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Best Things To Do in Rio de Janeiro

If it's your first trip to Rio, you'll want to savor a chilled coconut as you survey Copacabana or Ipanema's entertaining beach scene. But once you've seen Rio's catwalks—ahem, beaches—you won't want to skip the dazzling 360-degree views from Sugar Loaf and Corcovado or the seductive samba hot-spots in Lapa.

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How We Rank Things to Do
#1
Grumari Beach Free attraction
Beaches | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: You won't find beachfront restaurants, luxurious hotels, or plentiful kiosks here. Without them, you'll have space to stretch ... read more»

#2
Tijuca National Park
Parks and Gardens | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Outdoorsy types love exploring this expansive green rainforest. Covering 8,300 acres, Tijuca National Park is the largest urban rainforest ... read more»

#3
Jardim Botânico
Parks and Gardens | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Sprawling over 340 acres, this botanical paradise awes its visitors with more than 6,000 indigenous and exotic species of ... read more»

#4
Christ the Redeemer and Corcovado
Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: This iconic landmark is a must-see attraction in Rio. Widely recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World ... read more»

#5
Santa Teresa Free attraction
Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: This hilly bohemian district boasts an eclectic array of art and architecture. Strolling along Santa Teresa's cobblestone streets, you ... read more»

#6
Ilha Fiscal
Castles/Palaces | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Set apart from the bustling sights and sounds of central Rio, this remote neo-Gothic castle rests on a tucked away ... read more»

#7
Ipanema Beach Free attraction
Beaches | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Made famous by the well-known bossa nova song, "The Girl from Ipanema," this beach has drawn tourists since the the ... read more»

#8
Museum of Modern Art (Museu de Arte Moderna)
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: The Museum of Modern Art (Museu de Arte Moderna) houses an extensive collection of over 1,700 works of art ... read more»

#9
Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar)
Hiking, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Standing high above Rio's bustling metropolis at 1,299 feet, Sugar Loaf Mountain cascades over the picturesque Guanabara Bay ... read more»

#10
Lapa Free attraction
Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: If you come to Rio to revel in samba, Lapa is the place for you. This festive neighborhood ignites at ... read more»

#11
Prainha Free attraction
Beaches | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Known as Brazil's "little" beach, this remote paradise requires a 40-minute car trip from Ipanema Beach but is well ... read more»

#12
Barra da Tijuca Free attraction
Beaches, Shopping, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Barra da Tijuca's expansive nine-mile beach and shopping center, known to Cariocas as "Baja," is popular among sun-seekers. Visitors ... read more»

#13
Copacabana Beach Free attraction
Beaches | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: One of Rio's most popular shores, Copacabana is a public beach located in the heart of the luxurious Zona ... read more»

Next Steps: Rio de Janeiro

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