Rio de Janeiro Tourism...
Sightseeing the cidade maravilhosa

Cristo Redentor. Rio, Brasil
Cristo Redentor - © Sampaio/

Let's go sightseeing Rio de Janeiro and discover why it's considered one of the top tourist attractions in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most beautiful and spectacular cities, not only in Brazil but on the planet, and perhaps the friendliest as well, despite its reputation of violence and danger.

Nestled between a magnificent bay on one side and a mountain range covered by luxuriant tropical forest on the other, Rio truly deserves the name Cidade Maravilhosa - Marvelous city.

Take the tram through the old Santa Teresa neighborhood and all the way up to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado mountain for a fantastic view of the city.

By the way, just as an introduction on sightseeing Rio de Janeiro, check this video, a 360 degrees helicopter flight around the statue of Christ the Redeemer

Watch the sunset at Pedra do Arpoador.
Take the ferryboat to Niteroi and Ilha da Paqueta or just walk along Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro's most famous beach.

You have no chance at all to get bored in Rio, day or night...

In addition, what makes Rio de Janeiro truly enchanting is its people. Cariocas are a friendly and festive breed that thrive on dance, drink, beach, sport and sun.
Different religious beliefs and ethnic backgrounds coexist peacefully here. There is room for all, a melting pot of races, colors and creed.

The city caters to all tastes and this is also true for its nightlife, no matter if you are young, old, married, single, straight, gay, or lesbian.

Rio de Janeiro nightlife has no end: bars, cafes, theaters, dance clubs, shows and live music, samba, ballroom dance and the list goes on.
Just make sure not to leave out the gafieiras (samba parlors).

In addition, the city offers a wide range of other attractions: cultural centers, museums, parks, churches, historic sites and more.

Sightseeing Rio de Janeiro:

Whether you choose to take a Rio de Janeiro tour or prefer to go sightseeing Rio de Janeiro on your own, the following attractions should be included in your Rio de Janeiro vacation:

  • Nossa Senhora de Candelária Church
  • São francisco das Penitências Church
  • Catete Palace - The Republic Museum
  • Botanical Garden
  • Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon
  • National Historical Museum
  • International Museum of Naif Art
  • National Museum of Beaux Arts
  • Quinta Boa Vista
  • Municipal Theater
  • Maracanã Stadium
  • National Art Museum
  • Samba City

Beaches in Rio de Janeiro

With 8,000 km of coastline - Brazil has the longest coastline in South America - the number of Brazil beaches is absolutely outstanding, well into the thousands, so you are not short of options in any case.

Of all Brazil beaches, Copacabana - voted world's top ten beach - is an old time favorite of all beaches in Rio de Janeiro, followed by Ipanema.
Here's the top ten list:

Rio de Janeiro is the cultural and tourist capital of Brazil. It hosts famous events throughout the year...

Iemanja - Goddess of the Sea - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

As a word of caution, Rio receives bad press regarding security and safety for travelers but I honestly think this is overstated.
Certainly is not free from problems associated with poverty or unemployment, but this is a reality that applies for just too many cities in the world, including first world countries.

It only takes common sense to keep you out of trouble in the majority of cases, the same you'd apply when travelling to some districts in Los Angeles, New York, Paris or Rome for that matter.

Here some tips for a safe sightseeing Rio de Janeiro..

  • Don't wear flashy jewelry and expensive watches.
  • Leave all valuables in a safety box of your hotel.
  • Carry only the cash you need.
  • Avoid walking along dark or isolated areas.
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport.
  • Remain on the south side of Rio.

For a more comprehensive list on safe travel to South America visit South America Travel Wise.

Rio de Janeiro's golden age went through the 1920s to the late 1950s, when it became a romantic and exotic destination for Hollywood stars and international high class.
It was capital of Brazil until 1960.

Today it remains the cultural heart of Brazil and one of the most fantastic tourist destinations in South America...

South America's Best Beaches - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Download PDF version

How to Get There:

By Air:
Out of the two Rio de Janeiro airports, Santos Dumont Airport is for domestic flights - located at the Guanabara Bay - while Antônio Carlos Jobim is the International Airport, around 20 km. from downtown Rio. Visit main Airports in Brazil for more info on this.

By Road:
From São Paulo: BR-116 and BR-101.
From Belo Horizonte: BR-040.
From Salvador da Bahia: BR-393, BR-324, BR-101, BR-040

Where to Stay:

Rio de Janeiro has an excellent infrastructure, luxurious hotels, small inns, plenty of hostels and pousadas, mainly located in the southern and downtown areas.
Find and compare best hotel rates in Rio.

Book budget accommodation in Rio.

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