Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro
Visible from every corner of the city, the Christ the Redeemer statue is an iconic attraction in Rio.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

9 Attractions in Rio de Janeiro That Will Make You Come Alive

Immerse Yourself in This Vivid & Intoxicating City

Rio is alive. Dramas worthy of the silver screen unfold daily against a backdrop of improbably beautiful mountains and sea. Roars from football matches, the rich beat of samba and unrestrained laughter from people who know how to live life — these are the sounds that characterize this beguiling city.

Rio isn’t the kind of city you stop by on your way to somewhere else — it is the destination. There’s a reason why it’s such a booming locale for medical tourism — you simply can’t help but indulge in the myriad of attractions while you’re there.

You could easily spend weeks here, alternating between steamy rainforests and golden beaches by day, and hip-hop joints and street parties by night. No matter how you spend your time, you should make sure you tick off this essential list of things to do in Rio.

Cristo Redentor/Christ the Redeemer

Standing 125 feet tall and weighing in at 1,145 tons, Christ the Redeemer cuts an impressive figure. Mounted high on Corcovado mountain, the statue is visible from nearly every corner of the city. Unsurprisingly, the monument has become an icon and one of the greatest Rio de Janeiro attractions.

Built between 1922 and 1931, the statue initially represented Brazilian Christianity, but the wide open arms also reflect the welcoming nature of Brazilians.

Copacabana beach in Rio de JaneiroBask in natural beauty and a lively atmosphere on Copacabana Beach. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Copacabana Beach

If you ever find yourself wondering what to do in Rio de Janeiro, you can always hit the beach. Copacabana is the most famous, located in the luxurious Zona Sul neighborhood. Along the edge of the powdery sands you’ll find plenty of places to score authentic Brazilian food, lavish hotels where you can splurge on a night or two of sea views and the mosaic-tiled Avenida Atlantica.

On the beach itself, throw down a towel and settle in for some people watching. Spontaneous soccer games, bustling caipirinha kiosks and a mass of tanned bodies make this an entertaining place to spend the day.

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A waterfall in tijuca national park rio de janeiroIn Tijuca National Park you'll stumble across countless scenes of stunning natural beauty. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Parque Nacional de Tijuca/Tijuca National Park

The last remaining patch of rainforest that once surrounded Rio de Janeiro, the Tijuca is a wonderfully green escape from the city and an urban hiking novelty. An excellent network of trails will lead you between mountainous peaks, through wild jungle and to pretty creeks and waterfalls.

Keep an eye out for iguanas, monkeys and birds along the way. You can bring a packed lunch to enjoy at one of the lovely picnic spots within the park, or stop by one of the restaurants conveniently available.

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