Rio de Janeiro Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Beach photoRio de Janeiro is the liveliest and most exciting city in Brazil. It is located in the south of the country, on the Atlantic coast, and is home to countless tourist attractions, many of which are centred on or around the beach. Once the capital of Brazil, Rio is famous for its beaches, mountains and of course, its annual carnival attractions.

There are a number of sights to see and attractions to enjoy while in Rio de Janeiro, but tourists should not travel all this way without taking a trip to Corcovado Mountain, where the statue of Christ the Redeemer is to be found. Sugarloaf Mountain is a sight by itself and well worth the journey, as is Copacabana Beach.

For nature attractions, head to Tijuca Forest or to the botanic gardens for something tamer. Rio de Janeiro also boasts some beautiful colonial architecture, which can be found hiding in between the city's imposing high-rises and trendy new office blocks.

Picture of tourists enjoying the beachfront


Address: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, BR
There are a number of beaches and related attractions within Rio, but Arpoador, Copacabana and Ipanema are without doubt the most famous. Each beach stretches back into its lively promenade, where you will find shopping opportunities, bars and restaurants, while on the beach, swimming, water sports and sunbathing are all popular pastimes. Copacabana is the busiest beach, while Leblon Beach is a favourite with families.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Pao de Acucar image (Sugarloaf Mountain)

Pao de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)

Address: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, BR
Sugarloaf Mountain, known locally as Pao de Açúcar, boasts stunning panoramic views across Rio de Janeiro and beyond. The most prominent aspect of the mountain is the strange green peak which sticks out over the city. While it is possible to climb Sugarloaf Mountain, most people opt for the cable car, as this is a much easier way to reach the top and enjoy the same views and attractions as those who walk. Arriving in time for sunset will allow for a romantic time while you enjoy the splendid vistas.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Jardim Botanico photograph (Botanical Gardens)

Jardim Botanico (Botanical Gardens)

Address: Rua Pacheco, Leao 915, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 213 204 2531
Rio de Janeiro's Botanical Gardens are in between Christ the Redeemer and Leblon Beach. They are also scenically located on the edge of Tijuca Forest. The gardens were first planted at the beginning of the 19th century by Prince Regent Dom Joao and have developed into some of the most beautiful gardens in the whole of Brazil. There are thousands of plants and floral attractions, as well as refreshments and cafés. Tourists will find that the best time to visit the Jardim Botanico is during the week, in order to avoid the weekend crowds.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 11:00 to 19:00
Admission: charge

Paco Imperial view

Paço Imperial

Address: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 212 533 4407
This colonial palace dates back to the mid-18th century. It was designed to be the headquarters for the captains of Brazil's army during Portuguese rule and did not become a palace until King Joao VI ascended to the throne. The Paço Imperial was home to Dom Pedro I and II, but once the monarchy was overthrown, it was demoted to the city's main post office. The building was restored in 1980, when it was turned into a concert hall, and has since been maintained regularly and now stands proudly alongside a movie theatre, restaurant and coffee shop.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 12:00 to 18:00
Admission: free

Parque do Flamengo picture

Parque do Flamengo

Address: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 212 210 8856
This park is popular with families, couples and locals alike. The Parque do Flamengo can be found close to Guanabara Bay and is home to abundant opportunities for sports or other leisure pursuits. There are cycle paths, hiking tracks, ball courts and playgrounds. It makes a good change from the beach and is the perfect chance to mix with the locals.
Open hours: Sunday and Monday - 11:00 to 18:00
Admission: free