As most of you know by now I recently spent the last 10 days dancing my youth away at Carnival Bloco’s by night while exploring the beautiful city of Rio De Janeiro by day. My friends and I made sure this Brazil holiday would surely go down as one of our best travel memories, by exploring every corner of Rio, even the corners we shouldn’t have been in lol. On our daily adventures we would come across some really fantastic spots worth a visit and some well, not so hot but for the purpose of this post I will just focus on the tourists spots we enjoyed the most that everyone travelling to Rio should make time to visit. Some of these are your regular must see spots that scream you are in Brazil while others are hidden gems that not everyone makes the time to go and explore. Hope you guys ENJOY!
Cristo Redentor (Christ The Redeemer)
Who goes to Brazil and doesn’t make time to visit the famous wonder of the world, Christ The Redeemer? NO ONE! This is surely the most obvious of all the attractions. The statue overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro giving you spectacular views worthy of everyone’s Instagram aesthetics. What it doesn’t give you however is breathing space to get the perfect shot of the statue. The statue gets thousands of visitors daily making it almost impossible to get those perfect shots you see on influencers Instagram feeds, thank goodness for photoshop right lol. With people walking everywhere and pushing through to try and get their perfect photo, it gets rather overwhelming and all you want to do after 5 minutes of taking in the views and statue is leave. Getting up to the statue is another mission and a half so make sure to book through a trust worthy booking agent instead of doing everything yourself like we did. Yes going through a booking site is a little bit more expensive but it saves you all the waiting in lines in the blazing sun for tickets and trips up to the statue.
(Cost – Statue Entry Ticket R$44 /R170 , Transport Up To Statue Ticket R$35 / R135)
Escadaria Selarón (Selaron Steps)
This is another one of those over crowded attractions but you do it because once again it screams you were in Brazil. Unlike the Cristo Redentor, the Selaron Steps are more festive and you are likely to bump into some fun locals and tourists. One of the best parts at the steps is enjoying the famous Brazilian Caipirinhas, the best you will have in the whole of Rio by the way. When it comes to visiting the steps I would suggest booking an 8 hour tour with Felipe (+55 21 98271 4452) who will make sure to get you an english speaking tour guide or ask for Paulo he was our amazing guide. The tour includes a visit to Christo Redentor, Selaron Steps, Sugar Loaf, Cathedral and a stop at the beach for lunch (Copacabana or Ipanema).
(Cost – Entry to Steps R$0 /R0 FREE, Caipirinha Cost R$5 /R20)
Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain)
Another attraction that gives you great aerial views of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a bit more pricey than Cristo Redentor but a lot less hassle free to visit. Like Christo this attraction is only best enjoyed on sunny days so you can get the best views. We happened to visit on a somewhat cloudy day but still managed to get in some great sights. Unlike the other two mentioned attractions you will spend a bit more time up on the two Sugar Loaf hills as there is a refreshing forest walk, a number of restaurants,bars, cafes, souvenir shops, an interactive museum with the former two cable car generations on display and a helipad where you can charter helicopter rides for 10 -15 minutes.
(Cost – Entry by Cable Way R$110 /R420 / Helicopter Ride 10 minutes R$240 / R920)
Parque Lage (Art School & Public Park)
Tucked away at the foot of Corcovado, this is one of those hidden gems that most tourists overlook. A former mansion turned into an art school and public park, Parque Lage is a must see architectural beauty. Relax and treat yourself to a cup of tea or coffee while overlooking the decorative mansion pool. After your tea take a stroll through the park taking in the exotic flora, listen to the chirping birds, watch the monkeys playing around and just simply enjoy one of the most enchanting places in Rio. Not to mention with Cristo Redentor overlooking the Parque Lage it makes for very memorable aesthetically pleasing Instagram moments.
(Cost – Entry to Parque Lage R$0 /R0 FREE)
Favela Da Rocinha (Favela Brothers Tour)
I am personally not a fan of “poverty tourism” or trying to glamourise poverty and make it seem cool but seeing a country through all its angles and views has always been something I encourage everyone to do (the best way to learn about about a country and it’s different cultures is to experience both the good and the bad it has to offer). The one thing you always hear a lot about Brazil in the news is how dangerous the Favela’s are and how when visiting you should never go near them but I am here to tell you otherwise. Like most countries there are places more dangerous than others and Brazil is certainly no exception but some Favela’s are perfectly safe to visit. We booked a morning tour of Favela Da Rocinha through the amazing Favela Brothers and they took us on one fun yet eye opening journey that I will cherish for the rest of my life. On the tour you get taken through the history of the Favela’s, the hardships those living in Favela’s endure as well as all the amazing success stories to come out of the Favela’s. The tours strive to educate tourists about the community while at the same time empowering the people of Rocinha as a percentage of the income made from these tours is put directly back into the community. So if you are planning a trip to Rio anytime soon, make sure your book a tour with the Favela Brothers.
(Cost – 2 hour Favela Tour R$100 / R380)
These are just some of the amazing and fun attractions we visited that are well worth the pennies and a visit if you are ever in Rio de Janeiro. Most of the attractions are a bit of a distance apart so the cheapest solution is to hire a driver for the day that can take you to see all of them. We used taxi’s and uber on most days but when it came to visiting the big tourist attractions it was easier to hire a driver for a full day. We booked a driver through Felipe whose contacts are above, he offers different size cars for small and big groups and you have the driver for a full day to take you anywhere you want to go in Rio.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post look out for our next two post which will give you insights on “Tips for planning a trip to Brazil,” and “The best place to dine at in Rio de Janeiro.”