In a previous post, we have covered some of the best attractions in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. The city has plenty to offer for visitors, which makes it impossible to cover the best spots in a single weekend or post.
We have selected some of the most worthwhile activities in the city, as well as some that are not so worthy of your time. Get your pen and paper out, because we are not done exploring.
Rent a wonderful bike ride
There are 19 rental bike spots in the city of Rio, and this is one of the easiest and most pleasant ways to experience all the postcard worthy sceneries in the city. You can rent a bike in different locations such as Lagoa, Copacabana, Leme, Gávea, Ipanema or Leblon. To rent a bike is simple! You just need to head to the nearest location and call the number +55(21) 3005-4316 to rent a bike for as little as R$10,00 or check this website for more options.
Experience Favela Santa Marta
You can experience the lifestyle of the community of Santa Marta, a favela that became a landmark in the city, visited by many tourists and celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Madonna.
Jeep Tour Rio de Janeiro provides a guided tour through the first pacified favela in the city, followed by a visit to the statue of Michael Jackson at the top, with a breathtaking view of the city. Contrary to the image people have of favelas, Santa Marta is a safe place to visit since the government has invested in pacifying units and social projects, bringing peace and attractiveness to the community. If you would like a sneak peak of Santa Marta, check Michael Jackson’s “They don’t care about us” video.
Tracking at Floresta da Tijuca
The beauty of Rio de Janeiro is mainly due to its endless natural wonders, and Cariocas are very keen on maintaining their bond with nature. Join locals on a track through Floresta da Tijuca, the third largest urban natural reserve in the country, for an experience filled with dense vegetation, hills, tracks, caves etc. The best way to recharge from the chaotic city life.
Carnival all year long
Can’t you book a vacation during the carnival season? Do not weep! Cidade do Samba or ‘City of Samba’ is where most of the Samba schools’ warehouses are located. You can get a close view of all the elaborate floats and costumes, and on Thursday nights you can experience great spectacles for a little taste of Carnival.
Discover Brazilian Music
Toca do Vinicius
Rua Vinícius de Moraes, 129 – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22411-010, Brazil
At Toca do Vinicius, you can find everything there is to know about Bossa Nova. Books, CD’s, vinyls, LP’s and objects all dedicated to this all Brazilian music genre. Located in Ipanema, the place also hosts amazing live concerts a Sunday per month, in the Vinicius de Moraes street.
Watch the sunset at the Arpoador
This traditional rocky peninsula has a great view of the Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. You can also take a seat, relax and have the best sunset view in the city.
What to avoid while in Rio
Center during the night: This area is not recommendable during the evening, as even locals report it to be pretty unsafe. If you are visiting Lapa (which is in the center), make sure to have a local tag along or completely avoid deserted streets.
Dishonest taxi drivers: Make sure that the taxi you are entering is registered, research about average fees to your destination and also make sure to agree on a fee before entering the cab. In case none of this work, make sure to watch the taximeter and the amount you are handing vigilantly.
Restaurants during Sunday lunch: Locals usually pack their local restaurants for family lunches on Sunday and it could be quite a hassle to find a table available.
Valuable Objects: If you do not want to lose your valuables, leave them at your hotel room. Also only bring the amount of money needed for your daily activities, it is never a wise idea to flaunt jewelry or expensive objects while walking around the city.
Dirty beaches: Make sure to check the local newspapers and internet if the beach you are going is proper for swimming. Beaches like Barra de Guaratiba, Quebra-mar until Pepê, Pepino, São Conrado, Leblon, Diabo, Urca, Botafogo e Flamengo are on the list of no swimming beaches.
Touristic Prices: Make sure to research and compare the price you are paying for something, specially on the beach.
Crowded Touristic attractions: Not that there is any problems visiting the iconic landmarks of the city, but make sure to avoid or visit them early in the morning or late in the afternoon as it can get insanely crowded during rush hour.
Furthermore, just enjoy your time in Rio! A lot can also be found by walking around the art and culture filled streets or just by asking a friendly local.
We hope you have a wonderful time in Rio! In case you have more tips, please leave them in the comments below.