Most holidays to Brazil begin and end in the country’s ‘marvellous city’ Rio de Janeiro. With a population of over 6 million and a unique topography spread across mountains, coastal beaches and hills – Rio can be challenging to navigate for first-timers.
But, rest assured, most of our holidays to Brazil include a multi-day stop in the city, so we’ve put together a few things to do in Rio de Janeiro to help you make the most of your time in this vibrant city…
The Christ the Redeemer statue is a world-famous symbol of Rio de Janeiro. Overlooking the city from Corcovado Mountain’s 700-metre peak, this cultural icon has become a popular pilgrimage for almost two million visitors every year.
How to get there: Most visitors choose to take the scenic tram up Corcovado; tickets can be purchased at the Corcovado tram station.
Insider tip: Sit on the right side of the train on the journey to the top, and the left side on the journey down for the best views!
One of Brazil’s most famous attractions, the cable car journey to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, offers unparalleled views of this magnificent city and the surrounding region. The trip is completed in two parts: the first cable car takes you to the top of Urca Hill at 215 metres, the second to the highest peak at 395 metres.
How to get there: Tickets can be purchased at the station located at Praia Vermelha (Red Beach). Cable cars leave every 20 minutes between 8am and 9pm.
Insider tip: Plan your journey to Sugarloaf Mountain around sunset, the golden hour makes the spectacular scenery even more special.
While most visitors to Rio de Janeiro head straight to the world-famous Copacabana beach, Ipanema is actually less crowded, more fashionable and just as stunning as the former. Ipanema is separated into different sections by lifeguard towers, each offering a little something different from LGBT friendly to family-focused facilities.
How to get there: Ipanema Beach is located on Avenida Vieira Souto. Take the metro to General Osório or hire a taxi.
Insider tip: Hire a deckchair and parasol for a small fee and enjoy a day of lounging. Beer and other drinks are widely available from beach vendors.
This UNESCO designated biosphere reserve has over 8,000 species of flora, making Rio’s Botanical Garden a must-see for nature-lovers. You can easily spend a day exploring the gardens, spread across 137 hectares at the foot of Corcovado Mountain.
How to get there: The park is located at Jardim Botânico 920, and is easily accessed by subway, bus and taxi.
Insider tip: Walk along the Avenue of Royal Palms made up of 134 palm trees. Every palm along the avenue originates from a single tree, which was sadly destroyed by lightning many years ago.
Opened in 1996, and designed by famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum is one of Rio’s main landmarks due to its unique and iconic form. Fans of contemporary art will enjoy the museum’s extensive collections, but the building itself is the main draw.
How to get there: Take a ferry to Niterói from Rio’s main ferry terminal, the trip takes approximately 20 minutes.
Insider tip: On Friday and Saturday evenings you can catch live music performances for no extra charge.
Our Holidays to Brazil start from just £1,999pp – If you would like to start planning your perfect trip to Rio de Janeiro and beyond, get in touch with one of our Travel Specialists today.