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Top Activities in Rio de Janeiro

See all 199 things to do in Rio de Janeiro

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What to Do in Rio de Janeiro: Must See Attractions

Rio de Janeiro Attractions

From Copacabana Beach to Sugarloaf Mountain, there is an astounding amount of things to do in Rio de Janeiro. If you are looking to spend a day on the beach, lazing in the sun, or snorkeling in the shallow water, then Rio offers many top spots. Rio de Janeiro is filled with many must see museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, and the Imperial Museum of Brazil. With so many Rio de Janeiro activities, it could be hard to decide what to do first.

One of the best places to visit on one of the Rio de Janeiro tours is the Tijuca National Park. Located in Rio de Janeiro, this urban forest is the largest in the world, covering 32 square kilometers. Grab a map and follow the other tourist up to the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue, which is the second largest statute of Jesus in the world. This iconic statue watches over the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro. Be sure to keep an eye out for the abundance of wildlife and colorful birds, while visiting this rainforest.

When deciding on dates to visit Rio de Janeiro, consider planning your trip to coincide with Carnival. This famous festival occurs every year right before lent, when millions of people take to the streets to celebrate in one of the world's most colorful festivals. Local residents and tourists alike enjoy parades filled with festive floats and Samba dancers. There are street parties and balls, making it one of the most amazing attractions in Rio de Janeiro. If you have to opportunity, mark your calendar and make your way to Rio de Janeiro in time for Carnival.

When you start planning your trip to Brazil, you will discover there are many Rio de Janeiro excursions to choose among. If you enjoy a good game of soccer, then consider taking in a game at the Estádio do Maracanã. Take a walk on the world famous steps created by a local artist, the Escadaria Selarón. No matter what you decide to do in this bustling city, you will not have a hard time finding something to do.

Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro with Kids

There are lots of amazing experiences in Rio de Janeiro that the whole gang will get a buzz out of. Here are some of the best family friendly experiences around.

Free Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro

There's no need to give your credit card a workout in Rio de Janeiro. The following won't even cost a penny.

Naval and Oceanographic Museum - Old or young, this place will stimulate your imagination and hold your attention.

Sambodrome - This is a wonderful place to get your culture hit and explore the thriving local arts scene.

Praca da Apoteose - If you enjoy modern-style design and architecture, add this attraction to your itinerary.

Palacio Capanema - Amble through this historic site and discover a few secrets from times past.

Cinelandia - This buzzing area is a favorite of locals and tourists alike.

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura - Strike up a conversation with a few locals and discover why many sightseers visit this place.

Sao Francisco da Penitencia Church - Gain an insight into the local beliefs at this holy site.

Urca Beach - Skim rocks across the water, watch the sun go down or simply revel in the views from the foreshore.

Mirante Dona Marta - Contemplate the stark difference between the city and nature's wild beauty at this beautiful location.

Passeio Publico - Cultivate your green thumb and explore the glorious plants on display.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana

Mingle with the local residents on one of the world’s most famous beaches, admire art deco buildings and party until dawn in this effervescent neighborhood.

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Barra da Tijuca

Rio de Janeiro’s longest beach, a sprawling shopping mall and some of the city’s best seafood restaurants and bars await in this relaxed neighborhood.

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Ipanema

Relax on beautiful beaches, shop for fashion and revel in the nightlife of one of Rio de Janeiro’s most stylish areas.

Beach ViewSeaSunset

Leblon

If you're spending time in Leblon, you might enjoy attractions like Leblon Beach and Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. You might also enjoy the neighborhood's pristine beaches before hopping on the metro at Antero de Quental Station to see more of the city.

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Lapa

Attend a service in the city’s main cathedral, ride the tram across a colonial-era aqueduct  and then dance the night away in this popular Rio neighborhood.

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Jacarepagua

You'll enjoy the live music and parks in Jacarepagua. You might want to make time for a stop at Tijuca Lake or Tijuca National Park.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Rio de Janeiro on a sunny day?

When the weather is putting on a show, these outdoor activities are hard to resist:

What to do in Rio de Janeiro on a rainy day?

Try out these popular indoor activities and turn a dull, rainy day into an adventure:

What is Rio de Janeiro famous for?

No stay in Rio de Janeiro is really complete without stopping by Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain.

What should I not miss in Rio de Janeiro?

You'll want to put these sights at the top of your must-see list to get the most out of your trip:

  • Maracana Stadium
  • Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden
  • Icarai Beach
  • Niterói Contemporary Art Museum

Are there cheap things to do in Rio de Janeiro?

You'll find plenty of fun experiences here that are just the ticket if you're traveling on a budget:

What can you do in Rio de Janeiro for free?

You could put your cash in the hotel safe for the day, because these top attractions will cost you nothing:

  • Icarai Beach
  • Arcos da Lapa
  • Parque Henrique Lage
  • National Library (Biblioteca Nacional)