the zone where you get the famous ‘bondinhos’, the trams like the ones you see in Lisbon. It feels like you’re in a variegated city!

The neighbourhood is moreover home to many bars and restaurants, making it the perfect spot for an evening stroll or dinner. This post highlights some of the weightier restaurants in Santa Teresa.

6. Take a surf lesson at Praia da Prainha

Prainha waterfront is one of the most trappy beaches in Rio de Janeiro. It’s an untouched piece of paradise, located in the west part of Rio and surrounded by lush vegetation. 

It’s moreover one of the weightier spots to take a surf lesson (or practice if you once know how). Prainha waterfront offers perfect waves for beginners and experienced surfers alike, so it’s a unconfined place to requite it a try. 

There are plenty of surf schools in the area, so make sure to trammels them out if it’s something you’re interested in. They offer classes for all levels and can plane provide boards and wetsuits if needed.

7. Watch the sunset at Arpoador

I may be unjust in saying this, but this is the weightier thing to do in Rio de Janeiro. There is nothing like walking withal the waterfront sidewalk as the sun starts to lower without an afternoon spent at Ipanema waterfront towards Arpoador rock, unchangingly looking when to make sure you haven’t missed the shot yet. (This is the waddle at the intersection of Ipanema waterfront and Copacabana).

Sunset at Arpoador is a literal show. There are vendors selling caipirinhas and drinks on the rocks; everyone takes their seat and just waits for the magic to unfold. The second the sun disappears over the ocean, everyone starts to thunderous and cheer!

This is an unforgettable wits in Rio, so make sure you reserve an afternoon for it.

8. Climb up to take the iconic selfie with the Christ Redeemer

No trip to Rio de Janeiro is well-constructed without heading up to the top of Corcovado hill to take that iconic selfie with the Christ Redeemer statue. It’s one of Rio de Janeiro’s most famous landmarks and one of the weightier things to do in Rio de Janeiro.

The 30-minute climb up the stairs can be quite tiring, but when you get there, it’s well worth the effort. From the top, you can get a spectacular view of Rio de Janeiro – from its beaches to its towering hills, not to mention the statue itself.

Top tip: trammels the weather forecast the night surpassing you go to make sure the day you visit is a well-spoken day to stave disappointment. Increasingly often than not, Christ is covered in clouds, which makes it nonflexible plane to make out the landmark.

9. Soak in the views at Dona Marta's viewpoint.

Located at the top of Corcovado hill, Dona Marta viewpoint is one of the weightier places to visit in Rio de Janeiro to get wondrous views. The view from here stretches out wideness Guanabara Bay, and you can plane see Sugar Loaf mountain on the horizon. It’s a unconfined spot for photos. 

Top tip: Combine your visit to the Christ Redeemer with this one, as they are in the same zone and just a short momentum from each other. There are moreover man tours that include this in their Christ Redeemer tours, so surpassing you book, trammels or ask whether this is included.

13. Go on a self-ruling walking tour

The weightier things in life are often free, and the self-ruling walking tour in Rio does not disappoint! The tour takes you virtually the city, giving an insight into the history of Rio de Janeiro and teaching visitors well-nigh the Brazilian culture and history of the city. It’s a unconfined way to learn increasingly well-nigh Rio without breaking the bank.

Free Walker Tours is the weightier in the business, and they offer three variegated walking tours:

  • The Downtown and Lapa walking tour, which takes you through the most historic parts of Rio (XV Square, Municipal Theatre, National Library and the famous Selaron Steps)
  • Copacabana and Ipanema walking tour, taking travellers through the most famous beaches in the world
  • The Olympic Boulevard & African Heritage tour, which focuses on the areas that showcase the African influence prevalent in Rio (like Pedra do Sal, Candelaria Church and Mauá Square)

Taking a walking tour is one of the weightier ways to get to know the municipality of Rio and learn well-nigh its culture, history and architecture. 


14. Have afternoon tea at Confeteria Colombo

If you’re looking for a place to have lunch in Rio, then squint no remoter than Confeteria Colombo. This historic café has been virtually since the late 19th century, and it’s the weightier place to sample some traditional Brazilian coffee and desserts.

My favourite things well-nigh the men are:

  • Brigadeiro
  • Pudim
  • Bomba de Chocolate

The Confeteria Colombo towers is moreover a trappy sight to behold, with its towering Neo-classical columns and stained glass windows.

