Visit Carnival: The Rio de Janeiro Carnival is one of the most famous celebrations globally, with people coming together from all hubs of the globe to see the parade, listen to samba music, dance in the lanes, and party for days. The city comes busy as thousands of people glorify in colorful, exotic regalia.
Ascend Sugarloaf Mountain: The famous Sugarloaf Mountain is the city’s most popular tourist destination. It’s 396 meters tall, and at its peak, the whole town unfolds below you with breathtaking views of Ipanema and Guanabara Bay, particularly at sunset or sunrise.
Christ the Redeemer: Christ the Redeemer’s 30-meter (100-foot) high sculpture sits atop the Corcovado Mountain and can be glimpsed from any point in Rio. You can take in the bay, the mountains, and the cityscape, from the favelas to the skyscrapers from its vantage point. It’s an incredible Wonder of the World!
Hit the shores: Copacabana and Ipanema are the two most extensive beaches, and they’re always jam-packed with individuals. Ipanema has more exclusive restaurants and nightlife, while Copacabana has more fortes to do (like fishing or surfing). For quieter spots, go out to Barra de Tijuca Beach or Prainha Beach.
Watch a football game: Football is a religion here, and the clutter and excitement during a match are infectious! Maracana in Rio de Janeiro is the largest stadium globally, and it sits 100,000 supporters. The best sports are the local teams (Flamengo, Botafogo, Vasco, and Fluminese).
Visit the Botanical Gardens: Head to the city’s botanical gardens for a moment of calm. Walk along the meandering pathways and trails or take a complimentary guided excursion of the gardens. This place is home to more than 8,000 plant species, conceived in 1808 by order of the Prince Regent Dom João. Highlights hold a lake filled with enormous Vitória Régia water lilies, a surrounded spot with above 600 species of orchids, and a greenhouse loaded with carnivorous Venus flytraps and pitcher plants.
Roam the Rio de Janeiro Zoo: If your travels don’t incorporate a trip to the Amazon, you can still participate in Brazil’s indigenous animal safari at the Rio City Zoo. Over 1,300 creatures from 350 species live here, including numerous rare and endangered native species like maned wolves, golden-headed lion tamarins, harpy eagles, anteaters, etc. There’s also an imposing reptile house and open aviary with toucans, macaws, and tropical birds flying freely.
Learn the samba: You’ll listen to samba music playing endlessly near Rio, especially during Carnival. Rio de Janeiro is the best location in Brazil to discover how to dance. Rio Samba Dancer is the favorite for having all-level group classes, especially for the courses combined with social outings to samba clubs.
Hang in the Santa Teresa tram: This tram has been running via the Santa Teresa vicinity since 1877, earning it the oldest electric railway in Latin America. It has consistently followed the exact route from the city center, across the Lapa Arches, and by Ruinas Park overlooking Rio. The tram is open-sided, indicating you can lean out over the arches (a narrow one-time aqueduct) as you traverse them – it’s a dizzying view!
Visit the Selaron Stairway: Encountered in the Santa Teresa neighborhood, this stairway has hundreds of steps, all smeared with more than 2,000 pieces of colorful tiles, mosaics, and mirrors. In the earlier 1990s, artist Jorge Selarón began collecting contributions from artists in 60 distant countries. He also saw antique shops and trash heaps to find details to add over time, performing on the staircase’s construction for more than 20 years until his death in 2013. It’s one of the most photogenic and notable sights in the city.
Explore the Arcos da Lapa district: It is an excellent district to head out to on a Friday night for those who love the nightlife. Bars, clubs, and food stalls hog the area, and street parties run from the prominent arches up Avenida Mem de Sá. For live music, head to Circo Voador, an open-air concert platform primarily featuring Brazilian crews and artists.
Visit Sitio Roberto Burle Marx: This home and World Heritage Site belongs to one of Brazil’s most celebrated landscape designers, Roberto Burle Marx. Begun in 1949 and developed over 40 years, this 100-acre property features 3,500 tropical and subtropical plant species. Inside the Burle Marx House Museum is a vast collection of his artwork and a 17th-century Benedictine chapel.