Must-see attractions in Rio de Janeiro State

  • The sunset with Christ The Redeemer on the Corcovado Hill viewed from Paineiras Road at Tijuca Forest with the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

    Parque Nacional da Tijuca

    Rio de Janeiro

    The Tijuca is all that's left of the Atlantic rainforest that once surrounded Rio de Janeiro. This 39-sq-km tropical-jungle preserve is an exuberant green…

  • Sugar Loaf cable car

    Pão de Açúcar

    Rio de Janeiro

    Seen from the peak of Pão de Açúcar, Rio is undoubtedly a Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City). There are many good times to make the ascent, but sunset on…

  • "Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, View of Copacabana beach at sunset"

    Copacabana Beach

    Rio de Janeiro

    A magnificent confluence of land and sea, the long, scalloped beach of Copacabana extends for some 4km, with a flurry of activity along its length: over…

  • Lpanema beach

    Ipanema Beach

    Ipanema & Leblon

    One long stretch of sun-drenched sand, Ipanema Beach is demarcated by postos (posts), which mark off subcultures as diverse as the city itself. Posto 9,…

  • An aerial view of Rio de Janeiro and.the statue of Christ the Redeemer.

    Cristo Redentor

    Flamengo & Around

    Standing atop Corcovado (which means ‘hunchback’), Cristo Redentor gazes out over Rio, a placid expression on his well-crafted face. The mountain rises…

  • Maracanã Football Stadium

    Rio de Janeiro

    Rio’s Maracanã stadium is hallowed ground among football lovers. The massive arena has been the site of legendary victories and crushing defeats. Maracanã…

  • Chafariz no Jardim Botânico - RJ

    Jardim Botânico

    Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

    This exotic 137-hectare garden, with more than 8000 plant species, was designed by order of the Prince Regent Dom João (later to become Dom João VI) in…

  • Modern swimming pool in the courtyard in the Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro.

    Instituto Moreira Salles

    Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

    This beautiful cultural center hosts impressive exhibitions, often showcasing the works of some of Brazil's best photographers and artists. The gardens,…

  • Peak Prateleiras mountain in Itatiaia National Park, Brazil

    Parque Nacional do Itatiaia

    Rio de Janeiro State

    Brazil’s oldest national park, Itatiaia shelters a stunning variety of landscapes, from dense rainforests to spare and rugged upland peaks. Most visitors…

  • MAR - Rio Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro

    Museu de Arte do Rio

    Rio de Janeiro

    Looming large over Praça Mauá, the MAR is an icon for the rebirth of Rio's once derelict port. The huge museum hosts wide-ranging exhibitions that focus…

  • Heron sitting on rock in Lagoa.

    Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

    Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

    One of the city’s most picturesque spots, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is encircled by a 7.2km walking and cycling path. Bikes are available for hire from…

  • Parque Nacional Serra dos Órgãos

    Rio de Janeiro State

    Created in 1939, this high country park straddling the Serra dos Órgãos (Organ Pipe Range) just north of Rio is best known for its spectacular mountain…

  • Escadaria Selarón

    Santa Teresa & Lapa

    One of Rio's best-loved attractions, the steps leading up from Joaquim Silva became a work of art when Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón decided to cover…

  • Praia da Trindade


    About 25km south of Paraty, Trindade occupies a long sweep of stunningly beautiful coastline. Here you can lounge or hike along four of Brazil’s most…

  • Museu Histórico Nacional

    Rio de Janeiro

    Housed in the colonial arsenal, which dates from 1764, the impressive Museu Histórico Nacional contains relics relating to the history of Brazil from its…

  • Praia Lopes Mendes

    Ilha Grande & Vila do Abraão

    Facing the Atlantic, this seemingly endless beach with good surfing waves (shortboard/longboard rentals available on-site) is considered by some the most…

  • Pico da Caledônia

    Rio de Janeiro State

    For spectacular views all the way to Rio and the Baía de Guanabara, climb Pico da Caledônia (2310m), a popular local launching site for hang gliders. It’s…