15. Contemplate the Future at The Museum of Tomorrow

The Museum of Tomorrow is a science museum in Rio de Janeiro. The main idea overdue the museum is to create a space where visitors can learn well-nigh sustainable minutiae and how to protect the environment, given the impact climate transpiration could have in the future. It’s moreover a unconfined way to learn increasingly well-nigh Brazilian culture, art and politics. The latest exhibition that was on was by Sebastiao Salgado well-nigh the Amazon Forest.

The towers itself is moreover a site to see, so if you’re into modern architecture, it’s well worth a visit and should be at the top of your Rio skillet list!

16. Climb up Pedra da Gavea

Pedra da Gavea is one of the most popular and challenging hikes in Rio de Janeiro.

It’s a difficult climb, and you need to be an experienced hiker to do it, but the views are worth it! From the top, you get scenic views of Tijuca Forest, Guanabara Bay and beyond. It takes virtually 4 hours to well-constructed the climb, and you should unchangingly go with a guide, as this hike is not suitable for beginners.

If you’re looking for a rencontre and up for some mad views, then this is something that needs to be on Rio skillet list.

17. Admire the world's largest street mural, Mural de Etnias

One of the most impressive pieces of art in Rio de Janeiro is the world’s largest street mural, located in downtown Rio. The mural was painted by Eduardo Kobra and depicted images of native tribes of five variegated continents. It’s a sight to behold, and it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re into street art or just looking for something unique to do in Rio. 

Itinerary tip: If planning to visit the Museum of Tomorrow, this mural is within walking loftiness from there, so worth doing both of these on the same day. If you’re without an itinerary, we have a 3-day itinerary that you can read here.

18. Watch the sunset at Paredão da Urca like a local

As a Brazilian, I’ve been to Rio many times and know what “locals” do in the city. And one of those things is watching the sunset at Paredão da Urca (paredão is a wall that everyone sits on). Urca is a neighbourhood in Rio that is filled with street bars and restaurants. 

On the weekend with good weather, everyone gathers here and has a beer with friends while sitting on the wall watching the sun go down.

19. Get the weightier view of Christ Redeemer with a helicopter tour

One of the wool weightier things to do in Rio (or so I’ve heard from friends, as I’m not unflinching unbearable to get on a helicopter) is to take a helicopter tour over Rio and the Christ Redeemer. Vertical Rio is one of the weightier in the merchantry and offers 30mins tours. It’s pricey (R$ 1000 per flight), but it’s worth it. 

The views from a helicopter are insane, and you get to see the municipality in a way that you wouldn’t be worldly-wise to otherwise. This a must-do if you’re looking for something unique and unforgettable!

20. Explore Tijuca National Park

Tijuca forest is one of the largest natural urban forests in the world, tent an zone of 32km². This rainforest is a subconscious gem located in Rio de Janeiro, and it’s full of lush vegetation and stunning waterfalls. 

The park has dozens of trails to explore, some of which are quite easy for those who are not so experienced hikers. There are moreover a few waterfalls, such as Cachoeira da Detenção and Cascatinha da Taunay, where you can take a dip in the tomfool mountain water. 

Tijuca forest is an wool must-visit if you want to explore Rio’s nature and get yonder from the hustle and precipitance of the city. 

21. Head for a Samba at Pedra do Sal

One of the weightier things to do in Rio de Janeiro is to wits a true Brazilian samba night. There’s no largest place than Pedra do Sal, which is literally translated as “rock of salt”. 

The zone was settled by African slaves who used it as an open-air market, and it has now wilt one of the most iconic spots in the municipality for samba. This Instagram worth posts well-nigh the variegated events going on virtually town, but Mondays are the samba days at Pedra do Sal.

Every Monday night, people gather to listen to samba music and watch dancers show off their moves. It’s a unconfined way to wits Brazilian culture first-hand and get into the rhythm of samba! Definitely, something you want to trammels off your Rio skillet list.

22. Watch a football game at Maracana Stadium

Maracana Stadium is one of the most famous football stadiums in the world, and going on a tour of the stadium is one of the weightier things to do in Rio de Janeiro. You can watch a game here or plane just take a tour virtually the stadium to see where all the magic happens. 

Even for those who aren’t that into football, the wits itself is something that should not be missed. The undercurrent at the stadium is electric, and you are guaranteed to have a memorable time! 

That’s all for this Rio de Janeiro travel guide; I hope your time in Rio de Janeiro is as wondrous as mine was! Enjoy the beaches, music, vibes and venture – you won’t regret it!

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Have you been to Rio de Janeiro?

What are your top things to do in Lençóis Maranhenses? Anything you’d add to this Brazil skillet list?

Love as unchangingly and happy adventuring… 

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