Top 5 things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hey lovely people, Here comes a post about the top 5 things to do in Rio!

First of all, and I do know that this will sound cliché, but holly molly brazilians are beautiful!  Rio is very multicultural and very, very colorful! Brazilians can be all the way from being white, blond and blue eyed to all different kinds of mixes and all the way to very dark skin, black hair and beautiful black eyes. So when you visit, no matter what you look like, you will feel home here.

I and my best friend were in Rio for 2 months. We had planned on staying there for the Carnival and leaving, but the place was too lovely to leave and we ended up staying much longer than expected. The best time to go to Rio de Janeiro is definitely during the carnival. The whole city turns into a big party, and I know they tell you to buy your tickets months prior, however, you can actually purchase tickets just near the carnival, so no rush. 🙂

Carnival, Rio De Janeiro
Carnival, Rio De Janeiro
Carnival, Rio De Janeiro
Carnival, Rio De Janeiro
Carnival, Rio De Janeiro

While in Rio, we stayed at Bamboo hostel for a couple of weeks before moving up to the favela  called Tabajara. Read more below! We really liked the hostel and they had both a pool and a roof top tv-room where you could hang out and meet other travelers. It was clean and very close to the beach. Additionally, they had both private rooms and dorms – we stayed in the female dorm =)

Anyways, below, i’ve listed my top 5 things to do in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

1. Go visit Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Cristo Redentor

Christ the Redeemer, Rio De Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer, Rio De Janeiro

Today, as one of the new seven wonders of the world, this 30 meter (98ft) tall statue is a cultural icon for Rio and Brazil, alike. It is located in the Tijuca Forest national park on the peak of the 700 meter high Corcovado mountain.

You can’t get a better view of Rio than this; It’s breathtaking and standing next to this statue is unreal! I had seen it in so many movies and had always dreamt to visit one day – It is definitely a must! If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can also fly over the statue with a helicopter.

2. Go visit Sugar Loaf Mountain, Pao de Acucar

Sugar loaf mountain, Rio De Janeiro
Sugar loaf mountain, Rio De Janeiro
Sugar loaf mountain, Rio De Janeiro
Sugar loaf mountain, Rio De Janeiro

Visiting this place was a lot of fun, actually. They had a long cableway quite high up in the mountains which you had to take to get to the top of sugar loaf. I was freaking out from the heights at first, but it was fun fun fun once I got used to it. The view here is absolutely lovely and they have a nice café on top where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or gelato <3 – I most definitely took the Gelato. When coming down, there is a beautiful, non-touristy beach, Praia Vermelha, where you can relax and slow down. So don’t forget to bring your swimwear!

3. Hang out on the beach Copacabana and Ipanema.

Copacabana, Rio De Janeiro
Copacabana, Rio De Janeiro

Copacabana, Rio De Janeiro
Copacabana beach, Rio De Janeiro
Ipanema beach, Rio De Janeiro

As a girl, bring your best thong bikini and as a guy… yep! Buy some speedos, mate. You barely see anyone with “regular” swimwear. I almost felt too dressed up if I had my regular bikini on.

People are running, surfing, playing volleyball and soccer (football), everywhere on the beach.  Just sit down and enjoy the sight.

While on the beach make sure to eat a lot of grilled cheese! Also, there are tons of bars by the beach walk, make sure to eat a lot of acái bowls and drink delicious caipirinhas… Yummi!

Occasionally, they have samba groups wandering the beach playing drums with a lovey lady showing her awesome samba moves. You should also walk to Ipanema beach from Copacabana where you hike up on a little hill and catch the most beautiful sunsets ever!

Oh one more thing, the big street just by Copacabana beach is usually closed down for cars so that people can walk on them. Go there. there are markets and a bunch of other activities going on there.

4. Go visit Lapa and Selarón Staircase (Escadaria Selarón)

Escadaria Selarón, Rio De Janeiro. The man in the middle is Selerón, RIP.
Escadaria Selarón, Rio De Janeiro
Lapa, Rio De Janeiro

This area is a very lively area with a bunch of restaurants, bars, street festivities and night clubs. You hear drums playing everywhere on the streets where people gather and dance samba and live life like there was no tomorrow. Don’t miss out going to this place.

Then you have the famous colorful Selarón staircase which you can go to after 8 pm and smoke weed legally… the only place in Brazil! Lol!  No, honestly I wouldn’t go there at night. The place is on its way to becoming a slum and becoming less safe when dark.

But it is a lovely place during the day, nonetheless and the staircase is as beautiful as you would imagine it to be. There are 215 steps measuring 125 meters long which are covered in over 2000 tiles collected from over 60 countries around the world. We had great luck to meet the artist, Selerón, who lived just by the stairs and who showed us to his house where he also sold paintings.

And btw, while in Lapa, please make sure to drink the best Caipirinhas ever! Go anywhere and you’ll get served the authentic cocktail, you won’t be disappointed.

5. Go to the favelas

Favela Rio De Janeiro
Favela Rio De Janeiro
Favela, Rio De Janeiro

We lived in one of the Favelas for almost 2 moths. The first time we were going to go up there with our friends who were from the favelas, I remember we were very nervous. We had heard so much about how dangerous it was and how we absolutely should not go there.

I don’t know if it was because we were there with two of “their own”, or whatever, but we did not feel unsafe for a second.

The place is actually lovely, everyone lives like a big family and shares whatever they can. Whenever someone had a BBQ, they bought enough so everyone that came by would at least have a taste. They did the grilling on the street, probably because they could not do it inside. The housing standard is as bad as you can imagine and most people lived in a really small place with barely a kitchen or shower.

They also had big Favela parties where they had live bands coming and playing great music!

I loved the Favela because people seemed very genuine, even though it was hard to see how people suffered from poverty. We also heard many stories about the shootings and killing on the streets just like in the wild wild west times before the government “cleaned up” the streets for the World Cup.

So lovelies, these are my top 5 things to do in Rio.

Oh and while in Rio, make sure to go to a football game… it is a super fun experience!!

Football game, Rio De Janeiro

You can also visit the beautiful botanical garden.

Botanical garden, Rio De Janeiro


Ok, I will stop now. But please enjoy this lovely place!

Have you been to Rio? What are your top things to do here? Please share and let me know=)

Much love<3


One Reply to “Top 5 things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil”

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