While you were surfing on the internet looking for information in preparation for your trip to Rio de Janeiro, there is no way around all the blog posts written about the highlights in the city. The ‘How many things to do in Rio’ or the ‘X number of places you need to visit your stay in Rio’ and so on, and so on, are all over the world wide web. So, of course, we couldn’t stay behind. Here you find the absolute top 5 of must do highlights in Rio de Janeiro when you are visiting for the first time. Every highlight has some links to other articles with more info about the place, so you will be fully prepared for your visit. Forget about everything else, make these your priority, then comes the rest.
Number one on each to do list should be a visit to the legendary Christ the Redeemer statue. Take a good look at the weather forecast however. Make sure you don’t end up with your head in the clouds, but without a view. Check out the live camera to see the visibility of the Christ Statue. Since the 1930s the Christ is watching over Rio and has become the symbol of the city. The statue originally was built from religious perspectives, but now the locals see it as a symbol of welcoming all the people that visit the city with open arms, just like -most- of the cariocas tend to do. Prepare yourself for a get together with lots of other tourists on a few square meters, but it is more than worth it. The view, the statue and the whole experience will last forever in your memories. Get to know more about how to get to the Christ Statue and what is important when visiting it.
The Sugarloaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro is famous for its beautiful view of the city, considered by locals as the best view in town. The mountain is located at the entrance of the Guanabara Bay. An important place for the sailor men passing there on their way to open sea or arriving after weeks of traveling. The experience of visiting the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio is divided in two parts, first you go up to the so-called Morro da Urca, with an altitude of around 200 meters. You can walk around there and enjoy some spectacular views already. Then you will need to take another cable car to go up to the real deal, the Sugarloaf mountain, with stunning views of Copacabana. When visiting the Sugarloaf Mountain, you should also bring a visit to Praia Vermelha as well, a little beach located next to the mountain, and continue to have a sunset drink at the local favorite Mureta da Urca.
Stairs of Selarón
For sure the Stairs of Selarón is one of the cultural and art highlights in Rio. Located in the Lapa neighborhood in the city center of Rio, the place is one of the new highlights. The Chilean Jorge Selarón created this masterpiece over a period of twenty years, starting in the year 1990, and left his fans and public in awe. Since the World Cup the stairs has gained a lot in popularity. So much, that at times it is almost impossible to find a good spot for pictures. If you want to visit the stairs with few people, you need to go early. As in, before 9 am. Otherwise you need to bring some patience and enjoy this piece of art together with a couple of hundred other visitors. But the good part is that you can visit it all for free.
There probably is no beach in the world as famous is the beach of Copacabana. It all started in the 1920s with the construction of the hotel Copacabana Palace, which attracted all famous celebrities in Brazil and later Hollywood to the Marvelous City. When rich and famous Rio de Janeiro was the place to be, and especially the neighborhood of Copacabana. And so the legend grew. Nowadays the four kilometers long beach doesn’t have the same magic anymore, but still is the place where most of the visitors in Rio want to be. A walk at the boulevard with the wave design, passing all beach bars while listening to live music, is a must do when in Rio for the first time. But even after years of living in Rio, the view, the vibe and the people are still as special as the first time.
A visit to Rio de Janeiro is not complete with a visit to one of its over 1300 favelas, or communities as the locals use to say. It is such a big part of the culture and day to day life in the city, that you definitely should visit one community to experience Rio in a different way.