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Tourist Attractions in Rio de Janeiro

The most interesting and beautiful tourist sites in Rio de Janeiro

Photos, reviews, descriptions, and links to maps

About Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is a splendour of bright colours and eternal carnival, ocean and endless sunshine. The city is located on the shores of Guanabara Bay, and is one of the most beautiful in South America. Nature has generously endowed this area, Brazilians believe that such a beautiful land to them granted by God himself. It seems as if the inhabitants of this city always have a holiday to the unceasing sounds of samba.

Who has not dreamed of climbing to the top of Corcovado Mountain and looking at Christ the Redeemer or diving into the emerald waters of the Atlantic at the famous Copacabana? In Rio de Janeiro, dreams become reality. Here, the elation is mixed with the anticipation of danger from the gloomy favelas, and the light-headedness of caipirinhas with the gentle nights. It’s all Rio.

Top-20 Tourist Attractions in Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer

114546 reviews
The huge 38 metre high monument is the main and most recognisable symbol of Rio de Janeiro. It was erected in the first half of the 20th century on Corcovado Mountain, which rises about 700 metres above the city. The statue’s observation deck offers a stunning view of the rugged green hills of the bay. At any time of year there is an impressive queue of tourists who want to climb up to the statue of Christ the Redeemer with outstretched arms.
Open time
Monday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Sugarloaf Mountain

9301 reviews
A mountain up to 400 metres high that is located within Rio de Janeiro. The observation decks and small park at its summit rival the Christ the Redeemer statue in popularity. It is possible to ascend to Pão di Azcuar (as the name sounds in Portuguese) by cable car. The name “Sugar Head” was given because of its resemblance to a special container with the same name, in which the Portuguese used to transport sugar from Brazil.

Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro

19139 reviews
The theatre was built at the very beginning of the 20th century and immediately became an ornament of Piazza Floriano. The architecture of the building clearly shows a mix of styles – eclecticism. During construction, the building of the Paris Opera House was taken as a model. Famous foreign groups often perform on the theatre stage, and the local choir, symphony orchestra and ballet company are no less popular.
Open time
Monday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Royal Portuguese Reading Room

2596 reviews
The luxurious Portuguese Manuelino style building was erected between 1880 and 1887. The library was founded to promote the culture and values of the metropolis within the Brazilian Empire. The foundation stone was laid by Emperor Pedro II. Many of the architectural elements of the building echo the shape of famous Portuguese palaces, monasteries and cathedrals.
Open time
Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Palácio Tiradentes

245 reviews
An early 20th century building erected for administrative purposes. It was the seat of the Legislative Assembly. Previously, the palace was the site of a prison where Joaquin José da Silva, the national hero and fighter for Brazilian independence, died. The interior of the palace is decorated with paintings by Brazilian painters, French mosaics and carved wooden furniture in the Portuguese style.
Open time
Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Ilha Fiscal

300 reviews
The castle is located on an island in Guanabara Bay, just off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. It was built in 1889 for the Customs Service, but looks more like a royal residence. Inside there is a historical museum of the Brazilian Navy. The architecture of the castle is a mix of styles. Decorative elements are brought from England, Germany and other European countries.

Escadaria Selarón

77973 reviews
Colourful 125-metre long staircase created by Chilean artist Jorge Celarón. The artist created step by step, starting in 1990. Gradually, this small cultural project grew to become an obsession and the long staircase was created. Several thousand tiles, brought from different countries and found in rubbish bins, were used to cover the handrails and steps.
Open time
Monday: Open 24 hours
Tuesday: Open 24 hours
Wednesday: Open 24 hours
Thursday: Open 24 hours
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: Open 24 hours
Sunday: Open 24 hours

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Candelária

14786 reviews
It was once the largest and most opulent temple of the Brazilian Empire. According to one version, it was founded by Spanish travellers in 1609 after they escaped a terrible storm. Until the XVIII century it was a simple wooden chapel. Then a stone temple was erected in its place under the direction of F. Joao Rocio. It was inaugurated in 1811 in the presence of the Portuguese King João VI.
Open time
Monday: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro

21348 reviews
The main Catholic church of the Brazilian capital, which is located in the historic centre of the city. The cathedral was opened in 1979, it was named in honour of the patron saint of Rio de Janeiro – Saint Sebastian. From the outside, the temple resembles an Indian pyramid and at the same time a futuristic structure from fantasy literature. The underground part of the temple houses a museum and a crypt where famous personalities are buried.

