Top Ten Places You Must Visit in Rio de Janeiro

Lifestyle South America Travel

These are the Top Ten Places You Cannot Miss When in Rio

One of the amazing things about Rio de Janeiro is that you can come to visit countless times and always will have some place that you still missing… I chose to live in Rio 8 years ago and I promise myself to never get used to the wonders around me.

We cannot escape from the routine and rush of the daily basis, but you can always plan that special thing for the end of the day and for the weekends.

If there is something that I love and helps me to restore my first love to Rio, is when I receive friends from abroad to experience the city. It is a great opportunity to enjoy Rio with that magical tourist look.

If you are planning on coming to Rio for the first or tenth time… look at these options that cannot be missed from your “done” list at your returning flight.

Confeitaria Colombo

The delights are not enough, the dose is double.

You can visit the centennial house downtown/city centre, which is a cultural and artistic heritage, with large art nouveau halls. It is known for being a meeting point for artists, politicians, and intellectuals.

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You can and should also get to know the location that is in the Copacabana Fort (Restaurante Cafe do Forte), facing one of the most beautiful postcard views of the city. It is sophistication and tradition with ocean view. Unmissable.

Parque Lage

Also, being Rio’s historical and cultural heritage, you can fall in love with the imperial palms, lakes, and caves around the park and enjoy the breakfast or brunch in the 19th-century mansion, where the School of Visual Arts works. Go early for breakfast in the courtyard cafe, or an afternoon coffee and pastry, or full lunch by the scenic pool.

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Jardim Botânico

Photo credit: jikatu on / CC BY-SA

It may seem a bit cliché, after all, we can find gardens all over the word and even Rio has a lot of different choices… But the Botanical Garden in Rio has more than 200 years of history in more than 130 hectares of area. There you can find rare plants collections, exotic plants, more than 100 species of birds and a Japanese garden created in 1935.

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Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)

I must say that this is my favorite spot on the list...

The Bondinho (cable car) that leads up the hill at over  390 meters above sea level, was the first cable car in Brazil and third in the world. The place is very nice, and the view of the city is breathtaking, including the Botafogo cove, Guanabara Bay and the Copacabana beach.

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Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)

Is not an option to be in Rio and not get to visit the Christ the Redeemer.

At the first opportunity with a blue sky, make sure you get your way to Corcovado (translated 'hunchback) mountain.

It is the largest and most famous art déco sculpture in the world, and it is in the National Park of Tijuca since 1931, at 710 meters above sea level, from where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the city. You can drive or take the train up the mountain, click here for train information.

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Centro Histórico do Rio (City Centre Historical District)

Photo credit: Pamela Granoff

Rio beyond mountains, forests and beaches, has a lot of history and bohemia.

And the historical center of Rio is full of centenary buildings that illustrate important moments of the Brazilian history, from the imperial period to the republic. There are landmarks, museums, cultural centers, churches and an unique beauty.

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Docklands Area (Zona Portuária)

Photo credit: Odebrecht

It was the sensation during the 2016 Olympics, after being revitalized. There are museums and a beautiful panel of faces that represents the union of people.

You can opt for a nice walk, cycling, trike or a walking tour of the historical circuit that mixes with modernity in the area.

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Marina da Glória

Photo credit: Superyacht News

You do not need to have or rent a boat to enjoy the marina.

One of the most recent developments in the city, the marina offers a super nice area for a stroll, lovely views, and great restaurants.

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Praia do Joatinga

Praia da Joatinga

I do not need to say that the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon are must be seen spots… But I need to tell you about this 300m beach located between South and West area of Rio.

It is Joatinga Beach! A hidden paradise high in the Joá neighborhood with magical views. Access is not trivial, but is worth it!

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Rio Scenarium

Photo credit: The Fork

Samba needs to be part of the script, and there is no more beautiful option than the old mansion, which is a mix of bar and antiquary. There, musicians and tourists gather for good music and of course, our good samba.

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Well, talking about Rio to those in love, like me, can be an endless subject… But I guarantee that those options will not disappoint anyone that visits us here!

Janaína Chezanoski is a global mobility and immigrant professional based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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