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Rio de Janeiro is one of the most vibrant and culturally-rich cities in the world, famous for its white sand beaches and iconic landscapes. Rio is best known for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mt. Corcovado, Sugarloaf Mountain, and its Carnival festival. This a quick guide on the best things to do in Rio De Janeiro.
Explore Sugarloaf Mountain
For an epic view of Rio, head to Sugarloaf Mountain. You can take the Sugarloaf Cable Car from Praia Vermelha to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. The cable car stops in at Morro da Urca along the way where you can enjoy a coffee or snack before taking the second cable car to the top, 396 metres above sea level.
The cable cars run every 20 minutes and have a total of 4,000 visitors each day (during peak season) —so come early to avoid the lines! The Sugarloaf mountain cable car costs 99 BRL for an adult.
Visit Christ the Redeemer
Atop of Mt. Corcovado’s peak sits Christ the Redeemer, the cultural icon for both Rio and Brazil.
The view from the top of Christ the Redeemer is one of the best in Rio, but don’t expect to have it to yourself, it has to be one of the most crowded tourist destinations in Rio.
You can take a taxi to the top, or you can take the Corcovado train. The Corcovado train costs 80 BRL return. You can book the train in advance to secure your spot. I suggest arriving at 8 am to avoid the masses of tourists.
Enjoy Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach
No trip to Rio would be complete without a trip to Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach. The beaches are alive with a plethora of bars and cafes, volleyball courts and soccer fields and beach chairs available to rent. As you sit on the beach you will be approached by countless locals selling water, snacks, hats, sunglasses and even Caipirinhas. You can also rent a bike and take a ride along the beachfront.
Escadaria Selarón – Rios famous stairs
These colourful stairs attract masses of tourists, all looking for that perfect Instagram shot.
They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people”. Selarón started the project as a small scale renovation of the steps that ran outside his house up into the Santa Teresa district. But the part-time project became his life work. He changed the tatty path, tile by tile, into a blaze of colour and a globally recognised symbol of Rio.
Tour a Favela
Rio is home to over 500 favelas that are built around the outskirts of the city. You can take a tour into a favela to get an up-close look at living conditions and day-to-day life inside a Brazilian favela. This would be an interesting experience, but could potentially be dangerous.
Enjoy a Caipirinha!
The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail. Cachaça liquor is distilled from sugarcane and blended with sugar and lime to create the Caipirinha.
Snack on an Açai Bowl
A locals favourite. Açaí is a purple, iron- and antioxidant-rich berry, usually blended with honey, granola, bananas, and guaraná (a natural Amazonian relative of caffeine) to make a refreshing, Brazilian treat.
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