Attractions in Rio de Janeiro
No one should doubt that there are not enough sights and attractions in and
near mighty Rio de Janeiro. As elsewhere in Brazil you will find fantastic
scenery and beaches of course. But Rio also has culture and city, as well as one
of the world's most famous statues!
for commonly used abbreviation of city Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Also includes
meanings of the same acronym.
The Sugar Loaf
This famous spherical mountain crust, locally known as Pao de Acucar, is nearly
400 meters high and gives you breathtaking views of the entire city. You first
take the gondola lane to the station at Morro da Urca and from there you can
continue up to the top with the next lane. From here you can see Copacabana and
Ipanema stretch for miles below you. Here you will find restaurants and cafes,
souvenir shops and colonies of small monkeys.
The gondola train, which opened in 1912, runs from 1 p.m. 0800 in the morning
until 7 p.m. 2200 in the evening [see picture first in article]. It
costs approx. 90 kroner for a return ticket to the top. Children under five
years drive free.
The name may not tell you much, but Rio's most common postcard motif
is this 38-meter-high statue of Jesus with his outstretched arms on top of the
over 700-meter Corcovado Mountain, just behind Copacabana. From here you have a
fantastic view of the sugar peaks, the beaches, the city center and Maracana and
the mountain ranges in the north. You can drive or take a taxi up here for
approx. 200 NOK round trip or take the specially built train that runs every
half hour from 10am. 0800 in the morning. The price is approx. 85 kroner, and
the view is by far the best from the right side of the train. Read more.
No trip to the footballers' homeland is complete without a visit to one of the
world's largest stadiums, Maracana. During the 1950 World Cup finals (which
Brazil, by the way, lost), it was rumored that around 200,000 spectators were
seated at the stadium, but it has now been modified to approximately 97,000
seats. Attending a football match here is an experience for a European, who has
doubtless experienced something similar. Here, the samba drums thunder for hours
before the match, huge supporters' flags are spread across the crowd, colored
smoke bombs and Roman lights are burned off, and all the spectators seem to be
in hysterical panic as the opposing team enters their halfway.
Maracana also has a museum which is open from 10am. 1100 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1700
Monday to Friday. Here is an interesting exhibition of objects from Brazil's
impressive football history. For more information, see the section Rio de
Janeiro and sports.
Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden is an over 140-acre site with six lakes and
thousands of different plants and flowers, mainly from Brazil. It has its own
Amazon branch. Here are several hiking trails and picnic areas that can tempt
you when you want to get away from the crowds and find your own quiet, green
corner. Bring mosquito spray!
Parque Nacional da Tijuca
If the botanical garden is too small and too organized, try the Tijuca Forest.
This 3200-acre Atlantic Rainforest is home to hundreds of wildlife species, such
as sloths, harvesters and monkeys. In addition, it has an extensive flora of
sprawling fruit trees, a bustling bird life, waterfalls and caves. Tijuca has
been a national park since 1861. Those with extra stamina can also enjoy the
1018 meter high Pico da Tijuca. The park opens at 2 p.m. 0700 and closes at
This nearly 100-year-old theater is decorated with statues, huge gilded mirrors,
stained-glass windows and candelabras. It is well worth experiencing whether you
are going to see a show or just take a tour.
Museu Historico do Exercito e Forte de Copacabana
On the headland between Copacabana and Ipanema lies this fort, which was built
in 1914 to defend the city against invaders from the sea. Here are weapons and
cannon displays and a great view of the Copacabana.
Tourist in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro has a number of tour operators to help you with a guided tour
in and around the city. The reception at your hotel can certainly help you, or
you can book online when you wish. Of course, it is quite possible and more
affordable to visit all the attractions on your own, but if you are planning to
visit a favela, we strongly recommend that you contact a serious tour operator.
Day 1 in Rio de Janeiro
Since you are definitely not going to take an early night, we recommend you
have a late breakfast at the hotel before finding bus 500, 511 or 512 to Urca.
