Nine things you must do next time you’re in Rio de Janeiro - Mundana



Rio de Janeiro is neither Brazil’s largest urban area – São Paulo’s bigger – nor its capital. But there’s something about this coastal city that gives it an enduring popularity. Want to see for yourself? Let Mundana recommend nine things you must do next time you’re in Rio de Janeiro and find out.


Go to the carnival

Rio’s carnival is legendary. This world famous street party traces its history back to the 17th century but is as popular today as it ever was. It takes place over six days, starting the Friday before Lent and continuing until Ash Wednesday. In between, its alleys and avenues are awash with people. Musicians and dancers in sequins and feathers parade through the streets to an infectious samba beat. They converge on the 90000-seater Sambadrome for a riotous finale which might just be the most colourful thing you’ve seen in your life. If you can’t be here in February, check out Mangueira’s Palacio de Samba which hosts events throughout the year.

Experience the legacy of the Olympics

You’ll probably remember that Rio hosted the 2016 Olympics Games. One of the enduring legacies of that event is the Museum of Tomorrow. Its fascinating collection is housed in a futuristic building that’s utterly suitable for its subject matter. From climate change to technological innovation, the exhibits tackle all aspects of science. Architecturally, the building is a must-see too. Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava designed it to resemble the bromeliads you’ll find in the city’s botanical garden.

Ride the funicular up to Christ the Redeemer

Pixabay/Charles Mackay

The iconic symbol of Cristo Redentor is Rio de Janeiro’s most famous landmark and one of the modern Wonders of the World. You can see the white figure of Christ from across the city, thanks to its hilltop location. Though it’s possible to hike up there, most visitors won’t relish the tough three hour climb it involves. Hop on the funicular instead. The Trem do Corcovado makes light work of the gradient and promises spectacular views along the way. Remember to pick a clear day for your visit; when the cloud rolls in you might not even see the statue, let alone the view.

Wander through the botanical garden

Rio’s Jardim Botânico provides a delightful escape from the noise and chaos of the city. Laid out in 1808, this 140 hectare site is crammed full of plants, flowers and trees. In fact, there are more than 9000 species – too many to see in one go, of course. Instead, seek out the highlights. Shady palm trees, dainty orchids and Amazonian lily ponds are just three of the crowd-pleasers. The place is also a haven for wildlife – you might spot sloths, tortoises and toucans as you amble round.

Chill out at the beach


Brazil’s long coastline means there’s no shortage of beaches. Rio’s no exception. Its best strips of sand include Leme, Ipanema and Leblon. If you’re keen to find somewhere less crowded, try Prainha. On a weekend it’s a surfers’ favourite but it’s usually much quieter in the week. Regardless, be sure to tick off the headliner: Copacabana. This is the place not only to come and sunbathe, but also to play beach volleyball or football. Vendors ply snacks and drinks, so grab a chilled Caipirinha and make a toast to sunshine and sand.

Board the cable car to Sugar Loaf Mountain

This dome-topped mountain, which the Cariocas call Pão de Açúcar, is one of Rio’s most recognisable sights. That absolutely makes it one of the things you must do next time you’re in Rio. Visitors reach the top of this 596 metre high landform in two stages. First, hop on the cable car to Urca Hill and then board a second to finish the journey. As you ascend, the forested slopes beneath, not to mention the skyscraper-backed beaches of its fabulous shoreline, make this an essential activity to tick off while you’re in the city. Come up just before sunset and watch the city’s lights come on.

Enjoy a thrilling adventure

Pixabay/Nuno Lopes

How does hang-gliding over Rio’s Atlantic beaches, hurtling down steep trails on a mountain bike or rock climbing on Sugar Loaf Mountain sound? Rio’s one of Brazil’s most thrilling urban adventure playgrounds and offers a plethora of fun opportunities for thrill-seekers. Get the adrenaline pumping with your pick of the city’s extreme sports. Always choose a reputable agency with qualified guides to make sure you’re in safe hands for your alternative tour of the city. But if you’re brave enough, it’s one of the things you must do next time you’re in Rio.

Tour an architect-designed home

When you tour the splendid Casa das Canoas, you’ll be visiting an architect-designed home. But this house in Rio de Janeiro, constructed in the 1950s, isn’t just anyone’s house: it was the family home of Brazil’s most lauded architect, Oscar Niemeyer. He created Brasilia’s original plane-shaped layout as well as its visually-stunning cathedral. Other award-winning buildings include a museum in Curitiba nicknamed the Niemeyer Eye, Edificio Copan in São Paulo and Belo Horizonte’s Church of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Browse the Feira Livre da Glória Market

Rio’s vibrant Feira Livre da Glória Market is the ideal place to come if you’re a committed foodie. All sorts of local fruits, vegetables and other produce are sold here. Even if you don’t plan to buy, it’s worth coming simply to watch the goings on. It’s one of the things you must do next time you’re in Rio. Come in the morning if you plan to indulge in a breakfast of meat or cheese-stuffed pastries washed down with a glass of sugar cane juice.

Mundana’s expert team can weave together the activities and sights you’re keen to include on your Rio de Janeiro itinerary. We can also suggest our favourite hotels, many of which are oceanfront properties such as the historic Copacabana Palace. Why not get in touch today and get the ball rolling?


Nine things you must do next time you’re in Rio de Janeiro

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