Top 10 attractions in Rio de Janiero

September 19, 2019

From the statue of Christ the Redeemer to the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema: Rio de Janeiro is ready to amaze you on every corner! Let yourself be enchanted.

View of Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, city of soccer, carnival and samba. The most famous city in Brazil is certainly this, but also much more. For example, there is a fervent cultural activity, visible in its street art and modern art museums. If you are leaving for a trip to Brazil, Rio is a must-see stop.

First of all its name in Portuguese means "river of January" and the city is the capital of the homonymous state, the second city of Brazil after São Paulo. It is no longer the capital of Brazil since 1960, but it's still very popular with tourists, who visit it especially for the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, but also for the climb to Mount Corcovado to admire the liberty statue of Christ the Redeemer. Obviously, even Rio Carnival, which takes place in February, attracts millions of visitors from around the world every year.

Coming to sport, Rio de Janeiro is famous for hosting major world events, in particular the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. A curiosity that perhaps not everyone knows: in Rio de Janeiro the largest urban forest in the world is also located.

Rio de Janeiro is a cosmopolitan and culturally open city, its population is composed of descendants of Europeans, Indians and Africans, with an important community of Italian origin.

What is the best time to visit Rio de Janeiro? Keep in mind that the metropolis has a tropical savannah climate, with a rainy season from December to March, the austral summer. The average temperature is 21 degrees (even in winter), with a maximum of 27.

Did we intrigue you? Here are the 10 must-see attractions in Rio!

The top 10 attractions

Here is a mini guide to the best attractions around the city.

1. Christ Redeemer Statue and Corcovado mountain

The Art Deco statue of Christ the Redeemer is located at the top of the Corcovado mountain, overlooking the city and the bay of Rio de Janeiro. 38 meters high, it is one of the symbols of Rio de Janeiro and an important tourist attraction. Made of concrete and soapstone between 1922 and 1931, it is part of the seven wonders of the modern world. At its feet, the Italian community of Rio has placed a plaque in 1974, on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Guglielmo Marconi, to celebrate the lighting of the lamps of the statue thanks to a radio impulse from Rome.

How do you get to the statue of Christ the Redeemer? Through the railway line that starts from the city and climbs Corcovado. Once you reach the end of the track, climb the steps to the statue, or use elevators and escalators. Tourists also take helicopter tours over the city of Rio, where the aircraft passes close to the statue allowing guests to take photographs from all sides.

Statue of Christ the Redemeer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio is included among the 7 Wonders of the Modern World.

2. Sugar Loaf Mountain

Sugar Loaf is a hill that rises on a peninsula in Guanabara bay in Rio de Janeiro. It has a really curious name, which according to some derives from a resemblance of its shape to this dessert. It is reached by the Bondinho cable car and is made up of granite and quartzites.

3. Copacabana

Copacabana is one of the most touristic neighborhoods of Rio de Janerio, located in the South Zone of the city. Its long beach (6 km) of thin white sand is the main attractions. The district begins on Avenida Princesa Isabel and ends at Posto Seis, the lifeguard tower number 6, near the Fort of Copacabana. Its waterfront is lined with trees, expensive restaurants and luxury hotels. The sidewalk is decorated with a very characteristic wave design. Its beach is very popular all year round with peaks for the New Year and other events, especially sports events. Every day, many people relax on the beach, improvising football pitches: football, after all, is the Brazilian sport par excellence.

Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Copacabana is one of the most popular beaches in the city.

4. Maracanã Stadium

The Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, better known as Maracanã, is the most famous football stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The works for its construction began in 1948, in view of the world championship of 1950, which was also the year of its inauguration. Even today it is one of the biggest stadiums in the world, able to hold almost 80 thousand spectators, and has hosted important international sporting events.

5. Ipanema

Ipanema is another famous neighborhood in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, much appreciated by tourists. It is a luxury neighborhood, bordering the neighborhoods of Leblon, Copacabana and Lagoa, one of the safest in the city. Even its beach is a popular destination for tourists. Many songs have been written about this chic neighborhood and its beach, including The Girl From Ipanema sung by Frank Sinatra, a translation of Garota de Ipanema, a Brazilian popular bossanova.

View of Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ipanema inspired many Brazilian songs.

6. Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is the "old" neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro and also one of the most bucolic. It boasts many mansions of the twentieth century in addition to the traditional tram built in 1897.

7. Sambadrome

The Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome is a structure that hosts events and parades, in particular those related to the Rio Carnival, during which the samba schools of the city compete for four evenings until the decree of a winning team. It is located in Avenida Marquês de Sapucaí, developed horizontally for 700 meters and flanked by spectators. It was built in 1984 according to architect Oscar Niemeyer's project specifically for the Carnival events.

8. Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon

Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon is located in the Lagoa district, in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro. It connects to the Atlantic Ocean via a canal that runs through the Jardim de Alá, a small park. The lagoon district is among the richest in the metropolis, home to several sports clubs.

View of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon is one of the most glamorous districts in the city.

9. Tijuca National Park

Tijuca National Park was established in 1961 to protect the mountainous and forest area of ​​the Tijuca massif. It includes the Pedra da Gávea, the Corcovado and the Tijuca Peak. The Tijuca forest, inside Rio de Janeiro, is the largest urban forest in the world.

10. The street art of Rio de Janeiro

Not everyone knows that Rio de Janeiro is also a city with a fervent artistic and cultural life. Many walls have been decorated with wonderful graffiti and murals by local street artists, who have made it one of the most colorful and vibrant cities in the world. In particular, admire the graffiti of the district of Leblon, Santa Teresa, Botafogo, Jardim Botânico, Copacabana and Ipanema. Eduardo Kobra is one of the most famous and recognized Brazilian street artists: in 2016, on the occasion of the Rio Olympic Games, he made a mural of three thousand square meters entitled We are all one in the port area of ​​the city.

Thanks to its artists, Rio de Janeiro is a large painted canvas: come and discover it in person!

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