I went to visit Rio de Janeiro in Brazil about ten years ago and I have wonderful memories of it. Find in this article all the essentials of the city to best prepare your city trip to Rio.
Things to see and do in Rio de Janeiro
The Corcovado and its Christ the Redeemer
The statue of Christ the Redeemer is monumental and dominates the entire city of Rio de Janeiro. It is located at the top of the mountain Corcovado and it is one of the emblems of the city. It is one of 7 new wonders of the world and the most famous monument in Brazil!
The view from up there is magnificent. It really is a must see when visiting Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
You can get there by car, taxi or train from the foot of Mt. Allow 45min to climb to the top as there are so many people!
Practical information to visit the Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro
- SCHEDULE: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- PRICES: Around 15€ in low season / 20€ in high season.
- Check the weather forecast the day before you go there because clouds can spoil your whole view since Corcovado is located at an altitude of 710m
- Book your skip-the-line tickets in advance on the net.
- Go early to avoid the tourist crowds!
The mythical beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema
In Rio, the beaches are close to the city center and buildings. We go there directly on foot.
I loved biking between Ipanema and Copacabana (you can rent the self-service flashy orange bikes for a small sum with the usual deposit). The bike path is wide and you can admire the ocean, buildings and mountains!
Along Copacabana beach you also have plenty of small botecos (bars) to refresh yourself and listen to Samba, Bossa nova… but a word of advice: it is better to swim on Ipanema because the water is very dirty in Copacabana .
It is one of the iconic symbols of Rio! It is so called because of its block shape of refined sugar. Its peak peaks at 396m above sea level and dominates the whole city. From up there we have a superb view of the ocean, the beaches, the Corcovado and the megalopolis.
It is reached by taking 2 cable cars (you can walk up there via a hiking trail to the first level but there are a lot of thefts, so avoid). The 1st takes you to the top of the Urca hill then the second to the top.
Practical information for visiting the sugar loaf in Rio de Janeiro
- Schedule: Open every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Address : Avenida Pasteur 520 – Urca
- Rate from the cable car: The price is around R$ 100 or 22 € / Youth rate around 10€ / free for children under 6 years old.
- ADVICE: Go on a sunny day early in the morning or at lunchtime to avoid the tourist crowds. Although the view at sunset is breathtaking!
The famous colored stairs – Escadaria Selaron
Highlighted in one of the clips of Snoop Dog and Pharell Williamsit is a must for a souvenir photo.
These stairs are located in the Lapa district. It is a so-called “bohemian” district, very lively and known for its bars, nightclubs and samba dancers!
The staircase was made on the occasion of the 1994 football world cup by the Chilean artist Jorge Selaron.
It is located in the Santa Teresa district which is magnificent! Hills, street-art, mansions and a breathtaking view of Rio. It’s worth the detour.
Group visits to the favelas have been organized for a few years but we have chosen for several reasons not to do so.
First of all for security reasons because the activity was not very widespread when I went there but also because I find that it is a kind of voyeurism of the poverty of the people who live there. I’m not a fan but that’s just my personal opinion.
You should know that the favelas are slums and that only a few dozen of them have been pacified while Rio has more than 1000! You cannot therefore visit them all without risk…
In particular, you can visit the Santa Marta favela thanks to the funicular which was installed a little more than 10 years ago or the Rocinha favela with the help of a local guide.
I loved this place of soothing calm!
It is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world! It houses more than 8000 species of plants different from all over the world and covers 137 hectares. You can see monkeys in the treetops if you pay attention to what is happening above us. 😉
The neighborhood is nice, then you can easily find a place for lunch because there are quite a few hipster and trendy restaurants nearby. 😉
Practical information for visiting the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro
- SCHEDULE: Mondays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- PRICES: About 3€ per person / Free up to 5 years old
- ADDRESS : Rua Jardim Botânico 920
- Plan a half-day visit
It is a natural park located in the city of Rio itself. Its culmination, the peak of Tijuca, rises to 1022m! It is also in this park that the famous Corcovado.
Almost the entire park is covered in dense forest. This is the largest urban forest in the world!
To do in the park (apart from the Corcovado):
- Take the cycle path.
- Do one of the many hikes.
- Go see one of its magnificent waterfalls.
- Discover the belvedere of the Chinese view (which is a totally free point of view).
We recommend that you take a guide to explore the park (well a part as it is vast).
Practical info – Before you go to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
- Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Brazil.
- No visa for the French if tourist stay of less than 90 days
- Have a return ticket / exit ticket from Brazilian territory
- The only obligatory ones are the universal vaccines (DTCP, hepatitis B);
- Recommended vaccines: yellow fever (highly recommended vaccine), typhoid fever and hepatitis A;
BEST TIME TO GO
- DDecember to February during the austral summer and the carnival!
JET LAG – 5h in summer, – 3h in winter.
Find a hotel at the best price in Rio HERE ⬇️
So, when are you leaving to visit Rio de Janeiro in Brazil? 😉
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