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

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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 from the stands of the elaborate floats, whirling dancers and pounding drum corps. The open-air arena received a makeover for the 2016 Olympics, with improved sight lines and a more symmetrical design in keeping with Niemeyer’s original vision.

During the Olympics, the venue hosted archery events, and was also the finish line for the marathon.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rio de Janeiro attractions

1. Largo das Neves

0.53 MILES

A slice of village life in the city, this small plaza is one of Santa Teresa's most picturesque little squares. While Largo das Neves is empty by day, on…

2. Campo de Santana


Campo de Santana is a pleasant green space that, on September 7, 1822, was the scene of the proclamation of Brazil's independence from Portugal by Emperor…

3. Fábrica Bhering

0.75 MILES

Inaugurated in 1880, Fábrica Bhering was the first chocolate factory in Brazil. It is now a stunning multistory, multipurpose art space and cultural…

4. Casa de Benjamin Constant

0.85 MILES

This tranquil estate served as the residence of one of Brazil's most influential politicians in the founding of the young republic. Benjamin Constant …


0.87 MILES

Inside a beautifully restored mansion overlooking Praça Tiradentes, this exhibition hall is dedicated to Brazilian crafts from across the country. Several…

6. Centro Cultural Laurinda Santos Lobo

0.87 MILES

Built in 1907, this large mansion once served as a salon for artists from Brazil and abroad and as the location of parties hosted by socialite Laurinda…

7. Centro Carioca de Design

0.92 MILES

In a historic building overlooking Praça Tiradentes, this multifloor cultural space showcases a changing array of exhibitions relating to design, urbanism…

8. Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica

0.92 MILES

This avant-garde museum is set in a 19th-century neoclassical building that originally housed the Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Arts. Today the…