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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Fodor's Choice

Area

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Centro 18

Flamengo and Botafogo 9

São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca 9

Inland Zona Sul 7

Santa Teresa and Lapa 6

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 5

Beach–Sight 17

Building/ Architectural Site 3

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 2

Garden/ Arboretum 4

Government Building 2

Library/ Archive 2

Local Interest–Sight 8

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 1

Military Site 1

Mountain–Sight 2

Museum/ Gallery 21

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

Sports–Sight 2

Tour–Sight 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 29

Green 2

Historical 21

Romantic 6

Trendy 3

Views 19

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Rio de Janeiro Sights

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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 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...

Christ the Redeemer

  • Mountain–Sight

Rio's iconic Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue stands arms outstretched atop 690-meter-high (2,300-foot-high) Corcovado...

Floresta da Tijuca

  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

Surrounding Corcovado is the dense, tropical Tijuca Forest, also known as the Parque Nacional da Tijuca. Once part of a Brazilian nobleman's...

Forte de Copacabana and Museu Histórico do Exército

  • Military Site

Copacabana Fort was built in 1914 as part of Rio's first line of defense, and many original features, such as the thick brick fortification...

Fundação Planetário

  • Observatory/Planetarium

Rio's planetarium is a great escape if your vacation gets rained on, or if you simply have a passion for astronomy. The adjoining interactive...

Jardim Botânico

  • Garden/Arboretum

The 340-acre Botanical Garden contains more than 5,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees, including 900 varieties...

Maracanã

  • Sports Venue

Fans have witnessed many historic sports moments at this stadium that hosted the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cups and was...

Museu Casa de 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...

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...

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