  • Ilha de Cabo Frio

    Arraial do Cabo

    This stunning island, accessed by boat from Praia dos Anjos, is Arraial do Cabo's top day-trip destination. Praia do Farol, on the protected side of the…

  • Museu Imperial

    Rio de Janeiro State

    Petrópolis’ top draw is this impeccably preserved 19th-century palace. Felt slippers provided at the entrance help protect the fine wood floors – great…

  • Cervejaria Bohemia

    Rio de Janeiro State

    Don't miss the engaging 1½-hour tour (half self-guided, half guided) at Brazil's oldest brewery, where interactive exhibits trace beer-making history and…

  • Saco de Mamanguá


    This gorgeous fjord-shaped inlet cuts a narrow 7km channel into the mountains southeast of Paraty. Various Paraty-based tour companies offer boat trips…

  • Praia Itaúna

    Rio de Janeiro State

    About 3km east of town is Praia Itaúna, Saquarema's most beautiful beach and one of the best surf spots in Brazil. National and international surfing…

  • Bondinho (tram) on Lapa Arches, Lapa.

    Arcos da Lapa

    Santa Teresa & Lapa

    A much-photographed symbol of Lapa, the arches date back to the mid-18th century, when the structure served as an aqueduct to carry water from the Carioca…

  • Bonde

    Santa Teresa & Lapa

    The bonde is the last of the historic streetcars that once crisscrossed the city. Its romantic clatter through the cobbled streets is the archetypal sound…

  • Boulevard Olímpico

    Rio de Janeiro

    Rio's formerly derelict port district has been reborn as a wide promenade lined with massive street art. A handful of renowned artists have painted…

  • Sítio Burle Marx

    Rio de Janeiro

    This 35-hectare estate was once the home of Brazil's most famous landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx. The estate's lush vegetation includes thousands…

  • Ponta do Arpoador

    Ipanema & Leblon

    At the far eastern end of Av Vieira Souto, this rocky point juts out into the water and serves as one of Rio's best places for watching the sunset…

  • Parque Lage

    Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

    This beautiful park lies at the base of the Floresta da Tijuca, about 1km from Jardim Botânico. It has English-style gardens, little lakes, and a mansion…

  • Orla Bardot


    Orla Bardot, the eastward continuation of Rua das Pedras, is a delightful winding oceanfront promenade linking the two oldest and most picturesque…

  • AquaRio

    Rio de Janeiro

    The largest aquarium in South America is Rio's newest major downtown attraction. You can get an up-close look at some 350 different species (there are…

  • Museu Chácara do Céu

    Santa Teresa & Lapa

    The former mansion of art patron and industrialist Raymundo Ottoni de Castro Maya contains a small but diverse array of modern art, formerly Ottoni's…


    Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

    In the Jockey Club, this avant-garde gallery opened to much acclaim in 2018. Expect challenging multimedia shows and big installations that often…

  • Praia de Leblon

    Ipanema & Leblon

    Separated from Ipanema by the gardens and canal of Jardim de Alah, Leblon Beach attracts families and has a slightly more sedate vibe than its eastern…

  • Praia Vermelha

    Rio de Janeiro

    Beneath Morro da Urca, narrow Praia Vermelha has superb views of the rocky coastline from the shore. Its coarse sand gives the beach the name vermelha …

  • Prateleiras

    Rio de Janeiro State

    In the upper section of Parque Nacional do Itatiaia, this jumble of massive boulders is one of the park's highest peaks (2548m) and a favorite climbing…

  • Agulhas Negras

    Rio de Janeiro State

    Parque Nacional do Itatiaia's highest peak, Agulhas Negras (2791m) gets its name – meaning 'Black Needles' – from the serrated form of its imposing…

  • Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Flamengo park

    Parque do Flamengo

    Flamengo & Around

    Officially called Parque Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes, Parque do Flamengo was the result of a landfill project that leveled the São Antônio hill in 1965. It…


    Mosteiro de São Bento

    Rio de Janeiro

    This is one of the finest colonial churches in Brazil. It was built between 1617 and 1641 on Morro de São Bento, and has an excellent view over the city…