Best things to do in Rio de Janeiro
Find out more about those top places in Rio de Janeiro
If you are searching for the perfect tourist destination, look no further than Rio de Janeiro. The former capital is Brazil’s third most populous state with over 6 million citizens – with its embracing culture you will also find quite a number of people from different nationalities in the city.
Nicknamed “the marvelous city”, it has quite a number of attractions from the famous Christ the Redeemer and Maracanã Football Stadium to the lesser known AquaRio.
Easily the city’s most popular tourist attraction, the mere image of the Statue sends thoughts of Brazil to the minds of people. Located at the top of Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park, it was constructed between 1922 and 1931 - the statue is a depiction of Christ with is hands spread wide safeguarding the city. Made of reinforce concrete and soapstone, it stands at 700 meters high.
Adored by lovers of the round leather game, the Maracanã Football Stadium is considered a symbol of football. Officially known as the Mario Filho stadium, the Maracanã was opened to the public in 1950 and it remains the biggest stadium in Brazil even though its capacity has been reduced to 78,838. Since its establishment it has played host to a number of key football games – it was the venue for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, 2016 Summer Olympics and 2014 World Cup. Best to visit the stadium during one of the local match days to experience how loud the Maracanã can be.
Brazil is well-known for its carnivals and festivals, if you are a party lover then Rio is definitely for you. Of its numerous celebrations, the most recognized is the Rio Festival - considered to be the biggest festival in the world with over 2 million people attended regularly. Starting as far back as the 1723, the carnival occurs yearly before the fasting season of lent. The Rio Carnival is quite extravagance filled with adornments, floats and revelers – it often involves a plethora of activities including music, dance and parades.
If there is one thing you will find in surplus in Rio de Janeiro are beaches, no matter where you are planning to stay over your visit there is sure to be a beach around you. Although with several beaches to choose from, picking one can be a bit difficult – one of the most visited beaches in the city is the Copacabana. Located at the Atlantic shore in Rio, the beach extends for over 4 km and is lined with restaurants and kiosks.
The city of Rio was once surrounded by a massive rainforest, but today the Tijuca is all that remains. Covering a massive 32 square kilometers, it is the first replanted forest in the world – it was started in the 1850s when most of the land was cleared and developed to grow sugar and coffee. Claimed to be the world’s largest urban forest, it has a number of natural and man made attractions including several waterfalls, flora and fauna, caves, and restaurants. It is also home to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.
Known to be the largest aquarium in South America, the AquaRio is located in Gamboa in the port zone of the city. It has a total of 5 floors and 28 tanks featuring over 8,000 animals of 350 species. One special thing about the AquaRio that you won’t find in most aquariums is its “Sleeping in AquaRio” where visitors can spend a night in one of its tunnel tanks simulating sleeping in the middle of the ocean.
The Sugarloaf Mountain is one of the favorite parts of the city for tourism, named Sugarloaf Mountain because of its striking resemblance to the shape of tradition refined sugar loaf. The site has a cable car that goes all the way to its 396 m peak offering a panoramic view of the city. It is a good location for rock climbing as well.
Located in the heart of the city’s port district right next to the Praca Mauá, the Rio Art Museum is formed of two building - the Palacete Dom João VI which is joint on the fifth floor by a walkway to the Escola de Olhar (School of Vision). It features eight exhibition halls formed from several donations and private collection, it is a perfect place to witness the best of local and international artworks available in Rio.