Rio de Janeiro, or rather, the Marvelous City, will always be for me one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is no wonder that Christ the Redeemer is one of the seven wonders of the world, right? Even those who have never visited the city praise the beauty of the beaches and the hills that make up that incredible landscape.
Paulo and I have been there a few times and always discovered something new during the trips. I decided to create this list with some essential tips for those who want to go to Rio de Janeiro, but still have some doubts! You can rest assured that I’m sure this little guide will help you 🙂
When I visit the same place more than once, I like to vary the region I am staying in. So I know different spaces in the city and I have new experiences!
One of the options is to stay in the most famous and touristic parts of Rio, like Ipanema and Copacabana. Another very nice possibility is to stay further away from the city, as in Ilha da Gigoia. Ah, this is only a good idea if you go by car or rent one over there.
As always, the best choice depends on the style of travel you plan to do! The important thing is to be a place that you like and that gives you good memories.
Getting around the city
As in every big city, Rio de Janeiro has a lot of traffic. If you go by car, be prepared for it. Another way to get around the city is using public transport. The subway does not take you all over the city, but it is great for getting to the main sights. If you choose this type of transport, buses also help a lot.
Always try to plan the places you want to go to each day and see the path for each one. That way the chance of getting lost is much less! But, even if something unexpected happens, just ask someone on the street. They are super helpful and will most likely help you! Aah, it is worth saying that it is always good to avoid peak hours – at 6pm it is impossible to drive in much of the city.
When to go
If you want to make the most of the beaches and don’t mind crowded places, then the best choice is summer! As the heat is very intense, be sure to drink plenty of water and apply a lot of sunscreen, ok?
Between June and August the temperatures are lower, leaving the places more empty and with less movement even by the cariocas. To tell you the truth, it’s only bad to go to Rio in rainy weather, but we also don’t have much to prevent this type of thing. The way is to hope not to have cloudy days during your trip 😉
The food there is not very unusual, as in the Amazon, for example. We ate delicious things and tried the famous Globo biscuit – it really is good! One of our favorite restaurants was Puro Restaurante, which won me over for the bread roll at the entrance. I also loved Aconchego Carioca because they sell an incredible feijoada cake.
The most famous beaches in the city are Copacabana, Ipanema and Barra da Tijuca. But there are other beaches as beautiful as these. Joatinga beach, for example, is perfect for relaxing and having more privacy. Following this line from a more peaceful place, Grumari beach is a great place to rest.
If you want to surf, the best options are Prainha, Arpoador or Recreio dos Bandeirantes. Do you know that famous ritual of applauding the sunset? It takes place at Arpoador beach. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy something that we don’t normally pay much attention to on a daily basis.
As Rio de Janeiro is a city known worldwide for tourism, there are many attractions that please the public. Vista Chinesa is a really cool place to visit, especially if you, like us, love viewpoints. The view of the city from that point is wonderful and, if you can go to see the sunset, everything is even more beautiful.
Other places are Pedra Dois Irmãos, Museu do Amanhã and Museu de Arte, Arvrão (at the top of Vidigal) and also Parque Lage. Of course, there is also a visit to Christ the Redeemer and the cable car ride. They are clichés for a reason: they are incredible and stunning.
Hang gliding and paragliding
Are you brave and like to take chances on new adventures? If the answer is yes, you will love the hang gliding or paragliding ride! In addition to having a unique view of the city, the experience must be unforgettable. One of the agencies specialized in this is the Asa Delta Tour. The takeoff is located at Pedra Bonita and 550 meters above sea level. Just imagining it already gives a little chill in the belly, right?
Tijuca National Park
Rio de Janeiro doesn’t just have beautiful beaches. There you will also find wonderful waterfalls! Some of them are in the Tijuca National Park region, so be sure to visit it. Two of them are Cachoeira do Chuveiro and Cachoeira dos Primates, both incredible. To get to these places you will need to make trails, that is, go prepared for the hike. Wear comfortable and light clothes, drink plenty of water and always go with a group of people.
Note: the park gives you access to basically three sectors: Forest, Serra da Carioca and Pedra Bonita / Pedra da Gávea. There’s a lot to visit, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do it all in one day. The ideal is that you choose the places you want to go first, so you can follow a script right 🙂
Several neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro are very touristy and some of them always end up being the ones we most hear about, like Copacabana, Ipanema, Barra da Tijuca and Leblon. Others that people usually go to are Gávea, Lapa and Santa Tereza.
Each of these places has a different characteristic. Lapa, for example, is perfect for those who want to enjoy the city’s nightlife. Santa Tereza, although close to the center, is a quiet neighborhood with architecture and older streets. It is interesting to know them all and see the diversity of the city.
Enjoy your stay in Rio to get to know the cities that are nearby, such as Paraty, Búzios, Niterói and Petrópolis. Each of these places also has its charms and they deserve at least a day of visit. Natural beauty is really the strong point of all these cities, after all, they are as beautiful as Rio de Janeiro. I even made a post with 5 reasons for you to visit Paraty, if you want to read it just click here.
It costs nothing to stop by at least one of these places, right? I promise you will like it!
Paulo and I love every part of Rio de Janeiro and we were dazzled by so much beautiful things to see. The city is perfect for any type of tour, whether long or short! Ah, sand you want to know how it was one of our experiences there, just watch the vlogs and take a look at our script 😉