Rio de Janeiro Bucket List: Tourist Spots and Best Places to Visit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Looking for a list of amazing things to do in Rio de Janeiro? This is the second-largest city in Brazil, and it is blessed with one of the most beautiful natural settings for a metropolis in the world. It is a marvelous city because of its white sandy beaches, picturesque harbor, and soaring mountains.
There are many places to visit here, and you can go there any time of the year, and you won’t miss out on the city’s highlights.
Top fifteen (15) things to do in Rio de Janeiro
Visit the Christ the Redeemer
There is no way you will think about Rio de Janeiro, and you will not think of this huge statue which stands tall over the city at the top of Corcovado Mountain.
This is recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world, and you should ensure you visit this place. You can hike up the mountain to have a magnificent view of the city or enjoy the scenic train ride up the mountain.
You should try to go in the morning during sunset as the place is crowded in the afternoon with tourists.
Go people watching at the Lapa Arches
The Carioca Aqueduct was constructed in the mid-18th century to supply clean drinking water from the Carioca River to the people of Rio de Janeiro.
A significant feature of the aqueduct is the segment, which consists of two stories of huge arches. The top arches are being used to carry a tram that connects the city center to the neighborhood of Santa Teresa after the Aqueduct was shut down in the 19th century.
The arches are a popular meeting spot for locals when the area comes to life with street music, dancing, vendors in the night.
Have fun at the Copacabana beach
This is one of the famous beaches globally, and your trip to Rio de Janeiro will not be complete without a visit to this beach.
The beach’s highlight is that there are no hotels on the beach as they are all located across the road. You can watch the locals having a game of soccer or volleyball in play, and you won’t get hungry here as there are vendors everywhere, hawking their drinks and snacks from the kiosks.
You can also go sightseeing at one end of the beach in Fort Copacabana, where there is a military base with a wartime museum open to the public.
Go watch the sunset at the Sugarloaf Mountain.
The mountain is 396m high over the Rio Harbor, and you will get to see a mind-blowing view of the city’s spectacular skyline. The mountain looks like a sugarloaf, and the reason for the name it is called.
Apart from the city’s panoramic views, you will also get to watch the sunset on this mountain.
To get to the top of this mountain, you will have to take two cable car rides dangling over the two mountains. You will surely enjoy the ride to the top of the city.
Explore the Jardim Botanico
This is found in the west of the Logoa neighborhood, and it is the Botanical Garden or Jardim Botanico of Rio de Janeiro, which houses 8000 species of plants.
It was built in the early 1800, and the garden features many mature specimens that included palm trees.
The highlight of Jardim Botanico is the numerous monuments, fountains, and features that include a pond filled with water lilies, a Japanese garden, and the new Museu do Meio Ambiente that displays exhibit which focuses on the environment.
Have fun at Ipanema Beach
This is another famous beach in Rio de Janeiro, and it was made famous because of the bossa nova song in the 1960s called The Girl from Ipanema.
The beach is located in the upscale of the south zone, and it lies in between the beaches of Leblon and Copacabana.
Ipanema beach is always at the top of the best beaches in the world year after year, and this is because of the well-organized grid of shops, restaurants, and cafes, and the different theaters, clubs, and art galleries.
The beach is divided into sections where different types of people can congregate.
Go for Favela Tour at Santa Marta
If you want to know more about the Rio culture, then the Favela tour is the right one to visit the local communities.
Favelas are run by the drug lords and gangs, which are slowly pacified, and some favelas are safe for tourists to visit.
Santa Marta is one of the Favelas that has changed from crime to a nice community as there are businesses, outdoor gathering squares, community centers there.
The tour’s highlight is that you will get to see where Michael Jackson filmed his music video “They don’t care about us.”
Go sightseeing at the Lapa Neighborhood
Lapa neighborhood is situated in the downtown section of Rio, known as Centro. The neighborhood’s highlight is the Lapa steps, a colorfully tiled step leading from the Lapa neighborhood to Santa Teresa.
Lapa neighborhood is known for its vibrant nightlife. You will enjoy your time here at the weekend, where the street is lined with Samba and choro bars, music, and dancing.
This is the perfect place to meet friends, try out the local cuisine, and sip caipirinha.
Explore Santa Teresa neighborhood
This is where you will step back in time and experience the faded elegance of Rio’s 19th-century plantation mansions and cobblestone streets.
This district is known as the haven for artists, writers, and musicians in the 20th century, but clubs and boutiques are all over the neighborhood now.
The highlight of the neighborhood is the museum called Museu da Chacara do Ceu, which is used to display art by Jean Metzinger and Matisse’s likes.
Explore Downtown Rio
This is a place where you should try and explore. There are cafes and stores in the charming mazes in the alleyways. There are markets, museums, cathedrals, and monasteries that you can visit.
Go sightseeing at the Museum of Tomorrow
The museum was opened in December 2015, and it is located on the waterfront of downtown Rio. The museum has one of the world’s most spectacular architectural designs.
The museum is also devoted to finding ways to avoid climate disaster, social collapse, and environmental degradation.
Enjoy nature at Tijuca National Park
This is one of the largest urban forests globally, and the park covers a big area of the mountainous landscape.
You can hike to Rio’s highest peak, which is Pico de Tijuca, where you can enjoy the expansive views of Guanabara Bay and the city below.
The park was nearly destroyed in the early 1800s by the encroaching coffee plantations, and it was replanted by hand in the latter half of the century, which houses nine million trees now.
The highlight of the park is the Mayrink chapel and the tumbling 100-foot Cascatinha waterfall.
Have lunch at the Confeitaria Colombo
If you visit Rio de Janeiro, then it must have experience of eating lunch at Confeitaria Colombo.
It was built in the late 1800 with Parisian style café that serves pastries and desserts, mixed with high tea. Many tourists come and have treats downstairs.
You can also have an upstairs dining experience to eat food from the buffet while a piano man will play popular classic tunes while eating your meal.
Visit the Maracana Stadium
There is no way you will want to know about Brazil’s history that you will not want to know about Brazil’s most important sport, which is soccer.
Maracana Stadium is one of Rio’s most important landmarks, and it was once the world’s highest capacity football venue when it opened in 1950.
You can have a tour around the stadium, which is now the largest stadium in South America after rebuilding for the 2014 World Cup.
Catch a performance at Theatro Municipal
This is located in the city center, and this is Rio’s main opera house. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century, and many people consider the building to be the most beautiful in the country.
The Theatre’s highlight is that you can go watch a show in the building, and if you cannot, you can book a guided tour of this spectacular theater.
The carnival season in Rio attracts tourists from all over the world.
The city is about relaxing and people watching at the shores of the various beaches in the city; there are other amazing things you can visit.
Rio de Janeiro Travel and Tour Packages
To help you plan out your visit to Rio de Janeiro, we listed places to visit and other amazing things in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We also listed some of the best travel deals and tour packages and excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Rio de Janeiro hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.