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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Browse Sights

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Fodor's Choice

Area

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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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Category

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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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Best For

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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...

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...

Escadaria Selarón

  • Building/Architectural Site

After traveling the world and living in more than 50 countries, Chilean painter Selarón began working in 1990 on the iconic tile staircase...

Largo do Guimarães

  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

Much of the activity in close-knit Santa Teresa takes place around its village-like squares, among them Largo do Guimarães, a social...

Museu Chácara do Céu

  • Museum/Gallery

The collection of mostly modern works at this museum was left—along with the hilltop house that contains it—by one of Rio's greatest...

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