As the second most populous city in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro offers a lot in the way of activities. Here are the ones we like best!
1. Visit Christ The Redeemer
Whether or not you're religious, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro is worth seeing up close for yourself. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, this mesmerizing representation of Jesus sits at a staggering altitude of 2,330 feet, gazing out at the favelas and thoroughfares below. You don't have to be a Christian to appreciate the beauty and symbolism of this work of art.
Aside from the visual appeal of the Redeemer, there's a rich history to learn about as well. Completed in 1931, this monument is covered in mosaic tiles and serves as a symbol of the welcoming culture in Rio de Janeiro.
Tijuca National Park is located on Corcovado Mountain where the statue is located, so you can make a day of it and explore the park at the same time.
2. See The Graffiti Wall
Most cities have graffiti, but it's not usually listed as one of the main attractions. The graffiti wall on Rio's Olympic Boulevard, however, is like none other and deserves a spot on this list.
The wall measures 32,300 square feet, and it has been awarded the title of largest graffiti mural in the world by Guinness World Records. It's twice the size of the next biggest such artwork in Mexico.
It was commissioned by the city for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and it commemorated the first and only time the Olympics have been held in South America. Artist Eduardo Kobra designed the piece, which identifies people from five different continents and uses color schemes that match the Olympic rings.
You can easily spend a couple hours on the Olympic Boulevard of Rio appreciating this massive work of art.
3. Take A Cable Car Ride Up Sugarloaf Mountain
Another lofty sight to in Rio is Sugarloaf Mountain. It towers a majestic 1,299 feet high and provides a unique vantage point over the sprawling metropolis in the Guanabara Bay area below.
Apart from the view at the top, visitors are also greeted by spectacular vistas while riding the cable cars to the summit. The first ride is from Praia Vermelha to Morro da Urca, followed by another ride to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain.
Watching the sunrise or sunset from the top of the Sugarloaf is an experience you won't soon forget, and you'll also be able to check out a historical exhibit showcasing the cable cars that were used in the past. There's food, shopping, and an amphitheater on the mountain as well.
4. Do Some Reading At The Royal Portuguese Cabinet Of Reading
Do you like books? Us too! But even if you don't, you'll still be amazed by The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading. Affectionately dubbed "library porn" by tourists, the Cabinet has the largest collection of Portuguese books outside of Portugal itself.
The library first opened in 1887 and is nearing a grand total of 400,000 volumes with 6,000 new books being added every year.
The immense bookshelves and meticulously detailed interior will give you a new appreciation for libraries!
5. Soak Up The Sun On Ipanema Beach
If you're a fan of beaches and people-watching, the Ipanema Beach has you covered. With sandy shores stretching 2-miles across the Zona Sul neighborhood of Rio, visitors will be blown away by breathtaking mountain views while they lounge in the sun.
Perhaps you'll be interested in partaking in a game of futevolei (essentially volleyball without hands) or else you can simply watch while others play the game. There are no shortage of beachgoers, so if you want to be at one of the more happening beaches in Rio, this is the place.
The beach is lined with a string of restaurants and shops, so you'll get a big helping of local culture. For a less crowded spot, check out Grumari Beach.
6. See The Green Paradise Of Your Dreams
Rio has greenery in spades, especially at Jardim Botanico, a 340-acre paradise with botanical wonders as far as the eye can see.
If you're a lover of flora, you can't skip this scenic garden. It hosts over 6,000 exotic species of plants and has been a popular sanctuary for tourists and locals alike over the years.
Take in the sights and enjoy some fine food at La Bicyclette, a highly-reviewed restaurant conveniently located in the park.
Rio has a number of other architectural masterpieces and monuments worth exploring like the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral, Parque Lage, and Largo do Boticario, but you might not have time to see them all. We highly recommend the spots on this list, but do some more research and determine if they match up exactly with the type of trip you want to have. You certainly won't be disappointed by any of these, though!