Must-see attractions in Rio de Janeiro

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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 …

  • 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…

  • Centro Cultural Oi Futuro

    Flamengo & Around

    One of Rio's most visually exciting additions is this futuristic space on the edge of Flamengo. Within 2000 sq meters of exhibition area spread across six…

  • Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America


    Rio de Janeiro

    The epicenter of Rio’s Carnaval, the Sambódromo was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and completed in 1984. During big parades, come here for fantastic views…

  • Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

    Rio de Janeiro

    Housed in a beautifully restored 1906 building, the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil hosts some of Rio's top exhibitions. Facilities include a cinema, two…

  • Rio De Janeiro, Brazil - September 5 2013: A girl looking at the books in the library Real Cabinete Portugues De Leitura, in the old city center; Shutterstock ID 267301388; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

    Real Gabinete Português de Leitura

    Rio de Janeiro

    Built in the Portuguese Manueline style in 1837, the gorgeous Portuguese Reading Room houses more than 350,000 works, many dating from the 16th, 17th and…

  • Museu da República

    Flamengo & Around

    The Museu da República, located in the Palácio do Catete, has been wonderfully restored. Built between 1858 and 1866, and easily distinguished by the…

  • Cais do Valongo

    Rio de Janeiro

    Unearthed in 2011, the Valongo Wharf was the first arrival point for an estimated 900,000 enslaved peoples brought to Brazil after long, harrowing voyages…

  • Parque da Cidade

    Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

    On the outer reaches of Gávea, this lush park of native Mata Atlântica rainforest and replanted secondary forest provides a refreshing escape from the…

  • Palácio Tiradentes

    Rio de Janeiro

    The stately Tiradentes Palace houses the seat of the legislative assembly. Exhibits on the 1st and 2nd floors relate the events that have taken place here…

  • Museu de Arte Moderna

    Rio de Janeiro

    At the northern end of Parque do Flamengo, the Museu de Arte Moderna is immediately recognizable by its striking postmodern edifice designed by Affonso…

  • Museu do Índio

    Rio de Janeiro

    Though closed for renovations at the time of research, the small Museu do Índio features multimedia exhibitions on Brazil’s northern tribes and provides…

  • Feira Nordestina

    Rio de Janeiro

    This enormous fair (32,000 sq meters, with over 600 stalls) is not to be missed. It showcases the culture of the Northeast of Brazil, with barracas (food…

  • Planetário

    Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

    Gávea's stellar attraction, the Planetário features a museum, a praça dos telescópios (telescopes' square) and a couple of state-of-the-art operating…

  • Theatro Municipal

    Rio de Janeiro

    Built in 1905 in the style of the Paris Opera, the magnificent Municipal Theater is the home of Rio's opera, orchestra and ballet. Its lavish interior…

More destinations you need to see