10 Things You Should Experience in Rio de Janeiro
Who doesn’t want to go to Rio? There can’t be many hands up at the moment, as this is a destination everyone wants experience! Whether we’re talking about the vibrant Rio carnival or simply the fun-filled vibe in the air, Rio is a bucket list destination for many people.
Of course, Rio is also a huge city, and one which needs to be planned, so you don’t miss out on any of the good stuff. There are also a few safety concerns to think about when visiting Rio de Janeiro and planning your time carefully will cut those issues down dramatically.
So, let’s check out 10 must do experiences in vibrant Rio de Janeiro!
Visit Christ the Redeemer
An iconic sight on the Rio skyline, and indeed across the world, this is a hugely popular spot, and one you should expect to experience crowds at! Looking over the city, the monument sits high on the Corcovado Mountain summit, and you reach the top by train, car, or by hiking. You will not find a better view of the city overall than from here, and the monument itself is quite the experience.
Take in the views from Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf Mountain is a natural marvel and is located in the Urca region of the city. The mountain is surrounded by blinding blue ocean on all sides and to get to the top you’ll need to take a cable car, or you can rock climb if you’re really feeling energetic, and if you have prior experience. For most however, the cable car will be the way forward, and you take this from Praia Vermelha beach, swapping halfway. If you want to hike up, you can pass through the rainforest, with several monkeys cheekily waving as you pass. When you get to the top? Views. That is all. Stunning views.
Learn to Samba at Pedra do Sal
Photo by Sandy Marie
It doesn’t need to be the Rio carnival to samba the night away, and Pedra do Sal is the spot learn. This is considered to be the place where samba was born, and you’ll find many clubs which have samba nights, helping you learn and enjoy alongside the locals. If you want a party, this is the spot to head to, especially on Monday nights when locals all join together to sing and dance.
Check Out More Views from Dois Irmaos
Get your hiking boots on and head to Two Brothers Peak (Dois Irmaos), which you can also admire from Ipanema Beach. You’ll need to travel to Vidigal favela to start the hike, take a car or van to part way up the peak, and then you need to hike for around an hour though the rainforest to the top. When you get there, you’ll reach a platform of rocks which overlook the entire city, and over towards the ocean. It’s a view you won’t forget for a long, long time!
Enjoy the Rio Carnival
If you’re lucky enough to visit Rio during the carnival, you’re in for a treat you’ll remember for the rest of your life. The downside of this is the prices to visit Rio at this time, but it’s worth it for the experience. The Rio Carnival date changes from year to year, but traditionally take place around the first couple of weeks of March and lasts for one full week.
Check out the Nightlife in Lapa
Photo by: Raphael Sanchez
One of the best nightlife spots in Rio has to be Lapa. On either side of the street you will hear music from clubs, bars, and cafes, before seeing many street parties as the night goes on. You’ll hear all manner of different types of music, but mostly traditional Brazilian tunes. Rio Scenarium is to be found here and is a very famous club in Rio.
Soak up the sun on Copacabana beach
You can’t visit Brazil and not head to Copacabana! The famous beach is a must visit spot, if only for the Facebook check in if nothing else! The southern part of Rio is where the best beaches are, and whilst they are super-touristy, so what?! Ipanema is a quieter beach, but still with the colourful, vibrant vibe that Rio’s beaches are known for.
Head to Maracana Stadium
Football and Brazil go together like two peas in a pod, and if you can catch a national game here, you’ll be in for a serious treat! This is the largest football stadium in Brazil and it is a former host of the World Cup, back in 2014. You can’t currently tour the stadium when games are not on, but if you can get tickets, it’s a must do. If not, you can check out the stadium from the outside, which is still pretty jaw-dropping!
Explore Rio's Favelas on a Tour
Photo by: Dany13
You should not head into the favelas without a tour, as it is extremely dangerous, but a tour is a safe way to explore, with a knowledgeable guide. This tour will teach you about the locals who live in these areas, and really show you the two sides to live in Rio, and indeed in Brazil overall. Tours around Vidigal and Rocinha are considered the safest and best.
Photo by: Jay Cross
One of the most iconic Brazilian dishes, this is something you simply have to try when visiting Rio! Feijoada is a traditional stew which has its roots in Portuguese culture. It contains beef and pork, with beans, cooked to absolutely perfection and spiced to just the right amount. Hearty and truly delicious!
Rio is one of the most visited and beautiful cities on the planet. When will you head there?