Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

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With the Olympics coming in summer 2016, the city has never been more alive—and visitors will delightedly find a wide-ranging selection of things to ... Read More

With the Olympics coming in summer 2016, the city has never been more alive—and visitors will delightedly find a wide-ranging selection of things to do in Rio de Janeiro, whether they’re after an experience that’s classic, adventurous, or relaxing. Start with the well-known sites: Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain will not disappoint. But Rio’s museum scene is heating up, too. The new Museo de Arte do Rio is not to be missed, even if just for its award-winning architectural design. The Jardim Botânico is one of the greatest botanical gardens, in both size and reputation, in the world; it has groves of cocoa and rubber trees, as well as giant Amazonian water lilies—some more than three feet across—that float in ponds. What to do in Rio de Janeiro with kids? Don't miss Mil Frutas, the shop near the Jardim Botânico that has perhaps not a thousand, but more than a hundred flavors of natural ice creams and sorbets. Mil Frutas makes its frozen desserts by hand, when fruits like the tropical jungle cupuaçu and berries from the açaí palm are in season. Rare flavors range from avocado and pineapple-cilantro to French toast. Scoops are relatively pricey, but you can ask for samples first.

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  • Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Christ the Redeemer

    The Christ the Redeemer statue, high atop Corcovado mountain, is the most famous icon of Rio—and one of the best-known attractions in the world. The... Read More

  • Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Copacabana Beach

    Thousands of tourists flock to this world-famous beach each year to sun themselves among the sea of Cariocas in Brazilian bikinis. The beach runs for 2... Read More

  • Escadaria Selaron Stairs in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Escadaria Selarón

    Part of Rio's charm lies in the fact that its landmark treasures range from the classic (Christ the Redeemer) to the quirky—best exemplified by this... Read More

  • Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeirio Alamy
    Ipanema Beach

    Ipanema Beach, the stretch of white sand on Rio's coast between Arpoador and Leblon beaches, is considered the jewel in the city's crown. The area... Read More

  • Jardim Botanico Gardens in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Jardim Botânico

    Rio's botanical gardens feature more than 8,000 plant species and date back to 1808. The space features awe-inspiring spectacles of nature, starting... Read More

  • Lagoa Neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Lagoa

    A luxurious haven for locals, Lagoa is one of Rio's most desirable neighborhoods. Nestled under the peaks of Corcovado Mountain, visitors will find a... Read More

  • Lapa Historical Center in Rio de Janeiro Getty Images
    Lapa

    Famous for its Bohemian culture, architecture, and music, Lapa is, in many ways, the soul of Rio. Pass through the neighborhood's colonial aqueduct and... Read More

  • Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Maracana Stadium

    Maracanã is one of the biggest soccer stadiums in the world and an icon in soccer-obsessed Brazil. If you can score tickets, and are brave enough to mix... Read More

  • Museu de Arte do Rio Meseum in Rio de Janeiro Getty Images
    Museu de Arte do Rio

    Rio's newest museum—opened in March 2013 and known as MAR by locals—is part of the revitalization of the port area of the city. Just the architecture... Read More

  • Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Museum of Modern Art

    The Museum of Modern Art Rio, or MAM Rio, was started in 1948 in a room of the Baovista Bank, and moved in 1967 to a Modernist building where it remains... Read More

  • Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum

    Designed by world-famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Museu de Arte Contemporanea Niteroi is an architectural masterpiece that houses a massive,... Read More

  • Petropolis Ancient Imperial City in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Petropolis

    Petropolis, just over an hour away from Rio, is a perfect day trip. The "Imperial City of Brazil" is best experienced through a visit to the Imperial... Read More

  • Santa Teresa Neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Santa Teresa

    Once a place for upper-class homes, the neighborhood of Santa Teresa has recently been revived as a cultural hot spot. Artists' studios and galleries... Read More

  • Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Sugarloaf Mountain

    Sugarloaf Mountain, or Pão de Açúcar, is a must-visit for anyone exploring Rio. Like most view-oriented attractions, it's best taken in on a cloudless... Read More

  • Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro Alamy
    Tijuca National Park

    Widely known as the best place in Rio to explore nature, this lush Atlantic rain forest has spectacular views, unusual trees, beautiful waterfalls ... Read More

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