See and Do in Rio de Janeiro

Expats living in the Marvellous City will find that there is plenty to see and do in Rio de Janeiro. The city's abundance of natural splendours and man-made wonders puts expats in a perfect position to enjoy all sorts of attractions – from beaches and restaurants to mountains and iconic statues.

Christ the Redeemer

Undoubtedly one of Brazil's most famous landmarks, the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer was proclaimed one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Thanks to the statue's mountain-top position, its silhouette can be seen throughout most of the city. Nevertheless, it's well worth the trip up Corcovado Mountain to experience the true scale of this awe-inspiring statue.

Sugarloaf Mountain

The magnificent panoramic views from atop Sugarloaf Mountain are unrivalled. The mountain's name comes from its distinct shape's resemblance to the upside-down cone shape of concentrated refined sugar. Glass-walled cablecars transport visitors to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain every 20 minutes and although the ascent takes just three minutes, the cablecar ride alone affords gorgeous views of the city.

Copacabana and Ipanema​

These two beaches have an unusual link in that they've both been immortalised in hit songs: 'Copacabana (At The Copa)' by Barry Manilow in 1978, and 'The Girl From Ipanema', a bossa nova jazz classic first released in 1964. The two beaches are also in adjacent areas, although they have slightly different atmospheres.

Copacabana Beach is one of the world's most famous and most beautiful beaches. A promenade runs alongside the glittering white sand and is lined with restaurants, bars and nightclubs waiting to be explored. There is also an annual New Year's Eve party which promises a spectacular night of fireworks and concerts.

Meanwhile, Ipanema is the place to see and be seen and is well-known as a playground for the rich and famous. One of the wealthiest areas in all of Rio, the beach of Ipanema is an excellent spot for surfing and lounging in the sun.

National Museum of Brazil​

With nearly half a million items in its collection, the National Museum of Brazil is a treasure trove for history junkies and casual visitors alike. There is something to fascinate everyone in the sprawling museum, making it an ideal destination for a family outing. Most of the museum is made up of permanent exhibitions but there are also temporary installations, so the museum is worth visiting more than once.

Maracanã Stadium​

The Maracanã Stadium has a capacity of nearly 80,000 and is one of the best ways to experience the Brazilian 'football mad' sports culture. Local football teams regularly play matches at this stadium and it has also played host to worldwide events, including Olympic and FIFA World Cup events.

Escadaria Selarón​

Also known as the Selarón Steps, this staircase of over 200 steps is covered in tiles, mirrors and ceramics of blue, green and yellow to create a mosaic effect. Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón created the mosaic and considered it his tribute to the Brazilian people. The steps were truly a labour of love as Selarón was often unable to cover his own living costs, spending his money on materials instead. It took Selarón more than two decades to complete.

Jardim Botânico​

Rio's botanical gardens are a refreshing respite from bustling city life. Nature lovers will enjoy being in amongst the thousands of different species of plants and trees in the garden. There are also 140 species of birds, most of which are used to humans and can be observed at close range.

Search Expat Arrivals

Become our local expat expert for your area!

Become our local expat expert for your area! We are looking for contributors to help make this the ultimate guide for expats. Get in touch if you can provide useful info on your city or answer forum questions from new expats.
Find out more.

Got a question about your new country?

Login with your Facebook account (Recommended)
, after login or registration your account will be connected.