Copacabana and the other beaches of Rio de JaneiroThe best ambassadors of Brazil are probably still the magnificent beaches of Rio de Janeiro. For decades, the fine sands of these immense seafronts, with the nearby mountains towering above them, have attracted locals and visitors alike, who come to relax in their warm waters. It is a ritual, when visiting Rio, to lay out your towel on the iconic beach of Copacabana. In this crossroads of Brazilian culture, where you’ll find joggers, bodybuilders, senior citizens and lively young families alike, the country’s most famous stretch of sand offers 4 kilometres of sunshine, sea air, beach volleyball and caïpirinha stands.
Quieter than Copacabana, Praia de Vermelha holds a special place in the hearts of locals due to its location near Sugarloaf Mountain. Swimming in the sea with the mountain as a backdrop and fresh fruit sellers all around you is as quintessentially Brazilian an experience as you can get. And you can find it at Ipanema, Rio’s cleanest and most upscale beach.Sugarloaf Mountain and Corcovado: symbols of mythical BrazilOverlooking the city from an altitude of 710 metres, Corcovado, which means “hunchback”, is certainly the most famous hill in Brazil. Much more than a simple granite mountain in the midst of Tijuca Forest, Corcovado and its Cristo Redentor, the monumental statue of Christ, are an integral part of Brazil’s cultural heritage. Thanks to its east-west orientation, this hilltop is a perfect place for a morning walk or a romantic sunset stroll.
Another of the country’s vertical symbols is Sugarloaf Mountain. This granite peak, which towers 396 metres over Copacabana Beach and the Urca neighbourhood, can be reached by way of a cable car that takes you to its summit. From there, you’ll have an unforgettable panoramic view of the Cristo Redentor, Guanabara Bay and the city of Rio itself.Rio de Janeiro: a land of football and many talented playersMuch more than a simple sport, football is a true passion in Brazil and the city of Rio. Here, you will find people playing futebol on the beaches and in the public parks. To learn more about this popular national pastime, you can head to the Museu Seleção Brasileira. Football lovers can learn everything there is to know about the glorious history of Brazilian football in this institution dedicated to the Brazilian national team. It is a very modern, interactive museum where you can learn about the origins of football and the Brazilian game through interactive exhibits, reproductions of jerseys and balls, and even trophies.
The natural next step of your football tour is a visit to the legendary Maracanã stadium, which used to hold up to nearly 200,000 spectators. You can spend an evening in the friendly, electric ambiance of a Rio derby, where you can watch two of the city’s teams face off against one another.Lapa and Santa Teresa: romantic and carefreeIn Rio de Janeiro, you’ll discover the city’s way of life over the course of your stay. For a taste of the city’s relaxed ambiance, stroll through the typical roads of the Lapa neighbourhood in Centro. When night falls, music seems to fill the air in this area, and in no time at all you will find yourself sampling a lemony cachaça and dancing the samba.
For a more bohemian, romantic ambiance, Santa Teresa gives visitors a glimpse into Rio’s authentic side. It is a popular neighbourhood filled with vegetation and upscale, expertly-renovated houses. Spend an afternoon in this area, which fiercely protects Rio de Janeiro’s artistic soul.
Rio de Janeiro can be a dream destination. To see past the idyllic beaches where locals tend to gather, take the time to discover more authentic neighbourhoods like Santa Teresa and Botafogo, against the majestic backdrop of Sugarloaf Mountain.
For information on all your tourism needs, such as visas, healthcare and useful numbers, make sure to read our Practical Information guide before you go on holiday.Discover our practical information