Things to do in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janerio, Brazil’s jewel in the crown and a highlight of South America. A vibrant kaleidoscope of colour, tradition, music and sunshine. Rio is blessed with panoramic viewpoints, sandy shores and an infectious enthusiasm for life. We visited Rio as part of a wider South American adventure. Check out our personal favourites of the many things to do in Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, allow plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere, people watch and just be!
Spoilt for choice
From the awe-inspiring Christ the Redeemer Statue to the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain. Add in sun-kissed, sandy beaches and sipping a caipirinha. Witness the hustle and bustle of a favela and the quiet cobbled streets of Santa Teresa! You will be surprised at the sheer number of things to do in Rio de Janeiro. If you are looking for a space to relax, the Jardim Botânico is a delightful haven of tranquillity. For a church with the wow factor, step inside São Bento and be prepared to be mesmerised. Rio de Janeiro has something for everyone. It is a city rich in culture, in a jaw-dropping location.
Party like a Brazilian
Lastly, but most importantly, the people. The Brazilians grab life by the horns and give it a good shake. They are vibrant, life loving, energetic and friendly. Spontaneous singing, dancing, as well as drumming adds to the party vibe. Prepare to join in, let down your guard and strut your stuff in true Brazilian fashion!
Click on the images below for things to do in Rio.
One of the new 7 wonders of the world, Christ the Redeemer, is a magnificent 30m tall Art Deco masterpiece. Constructed from soapstone and concrete it's an awe inspiring symbol of Christianity and iconic landmark of Rio and Brazil.
Journey to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain in a glass bubbled "bondinhos" to be rewarded with unparalleled, panoramic views of Rio and beyond. Sitting at the entrance to Guanabara Bay, this 360m Granite giant is unmissable!
Take a tram to delightful Santa Teresa, the artistic heart of Rio. A leafy oasis of calm, where fading villas & winding, cobbled streets reveal galleries & gastronomic delights with a bohemian feel. Enjoy a quiet meander and bite to eat.
It was the 1960's "Girl from Ipanema" hit which brought this 2km clean, white, sandy beach its fame and fortune, head to post 9 if you're a body beautiful, or post 10 for a sporty spot. Relax in the sunshine with a caipirinha and soak it all in!
Rio de Janerio, a South American hotspot home to Christ the Redeemer, Caipirinha and Ipanema beach. This vibrant, colourful city is a well muddled mix of culture, excitement and wonder. We loved Rio, check out our "don't miss" ideas.
Taking an ethical favela tour of Rocinha offers the opportunity to gain an insight and understanding into the lives of a third of Rio's inhabitants who live in often underdeveloped, overcrowded communities within it's 500 favelas.
Prepare to be overwhelmed at the magnificent gold encased baroque/rococo interior of São Bento, in stark contrast to its unassuming facade. Founded by Benedictine monks, attend Sunday mass to hear Gregorian Chant.
Enter a verdant sanctuary of tranquility and relaxation in Jardim Botãnico where a plethora of flora and fauna awaits. A designated UNESCO biosphere reserve, this 137 hectare park, is home to countless species of plants and wildlife.
The classic caipirinha, a delicious and refreshing combination of muddled sugar and lime, topped with cachaça and ice. It's Brazil's national cocktail and tastes divine! The measures are large and it tastes like pop so...
Thanks for checking out our IN THE FRAME, things to do in Rio de Janeiro guide. If you have time, consider a trip to Ilha Grande. This beautiful Island, just 150km from Rio, is a perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of Rio. Prioritise lounging in a hammock whilst watching the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean…
In addition, check out our TRAVEL TALE about a Rio B&B.
We used the Lonely Planet Brazil (Travel Guide) to help plan our trip.
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