Visiting the vibrant city of Rio De Janeiro? Check out the main attractions & off the beaten track gems our local guide Flavia suggests you need to visit when in town.
‘The sugarloaf and the Christ. Though these are popular attractions they are no tacky at all. If you go to Paris you will still visit the Eiffel Tour. Even for Brazilians who are visiting Rio they will still take a trip to the Christ and the sugarloaf.’
‘Downtown is the oldest and most historical part of Rio.’
Downtown is packed with museums and the remnants of colonial buildings which hold so much history. The area is quite small so it is easy to walk around and visit all of the attractions in this area on foot. Check out Cinelândia square. This is the central square of downtown and is the location for the National Library, Fine Arts Museum and the Municipal Theatre. A lesser known arts museum in the area is called Caixa Cultural and is definitely worth an exploration.
Another attraction we would encourage you to visit is the Royal Portuguese Gabinet Of Reading. Inside this library is beautiful ornate bookcases which are adorned with old texts. Step back in time in this library and marvel at the history the books hold.
‘The beach of course is very beautiful and we also have a lagoon. The views from both of these places are stunning. In Rio we are like an open gym, most people would prefer to exercise outside rather than an indoor gym because the weather is always food and the landscapes are very beautiful. People will swim in the ocean instead of a swimming pool. I think it is much better this way.’
‘I would also recommend travelling a bit further down the coastline away from Copacabana beach which can get very busy. You can easily find more or less untouched beaches with hardly anyone on them. Only the locals know to find these beaches. The weekends can still be quite busy but during the week they are very quite, you won’t feel like you’re in a city.’
‘We have the Tijuca forest which is the biggest manmade forest in the world. Inside this forest you can do hikes or jeep tours that are very nice. I would really recommended the jeep tours in Rio because the jeeps are open top and they will drive through the forest as well as take you on a walk. When in the forest you’ll get to see little monkeys and lots of birds. And also, the botanical garden in Rio is very beautiful. I would certainly recommend going there. It is huge and there are so many different plant species to explore.’
‘Here in Rio we have a lot of nice trek’s that you can do. Instead of taking the cable car to the tops of the mountains I would recommend taking one of the trail routes. You can take some simple ones especially in the park surrounding the lagoon areas. But you also have the option of taking more challenging hikes along the mountain and up to the sugarloaf.’
‘You won’t believe this but in the Barra area which is a huge and new neighbourhood that is almost a city in itself, there is a tour by boat that you can do where you can see caimans (species of Crocodile). In this area there are many river channels and there are many caimans living in this area, in the middle of the city! You will also get to see capybara, birds and small monkeys.’
‘The best place to see the sunset in Rio has to be from the Arpoador rocks at the end of Ipanema beach. This is a famous location to see the sun go down in Rio and offers truly spectacular views. It can get quite busy but it is well worth it as the sky performs for you.’
‘We also have the Olympic port of Rio that was rebuilt in time for the 2016 Olympics. Not only has the port been rebuilt but it also houses the worlds biggest graffiti wall. The wall was painted on by just one artist, Kobra. This wall is absolutely stunning. You can also find the museum of tomorrow in this area. It is a very high tech museum that is talking about the future and promoting the possibilities for creation and innovation.’