Activities & Sports

Bike in Rio Three- to five-hour bicycle tours showcase Rio's parks and beaches.

Jungle Me Knowledgeable guides offer hikes through Parque Nacional da Tijuca.

Crux Eco Choose from a range of climbing, rappelling and hiking adventures.

Asa Delta Flight in Rio Take to the skies with an experienced and safety-conscious pro pilot.

Fundição Progresso Salsa, tango and capoeira classes can be found at this cultural center.

Lagoa Aventuras Rock-climbing and zip-line adventures for adults and kids.

Jockey Club Take in a race or just a mountain view from this racetrack.

Universo Paddle Surf Ride the waves on a stand-up paddle board.

Sail in Rio Superb sailing tours offer bay and island views.


Ipanema Rio's most famous beach has volleyball games, food and drink vendors, and inviting waves.

Copacabana Planted with high-rises and framed by mountains, curving Copacabana Beach is truly magnificent.

Praia Vermelha Hidden near the cable-car station to Pão de Açúcar, this tiny beach boasts a magnificent panorama.

Barra da Tijuca A picturesque, seemingly endless stretch of sand located west of Leblon.

Prainha Good surf and a striking setting of rainforest-backed beachfront with little development in sight.

Free Stuff

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Massive arts center home to some of the city's top exhibits.

Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica A little-visited gem that has cutting-edge contemporary exhibitions.

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura The elegant Portuguese reading room is one of Rio's few buildings of the Manueline style.

Parque das Ruínas High up in Santa Teresa, the site of a ruined mansion has magnificent views over Rio.

Museu de Folclore Edison Carneiro A small but worthwhile collection of Brazilian folk art next to the former presidential palace.

Instituto Moreira Salles Fascinating gallery of temporary exhibits in a restored villa surrounded by Burle Marx–designed gardens.

Centro Cultural Justiça Federal The handsome building that once housed Brazil's Supreme Court today hosts diverse exhibitions.

Outdoor Adventures

Parque Nacional da Tijuca Lush rainforest, waterfalls, scenic views atop rocky cliffs – Tijuca is a must for outdoor-lovers.

Hang gliding Take the plunge off Pedra Bonita for an unforgettable airborne adventure.

Pão de Açúcar For an adrenaline rush, sign up for a rock-climbing excursion to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas By day, jog or cycle around the picturesque lake; by night, enjoy cocktails at waterfront kiosks.

Pista Cláudio Coutinho Take this steep, slippery trail up Morro da Urca for cinematic views above Rio.

Parks & Gardens

Jardim Botânico This beautifully set botanical garden makes a refreshing escape from the city.

Parque Lage Home to a historic mansion and rainforest-lined walking trails, including one challenging trail that ascends Corcovado.

Parque do Flamengo A long, narrow park with magnificent bay views; a great place for a bike ride.

Parque da Catacumba Trails lead to a peak with magnificent views over the lake and the mountains beyond.

Sítio Burle Marx It's a long journey to get here, but this beautifully landscaped estate is a verdant wonderland.

Art & Architecture

Museu de Arte do Rio The city's best new art museum is a showcase for great photography, painting and sculpture.

Museu do Amanhã The spectacular new science museum designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Museu Nacional de Belas Artes An impressive collection of 19th- and early 20th-century paintings in the heart of downtown.

Museu de Arte Moderna A massive postmodern building that houses works by some of Brazil's best-known 20th-century artists.

Theatro Municipal One of Rio's most striking buildings, this theater was recently restored to its former splendor.

Museu Chácara do Céu You'll pass through lush gardens en route to this small museum with an outstanding modern-art collection. A striking new gallery that presents thought-provoking art exhibitions.

Historical Sights

Museu da República The former presidential palace has historical artifacts and an eerie room where one president died by suicide.

Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Sé Magnificently restored church where several Portuguese kings were crowned.

Museu do Índio A celebration of Brazil's indigenous culture, both past and present.

Pedra do Sal Celebrate samba in the open-air setting where the music was born in the heart of Brazil's former 'Little Africa.'

Museu Histórico Nacional The former colonial arsenal provides a fascinating glimpse of Rio's royal days.

Mosteiro de São Bento A gold-laden work of art, and one of Brazil's finest colonial churches.

Instituto de Pesquisa e Memória Presto Novos Learn about the tragic era of slavery in Brazil.