Top Ten Things to See and Do in Rio de Janeiro

There are many top ten lists for attractions available, and of course some attractions are simply so popular and famous they will show up on most of them. All the same we have put together our own list of 'Top Picks' for things to see and do in Rio. We would, however, encourage you to go through all of the Rio attractions on our site discover which ones you would most like to visit.

Best Parks Beaches and Views

Corcovado1. Corcovado

Nearest Metro Station: Largo do Machado

Followed by a spectacular train ride up the mountain you will be treated not only to an up close look at the statue of Christ the Redeemer that overlooks the city, but you will enjoy the stunning panoramic views from the same vantage point. ..... read more

Sugarloaf Cable Car - Pão de Açúcar e bondinho2. Sugarloaf Cable Car - Pão de Açúcar e bondinho

Nearest Metro Station: Botafogo

Sugarloaf Mountain or Pão de Açúcar is one of the most popular attractions in Rio de Janeiro having had over 37 million visitors. The Sugarloaf Cable Car is one of the safest in the world taking you to a breathtaking 360 degree view. ..... read more

Copacabana Beach3. Copacabana Beach

Nearest Metro Stations: Cardeal Arcoverde | Siqueira Campos | Canatagalo

Copacabana Beach is one of Rio de Janiero's more popular tourist locations. The three mile long white sand beach fronts one of the more populated residential areas of Rio making for plenty of people to watch and ...... read more

Ipanema Beach4. Ipanema

Nearest Metro Station: Ipanema/General Osório

Ipanema Beach fronts the neighbourhood of the same name, one of the most expensive places to live in Rio. The area is filled with world-class restaurants and shops and is noted for some of the best ...... read more

Pista Cláudio Coutinho Walking Trail5. Pista Cláudio Coutinho Walking Trail

Nearest Metro Station: Botafogo

The Pista Cláudio Coutinho Walking Trail is about a 2 kilometer long trail bordering the bay at the base of Morroa Da Urca. The trail starts in Praia Vermelha in Urca. It is a great trail offering an easy scenic walk away from the crowds of the city ..... read more

Quinta da Boa Vista 6. Quinta da Boa Vista

Nearest Metro Station: São Cristóvão

The Quinta de Boa Vista is literally "Park of the Nice View" and is aptly named and the views in and around the park are truly spectacular. Originally part of the Sao Cristovao Palace, the Quinta de Boa Vista now houses ...... read more

Best Architecture, Theatres and Museums

CCBB - Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre7. CCBB - Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre

Nearest Metro Station: Uruguaiana

Once a bank and now a museum of art and natural history, inside the CCBB you will find multiple art galleries, three theatres, a cinema, a library, a book store, coffee shops and a restaurant. ..... read more

Igreja da Candelária 8. Igreja da Candelária

Nearest Metro Station: Uruguaiana

Located in the heart of central Rio de Janeiro one find Candelária Church or Igreja da Candelária in Portuguese. This beautiful old Roman Catholic church has a rich history and due to no fault of its own also became associated with one of the darkest days in Rio's history. ..... read more


Municipal Theatre | Teatro Municipal 9. Municipal Theatre | Teatro Municipal

Nearest Metro Station: Cinelândia

One of the most beautiful buildings in the city of Rio, the Municipal Theatre stands in all its splendour as a testament to the impeccable craftsmanship of the architects and builders of those times. ..... read more

MAC de Niterói - Contemporary Art Museum10. MAC de Niterói - Contemporary Art Museum

Nearest Metro Station: Carioca Station

The striking modern design of the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) has made it one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Brazil. It is well worth the visit, even if just to see it from the outside. ..... read more

Escadaria Selarón | Selarón StepsBonus: Escadaria Selarón | Selarón Steps

Nearest Metro Station: Gloria

Yea - we know we said ten, but we just had to include this one and we hope you have the opportunity to see more than just 10 attractions during your visit to Rio as well. A work of love and compassion by an obsessed man who has since passed on - the steps of Selarón situated on Rua Joaquim Silvia Selarón Lapa are to Rio what the Spanish steps are to Rome. Beautifully tiled with mosaic tiles and mirror, these 250 steps, measuring 125 metres long, are a true artistic feat requiring years of hard work and dedication. ..... read more

Some of the above photos are made available under a Creative Commons license. Larger versions and attribution can be viewed on the full page for each attraction.

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