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Things to do in

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer, Ipanema Beach, samba, carnival, and football galore; the reasons to visit are endless.

Our most recommended things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket by Cog Train

1. Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket by Cog Train

Go all the way up to the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer by the Corcovado Train. The train rides through a railway inside Tijuca National Park, the largest urban forest in the world, making a unique view over Rio de Janeiro city. Enjoy an amazing ride on a train that takes you right up to the foot of the statue of The Christ, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and one of the most famous sights in Brazil. Besides admiring one of the most beautiful landscapes of the city, you will take a walk through Brazil's history. The Corcovado Railroad was the first electrified railroad in Brazil. Inaugurated in 1884 by D. Pedro II, it is older than Christ the Redeemer itself. In fact, it was the train that, during four consecutive years, transported pieces for monument’s construction. Your visit starts on the century-old electric locomotive, riding across the preserved Atlantic Forest, part of the Tijuca National Park. At the foot of the statue of Christ, you'll be able to take in the most beautiful view over the city, and see from above what makes Rio de Janeiro so special.

Rio de Janeiro: Sugarloaf Cable Car Official Ticket

2. Rio de Janeiro: Sugarloaf Cable Car Official Ticket

Discover the world-famous Sugarloaf Mountain with prebooked official tickets for the cable car, and explore one of Brazil's most popular attractions. Admire stunning views of Rio de Janeiro as you ride the cable car to the summit. Take incredible photos from the lookout point as you enjoy the panorama of the city and the ocean below. Make your own way to the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain, and head directly to the ticket office to exchange your printed voucher. Board the next cable car up the mountain, riding in the fully-enclosed cabin as you take in panoramic views of the city, Copacabana Beach, and Guanabara Bay.  Disembark at the top, where you can spend as much time as you wish. There is a food court and restaurant at the summit where you can purchase snacks and drinks. Once you have finished exploring the summit, your ticket is valid for any returning cable car.

Rio de Janeiro: Carnival 2023 Samba School Parade Ticket

3. Rio de Janeiro: Carnival 2023 Samba School Parade Ticket

Rio's Carnival is the most popular and the best Carnival in the world! No wonder it was named “Largest Carnival in the World” in 2004 by the Guinness Book of World Records. Carioca Carnival is a cultural event, where freedom of expression dominates in a creative and fun way, represented through samba school parades, carnival balls, and a street carnival. The official Samba School parades take place in Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome, created by the most renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer and inaugurated in 1983 with capacity for 80,000 spectators. Every year, the Samba Schools compete for the Carnival Champion Title, one school will be chosen as the best of the best. More than 30,000 people perform throughout Carnival. Each school has between 4,000 and 5,000 participants. There are 5 days of parades, divided into three categories: Access Group, Special Group, and Parade of Champions. Access Group In the Access Group, the best Samba Schools will be able to participate in the Special Group in the following year. You will see 12 schools parade with enthusiasm and beauty. This is perfect for those, who want to see the magic of carnival on a budget. Special Group  These are considered the main days of the Carnival Parade. The best 14 Samba schools in Rio de Janeiro show all their creativity and innovations. These are the true magical nights of the Sambadrome. Tickets are more expensive for these days as it is the most popular parade with major league schools. Champions Parade On that night, the top six Special Group schools, plus the Access Group Champion repeat their performances. This is an extraordinary night to see the Carnaval champions of the year.

Rio de Janeiro: Shared Transfer to Vila Abrão (Ilha Grande)

4. Rio de Janeiro: Shared Transfer to Vila Abrão (Ilha Grande)

Arrive at Vila do Abraão (Ilha Grande) with a fast and safe transfer service from Rio de Janeiro via car and FlexBoat. Take advantage of a quick and smooth ride on the FlexBoat and enjoy flexibility with daily departures. Start by getting picked up directly from your hotel, accommodation, or airport in Rio de Janeiro. After all the passengers have been picked up and the shuttle exits the city, take the 4-hour drive to Angra dos Reis. Upon arrival, hop on a FlexBoat to cross the main pier of Vila do Abraão to Ilha Grande. The boat crossing takes around 30 minutes on average. After arriving in Ilha Grande, meet a local guide.

Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

5. Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

Start your adventure with a pickup in the morning from hotels located in the South Zone and head towards your first stop at Christ the Redeemer.  Enjoy great jungle views in the minivan ride through the Tijuca Forest that surrounds the Corcovado Mountain. Reach the peak of the mountain and meet the statue of the Christ the Redeemer with its arms right open over the city. Admire the sweeping views and take breathtaking pictures. Head to a nice walk outside the Maracanã Stadium and find out more about the passion of the Brazilians for football. Learn about the samba tradition in Rio by visiting the Sambadrome, the place with the biggest Carnival parade on the planet. Marvel at the beautiful street art of the Selarón Steps, a gigantic mosaic work of the Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. He started dedicating himself to decorate the stairs in the early 90s. The 250 steps have become a monument and an icon of Rio. Stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro to revel at the biblical passages on the stained-glass inside it, following a stop for lunch in an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. With the batteries recharged, there is still one place left.  Head to Urca neighborhood and marvel at the beauty of the Sugarloaf Mountain and be amazed by the cable ride to the top. From 220 meters above sea level take in the breathtaking 360-degree view of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, the city of Niteroi, and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

From Paraty: Shuttle To/From Abrãao Village on Ilha Grande

6. From Paraty: Shuttle To/From Abrãao Village on Ilha Grande

Enjoy a safe, comfortable, and convenient shared transfer to the fantastic Ilha Grande from your accommodation in Paraty or from Ilha Grande to Paraty. Choose 1-way in either direction according to your needs. From Paraty to Ilha Grande, get picked up at your hotel then head to Santa Luzia Pier in Angra dos Reis. From there, use your flex boat ticket to cross the water to Abraão Village on Ilha Grande. From Ilha Grande to Paraty, depart Abraão Village on Ilha Grande by boat and cruise to Santa Luzia Pier in Angra dos Reis. Your driver will be waiting for you to take you to your accommodation in Paraty.

From Rio de Janeiro: Angra dos Reis Boat Trip with Lunch

7. From Rio de Janeiro: Angra dos Reis Boat Trip with Lunch

Visit the islands of Angra do Reis on this boat trip from Rio de Janeiro. Sail through the archipelago of Ilha Grande. Disembark on the small islands to explore the beaches, browse the markets, and snorkel in the deep blue waters. Savor lunch on board and enjoy round-trip transfers from Rio hotels. Relax on the 3-hour drive to the city of Angra dos Reis. A quick pit-stop on the road will be made to use bathroom facilities and buy a snack. Upon arrival in the docks, enjoy a schooner ride through the hundreds of islands of Angra dos Reis.  Marvel at the beauty of the most famous island of it all: Ilha Grande. Revel at the crystal clear water and rent a snorkel on the spot to see the different species of fish. After, devour the buffet lunch in a fishermen’s village. Explore different stops during the day in places such as the Blue Lagoon, Cataguases beach, and Japariz or Araçá beaches. The captain will choose the best spots depending on crowds and weather conditions.

Football Match in Rio

8. Football Match in Rio

Nowhere on the planet is the game of football more passionately loved than in Brazil. Get a feel for the importance of football to ordinary Brazilians by taking in a thrilling match. A match in any of Rio's Stadiums is an exciting experience even for those with only a passing interest in football. The atmosphere in the stadium is alive with fans waving huge silk banners and flags whilst setting off flares and fireworks. Chants and samba drums reverberate through the stadium as vendors climb through the crowds selling cold beers, popcorn, hats, scarves, and headbands. Experience the fevered frenzy of Brazilian football and join the thousands of colorful, joyous fans, playing music, singing, and jumping throughout the match. Rio's passion for football makes every game a game to remember. Matches take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 2022 Schedule: August 27th - 19:00h Fluminense x PalmeirasAugust 28th - 18:00h Botafogo x FlamengoSeptember 4th - 11:00h Flamengo x CearáSeptember 10th - 19:00h Fluminense x FortalezaSeptember 11th - 11:00h Botafogo x América-MGSeptember 17th - 16:30h Botafogo x CoritibaSeptember 18th - 16:00h Flamengo x FluminenseSeptember 28th - 19:00h Fluminense x JuventudeOctober 1st -19:00h - Flamengo x BragantinoOctober 3rd - 20:00h - Botafogo x PalmeirasOctober 5th - 21:30h - Flamengo x InternacionalOctober 9th - 18:00h - Fluminense x América-MGOctober 15th - 20:30h - Flamengo x Atlético-MGOctober 16th - 18:00h - Botafogo x Internacional

