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What to do in Rio de Janeiro: places and things to do!

Read this article and find out all the places to visit and the activities you can do during your stay in Rio de Janeiro.


June 14, 2023

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Rio de Janeiro is an emblematic destination that offers many fascinating experiences. From its beautiful beaches to its vibrant nightlife and culture, this city has something for everyone’s taste. In this article, we will show you the best places, exciting plans, attractions you can’t miss, and everything you can do in Rio de Janeiro. Also, we are going to tell you how you can connect to the internet in Brazil with the new eSIM card for Rio de Janeiro and avoid the expensive rates of international roaming.

Let’s begin!

Find out more about how to connect to the internet in Brazil! Just Scan the QR code

What to see and do in Rio de Janeiro?

In this city, each season of the year offers a unique experience. In summer, the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema become the epicenter of fun, with beach parties and sporting events. Walking through the Tijuca National Park is also an excellent option to enjoy the tropical forests.

During fall, the city is bathed in warm and soft colors, making it perfect for visiting iconic places such as Christ the Redeemer and the Sugar Loaf. Winter in Rio de Janeiro offers mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making it an ideal time to explore the city’s museums and art galleries, such as the Museum of Modern Art. In spring, the gardens and parks are in bloom, and it is recommended to walk through the Brazilian Botanical Gardens.

Nonetheless, no matter what time of year, it is very important to stay connected to make the most of your trip. A great way to connect to the internet is with a Holafly eSIM card with unlimited data for Rio de Janeiro.

You may be interested in the best places to travel in May.

1. Best beaches in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is renowned for its wonderful golden sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. There is so much to do in this place, from relaxing under the sun to exciting water sports.

Best beaches in Brazil
Find out all the activities you can do on Brazilian beaches. Source:

Copacabana Beach

Located on the south coast of the city, Copacabana is one of the most emblematic beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Its 4 kilometers of extension are surrounded by restaurants, bars, and hotels. You can swim and sunbathe on its sands and also enjoy water activities such as surfing and paddleboarding. Do not miss the opportunity to take a walk along the iconic black and white mosaic promenade known as ‘calçadão’.

Ipanema beach

Right next to Copacabana is Ipanema Beach, famous for its elegance and sophisticated atmosphere. Here you will find a combination of crystal-clear waters, beautiful views, and vibrant beach bars along the shore. Ipanema is also known for its great waves, which makes it an ideal destination for surfers. Be sure to walk down Visconde de Pirajá Avenue, where you will find trendy shops and trendy restaurants.

Praia Vermelha

Located at the foot of the Sugar Loaf, Praia Vermelha is a hidden gem in Rio de Janeiro. Its name, which means ‘red beach’, comes from the reddish tone of its sand. Here you can enjoy the sun and the sea, you can take the cable car to the top of the Sugar Loaf to enjoy impressive panoramic views of the city. The beach is also an excellent starting point for exploring the Parque Natural Municipal da Catacumba, which offers hiking trails and outdoor activities.

Grumari Beach

If you are looking for a quieter place, Grumari is the perfect choice. Located in an environmental reserve, this virgin beach offers impressive landscapes and a relaxed atmosphere. Here you will find crystal clear waters, white sand, and extensive tropical vegetation. Grumari is perfect for those who want to escape the urban hustle and bustle and enjoy nature. It is also a popular spot for surfing and hiking.

Each of these beaches has its personality and offers different experiences to visitors. Whether you are looking for the lively atmosphere of Copacabana, the elegance of Ipanema, the natural beauty of Praia Vermelha, or the tranquility of Grumari, Rio de Janeiro, has a beach for everyone’s taste, so share your best moments connected to the Internet in Brazil.

2. Museums to visit in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has a rich history and breathtaking art, and you can find all of them in its museums. From contemporary art to historical exhibits, each museum offers a unique experience. Here are some of the best museums to explore in Rio de Janeiro.

Museums in Rio de Janeiro
Museums are such a great plan in Rio de Janeiro. Source: The Wynwood Walls.

Museum of Modern Art (MAM)

The Museum of Modern Art (MAM) is located in the beautiful Parque Flamengo, next to Guanabara Bay. This museum houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary Brazilian art. Its exhibitions include paintings, sculptures, photography, and multimedia art. The MAM also offers temporary exhibitions and cultural events.


  • Adults: 3 USD
  • Children (0-11 years): Free


  • Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

National History Museum

The National History Museum, located in the São Cristóvão neighborhood, is the oldest and largest museum in Brazil dedicated to natural and cultural history. It houses a vast collection that includes indigenous artifacts, fossils, Egyptian mummies, and more. The building itself is impressive as it is the former royal palace of the Brazilian royal family.


  • Adults: $2.5
  • Students and children: Free


  • Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm

Museum of Contemporary Art of Niterói

Located in the city of Niterói, near Rio de Janeiro, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) is known for its avant-garde architecture and panoramic views. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the flying saucer-shaped building houses a collection of contemporary Brazilian and foreign art. Visitors can also enjoy the impressive views of the Guanabara Bay.


  • Adults: $4
  • Youth (0 to 18 years old): Free


  • Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Museum of Tomorrow

The Museum of Tomorrow, located in the port region of Rio de Janeiro, is an interactive science museum that explores the challenges and possibilities for humanity in the future. Using advanced technology, multimedia exhibits, and engaging narratives, the museum addresses topics such as climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. General admission costs R$30, and the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


  • Adults: $6
  • Children: 1 USD


  • Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm

We recommend you explore traveling apps to discover more plans in Rio de Janeiro.

3. Places to visit in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is a city full of wonderful places that offer unforgettable experiences. From breathtaking panoramic views to iconic monuments, each location has its charm. Here are some of the best places to explore in Rio de Janeiro.

Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer, one of the most famous icons in Rio de Janeiro. Source: Pexels.

Christ the Redeemer

On top of Corcovado Hill, Christ the Redeemer is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most recognizable icons. This 38-meter-tall statue offers impressive panoramic views of the city. You can get to Christ the Redeemer by train taking the Corcovado Railway or by minibus. Once there, you can admire the statue, enjoy the views, and explore the surrounding nature trails. The entrance to the monument has a cost of around $6.

Escadaria Selarón

Located in the colorful neighborhood of Santa Teresa, the Escadaria Selarón is a unique work of art. Created by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón, this staircase is a colorful combination of tiles and ceramics from different parts of the world. It is a perfect place to take spectacular photos and admire the street art. You can get to Escadaria Selarón by taxi or by using Rio’s public transportation system. Admission is free.

Santa Marta neighborhood

The colorful neighborhood of Santa Marta, located in the southern area of Rio de Janeiro, is known for its vibrant murals and welcoming community. It is an ideal place to explore the local culture, interact with the residents and learn about the history of the neighborhood. Here, you can enjoy remarkable panoramic views of the city. The visit to the Santa Marta neighborhood is free, but it is recommended to do it with a local guide for a better experience.

4. Activities to do in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro offers a wide range of exciting activities that will let you enjoy your vacation. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there is something for everyone’s taste. Find some of the best activities to enjoy in Rio de Janeiro below.

Surf in Rio de Janeiro
Activities to do in Rio de Janeiro. Source: Pexels.

Surfing on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro

The beaches of Rio de Janeiro are known for their perfect waves, which makes them a great place for surfers. Places like Arpoador Beach and Prainha Beach offer excellent conditions to practice this water sport. You can rent a surfboard from the shops near the beaches or join a surf lesson with local instructors. Prices vary depending on the duration of the class or the rental of the board.

Hiking in Tijuca National Park

Tijuca National Park is a true natural jewel in the heart of the city. It offers numerous hiking trails that let you discover the vegetation, waterfalls, and panoramic views. One of the most popular routes is the climb to Pico da Tijuca, the highest mountain in the park. This activity allows you to be in direct contact with nature and enjoy wonderful views of Rio de Janeiro. Admission to the park is free, but some routes may require a guide or a special permit.

Samba classes in Lapa

Samba is a fundamental part of Brazilian culture, and in the Lapa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, you can immerse yourself in this beautiful rhythm. Several bars and clubs offer samba classes for all levels, where you will learn the basic steps and enjoy live music. You will also be able to enjoy the lively nightlife of Lapa and share your best moments on social networks. The prices of the classes vary depending on the place and the duration of the class.

Cable car ride to Pão de Açúcar

A cable car rides up to the famous Pão de Açúcar is an unmissable activity in Rio de Janeiro. The cable car takes you along two sections, offering spectacular views of the city, the beaches, and the Guanabara Bay. Once you get to the top, you will be able to enjoy an impressive landscape and take unforgettable pictures. The price of the cable car varies depending on the season and whether it includes any other ride or additional activity.

Recommendations to travel to Rio de Janeiro

During your stay in Rio de Janeiro, make sure to pack comfortable clothing and shoes, especially if you are planning to explore the beaches, go on excursions, or walk around the city. The tropical climate can be hot and humid, so it’s important to wear light clothing and sun protection. Also, don’t forget to bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated during your adventures.

It is also very important to connect to the internet during your stay, so, a great option is to buy a Holafly eSIM card for Rio de Janeiro, which provides you with wireless data coverage in all of Brazil. With the Holafly eSIM card, you can be connected all the time wherever you are, and share your best moments on social media without having to look for WiFi networks.

Also, remember to take safety precautions during your visit to Rio de Janeiro. Avoid carrying unnecessary valuables and keep your belongings safe all the time. It is always advisable to consult the locals or your accommodation about the safe areas and the most suitable times to visit certain places.