Top 10 Things to DO in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is one of our favorite places in Brazil. The beaches are beautiful, while the people are friendly and very good looking. There are bars and restaurants everywhere, and the city is surrounded by unique mountains, beaches and parks.

Top 10 Things to DO in Rio de Janeiro

1- Christ the Redeemer: 

This is the iconic statue and image of the city. The monument stands on Corcovado Mountain, 700 meters high. One of the 7 wonders of the modern world.

To get to the entrance, there are two ways: van or authorized train. The Corcovado train, travels up a distance of 3800 meters and the journey takes about 20 minutes, or you can take a series of vans up the mountain.

Tip: buy the train tickets in advance.

Rio de Janeiro Harbor

2-  A Day at the Beach:

Ipanema Beach and Copacabana are the most famous beaches. Here you can rent chairs, buy a coconut water and watch people playing volleyball or Futebol (soccer) on the beach. Ipanema is one of the most famous beaches in the world. Have you ever heard the song Girl from Ipanema?

Ipanema Beach


3-  Sugar Loaf Mountain:

The adventure begins with a glassed in cable car ride.  It first stops at Urca Hill, 220 meters above sea level.  From there, you can be see Guanabara Bay and Botafogo Bay.  At the second and last stop, there are amazing views of much of the South Zone, Niterói, and the Santos Dumont domestic airport.

Tickets can be purchased on site.

Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf Mountain!

4- Watch a futebol game at Maracanã Stadium: 

This is one of the most important football stadiums in Brazil.


5- Hike Pedra da Gávea:

Located between the Barra da Tijuca and São Conrado neighborhoods.  842 meters above sea level, it is the largest block of stone next to the ocean, on the planet.  It is one of the most extreme points of the Tijuca Forest Park, and one of the most breathtaking views of the city.  

6- Hang Gliding:

This is one of the most popular wind sports practiced in Rio.

Pedra da Gávea Mountain (source)

7- Visit the Botanical Garden & Parque Laje:

Located at the Jardim Botânico district, The Botanical garden is one of the most magnificent and best preserved green areas of the city.  It is home to 6500 species of plants, including many rare endangered species. All this diversity is distributed in an area of 54 square meters, outdoors and indoor greenhouses. Near the Botanical Garden is Parque Laje, a former mansion that is now a public park.

Parque Laje

8- Check out the Escadaria Selarón (Selarón Steps):

This is the work of Chilean artist Selarón, who used to live in the neighborhood. He did the work alone and with his own money by selling paintings. The staircase is completely covered with colorful tiles of different sizes and patterns.

Escadaria Selaron

9- Eat Brazilian food:

 Churrasco (Brazilian barbecue)

Feijoada: this a delicious stew of pork and black beans that’s traditionally served over rice with local vegetables.

Brazilian appetizers:

Pão de queijo (cheese bread)

Coxinha (chicken croquettes) 

Brazilian Açaí  Bowl 

Pastel (a crispy, brownish fried pie)

Brazilian desserts: 

Petit Gateau (chocolate lava cake with sauce and ice cream).

Brigadeiro (Sweetened condensed milk, butter and chocolate).

Beijinho (Condensed milk cooked with butter and coconut flakes, formed into little candy balls).  Brazilian food is delicious!

Brazilian Drinks: Sugar Cane juice, Guarana Soda. Caipirinhas, Craft Beer.

10- Party:

Lapa and Leblon are great places to enjoy the nightlife in Rio de Janeiro, it’s surrounded by bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Currency: Brazilian Real

Official language: Portuguese






Author: Traveling the Continents

Traveling the Continents features adventures in travel, destination guides and travel tips from around the world.