9 Things To Do In Rio De Janeiro, Brazil For An Authentic Experience - Updated 2024

things to do in rio de janeiro
Contributing Writer
| 6 min read

Rio is a city where you simply can’t get bored. It is big, alive, and has too many attractions. If you don’t organize your visit, you might not have enough time to explore some of the main spots. Plan ahead and go see the best of Rio to have a truly amazing Brazilian experience. Check out the main attractions and start your to do list.

1. Parque Nacional da Tijuca (National Park): welcome to the jungle

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Visiting this park means being out in the open, breathing fresh air, away from pollution, surrounded by nature at all times. This reservation protects what’s left of the Atlantic rainforest that used to be a part of where now stands the city of Rio. The ecosystem is tropical. Explore a little bit of jungle in the middle of Rio. The park protects water sources, controls erosion, regulates climate, and many other aspects that keep Rio in balance. Learn more about the park and pay it a visit!

Da Tijuca National Park

Address: Estrada da Cascatinha, 850, Alto da Boa Vista, Río de Janeiro

Website: Da Tijuca National Park (in Portugese)

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2. Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain): to the top

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Posted by Bondinho Pão de Açúcar on Saturday, 22 July 2017

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Climb to the most impressive view of Rio de Janeiro. See the Ipanema, the Flamengo, Leblon and Copacabana all at once, just from the top. Be one with the Christ Redeemer that looks after Rio from above. See the many neighborhoods and green areas, the highways and the people that fill this amazing city.

Make some time to visit the different areas of the park, and be prepared. You’ll need comfortable shoes, water, sunscreen and light clothes. You can go up to the cable car that will safely take you to the main viewer to start your marvelous experience. Make the best of your visit and climb up for the sunset.

Pão de Açúcar

Website: Pão de Açúcar

Pão de Açúcar Cable Car

Address: Bondinho Pão de Açúcar, Av. Pasteur, 520 - Urca, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22290-240, Brazil

Website: Pão de Açúcar Cable Car

3. Copacabana Beach: the big one

Maybe it’s not just for it, but if you are visiting Rio, probably one of your missions is to relax in the famous Copacabana Beach. You’ve seen it in movies, in postcards, you’ve heard about it in songs and from travelers. Copacabana is at the top of the “must visit” list of Rio de Janeiro. The access is really easy and if you don’t mind sharing it with a lot of people, which means street food, music, noise and a fun atmosphere, you will have a wonderful time.

Copacabana Beach

Address: Bairro de Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Website: Copacabana Beach

4. Ipanema Beach: another classic

A long beach, also famous, where you can play all sorts of sports besides getting tanned in the sand. It’s located by Arpoador Beach on one end and Leblon Beach on the other end, so the beach never ends! This one, in particular, is very popular for families. It’s safe and beautiful and you should make an effort to clean after you leave to keep it that way. Enjoy a nice time out at the typical beach spot in Rio, Frescobol.

Ipanema Beach

Address: Bairro de Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Website: Ipanema Beach

5. Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer): my lord!

Cristo Redentor - Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nico Kaiser used under CC BY 2.0

The famous statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the Seven New Wonders of the Modern World, stands over Rio on the top of the Corcovado Mountain. You can reach it easily taking the tour up with the Corcovado train. You can be sure that the electric system of this transportation doesn’t pollute. You will see wild and preserved nature on your way up. Enjoy the ride, it’s very unique.

Christ the Redeemer

Address: Parque Nacional da Tijuca - Alto da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil

Website: Christ the Redeemer

6. Maracanã Football Stadium: the giant

Another landmark of Rio that is world known. You probably saw it on the TV many times, for the Olympics or a football cup. Well, if you visit Rio it’s your chance to see it in person, with your own eyes - the stunning stadium. Catch a game or a tour. No matter the way, there’s no wasting time when visiting this place. It’s a great tour to do with family or with a group of friends. And don’t think it’s short, walking the Maracanã takes some time.

Maracanã Football Stadium

Address: Av. Pres. Castelo Branco, Portão 3 - Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20271-130, Brazil

7. Santa Teresa (Neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro): the bohemian

One of the secrets of the city is the neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Narrow streets, located on the top of a hill, in the center of Rio. One of the main spots to visit is the Escadaria Selarón, 215 colorful steps covered with mosaics by the Chilean artist, Jorge Selarón. Explore every corner of this area and get in touch with the preserved colonial architecture, enjoy the food at some of the best restaurants that specialize in local cuisine, have a drink at a modern bar and delight your ears with a samba. Everything is possible in Santa Teresa.

Santa Teresa

Address: Rua Aurea, Rio de Janeiro, 20240-210, Brazil

8. Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

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On the south area of Rio is located the beautiful Botanical Garden, where you will find a sample of Brazil’s rich ecosystem. It’s open every day for visitors to go in and get lost in the nature of the garden. It was funded in 1808 and will keep protecting the different plants and animal species that live in it. Become one with them and show them some love too.

Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

Address: Rua Jardim Botânico, 1008 - Jardim Botânico, Río de Janeiro, Brazil

Website: Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

9. Flamengo Park: the biggest

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Posted by Parque do Flamengo on Sunday, 5 March 2017

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If you are looking for green areas in Rio, you can’t miss out on discovering the biggest public park of the city. Like everything in Rio, this place is extraordinary. Here you’ll also find some points of interest such as the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art, the Carmen Miranda Museum, and the “Monument to the Dead of World War II”. Explore the park and enjoy either a picnic in the warm weather or a sport activity surrounded by nature. .

Flamengo Park

Address: Praia do Flamengo, 116 - Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22210-030, Brazil

Website: Flamengo Park (in Portugese)

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Be outside while in Rio de Janeiro

There are so many beautiful spots of the city that you might want to visit, so you better start that “to do” list and start making your schedule. Your legs are going to get tired, but your heart will be filled with love for Brazil and its culture.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Roel, a journalist hailing from Argentina, is a passionate traveler and writer, fortunate to merge both of his deepest interests. He embarked on a journey, leaving his homeland with a one-way...Read more

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