5 things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, also known as “Rio“, is for sure the most beautiful city in Brazil and this isn’t surprising. The city itself is surrounded by beautiful beaches, mountains and a lot of green areas which together with the modern buildings makes a perfect match. Check out these 5 tips of what to do in Rio 🙂

Climb the Escadaria Selarón (Saleron Steps)

Escadaria Selarón (Saleron Steps) in Rio de Janeiro

The world most famous steps, the “Saleron Steps” in “Lapa” suburb was made by a Chilen artist in tribute to the Brazilian people in 1990. In a country with colours are used in abundance, it wouldn’t be different in these steps. In an incredible mix of small pieces of tiles from urban construction waste (and further donations from all over the world), the steps have so many colours that once you see it you understand why Saleron was an artist. It is complety worth it climb them.

Watch the sunset at Praia de Ipanema (Ipanema Beach)

Sunset at Praia de Ipanema (Ipanema Beach) in Rio de Janeiro

Brazilians love to go to the beach. So don’t be scared if see a beach full of people and hard to find a spot to relax. But it’s understandable. Brazil (and Rio) has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, which with the warm ocean, makes this a preferable place to spend the day.
Ipanema beach is the kind of beach that you can: Go for a swim, relax on the sand or watch the most beautiful sunset in Rio. Everyday, hundreds of people meet there to watch and applaud this special moment.

Walk trough “Lapa” neighbourhood

Have you heard about “Cachaça”? Probably not. It is a popular alcoholic drink loved by everyone not only in Rio but in the whole country.
Lapa is a suburb where you can find the best “Cachaça”. And trust me, I have tried a lot. With many bars and alcohol stores, it’s not hard to come back a bit dizzy after a couple of hours there. And here is a tip: You can taste the options before buying it, so enjoy 🙂

But Lapa isn’t only about fun. That is a very import historical part of the city with old and amazing buildings and lots of street art to be discovered. So go for a walk trough the neighbourhood is more than recommended.

Hike the “Morro dois Irmaõs” (Two brothers hill)

Are you keen for some adventure? Well, if so, to get on the top of this hill and have the most incredible view of the city you’ll pass through a good one. Ride a motorcycle, cross a favela (Don’t worry, you’ll know more about it next), and hike uphill is everything you have to do. Easy, right? Follow the steps below of how to get there and enjoy!

How to get there:
Check out the map below to get the directions where you can take a “Motorcycle Taxi” to cross the “Vidigal Favela” and put you in the beginning of the trail. Once you find the stop, you will see a lot of them. Just ask the driver to bring you to the “Morro dois Irmãos” trail and he/she will know for sure where it is 😉

Visit “Favela do Vidigal” (Vidigal Favela)

Well, if you go to the “Morro dois Irmãos” (Two brothers hill) that I mentioned before, you’ll have to pass through this favela. But you might be asking yourself, what the hell is favela?!

Wikipedia says: “A favela (Portuguese pronunciation: [faˈvɛlɐ]), Portuguese for slum, is a low-income historically informal urban area in Brazil. The first favela, presently known as Providência in the center of Rio de Janeiro, appeared in the late 19th century, built by soldiers who had nowhere to live following the Canudos War. Some of the first settlements were called bairros africanos (African neighbourhoods). Over the years, many former enslaved Africans moved in.”

In other words, a ‘favela’ is just another suburb, but because it increases without control and with cheap houses, it became an informal urban area. There are a lot of ‘favelas’ in Brazil, especially in Rio, which some of them being really dangerous and not recommend to visit if you don’t know the place. Otherwise, most of them are “pacified” by the government with a local police and huge control, making these suburbs safe to live in.


That’s the case of the ‘Vidigal Favela’. If you’d like to discover Brazil deeper, it is a good opportunity to meet nice people, have good (and cheap) food and enjoy a nice atmosphere.

I hope you liked these tips. Share your experiences commenting down bellow the places you liked the most 🙂

Renato França

Graduated in Computer Science, travel, technology and nature lover. Left job, friends and family and started this journey in order to find myself.

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