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Top 5 Best Activities you can do in Rio de Janeiro

17 September 2019

The Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City) is one of the top tourist destinations in Brazil. It’s home to iconic beaches, vibrant nightlife and culture, the world’s biggest carnival, and it’s one of the best places in the world to watch football. We could carry on, but we won’t. One thing’s for certain, you will not be bored in Rio! It’s always a perfect destination to go to Rio and with that you need a perfect place to stay. Vacation rentals in Rio de Janeiro are a good and comfortable place to chill after a long day of fun and adventure.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the 5 best activities you can do in Rio de Janeiro. Hopefully, it’ll make your trip easy to plan and you’ll be able to make the most of your time in one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities. So, let’s take a closer look at Rio’s coolest activities!

Enjoy Rio’s incredible beaches and the Carioca lifestyle

View of Copacabana beach
View of Copacabana beach

Of course, there are the world-famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, but Rio has no less than 6 beaches in the city! The others are Botafogo, Flamengo, Vermelha, and Leblon.

The beaches in Rio offer so much more than sun, sea, and sand though. And when you travel to Rio, immersing yourself into the Carioca lifestyle is one of the best ways to see the city like a local. Of course, you can have a swim, sunbathe, and do all the regular beach activities you’ve ever dreamed of.

However, for a bit more excitement, sports fans will want to get involved with football or volleyball on the beach, while foodies might like to sample a tasty churrasco with a refreshing fruity cocktail. Duck into one of several beach bars where you can enjoy an ice cold caipirinha!

If you’re looking to catch some waves, then how about heading Arpoador? It’s comfortably nestled in between Ipanema and Copacabana, and one of the best spots in the city for surfing. 

Take a hike up to the symbol of Rio through the Tijuca Forest

Rio gets a lot of love for its beaches, and it completely deserves it. However, sometimes you’d think that’s all there is to the city… and that’s just not the case. Did you know, for example, that Rio is home to the largest urban forest in the world?

Tijuca is over 32 square kilometres and it’s home to pretty important landmarks. Here, you’ll find Parque Lage and the Visa Chinesa. These are both great, but the undisputed highlight is the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue.

This art deco statue watches and protects over the city from its 709m perch on Mount Corcovado. You can either hike up to the summit, but if that sounds a bit too strenuous you don’t have to miss out. There’s also a train which will take you up there!

From the summit of Corcovado, you’ll get stunning views of Sugar Loaf Mountain and the rest of the city. On the way back down, check out the botanical garden and search for hidden waterfalls!

Be astounded at the richness of the city’s culture

One of the most important times of the year in Rio is Carnival. It’s the biggest festival in the entire world and more than 2 million people attend the “biggest show on the earth” each day of the festivities. It’s a showcase of some of the most important aspects of Rio’s lifestyle, as well as a chance just to have a damn good time!

Samba music was born in Rio, and there’s nowhere better to get acquainted and get down to the rhythms! For another local tradition, check out capoeira. That’s a Brazilian/African fusion of martial arts which combines dance, music, and acrobats. It’s probably best to just watch this one rather than getting involved, as the manoeuvres are pretty complex!

Discover the different moods of the city

Santa Teresa - Rio de Janeiro
Santa Teresa - Rio de Janeiro

We may have made it sound as though Rio is constantly a party destination (and we’re not lying,) but the city is full of neighbourhoods that have a more relaxed character than the main beach areas.

Because there are so many different places throughout the city, Rio feels like a collection of small towns and villages rather than a city. Santa Teresa is a haven for artists, with a much more relaxed and boho vibe than Copacabana. You can get there by tram and pick up souvenirs from the quirky boutiques.

Lapa is the largest nightlife district in town, and it’s the place to go for cocktails, dancing, and a night on the tiles. Outdoor enthusiasts might prefer Urca, where Sugar Loaf Mountain is located. There are hikes, opportunities for wildlife encounters, and a much more laidback vibe than pretty much anywhere else in town.

Just remember that when enjoying a beach vacation in Rio, it’s the perfect opportunity to get to know the many faces and nuances of this incredible city.

Take in a soccer match at one of the city’s biggest clubs

stadium rio
Maracana Stadium

Brazil is the home of soccer and taking in a game here is something that should not be missed off your Rio itinerary. The best supported team in Brazil (with over 40 million supporters) Flamengo are based here, and the atmosphere after a big game is electric. You can also catch games with Botafogo, Fluminense, or Vasco.

If you’re really lucky, perhaps you’ll travel to Rio when they’re playing at their gargantuan national stadium, the Maracana. This stadium hosted the largest ever football club with more than 200,000 people attending the 1950 World Cup final here! 

Now you know more about the 5 best activities to do in Rio de Janeiro…

You’ll want to get booking your trip. And to be honest, some people fall so in love with Rio that they might want to spend longer here than just a vacation. Whether you’re thinking of relocating permanently to the Cidade Maravilhosa or find a vacation rental in, check out Where in Rio, one of the leading luxury estate agents in Rio. We hope you have an incredible Brazilian vacation!