Rio de Janeiro Sights & Attractions
What to See and Do in Rio
The CORCOVADO is one of the world's best-known monuments, an art deco statue of Christ overlooking the city from the top of a mountain since 1931. The views from there are breathtaking, as they are from the SUGAR LOAF, said to be the second most famous mountain in the world. It is from these vantage points that you'll come to the conclusion that you're standing above one of the world's most beautiful cities.
The Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum is housed in a building designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1996, looking very much like a spaceship. It hosts temporary contemporary art exhibitions mainly of Brazilian aritists, although some say the best work on display is the building itself.
The Modern Art Museum dates from the 1950s and presents the best of modern Brazilian and Latin American art, as well as major international exhibits.
The massive METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL stands out from the skyscrapers in the downtown ("Centro") district. As a tall concrete cone, it may not be the most beautiful cathedral from outside, but once you step inside you'll be impressed by the stained glass windows and the overall space, able to hold up to 20,000 people.
COPACABANA is the world's most famous beach, and you can sit on its white sand to admire its lush surroundings. Because it has become such a tourist trap, it's a better idea to choose IPANEMA instead when you want to experience the city's beach life. It's the place to see and be seen at, with some of the city's best bars and shops, especially down Rua Garcia D'Avila. It's just a short walk to LEBLON from there, the most sophisticated neighborhood in Rio. Its Rua Dias Ferreira is the most fashionable street in the city, home to many of its top restaurants. You'll also want to take a trip to CENTRO (downtown) if you wish to hop on the ferry to the contemporary art museum in Niteroi (see above). While you're in the neighborhood, you'll come across old colonial architecture mixed with ultramodern architecture, together with the city's huge cathedral (see above). Back by the waterfront, LAGOA RODRIGO DE FREITAS is a stunning saltwater lagoon with mountains and the Corcovado as the backdrop. It's the chosen spot for jogging or cycling at any time of the day. At night, LAPA and SANTA TERESA are the bohemian quarters for samba dancing.
TOURS & DAYTRIPS
Go on a Tour of Rio de Janeiro so you don't miss the best of the city and take advantage of the organized itinerary planned for you.