Rio: Maracanã Stadium Official Entrance Ticket

9. Rio: Maracanã Stadium Official Entrance Ticket

Relive Maracanã Stadium’s greatest moments on a fascinating 40-minute visit to one of Rio's most memorable landmarks. Explore the stadium and museum of one of Rio's most popular tourist attractions. Admire an exhibition bringing together important pieces of Brazilian football history. Get ready to take your place in the changing room, prepare yourself in the warm-up room, walk down the tunnel and imagine the roar of nearly 80,000 fans. Visit the press conference room and fell like a Brazilian Football star after a big match. Explore this historical stadium built in 1950 and re-vamped several times over history to host 1950 World Cup and some matches of the World championship 2014. Also, hosted the Confederations cup of 2013, opening and closing ceremonies of the pan American games of 2007 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, in 2016. Besides the sport competitions, Maracanã has already been a stage for important events, like Madonna, Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner shows and camp mass, of the Pope João Paulo II, in 1980 and 1997.

Rio Carnival 2023: Samba Parade Tickets with Shuttle Service

10. Rio Carnival 2023: Samba Parade Tickets with Shuttle Service

Experience Rio's Carnival, the most popular and the best parade in the world. This incredible cultural event is characterized by its freedom of expression, and creative and fun atmosphere represented through samba school parades, carnival balls, and street carnival. The official parade takes place in the Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome, created by renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer with capacity for 80,000 spectators.  Start the tour with a shared shuttle transfer to the Sambodrome, from main hotels in Copacabana, Leme, Ipanema, Leblon, Lapa, Barra da Tijuca, Centro, and Rio Cruise Port. Choose to spectate the incredible event from 5 days of the parade which are divided into 3 categories: Access Group, Special Group and Parade of Champions. – February 17th, 2023 (Friday): Access Group (2nd league) – February 18th, 2023 (Saturday): Access Group (2nd league) – February 19th, 2023 (Sunday): Special Group (1st league) – February 20th, 2023 (Monday): Special Group (1st league) – February 20th, 2023 (Saturday): Champions’ Parade (“All-Star Parade” with the 6 best schools) Access Group - Friday, February 17th and Saturday, February 18th On these dates, watch as some schools compete to get access to the main league for the following year. This event is perfect for those that want to experience the magic of carnival but have a limited budget. Special Group - Sunday, February 19th and Monday, February 20th With this option, experience the main days of the Carnival Parade. Marvel at the best Samba Schools in Rio de Janeiro showing all their creativity and innovations as you enjoy a magical night in the Sambadrome. Tickets are more expensive for these days as it is the most popular parade and features the major league schools. Champions Parade - Saturday February 25th On this night, the top 6 Special Group Schools plus the Access Group champions repeat their performances. This is an extraordinary night to see the carnival champions of the year. At the end of the tour, take the return shuttle transfer back to your hotel.

Frequently asked questions about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil?

The best day trips and excursions from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are:

Armação dos Búzios

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Other Sightseeing Options in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8,263 reviews

Fantastic tour of the rainforest, we booked late the night before due to a mistake booking another tour on our part and we we're put on the tour in the morning without a problem. The tour itself was lovely, even with a bit of rain we saw a few bits of wildlife including monkeys. I didn't catch the name of our tour guide but he was incredible, we had multiple languages on our tour and he was talking to everyone about everything in their languages! And we also had a man in a wheelchair on the jeep with us, although he didn't get to come down the trails with us he was still able to see alot which was lovely to see :)

This was a great way to spend an evening in Rio. Despite a short menu we really enjoyed the food and the free flowing drinks were very enjoyed. Transport was smooth and our driver was helpful and friendly. Would recommend.

Everything about the experience was great; good communications, a friendly driver, experienced instructors and a fantastic glide.

Despite the rain, there was always a good mood and motivation to jump into the water! Angra is very beautiful rain or shine!

The guide was great and the tour had everything you need to see in Rio.