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10 must-do things in Rio de Janeiro

10 must-do things in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is undoubtedly the city that comes directly to your mind when people talk about Brazil! And even if the country goes far beyond this enormous city of more than 6 million inhabitants, it is true that Rio de Janeiro remains impressive, from every point of view. So, what to see, what to do in Rio? Here is 10 things to do absolutely in Rio de Janeiro.

Visit the main tourist places

1. Christ the Redeemer

You cannot go to Rio de Janeiro without visiting its most emblematic places, and the statue of Christ the Redeemer is clearly part of it. To get there, you will have to book your ticket online beforehand, and take a train that will take you to its feet.

Did you expect to make a sublime photo for Instagram? Magnifying glass ! You will find yourself mingling with hundreds of other tourists who, like you, will only have eyes for Christ.

fun facts, you will be able to attend many techniques to manage to take THE perfect photo. That is to say generally while lying on the ground… The opportunity to test the level of involvement of your friends, or your darling!

2. Sugar Loaf Mountain

Sugar Loaf Mountain is also a must. We personally took our ticket the same day, without really planning it. Everything went very well and the different points of view are breathtaking.

Little anecdote? When you arrive at Pain de Sucre, you will come across a very cute little monkey. Then 2, then 10, and quickly twenty… Although they seem cute in appearance, they are above all very vicious and greedy, and will not give up on anything to steal your food! Furthermore, we advise you not to get too closeit seems that they can transmit certain diseases to you…

3. The Maracana

Another one must visit to do in Rio de Janeiro? Whether or not you are a football fan, the Maracana stadium is a legendary stadium, impressive by its size but also by its history. The visit can be guided, and we strongly recommend that you take this option. You will be able to visit the changing rooms as if you were really there, and enter the Brazilian stadium which saw Pelé or Maradona play. Impressive, the stadium can accommodate more than 78,000 spectators!

Watch a sunset over Copacabana or Ipanema

Having toured the coast, the beaches of Rio de Janeiro were not necessarily those that we found the prettiest. And yet, they are still worth the detour! If only by their popularity, and their size, frankly impressive.

Ipanema, south of the city, is 2.6 km long. As for Copacabana, its neighbor, is 4.5 km long. And it’s a real microcosm that you will be able to observe! The beach is not only there to take a dip and sunbathe, it is a real meeting place, friendly and family.

Ipanema beach at the end of the day

If all this is impressive during the day, our favorite time is towards the end of the day, when the sun begins to set. You’ll get the prettiest light, and the view of Sugar Loaf Mountain is stunning. Note that depending on the period you leave, the sun can set very early.

Stroll through Parque Lage

The Parque Lage basin in Rio

Totally public and free, the famous Parque Lage is located in the Botanical Garden district of Rio de Janeiro and houses the School of Visual Arts. It is both a flourishing nature and an artistic culture. What did we prefer? The Palacetewhose architecture and pillars surround a basin, and where one discovers a very beautiful view of the mountain and Christ.

Do you like 2000s hip hop? Be aware that some scenes in the clip Beautifulby Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg, was filmed in this exact location. So, ready for a remake?

Have a drink and stroll on the Yoo2 rooftop

Located right in front of Botafogo beach, the Yoo2 hotel is a hotel that welcomes a lot of business men and women. However, it is extremely modern and young, and has everything you want in a hotel. On the decorative side, there is a real bias, rather appreciable.

Whether the Yoo2 has suites and rooms with impeccable comfortanother strong point is his rooftop. In the evening, it turns into a real trendy place: The place to be from Rio de Janeiro.

A swimming pool and deckchairs, soft lighting and a breathtaking view? Add to that a DJ, succulent cocktails and good traditional but revisited food. Everything you want available! An essential place if you want to soak up the nightlife of the Cariocas.

Visit a favela (Rocinha)

By the way a few days in Rio de Janeirowe absolutely wanted visit a favela. We knew of course that we would need a guide, and we still had some rather legitimate questions.

Isn’t it a bit weird to come and visit a favela? How can residents react? Who benefits from the money from the visits? It turns out that these were put in place by the Brazilian State, in agreement with the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The goal ? Pacify these areas and help the locals. Yes, but here we are, we will never know 100% where all the R$80 requested (about 19 euros) went. We only hope that a part has been donated to associations, to help the education system of Rocinha for example.

Take a guide

So why a guide? Already because you are not going to venture into a sensitive area on your own as if it were an attraction. You certainly won’t do it in France, so you won’t do it in Brazil. Then because it is important to have information and concrete facts to better understand the why and how. And that, only a guide can give them to you. Finally, because Rocinha is the largest favela in Rio de Janeiro, and that it is dangerous to venture into its alleys without being guided. Quite simply !

