Rio de Janeiro Sights

When in Rio, don't be afraid to follow the tourist trail—the major attractions really are "must-sees." Contrary to tourist-board images, the sun doesn't always shine on the city, so when it does, make the most of it. If the skies are clear, waste no time in heading for Cosme Velho to visit the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado mountain, or to Urca to make the cable car ascent to the peak

of Sugar Loaf. Time-pressed travelers will find that whistle-stop city tours are a good way to see many attractions in one day, while those lucky enough to spend a week or more here can afford to take a more leisurely approach. Cloudy days are a good time to visit the attractions of leafy Lagoa and Jardim Botânico and the breezily bohemian hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa. The historic buildings, museums, and cultural centers of Centro, Catete, Glória, and Lapa are ideal rainy-day options.

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Centro 16

São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca 9

Flamengo and Botafogo 7

Inland Zona Sul 6

Santa Teresa and Lapa 5

Ipanema and Leblon 5

Copacabana and Leme 4

West of Downtown 4

Catete and Gloria 3

Urca 2

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Arts/ Performance Venue 3

Beach–Sight 16

Building/ Architectural Site 2

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 2

Garden/ Arboretum 4

Government Building 2

Library/ Archive 1

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 1

Military Site 1

Mountain–Sight 1

Museum/ Gallery 18

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Observatory/ Planetarium 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 2

Park/ Playground 1

Pedestrian Mall 1

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 2

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 6

Sports Venue 1

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 2

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Family 28

Historical 20

Romantic 6

Trendy 3

Views 14

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Rio de Janeiro Sights

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Arcos da Lapa

  • Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

Formerly the Aqueduto da Carioca (Carioca Aqueduct), this structure with 42 massive stone arches was built between 1744 and 1750 to carry...

Beco do Comércio

  • Pedestrian Mall

A network of narrow streets and alleys centers on this pedestrian thoroughfare, also called the Travessa do Comércio, whose name translates...

Biblioteca Nacional

  • Library/Archive

Corinthian columns adorn the neoclassical National Library (built between 1905 and 1908), the first such establishment in Latin America.

Casa Daros

A grand 19th-century neoclassical building has been lovingly restored in conjunction with the acclaimed Swiss art institute Daros to...

Casa Rui Barbosa

  • Museum/Gallery

Steps away from Botafogo metro station is a museum in the former home of the 19th-century Brazilian statesman, writer, and scholar Rui...

Catedral de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The exterior of this circa-1960 metropolitan cathedral, which looks like a concrete beehive, divides opinion. The daring modern design...

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

  • Museum/Gallery

What was once the headquarters of Brazil's oldest bank is now an enormous cultural space in downtown Rio. With areas designated for cinema...

Centro Cultural Correios

  • Government Building

The Post Office Cultural Center is rather in the shadow of the more impressive Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil around the corner, but...

Centro Cultural Laurinda Santos Lobo

  • Museum/Gallery

This pink mansion houses Santa Teresa's small Museu do Bonde (Bonde Museum), dedicated to Rio's trolleys, and the exhibition covering...

Convento do Santo Antônio

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The Convent of St. Anthony was completed in 1780, but some parts date from 1615, making it one of Rio's oldest structures. Its baroque...