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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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...

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...

Corcovado

  • Mountain–Sight

There's an eternal argument about which city view is better, the one from Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf) or the one from Corcovado. In...

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...

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...

Mosteiro de São Bento

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Just a glimpse of the Monastery of St. Benedict's main altar can fill you with awe. Layer upon layer of curvaceous wood carvings coated...

Museu de Arte do Rio

  • Museum/Gallery

Rio's once run-down port zone is now the focus of a major investment and regeneration program, and the 2013 opening of the Museu de Arte...

Palácio do Catete

  • Garden/Arboretum

Once the villa of a German baron, this elegant, 19th-century granite-and-marble palace became the presidential residence after the 1889...

Parque Lage

  • Garden/Arboretum

This lush green space down the road from Jardim Botânico was acquired by Antônio Martins Lage Jr., whose grandson, Henrique Lage, fell...

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