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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Architecture

Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Architecture

Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

1. Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

Start your adventure with a pickup in the morning from hotels located in the South Zone and head towards your first stop at Christ the Redeemer.  Enjoy great jungle views in the minivan ride through the Tijuca Forest that surrounds the Corcovado Mountain. Reach the peak of the mountain and meet the statue of the Christ the Redeemer with its arms right open over the city. Admire the sweeping views and take breathtaking pictures. Head to a nice walk outside the Maracanã Stadium and find out more about the passion of the Brazilians for football. Learn about the samba tradition in Rio by visiting the Sambadrome, the place with the biggest Carnival parade on the planet. Marvel at the beautiful street art of the Selarón Steps, a gigantic mosaic work of the Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. He started dedicating himself to decorate the stairs in the early 90s. The 250 steps have become a monument and an icon of Rio. Stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro to revel at the biblical passages on the stained-glass inside it, following a stop for lunch in an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. With the batteries recharged, there is still one place left.  Head to Urca neighborhood and marvel at the beauty of the Sugarloaf Mountain and be amazed by the cable ride to the top. From 220 meters above sea level take in the breathtaking 360-degree view of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, the city of Niteroi, and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, Selaron & BBQ Lunch

2. Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, Selaron & BBQ Lunch

Discover the landmarks of Rio on a full-day guided tour, including pickup and drop off at hotels in Rio. Start with a visit to Corcovado Mountain. Ride by van to the top or board the train, both through the Tijuca Forest. Then, marvel at the main monument of Brazil, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, as you take in panoramic views of Rio. Next, head towards the mythical Maracanã football stadium and observe its imposing façade. Continue to the legendary Sambódromo where the annual Carnival parade takes place. Visit the modern Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, influenced by Mayan pyramids. Check out the brightly colored tiles of the world-famous Selarón Steps at Lapa, before enjoying a typical Brazilian steakhouse lunch. After lunch, visit Sugar Loaf. Take the cable car to the top in two stages and see one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Rio.

Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

3. Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

Begin your tour at Downtown (“Centro”), where you will get the tram (“bondinho”) to the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa. You will drive over the Arcos da Lapa, the aqueduct used to connect water from Santa Teresa to Downtown and one of Rio’s most traditional postcards. At Santa Teresa, you will experience an interesting local atmosphere. Walk through the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, a bucolic area in Rio de Janeiro. Located on a hillside, Santa Teresa has become a district of cultural interest because of its architectural value and prime location, famous for its winding, narrow cobblestone streets and a favourite spot for artists and tourists. A flair similar to Montmartre, in Paris. You will visit the Ruins Park, a public park with an art gallery built around the ruins of a mansion. Take a minute to enjoy the city’s landscape, in particular the Downtown area and the Sugarloaf Mountain. Up next, you will walk down the colorful Selarón Steps, one of Rio’s landmarks, and arrive at the district of Lapa, the zone with the most traditional nightlife. Take a stroll in the Passeio Público, the oldest public park in South America, to reach Cinelândia, a lively spot in Rio thanks to its bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Among many remarkable constructions in the area, you will notice the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro’s most traditional theatre and opera house, as well as the Biblioteca Nacional, Brazil’s most important library. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo, a permanent member of all must-see cafés rankings around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decoration with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks – such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’) – or desserts – such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in what was one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Rio: Olympic Boulevard, Museum of Tomorrow & History Tour

4. Rio: Olympic Boulevard, Museum of Tomorrow & History Tour

Begin your tour by being picked up from your hotel and discover the many hidden gems in Rio’s Downtown area with a tour guide. Start at the Valongo Wharf (the latest Unesco World Heritage site in the city) and learn more about the African influence in Brazil. Then head to the Kobra Mural — one of the largest graffiti walls in the world — created by the Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, to admire the five ethnic groups portrayed in a colorful geometric background. After a few pictures, you will walk along the Olympic Boulevard towards the Museum of Tomorrow. This is a modern and technological science museum dedicated to exploring and questioning all the possibilities for constructing the future of the planet and mankind. Discover its remarkable architecture, and pay a visit to the most visited museum in Brazil. After exploring the future, travel to the past in the Monastery of Saint Benedict, where you will experience the contrast of the simple façade, with the interior covered with golden ornaments, a heritage from the Baroque period. Before heading towards the historical streets of Rio, you will see the Rio 2016 Olympic Cauldron created by the American artist Anthony Howe. You will notice the reflective-kinetic-sphered-structure is a reminder of the Games. At the Praça XV, you will see one of the former headquarters of the Brazilian empire and learn more about important facts of Brazilian history that happened in the area. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo (closed on Sundays), one of the “must-see cafés” from around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decorated with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’), or desserts such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th century.

Rio: Boat Tour of Guanabara Bay

5. Rio: Boat Tour of Guanabara Bay

Get a new perspective of Rio on a catamaran tour, on which you'll check out all the bright spots while exploring stunning Guanabara Bay. Your tour begins at Marina da Gloria, boarding a modern and well-equipped catamaran. Depart in the direction of the Museum of Tomorrow, one of the architectural icons of Porto Maravilha, Rio's port region. On the way, get a look at amazing Villegagnon Island, Santos Dumont Airport, Fiscal Island, and the Arsenal of the Navy. Continue towards Niterói, passing beautiful Rio-Niterói Bridge and the famous Concha Acústica (Acoustic Shell) before heading to the MAC, the Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Be enchanted by its unique disc shape. Before returning to Rio de Janeiro, get to know other remarkable sights that surround the shores of Guanabara Bay, such as Adão and Eva Beaches, Santa Cruz Fortress, Lage Fortress,São José Fortress, and São João Fortress. Take in views of the famous Sugarloaf, where you'll have a few minutes to take pictures of the mountain from the catamaran. Before returning to Marina da Gloria, you'll pass the old Urca Casino and Flamengo Beach.

Rio: City Sights Tour with Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf

6. Rio: City Sights Tour with Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf

Embark on a guided tour of Rio and see important highlights, including Christ The Redeemer and Selaron Steps. Ride a cable car to Sugar Loaf and take in the sunset views overlooking Copacabana Beach. Begin your tour with a visit to the Corcovado Mountain. After a 20-minute drive to the base of the statue of Christ the Redeemer through the Tijuca Forest, enjoy a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding landscape. This 710-meter-tall (about 2,330 feet) statue is Brazil's main monument and a World Heritage Site. Next, head towards the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro and Selarón Stairs before reaching Sugar Loaf by sunset. Located in the Urca neighborhood, it is one of Rio's icons. Board a cable car and ride to the Urca Mount station before continuing on in a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf. At the top, enjoy the beautiful and panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro. Enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world while overlooking the Copacabana Beach from the top of Sugar Loaf.

Rio de Janeiro: 30 or 60-Minute Highlights Helicopter Tour

7. Rio de Janeiro: 30 or 60-Minute Highlights Helicopter Tour

For the 30-minute helicopter sightseeing flight, experience the spectacular sights of Rio de Janeiro from the sky. As you take off from the airport located near the Olympic center, head upwards and fly towards the shores of Barra da Tijuca. The captain will take you along the shoreline over Rio’s fabulous beaches of Barra da Tijuca, Joatinga, São Conrado, Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana.  Next, see highlights of the city, which include Sugarloaf Mountain and the impressive Christ the Redeemer statue, standing atop Corcovado Mountain. Enjoy plenty of opportunities to take unique photos while hovering in the sky. Alternatively, upgrade your tour to the 60-minute tour, which is the same as the 30-minute tour but also includes flying over the Modern Museum of Art of Niterói, Santos Dumont Airport, Downtown Rio, Maracanã Stadium, Tijuca Forest, and more. Book your flight during the day, at sunset or in the evening up until 8 PM..

Rio de Janeiro: Private Sunrise Tour at Mirante Dona Marta

8. Rio de Janeiro: Private Sunrise Tour at Mirante Dona Marta

Located 360 meters above the sea, Mirante Dona Marta is the perfect spot to see the sunrise. Enjoy the sunrise from an incredible viewpoint which gives you views of Sugarloaf Mountain and the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. Depart from your hotel at around 5:00 AM, so you can get there in time to see the first lights of dawn. The tour takes around 2.5 hours so you should be back at your hotel at around 7:30 AM, in time to do other activities or tours. You can choose for a photographer to join you to register this incredible moment. That way you don't need to worry about cameras, just pose for pictures and enjoy the experience. 

Rio de Janeiro: Full-Day City Tour with Optional Tickets

9. Rio de Janeiro: Full-Day City Tour with Optional Tickets

Make the most of your time in Rio de Janeiro with an 8-hour city tour. Throughout the duration of this experience, you'll discover the city's most iconic attractions whilst enjoying the company of a bilingual local guide.Enjoy a lively day filled with popular attractions such as the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Maracanã Stadium (outside), the Selarón Staircase, and the historical downtown district. You'll also encounter both the Sugar Loaf and Corcovado mountains, along with the Christ the Redeemer Statue and other sights.Later, discover the bohemian Santa Teresa neighborhood, which is home to a collection of local boutiques and galleries. The tour follows a set itinerary for people of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities seeking to discover the beauties of the city in the company of an expert guide.

Rio de Janeiro: Downtown Walking Tour

10. Rio de Janeiro: Downtown Walking Tour

Depart from the meeting point we go to Downtown Rio de Janeiro. The historic center of Rio de Janeiro is surrounded by centuries-old roads and buildings that show important periods in Brazilian history, from the time of the monarchy up to Brazil becoming a republic. Delve into 500 years of Brazilian history with a visit to the XV de Novembro Square. Admire the architecture of ALERJ building, Paço Imperial, and do Carmo Convent. Walk past the dos Teles Arch and see its winding alleyways. Follow your tour guide to Candelária Church and learn about its importance to the city. Then, discover hidden treasures in the architecture of the Brazil Bank Cultural Center, or as locals call "CCBB". Admire the contrast between old and modern by walking down the street to Cinelandia Square. Explore political and cultural buildings in the area, such as Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, National Library of Brazil, National Museum of Fine Arts, and City Council of Rio de Janeiro. Revel at the architecture of Colombo's Bakery, one of the main landmarks of the city's, and have a snack. Finish your tour at a subway station in Downtown Rio, and choose to return to your hotel or continue exploring the region on your own.

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Frequently asked questions about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Petrópolis

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 85 reviews

Great tour guide and excellent driver made the experience tailored to our wishes and very comfortable for us. Also the guidelines given ahead of time made sure we could manage through efficiently long lines eventually.

The flight was very nice. The pilot is very profesional and careful. The agency request you must be 30 minutes before the flight. We don’t know why if they put you on the air 2 hours late.

The tour was excellent. Our guide Geasa was absolutely friendly, on time and helpful. The places was great.

Súper recomendado este tour. Puedes conocer varios puntos turísticos de Rio en un solo día.

It was what we expected. Really nice staff and you can buy a few drinks at the boat bar.