Mosteiro de São Bento

2080 reviews
Benedictine monastery, founded at the end of the 16th century thanks to the intercession of the local inhabitants. The building of the monastery was erected in the Baroque style. The exterior façade is characterised by modest forms and few decorative elements. The interior, on the contrary, is executed with special opulence – burgundy walls, multicoloured mosaic floors, gilded stucco, abundance of paintings and sculptures decorate the interior.

Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro

42280 reviews
The garden covers several hundred hectares of land and is located in the southern part of the city. It was laid out in 1808 at the will of the royal family. Amazing exotic plants from all over the world were brought to the garden, which quickly adapted to local climatic conditions. At the moment there are more than 7 thousand representatives of fauna growing here. There are ponds, fountains, palm alleys and themed zones on the territory.
Open time
Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Parque Brig. Eduardo Gomes (Aterro do Flamengo)

27567 reviews
A large green area inside the city, which was designed by landscape designer R. Burle Marx (who also worked on the Copacabana beach promenade). Various sporting events are held in the park: bike rides, marathons and others. At any time of the day you can see citizens playing sports or just relaxing on green lawns and benches.

Parque Lage

45106 reviews
The park is located at the foot of Corcovado on an area of 52 hectares. In the centre is a charming mansion that once belonged to the family of industrialist Enrique Lage. The park and the palace acquired their modern appearance in 1920 thanks to the work of architect M. Vaudrelle. The exterior walls of the building are lined with Italian marble specially delivered from overseas, and the walls are decorated with works by Salvador Payals.
Open time
Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Arcos da Lapa | Aqueduto da Carioca

22395 reviews
The structure is located in the colourful suburb of Rio de Janeiro’s Santa Teresa district. The bridge was built right in the centre of the city in the early 18th century. The construction was supervised by Portuguese military engineers. It was assumed that the Carioca Aqueduct would be able to supply water to 3 settlements. The aqueduct was no longer used by the end of the XIX century, making it a bridge for urban transport. The aqueduct offers a rather picturesque view, which attracts many tourists.


100679 reviews
Brazil’s main stadium and the symbol of the “most footballing” country in the world. More than once Maracanã has become the arena for grand sporting events. In 2016, the opening and closing of the XXXI Summer Olympic Games took place here. The stadium was erected in the middle of the XX century. At that time, it was the largest football arena in the world. After the latest reconstruction, Maracana can accommodate up to 80 thousand spectators.


A group of urban slums that occupy an impressive part of Rio de Janeiro and cause a lot of trouble for the city authorities. In fact, Brazilian favelas are a whole world, a separate and independent subculture and a “state within a state”. The inhabitants of these neighbourhoods are practically autonomous. They pay almost no utility bills, and many of them are involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon

3613 reviews
A picturesque bay that is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a narrow canal. It is a popular holiday destination for city dwellers. Families and large companies often come to the lagoon. Unfortunately, the water in the bay is not characterised by purity, but you can safely use the developed infrastructure on the shore, go boating or play beach volleyball. Free sports halls and playgrounds are open on the territory of Rodrigo di Freitas.

Copacabana Beach

6749 reviews
The city beach of Rio de Janeiro, stretching for 4 kilometres along the coast. In the 50-60s, elite residential areas began to be built here, and the place became popular with European bohemians. Along the beach stretches the promenade Avenida Atlantica. Millions of Brazilians and tourists visit Copacabana every year, and many public holidays, including New Year’s Eve celebrations, take place on the beach.

Ipanema Beach

4112 reviews
Another famous beach in Rio de Janeiro, surrounded by upscale neighbourhoods. Ipanema neighbours Copacabana, but is considered safer than the latter as it is further away from the area of disadvantaged slums. Despite the large number of visitors, the water here is considered clean (depending on the season). Ipanema also has fewer ocean waves, so it is favoured by families with children and older people.

camarote carnaval

600 reviews
An annual celebration, a real extravaganza of colours, feelings, rhythm and all the joys of life. Brazilian Carnival has long been considered an intangible heritage of mankind. Thousands of professionals from different samba schools organise a procession on the sambodrome – a street with stands specially designed for such events. The dancers compete in skill, beauty of costumes and scale of decorations.
Open time
Monday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM