Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, commonly referred to as Rio, is a city which is located in Brazil. Second most populous city well known for its stunning natural landscapes, Statue of Christ the Redeemer, including famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema. Today Rio de Janeiro is a popular tourist destination for all sorts of backpackers even for solo and family too.

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You can do many things to do here as a traveler like attending the annual Carnival celebration, a lively festival featuring samba parades, music, and colorful costumes. The city is home to iconic landmarks such as the Christ the Redeemer statue (1 one of the new 7 wonders of the world) atop Corcovado Mountain. Never miss to see Sugarloaf Mountain with its cable cars which offer panoramic views of the city. Moreover Rio de Janeiro today serves as a cultural and tourist hub, with a rich history, delicious cuisine, and a lively atmosphere that attracts visitors from around the world.

Top 10 Things to do in the Rio de Janeiro


1. Visit Christ the Redeemer

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Whatever you do in Rio de Janeiro you should start from visiting Christ the Redeemer. It is a statue of Jesus Christ located atop Corcovado Mountain and offers stunning views of the city. One of the most iconic landmarks in Rio, popularly recognized as one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Christ the Redeemer is above the 2,310 feet in the Corcovado Mountain, which started 1922 and completed in 1931. It is made of concrete and covered in soapstone mosaic tiles and stands 124 feet tall which represent the cultural and religious symbol of Brazilian peoples.


2. Explore Sugarloaf Mountain

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Rising the 396 meter above the harbor, the most enjoyable destination is taking a cable car ride to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain to get a fantastic panoramic view of Rio and its beautiful beaches. Sugarloaf Mountain is also called Pao de Acucar, cascades over the picture square Guanabara Bay. It is most peaceful and soaring close to 1,300 feet; the dome -like giant slightly observes the city’s highlights. Starting from famed Copacabana and Ipanema beaches to the Guanabara gateway.

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3. Relax on Copacabana Beach

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One of Rio de Janeiro’s popular shores and is a public beach located in the heart of the luxurious Sul neighborhood. Popular for its golden sands and lively atmosphere, Copacabana Beach is the perfect spot to soak up the sun and enjoy the beach culture of Rio. Moreover, its lifeguard stands, restrooms, historical museum of art, Copacabana fort, changing rooms are free and most accessible. Such a unique style of beach and known as the most famous beach in the world. Designed by the famous Brazilian architect Roberto Burle Marx, Fred and Ginger. Its feature includes a crescent shaped bay, long meters of wilderness and beautifully situated between rock formations and swaying palm trees. Never miss spending your evening with Copacabana Beach sunset.

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4. Visit the Selarón Steps

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Selarón Steps, also known as the Escadaria Selaron, the most iconic and colorful staircase in the Lapa neighborhood, is a work of art created by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón. It contains a total 250 step staircases decorated with more than 2000, which all are carefully placed tiles from around the world. This step was created by the Chilean artist named Jorge Selarón in 1990. Therefore today these steps are considered as the most popular and photographic spot for tourists and locals alike. Today, the landmark has appeared in the fashion magazines, music videos, cinemas and continues to be one of the city’s most visited destinations with free of cost.


5. Explore Tijuca National Park

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Tijuca National Park is all about a lush green oasis in the heart of the city, which is the place where travelers can do hiking trails, enjoy waterfalls, and explore diverse wildlife, making it a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Rio. National park has features with varied terrains, waterfalls, caves and more than 1,600 sorts of plants and 300 different species like mammals, birds, reptiles. UNESCO World heritage site is a 39 sq. km tropical jungle reserve, established in 1961. Tijuca National Park is well known as the world’s largest urban forest and is home to the many ocelots, howler monkeys, and waterfalls, nestled in the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Mountain.


6. Experience the Rio Carnival

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If you’re in Rio de Janeiro during the Carnival season, you will definitely be lucky to take part in the festivities, including colorful parades, samba dancing, and street parties. Festival has very historical significance, which evolved from a pagan ritual to Greek or Roman gods into the current celebration with great seasonal importance’s to Catholic Christians. Celebrate every year this Rio Carnivals, therefore it is considered the largest celebration in Brazil. The main reason to celebrate this festival is to honor the spirit of overindulgence. Most of the festival’s cultures and traditions are borrowed by the Portuguese colonists. Rio de Janeiro hosted the first Carnivals in 1723.


7. Visit the Jardim Botânico

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Jardim Botânico is a tranquil and serene garden featuring a wide variety of plants and trees from Brazil and around the world, as well as beautiful ponds, fountains, and walking trails. Total 350 acres of land where you can spend a time with more than 7000 indigenous and exotic flora species. Initially built during 1808 by the Regent Prince D. Joao from Amazonian trees to large ferns, and also includes wild animals like marmosets, frogs, and tropical birds. In 1822, Jardim Botânico declared it as a public garden and free to access. Today the garden is also well known as a premier botany and ecology research center. Travelers never miss to experience its tranquility, nature, self-driven thematic tours and souvenirs and Cafes coffee or tea.


8. Stroll in Santa Teresa neighborhood

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Santa Teresa’s bohemian neighborhood is known for its narrow streets, colonial architecture, art galleries, and eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. Situated just southwest of Lapa, the neighborhoods offers traditional Brazilian restaurants, bars and craft stores. It is a district with an electric array of art and architecture, where you can take a leisurely walk along Santa Teresa Cobblestone streets. During your walk you will spot sidewalk mosaics, palatial mansions and art galleries. Streets offer a very safe environment to walk, especially roads linked with bars, restaurants, and shops. Never miss to enjoy the “blocos” and vibrant music scene with live samba performances every weekend in cultural venues.

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9. Pedra da Gávea

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Pedra da Gávea in Rio de Janeiros cityscape stand, known as adventurous heaven. Its granite peak stands more than 2,700 feet above sea level, offering panoramic views of the city, ocean and Atlantic forest. It is quite a difficult mode of route to hike to the top along with it requiring 5 hours and it can take longer depending on which viewpoint you visit. During your journey you will pass through a mix of steep ascents, rocky terrains, and rope assisted sections. It is very important to hire a local guide to know more about safety and navigations, as well as you have to know the present weather forecast before planning to take a hike. Because it is very difficult to climb the mountain during the rainy moments due to its rock formations.

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10. Explore the Lapa Arches

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Once Lapa Arches is a historic aqueduct in the Lapa neighborhood is an architectural marvel and is now a home to bars, restaurants, and live music venues, known as no other great place to experience Rio’s nightlife. Festivals here in Lapa ignites at night when locals swing their hips and sip on the cocktails. Brimming with rows of botecos, clubs, and live music venues, makes one of the exciting moments in the night.


Remember there are just a few of the many amazing things to do in Rio de Janeiro. You can also expect to soak in the Ipanema beach, visit Prainha, and explore the more famous Pedro do Telegrafo along with it. Rio de Janeiro caters to all sorts of visitors. Whether you are seeking a place with significance like history, culture, nature, or nightlife, the city will not disappoint you.

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Q: What is the Rio de Janeiro meaning?

A: According to Portuguese language Rio de Janeiro” means “River of January”. Rio means River in Portuguese language.

Q: What country is Rio de Janeiro in?

A: Rio de Janeiro in southeastern part of the Brazil.

Q: What is Rio de Janeiro known for?

A: Rio de Janeiro is well known for its stunning natural landscapes, Statue of Christ the Redeemer, festivals like Carnival, samba and bossa nova, including famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema.

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