Overview of the Rocinha favela

A real city in its own right, officially estimated at nearly 80,000 inhabitants, and which would actually have nearly 300,000. No need to specify that Rocinha is actually a city within the city. A transportation system Intramural has also been set up via small vans that drop you off everywhere in Rocinha.

We advise you the Favela Tower, that you can contact directly on WhatsApp via the number indicated on the website.

Sleep at Villa Santa Teresa

One thing is sure, opting for Villa Santa Teresa was one of the best decisions during our few days in Rio de Janeiro. For our last days in Rio de Janeiro, we wanted to turn to a higher standard. And let’s be honest, Villa Santa Teresa is surely one of the most beautiful places we have seen.

The Santa Teresa villa in Rio and its swimming pool

When you enter the Villa, perched on the heights of Santa Teresaimpeccable service is offered to you and even at night, we could see the breathtaking view of Rio de Janeiro. It’s splendid, no words can describe the feeling you will feel at this precise moment.

The rooms are very qualitativeand the cosmetic products offered are local since they come from the brand Granada. The calm is omnipresent, which is not only related to the location of the villa, but also to the number of rooms available.

Of course we tested the restaurant of the Villa: we had to pay around 35€ per person (starter dish dessert) which, for such a prestigious establishment, is not very high. Throughout your stay, someone will take care of you, meeting your expectations, without you having to ask for anything. We can only recommend the Villa for a magical parenthesis in your stay.

To do absolutely in Rio: visit the historic center and admire the street art

Certain neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro are absolutely worth visiting! Santa Teresa for example, located on the heights of the city, is the neighborhood of choice for artists. You will discover many art shops, where painters and sculptors sell their works, but also a lot of street art and frescoes to brighten up the walls of the city.

It is also in this district, popular with touristswhich you will discover the famous little tram, which will make you think of Lisbon. Besides, if you want to take it, know that the ticket can only be bought at the stations it serves. In addition, you can only pay by credit card and not in cash.

Let yourself be carried away without a specific goal, and push up to the famous colored stairs (Escadaria Selaron): 215 steps covered with multicolored earthenware. Be careful, the place is swarming with tourists.

Big favorite for the Parque das Ruinas: a building in ruins, rehabilitated for artists and nature lovers, all in an industrial atmosphere, with very beautiful views of the city. It is totally free, and has a small outdoor cafe where you can stop for a drink or eat a delicious cake. A timeless moment away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Have a coffee at Mô Café

During our walk in the neighborhood of Santa Teresa, we came across this place, where everything is cute. The Mo Cafe, it’s a small cafe where everything is homemade, from coffees to milkshakes to acai drinks. But it’s also a real Ali Baba’s cave, in which you can leave with small decorative objects, and ideas full of ideas.

Last positive point? The staff is really super friendly, which will make you want to come and see them, to enjoy an iced cappuccino, a slice of cake, and why not leave with a small souvenir item!

Have a cocktail at the Explorer Bar

The Explorer Bar is also located in the neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Imagine banquettes, natural wood and cocktails served in coconut shells: there you are. What we liked is that each cocktail is inspired by countries around the world, and for explorers, it is a detail that is important! In terms of prices, count between R$20 and R$29 for a signature cocktail, or between 4.50 and 6.60 euros.

Taste a Feijoada

If you are expecting an Instagrammable dish, you can go right away! The Feijoadait is in fact theequivalent of our national cassouletmade with black beans, pork, white rice, and lots of sauce.

Very good, plentiful and inexpensive, we recommend it on a day when you are (really) feeling peckish. Stop as soon as a little restaurant that doesn’t look like you catch your eye! In Brazil (as in Portugal for that matter) it is a dish appreciated by the greatest number, often served at family reunions or dinners with friends.

Latest advice in bulk

  • He is easy to get a taxiand the prices are super reasonable. For information, the application Uber works in Rio de Janeiro, which is very convenient. You can also negotiate the prices of your journeys, especially to get to the airport (about R$ 70 or just under 16 euros)
  • We only had no security issues, but we were very careful, using common sense. Be aware, however, that a district very popular during the day, such as Santa Teresa, is strongly discouraged in the evening, and that some taxis will even refuse to take you there, or to pick you up there…

If you are planning a future trip to Rio and you have questions, ask your question in the comments to the article, just below. You will thus directly benefit all readers, and we will be happy to answer you, in order to share the information.

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