One of the best things about Rio de Janeiro not the beach and the ocean, is its nature. The city is surrounded by nature everywhere, which makes it easy to escape the chaos of Rio and clear your mind. Or just to enjoy the beauty and have fun. To connect with the nature is to connect with Rio de Janeiro. And there are several parks in Rio de Janeiro where you can go to explore these places where you have all the space to embrace the local vibe. So we have you covered with a list of the 4 best parks in Rio de Janeiro that are really worth a visit.
A local fan favorite, Parque Lage has it all. A beautiful park, a great view, a historical building with colonial architecture and free entrance. The place where artists Snoop Dogg and Pharrell recorded a part of the video clip of the hit song Beautiful. And not without reason, because the park has a magical feel. Once built in the beginning of the 19th century, it became a public park in mid 20th century. Hugely popular with locals, and tourists. Especially because of the photo opportunity with the building, the pool and the Christ Statue. Certainly a top five spot in the city in terms of photos taken per day. Parque Lage is also where the hike trail to the top of the Corcovado mountain and the entrance of the Christ Statue starts. The opening hours are from 9.00 to 17.00.
This is a place for lovers of plants and trees. The Botanic Garden in Rio de Janeiro was founded more than 200 years ago (in 1808) and built by the emperor of Brazil as his personal park, since he loved nature. It went on to become of the most visited spots in the city. The biggest highlight is an avenue with dozens of the so-called emperor palm trees on both sides. For sure on of the most popular places in Rio de Janeiro to get a photo. Worldwide it is one of the most important spaces where biodiversity is conserved and studied. Just outside the park there is a great place to have a lunch, Jarbo Café e Brasserie, so you easily can spend a morning or afternoon in the Botanic Garden. It’s opened daily from 9.00 to 18.00 hours, only on Mondays it opens later, at 12.00 hours. Entrance is 15 reais.
Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas
The lake in Rio is located next to the beach neighborhoods Ipanema and Leblon, in the touristic South Zone. It offers spectacular views and some great activities to get through the day. You can go for a bicycle ride around the lake, some 7,5 kilometers, on bike paths that are separated from the where the cars pass. Another traditional activity is to take the swan boats to romantically pedal around and enjoy the awesome surrounding. There are several restaurants where you can go for a lunch (or dinner), much of them located in the Shopping Lagoon. And one of the greatest places to assist a sunset is the bar Palaphita Kitsch, with a view you can see in the photo above. It is not cheap, but they have some great caipirinhas, the typical Brazilian drink, and you should try the traditional queijo coalho. A real treat for anyone that loves cheese.
Parque do Flamengo
Parque do Flamengo was built in the sixties by the famous landscape architect Burle Marx. It covers over 120 hectare and goes from Botafogo all the way to the city center, more or less 5 kilometers. The park has a strong sports tradition, with many different outdoor recreational facilities available.The park is the start off and return location of various marathons in the city. It is also the most famous place for the so-called peladas, the Brazilian football matches, mostly played 6 against 6. To rent a field at Flamengo is almost impossible without the right connections.During the 2016 Summer Olympics, Flamengo Park served as host to athletics and road cycling events. For culture lovers, at the end of the park you can find the Museum of Modern Art, one of the most important musea in Rio. One thing, better not go for a swim in the Guanabara Bay, because the water is very polluted. Enjoy the beach, the view, get a coconut water and relax.