Are you planning a trip to Rio De Janeiro and wondering what are the best things to do in Rio De Janeiro? This post has you covered!
Rio De Janeiro is without a doubt it’s one of the most popular cities in all of South America. It’s not hard to see why. It’s big, beautiful and filled with tons of things to do in Rio!
It isn’t the cheapest city in South America, but there are many things you can do for free or very cheap!
Here are the best things to do in Rio De Janeiro!
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visit Christ the Redeemer
This iconic statue has been named the top thing to do in Rio de Janeiro Brazil but many people say they’re underwhelmed by Christ the Redeemer.
It gets busy and crowded but it’s one of the world wonders, you just can’t skip this when in Rio!
While there were a ton of people there when we went, the views are definitely worth it! Walk around, take it in. You’re in Rio de Janeiro visiting one of the most famous world wonders.
There’s even a spot marked on the floor where your photographer can get down and take a photo of you with Christ the Redeemer in the background without the crowds in it.
While you’re up there you can visit the cafe, get a beer and relax.
To get here you can take a train, van or for the more adventurous and fit people – you can even hike up to the top!
visit Santa Teresa and the Selaron Steps
Santa Teresa is a small area with very charming restaurants, cafe, and bars. It’s also close to the famous Selaron Steps.
If you’re looking to try the Brazilian local dish “Feijoada” the best one is at Bar do Mineiro. This place is always really busy so don’t be surprised if you have to wait for a bit to get a table. It’s worth it though because it’s one of the best things to do while in Rio!
You can spend the afternoon in Santa Teresa, walk around and even drink beer in the streets. You can get to Santa Teresa on a small train where you can take in the city center.
This is a great tour that will include a ride in the traditional tram in Rio, explore Santa Teresa, get great views from Ruins Park, walk down the colorful Selaron Steps and also get to try some great Brazilian snacks too!
Visit the Museum of Tomorrow
This structure stands out in Rio and is one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen. It’s a science museum that explores things from our biology to geology. There are great exhibits on sustainability and the building is also eco-friendly.
Even if you don’t go inside, you should go to see the stunning architecture in this futuristic building.
visit Parque Laje:
Parque Laje is one of the top things to do in Rio because it’s a beautiful park full of small trails that are lined with beautiful, dense trees.
It felt like walking through a beautiful jungle while being 100m from the city streets. The best part of this park is the instagrammable beautiful café named Plage located in the middle of the park.
If you’re not on a strict budget then you can order the brunch for around 80-100 reals ($28-$35 CDN), if you don’t want to spend that much you can always get a latte for 9 reals (3.25CDN).
If you don’t want to spend anything at all, you don’t have to! You can just take some photos here and leave 🙂
After your photoshoot, walk through the park head over to the Botanical Gardens. It’s only a fifteen-minute walk away.
Visit the Jardim Botanico
The Botanical Gardens are big, beautiful and there are lots of places to get great photos. The best part for me was walking through these super-tall palm trees and the trail near the forest part of the garden. It was so tranquil here and should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Rio de Janeiro!
Make sure to wear bug repellent as there are nasty little bugs who bite and DRAW BLOOD! Those bites were sooo itchy and disgusting.
Use the button below to book your tickets with a 4-hour guide included! You’ll learn about the gardens, see panoramic views from the Bask in the panoramic views from the Vista Chinesa gazebo, get to walk a trail through Tijuca National Forest and lastly visit the famous São Conrado beach!
Rio is a unique city surrounded by the beach and mountains. One of the best and cheapests things to do in Rio de Janeiro is hiking up one of these many mountains to enjoy a beautiful view of the whole city!
There are a few to choose from and here are my favorite hikes in Rio De Janeiro:
Pedra do Telegrafo
Go for a full day tour and hike up the Pedra do Telegrafo! This is the place where you can get a really great photo here where it looks like you’re hanging off the cliff, have you seen that one on instagram?
It’s located in the Pedra Branca State Park, and will take about an hour to reach the summit. It’s an easy, beautiful hike with several viewpoints along the way, with the best known being a large, sharp rock called Pedra da Bigorna.
After the hike, you can relax on the beaches of Grumari or Prainha.
Sugarloaf Mountain – Morro da Urca
This is the hill right next to the famous Sugarloaf Mountain. It’s an easy trek, and should only take around 30 mins to a max1 hour – I’m pretty sure we did it in less than 30 mins.
From the top of Urca, you can get the cable car to reach the Sugarloaf and pay half-price! If you stay on Sugarloaf for sunset (which I highly recommend) you get the ride down from Urca for free so you don’t have to hike back down in the dark 🙂
The best part, this won’t cost you a thing and you can enjoy some very beautiful views along the way.
If you don’t feel like hiking and getting sweaty then you can also book your cable car tickets online here!
Morro Dois Irmaos:
This hike is relatively short and easy. To get here, grab an uber to the Favela do Vidigal.
Once you arrive, you’ll see a bunch of moto-taxis waiting to drive you to the top of the mountain and base of the hike.
It cost around 5 reals and it was scary and fun.
Once at the base of the hike, it takes about 1-2 hours to reach the top depending on your pace. At the top of the favela, there is a really nice bar called Bar da Laje with a stunning view which is a nice reward after the hike.
I loved this hike because it wasn’t too difficult and the view was incredible! If you can’t do all of these hikes then this is definitely one of the top things to do in Rio that you should prioritize!
Pedra da Gavea:
The highest spot in the city. It takes about 3-4 hours to reach the top and is considered a moderate level.
Very easy hike and only takes about 40 minutes. It’s located just next to Pedra da Gavea.
Mirante Dona Marta:
This hike can be reached by car and has the best view of Christ the Redeemer. After seeing the Christ the Redeemer, hire a taxi to take you there and back or you can walk but it’s a pretty long walk, one way it’s about 30 mins – 1 hour depending on your pace.
What’s a trip to Rio de Janeiro without a beach day? In every list, you’ll see that the top thing to do when visiting Rio is to enjoy the amazing beaches.
Some of the best beaches in Rio de Janeiro are listed below.
Classics: Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon.
I love Copacabana beach because it’s busy, full of energy and huge! If you prefer fewer people then Leblon beach may be better for you.
Joatinga: It’s a local beach located in a bay. It has really calm waves and is surrounded by beautiful palm trees, it’s my favorite. I’m so glad that my friend told me about this beach because it was more secluded and felt like a mini getaway from the big city. A great beach to add on your list of places to visit in Rio.
Praia Vermelha (Red beach): Very relaxing, with stand-up paddles for rent and it’s just near the bottom of the Sugarloaf mountain.
There are so many amazing things to do in Rio de Janeiro that you’ll have a hard time narrowing it down!
I hope this helps with your trip planning! Rio is such a beautiful city, rain or shine you’ll find something fun to do!
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