Stepping off the cruise ship in Brazil’s most famous city
The Icons of Rio
Start with the obvious – take a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain to enjoy 360-degree views of the city and Guanabara Bay. Another must is a visit to the landmark statue of Christ the Redeemer, perched high above Rio for more spectacular views.
For famous beaches and prime people watching, head to the legendary Zona Sul neighborhoods to lay out your towel on Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. If you’re looking to get a bit more off the beaten path, Leblon, Cariocas, and Leme are excellent options as well.
Cultural Immersion in Rio
For a more local experience in the city, there are plenty of culture-based things to do in Rio. Wander through neighborhoods such as Rio’s Centro (downtown), filled with beautiful churches from the 17th century and on. Convento do Santo Antonio and Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Candelaria are two of the best to visit. Explore Lapa for more local heritage, where you can see the Arcos da Lapa, the remnants of an aqueduct from the 1700s, as well as enjoy the neighborhood’s Bohemian vibe. In Santa Teresa, narrow streets, stone stairs, and houses from the 19th century are among the treasures to be found, in addition to small galleries and museums.
Art lovers should head to the Flamengo neighborhood, where the Museu de Arte Moderna houses a fine collection of contemporary works, and the National Museum of Fine Arts is home to some of Brazil’s best art.
Food and Nightlife
To get in on a bit of Rio’s legendary party scene, head to Clube dos Democraticos, the oldest samba dance hall in Rio. Even if you don’t want to tear up the dance floor, it’s worth visiting just to watch. To see a bossa nova show, try Vinicius, just a block from the beach, with daily performances. In terms of dining, a classic churrascaria is a must for any meat-eater – Fogo de Chao and Porcao are excellent choices for sampling the all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbeque feast. For more local fare, Siri Mole & Cia dishes out exotic Brazilian dishes, while Espirito Santa will take you on a culinary trip to the Amazonian forest.