Take the famous Selarón staircase
Santa Teresa is a hillside neighborhood known for its 19th-century plantation mansions, winding cobblestone streets, and picturesque views of Rio de Janeiro. Many tourists reach it from the city center by taking the Santa Teresa Tram, a historic streetcar that has been running since 1877. Explore the neighborhood on foot to see iconic artistic landmarks such as the Selarón Staircase, an ornate staircase of hundreds of colorful mosaic tiles. Attend free and family-friendly events at Parque das Ruinas, a complex consisting of a cultural center and an art gallery located about half a mile southwest of the staircase.
Location : Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro – State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Get a close look at this iconic landmark on the Corcovado
The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue can be seen wherever you are in Rio de Janeiro. Located at the top of Corcovado, this 38-meter-tall sculpture is considered the largest Art Deco-style statue in the world. Definitely worth getting up early and hiking to the top before it gets too hot or the tourists arrive in droves. If you’re not a hiker, you can take the train to the top, or take a taxi to the parking lot and then take a shuttle.
Location : National Park of Tijuca – Alto da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, Brazil
Savor Brazil’s national dish with rice and orange slices
Feijoada is a traditional Brazilian dish consisting of black beans and pork (or beef), all simmering in a clay dish. Usually eaten at lunchtime on weekends, it is often served with rice, potatoes, orange slices, leafy greens and salsa sauce. You’ll find many restaurants in Rio de Janeiro that add extra ingredients, like smoked pork sausages and pig’s trotters. As this dish is quite hearty, end your meal with a sweet note, such as a caramelized banana or a brigadeiro (chocolate and caramel ball).
Play foot volleyball on this city beach
Copacabana Beach has been a top tourist attraction since the 1960s, and for good reason: you can sunbathe and play water sports during the day, and party at night in the lively beachside bars. This 4 km beach is divided into 6 posts (aid stations), each offering various opportunities to admire sights and outdoor activities for vacationers going to the beach. The parts between the Copacabana Palace and the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro are often crowded in the summer, as they offer many beach kiosks, ball courts and concerts until late at night.
Browse the hundreds of stalls selling handicrafts, gems and bikinis
The Feira Hippie de Ipanema is home to over 500 stalls selling just about anything imaginable! This open-air market is held close to Ipanema Beach, attracting many beach-going vacationers (usually tourists) with its many Brazilian swimwear, flip-flops, jewelry, and handicrafts. You will also find many food stalls all around the Feira Hippie de Ipanema. Taste typical street food dishes such asacarajé (shrimp and cornille croquette), the bolinho de bacalhau (salted cod fritter) and theaçaí na tigela (bowl of acai berries).
Location : Praça General Osório – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20410-020, Brazil
Business hours : Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Embark on a 3-hour hike to one of Rio de Janeiro’s highest peaks
The Pedra da Gávea is one of the many peaks you can hike to for great views of Rio de Janeiro. Located 840 meters above sea level, this mountain is bordered directly by the ocean and is surrounded by the Tijuca forest. Depending on your fitness level and the trail you take, the hike can take around 3 hours and on some routes you will need to use abseiling gear to climb a steep rock formation around 30 meters high.
Location : Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro – State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Watch volleyball, soccer and beach tennis fans play
Ipanema Beach, located in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro, stretches for 2 km of clean sand and water. This popular shoreline is full of art galleries, clubs and bars, as well as shops selling beach items and souvenirs. Like most beaches in Rio, the postos divide Ipanema into several parts. Posto 10 is usually the place where volleyball fans and frescobol (beach tennis), while families can relax in peace in the part located between postos 11 and 12.
Location : Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil