According to Newsweek, Rio de Janeiro is known throughout the world as a city where the party never stops. This city is a travelflix favorite.With excitement and energy in the air day and night, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of things it’s possible to do and see. To avoid that overwhelmed feeling, start out with a “must see” list of the best attractions, events and areas of the city and then move outward towards your own personal favorites.
At the top of a 2,300-foot-high cliff, this statue of Christ the Redeemer, with arms open to all corners of the city stretching below, is one of the most popular and well-known tourist attractions in Rio. Built by a French sculptor to inaugurate Brazil’s independence centennial, the statue was finally completed in 1931, 10 years after the project was started. From the top of the mountain, you can see the statue up close, as well as also Rio’s sandy beaches, the city panorama below and nearby Sugar Loaf mountain. The statue has been named one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Rio’s remarkable variety of beaches makes it impossible to name just one as the “best.” The city’s most-famed beach, Copacabana, is a massive stretch of sandy oceanfront popular for activities like the hybrid beach volleyball/soccer. Ipanema, famous for a certain “Girl from …” of song, is another popular beach located in the next cove. Visit São Conrado for colorful shots of hang gliders known to land in the area and kite-fliers setting sail from the shore. If you want to spread out, try Rio’s longest beach, Barra da Tijuca, or the more secluded Prainha beach, an environmentally protected area.
Palácio do Catete
If art, culture and history headline your travels, you will not find a better attraction in Rio than this palace, which has been home to a German baron, 18 Brazilian presidents, a cultural history museum and an art gallery. Today, you can see vestiges of all those influences when you tour the structure. You learn about the country’s past politicians, contemporary artists and cultural heritage within the walls of the storied palace.
A trip to Rio de Janeiro would not be complete without a musical stop. Brazil is most famous for its samba and bossa nova styles. These sounds are played live nightly at dance clubs throughout the city, with the Lapa district home to some of the classic clubs. If you are looking for a more upscale performance, head to Theatro Municipal for dance, opera or symphony by local and international musicians. Come for Carnival in February to hear samba sounds take over the streets during the festival’s parades.