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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Museu Casa do Pontal

  • Museum/Gallery

If you're heading toward the beaches of Prainha or Grumari, consider taking a detour to Brazil's largest folk-art museum. One room houses...

Praia da Barra

  • Beach–Sight

Some cariocas consider the beach at Barra da Tijuca to be Rio's best, and the 18-km-long (11-mile-long) sweep of sand and jostling waves...

Praia de Grumari

  • Beach–Sight

A bit beyond Prainha, off Estrada de Guaratiba, is Grumari, a beach that seems a preview of paradise. What it lacks in amenities—it...

Praia de São Conrado

  • Beach–Sight

West of Leblon, Praia de São Conrado sits empty during the week but is often packed on weekends and holidays. The strand of soft sand...

Prainha

  • Beach–Sight

The length of two football fields, Prainha ("Little Beach") is a vest-pocket beach favored by surfers, who take charge of it on weekends.

Recreio dos Bandeirantes

  • Beach–Sight

At the far end of Barra's beachfront avenue—the name of the street was changed a few years back to Avenida Lúcio Costa, but locals...

São Conrado

The juxtaposition of the "haves" and "have nots" couldn't be more stark, or more startling, than it is in São Conrado, where mansions...

Sítio Roberto Burle Marx

  • Garden/Arboretum

It's a cab ride out of town and visits need to be booked in advance, but nature lovers and architecture buffs will find it worth the...

West of Recreio

  • Beach–Sight

If you continue walking west from Recreio, you'll notice that this part of Rio is largely untouched; in fact, you'll see just three things:...

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