Rio de Janeiro is one of the most bustling cities in the world and is a perfect hub for entertainment, food, history, and culture. Right from offbeat tourist spots to natural and human-made places, this city is jammed with incredible attractions.
If you are planning a trip to Brazil, you just have to visit Rio—after all, it is one of the prettiest cities in the country. Rio’s setting between the sea and the mountains is so spectacular that UNESCO has named it one of the most beautiful locations in the world; eventually, Rio became a World Heritage Site.
There is a lot of entertainment here – beaches, clubs, restaurants, and all this is surrounded by beautiful nature. By the way, if you are lovers of unusual places that are steeped in history and have not yet been spoiled by tourists, then you should immediately visit the “Book of Ra“.
10 Best Places To Visit In Rio de Janeiro
If you are looking for some places to visit in Rio, you can visit these famous attractions that the city has to offer:
1. Cristo Redentor
Also known as Christ the Redeemer, Cristo Redentor is a giant statue of Christ that overlooks the city from the summit of Corcovado. This is perhaps one of the most famous Rio de Janeiro attractions built between 1922 and 1931; all the contributions came from the Brazilian Catholics.
The Cristo Redentor is made of reinforced soapstone and concrete; it stands over 30 meters tall, with its arms stretching up to 20 meters. At the eight-meter high base, you will find a chapel often used for baptisms and weddings.
2. Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf is Rio’s most famous landmark. The rocky peak stands up to 400-meter above the harbor and sits on land that projects into the bay. To access Sugarloaf, you can take a cable car from Praça General Tibúrcio, which will take you to the top of the lower peak called Morro da Urca.
Once you reach the peak of Sugarloaf, you will see the entire mountainous coast around the bay and the several islands. There are also three forts at Cara de Cão. Out of them, you can visit Fort São João.
There are not many cities with long beaches; thankfully, Copacabana is not one of them. Here, you will find this Rio de Janeiro beach that stretches up to four kilometers. A few steps from the sand are streets like Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, where you will find 16th-century buildings.
You will also find the famous Copacabana Palace here, constructed in the 1920s, and a national monument. This monument has been featured in the movie Flying Down To Rio (1933) and has hosted glamorous celebrities and royalties.
4. Tijuca National Park
Around the Cristo Redentor, you will find the Tijuca National Park. Surrounding the giant statue of Christ, the Tijuca Forest measures 3,300 hectares. This makes it one of the largest forests that are located within a city. Most of the trees here are native and provide a home for various wildlife like hawks, toucans, quatis, and Capuchin monkeys.
Morro da Vista Chinesa is located 380 meters above the Rio de Janeiro ocean shore and will offer you a view of the south coast, the Botanic Garden, and the Municipal Park. You will also find a lot of waterfalls and forest springs here.
Carnaval is the world-famous pre-Lenten celebration taking place each year in Rio. The celebrations start shortly after the New Year, and you will be surprised by the extravagance and splendor in this Rio de Janeiro carnival.
This celebration attracts hundreds and thousands of locals and tourists. Here, you can enjoy different types of shows, samba parties, and street parades. The carnival also hosts the Sambódromo parade, where exquisitely dressed dancers compete.
If you are a football fan, then you need to visit Maracanã. It is Brazil’s largest stadium known for hosting the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games 2016. The stadium was completely renovated to hold more than 80,000 fans during the FIFA World Cup 2014.
When not used for major sporting events, the stadium has also hosted a Rio de Janeiro festival or two, local matches between major football clubs, and concerts. Maracanã is located along the shore of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, which is full of sports clubs and parks.
7. Ipanema And Leblon
As you walk from Copacabana, you will reach the beaches of Leblon and Ipanema, which Jardim de Alá Canal separates. Here, you will find many Rio de Janeiro hotels, restaurants, and cafés. Both districts are very famous and best known for the lively beaches.
Ipanema and Leblon are filled with a lively cultural life, completed with an avant-garde theater, cinemas, and art galleries. If you want to visit an antique market, you can head to Leblon’s Praça de Quental.
8. São Bento
São Bento is Rio’s famous monastery and one of the finest architectural structures in the world. It was built around the 17th century. The carvings that cover the walls and the ceilings are exuberant and done by a monk named Domingos da Conceição.
Domingos da Conceição also created the figures of St. Scholastica and St. Benedict on the high altar. You will also find 14 paintings done by the famous monk Ricardo do Pilar. The masterpiece of his work is the Senhor dos Martírios.
If you are wondering about the Rio de Janeiro nightlife, then you can visit Lapa, a neighborhood located between Copacabana and Ipanema. Since the 1950s, Lapa has been known for its lively cultural life, thanks to the numerous bars and restaurants that became common meeting places for Brazilian intellectuals and artists.
At night, the neighborhood turns into an outdoor party. If you want to witness what nightlife the city has to offer, walk the streets on Friday nights. This is an experience that you should not miss out on.
10. Jardim Botânico
Jardim Botânico, or the Botanical Garden mentioned above, covers an area of 350 acres. This is an ecological sanctuary that is completed with a scientific laboratory and show gardens. The highlight of Jardim Botânico is the Orchidarium, a greenhouse that was built in the 1930s and houses more than 1,500 species of plants.
The area is a UNESCO biosphere reserve where you will find much wildlife that has made the garden their homes. You can take a brief walk into the gardens or ride through an electric cart tour under the Pau Brasil and royal palm trees.
Bonus—if you are a fan of Formula 1, make sure you visit the Grand Prix circuit called Autodromo Nelson Piquet in Brasília, the capital. It’s one of the most fantastic places in the whole country, and it’s a must-visit for die-hard fans. If you’re not a soccer fan but want to engage in bookmaking when it comes to Formula 1, this is the place to be.
As mentioned above, Rio de Janeiro is a city where you will definitely enjoy your time. Here, you will find everything ranging from century-old castles to the most modern museums and parks. Perhaps the best aspect of this city is that it is very affordable, even during the Rio de Janeiro quarantine period.
Would you add anything to this list?
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Author’s bio: Jeremy Ambrose began traveling several years ago and travels to explore new corners of the world every year. He has faced many of the difficulties of traveling and now wants to share his experience and knowledge with his readers.
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