Rio Travel Guide

Top Rio Attractions

Rio's Top 10 attractions you can’t go home without seeing.

Rio de Janeiro is a dramatic city with one-of-a-kind flair. Whether you’re planning side trips to take during the 2016 Summer Olympics or contemplating an escape to Rio on your next free week, you’ll be wowed by the gorgeous scenery and the brilliant, easy-going culture.

Here are the top 10 Rio attractions that you can’t go home without seeing:


Ipanema Beach

1. Ipanema Beach

The water here is cleaner than at Copacabana, and the rhythm of the beach is more relaxed. You’ll find plenty of friendly locals playing volleyball and enjoying the powder-soft white sand.

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Sugarloaf Mountain

2. Sugarloaf Mountain

Take a cable-car ride up to the top of this mountain for spectacular views of the city and some great inexpensive beer at the cafe.

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Christ the Redeemer

3. Christ the Redeemer

At 125 feet tall, including the pedestal, this giant statue is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The statue is perched at an elevation of 2,300 feet atop Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park. You can drive or take the tram up to the mountaintop.

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Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro

4. Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro

This classic theater, built in 1909, is a work of art in itself. Lavishly built with marble, mirrors, stained-glass windows and gold leaf, the theater is a breathtaking venue in which to watch an opera or ballet.

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Jardim Botanico

5. Jardim Botanico

Come and be overwhelmed by Brazil’s biodiversity. Over 6,500 species of plants and 140 types of birds are on display in this large, naturalistic garden. Orchids, bromeliads and cacti native to the entire country are gathered in one place to give you a true taste of Brazil’s biological treasures.

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Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

6. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

Just a five-minute walk from the nearby metro stop will bring you to this cultural center. A free art museum with over 150 works by Dali is clustered near three theaters, a movie house, a cafe and a bookshop.

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Arpoador

7. Arpoador

At the intersection of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, this neighborhood is acclaimed as the best place in Brazil to have a drink, listen to musicians and watch the sun set.

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Pedra da Gavea

8. Pedra da Gavea

Pull on your tennis shoes or hiking boots and take the two-hour hike through the rainforest to reach the peak of this mountain. Once you leave the butterflies and monkeys behind, you’ll have an unforgettable view of the city.

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Real Gabinete Portugues da Leitura

9. Real Gabinete Portugues da Leitura

A fantastically built library in the center of town, this incredibly ornate building is definitely worth a bit of time. English-speaking tour guides take you through vast halls that remind many visitors of stepping into the world of Harry Potter.

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Prainha Beach

10. Prainha Beach

If you’re looking for a wild, natural beach, this one’s for you. Visit the nature preserve across the street, stop at the half-moon shaped cove and watch the surfers.

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