10 Best Things to See and Do in the City of Rio

Whether you want to dance all night, sunbathe all day, surf crashing waves, climb mountain peaks or just check the boxes on your 'world's iconic sights' checklist, Rio de Janeiro is your place. 

Rio is home to some of the world's most instantly-recognisable postcard images, including the Christ statue - one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World - towering Sugar Loaf mountain, and the beautiful beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. 

Sports fans flock to the Maracana soccer stadium - formerly the largest in the world and now truly world class following an enormous revamp for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

Adventurous souls are spoiled for choice -  the rugged mountains and thick swathes of Atlantic rainforest provide ample opportunity for climbing, hiking, abseiling and even hanggliding, while the crashing ocean waves will keep surfers happy. 

On the other hand, if you just want to relax, the tranquil gardens of Jardim Botanico and Parque Lage provide a welcome respite from the city swelter.

When it comes to celebrations, Rio knows how to party like no other place on Earth, and four-day frenzy of Carnival should not be missed by any partier worth their salt. 



Be sure to set aside time in your schedule to visit this unique, grand-scale artwork in downtown. Named after the Chilean artist Jorge Selaron, who dedicated the last decades of his life to tirelessly working on this 'tribute to the Brazilian...  Read More



Along with the beaches, the Christ statue and Sugar Loaf mountain, another postcard-perfect image of Rio are the mammoth white arches that stand in city's historic center. At night, revelers gather below the arches as a huge street party...  Read More

Tijuca National Park
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


The largest stretch of urban jungle in the world, Tijuca National Park is home to Corcovado mountain and the Christ statue as well as being the setting for some serious outdoor pursuits. It isn't advisable to enter the jungle without a...  Read More

Santa Teresa
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


There's more to Rio de Janeiro than its beaches, and the artistic heart of the city can be found up in the jungle-clad hills of Santa Teresa. Here, pastel-colored colonial mansions have been converted into bucolic bars, friendly guest houses,...  Read More

Botanical Gardens
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


The informal restaurant inside the leafy gardens that give Jardim Botanico its name is one of the most pleasant spots in the city to enjoy a sandwich, salad and a coffee or glass of wine. This shady botanical garden is a must-visit for...  Read More

Copacabana Beach
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


Copacabana beach is famous the world over, and while it's 1950s glamorous heyday is over, it is still a spectacular stretch of sand. The crashing waves, scantically-clad beachgoers and skilled beach soccer players all call the eye, while the...  Read More



While Copacabana wins out as the most picture-perfect city beach in Rio, Ipanema is easily the more chic of the two neighboring stretches of sand. Less flanked by high rise hotels than its neighbor, Ipanema is the ideal place to while away...  Read More

Maracana Stadium
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


The mighty Maracana is arguably the world's most famous soccer stadium and, while it is no longer the largest in the world, its 78,000 capacity means it is still a giant among sports arenas. The stadium, whose official title is Estadio...  Read More

Sugar Loaf (Pao de Acucar)
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


One of the most famous mountain peaks in the world, Sugar Loaf (Pao de Acucar in Portuguese) scarcely needs an introduction. But while you may be familiar with the tourist board images of the cable car making its dizzying ascent up to the top...  Read More



No trip to Rio would be complete without a trip to see 'the Big Guy', and the views from the feet of this most iconic of statues are truly breathtaking. One of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, the 'Christo Redentor' stands tall atop...  Read More


Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.