Basílica da Penha

Rio de Janeiro

Rio’s most dramatically set church, in a 17th-century double-steepled confection, offers dramatic 360-degree views from its clifftop perch. A renovated tram whisks visitors up to the top (free of charge – though it's not always operational). Many of the faithful prefer to ascend the 382 steps on their own power – and some even do it on their knees. The church is surrounded by favelas and best reached by taxi.

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