From the bus stop you will see the lower mountain lift station which takes you
218 meters up on Morro da Urca. Take a look down at the Gulf of Guanabara before
continuing on the next gondola lane to the top of the Sugar Loaf. From here you
can enjoy the view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You are now
395 meters above sea level. Here you will find restaurants, souvenir shops,
viewing binoculars and a colony of cute but exceptionally cheeky and thievery
monkeys, so hold on. There are not a few tourists who have come to the local
police station from small-town fliers to report that "a monkey got off with the
passport and the Visa card."
Take the bus back to Copacabana and get off at Avenida Princesa Isabel. From
here you walk down to the world's most famous beach, the four kilometer long
Copacabana. Feel free to stop by and take advantage of the offers of the many
sellers. Sunglasses, sunscreen, hammocks, beer, caipirinha, tattoos, fruits,
strawberries, coconuts and barbecue are some of the offerings. Be careful about
the extremely tempting and seemingly fresh seafood you are guaranteed to be
offered; you have no idea how long it has been in the sun. But if you see that
it has been recently cooked through, there is usually no danger.
At the end of the beach lies the nearly hundred-year-old fortress Forte de
Copacabana, which today is a museum with exhibited weapons, cannons and pictures
from the building's active history. And the views of Copacabana beach are great
If you are looking for more fabulous views, take a taxi or bus to Rua
Cosme Velho. Here you will find the Estacão da Estrada de Ferro Corcovado,
the train station that brings you up on the Corcovado mountain. In the last
paragraph you have to walk a steep staircase, but the rewards are worth it. As
it starts to darken around you and the city lights go on, you stand beneath the
38-foot tall Jesus statue, Rios Protector, with an absolutely stunning view
around you on all sides.
Take a taxi back to your hotel, get yourself a well-deserved shower, a
breather and maybe a drink at the bar before it's time to think about dinner, if
it's been late enough. Most restaurants do not fill up until about 10 pm on
weekends. An old classic is Garota de Ipanema in Rua
Prudente de Morais 49. This is where Jobim and Morais sat in the fifties
when they wrote the now world famous song by the same name. It serves a large
selection of Brazilian dishes as well as pizza and pasta, if you prefer. When
you are good and satisfied, you can visit bars and clubs nearby.
Day 2 in Rio de Janeiro
After another late breakfast, you might want to spend a few hours sunbathing
on the nearest beach? Or maybe you want to take a closer look at the cultural
sights of Rio de Janeiro's old neighborhoods? Within a relatively small area of
the city center you will find buildings and sights such as the National
Library, the Art Gallery of the Museo Nacional de Belas Artes and the Opera and
Concert Hall Teatro Municipal. Also visit the huge cathedral of the city, the
monastery Mosteiro de São Bento, and the Baroque / Renaissance church Nossa
Senhora de CandelÓria.
Samba and football are perhaps the first thing most people think of when they
hear the name Rio de Janeiro, and both have their own museums near the downtown
areas. Sambˇdromo is the huge passage through which carnival parades pass, and
here you also find the Museu do Carnaval. Maracana football stadium should
preferably be visited in connection with a match, but if it is not a Sunday in
the season, you can still visit the corresponding sports museum, which is open
from. 1100 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1700 Monday to Friday. Here you will find all the
trophies Brazil has won, Pele's football jersey and flags and photographs from
the country's unique football history.
When the evening comes, it's time to try another Brazilian restaurant. At
Leme, in the northeastern part of Copacabana, you will find Restaurante
Shirley, which specializes in all kinds of seafood, both fish, clams,
squid and lobster, at reasonable prices.
Another highly respected meat and seafood restaurant is Mariu's
Degustare a few hundred meters further east, almost at the end of the
beach. The address is Off. Atlântica, 290. This is a churrascaria restaurant
where you can eat as much as you want for less than 200 kroner.
Afterwards you might want to drink an ice cold beer at the beach? Close to
these two restaurants are several local pub chains and which is very popular
with the local residents. There it is cramped and noisy, and maybe not the place
you take your grandmother with, but it is very Brazilian!