When to visit

Rio’s climate is subtropical, and the weather is warm year-round, getting particularly hot and humid from Nov–Mar. Peak travel season is summer (Dec–Jan) as well as during Carnaval (Feb/Mar, varies by year).

MonthHigh/Low
December

January

February

31° / 23°

32° / 24°

33° / 24°

Top spots

1- Carioca Aqueduct

About: The Carioca Aqueduct is an aqueduct in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The aqueduct was built in the middle of the 18th century to bring fresh water from the Carioca River to the population of the city. It is an impressive example of colonial architecture and engineering. The Carioca Aqueduct is located in the centre of the city, in the Lapa neighbourhood, and is frequently called Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Arches) by Brazilian people. Since the end of the 19th century the aqueduct serves as a bridge for a popular tram that connects the city centre with the Santa Teresa neighbourhood uphill, the Santa Teresa Tramway.

Address: Lapa, Rio de Janeiro – State of Rio de Janeiro, 20031-040, Brazil

2- Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

 

About:Famed for its crescent-shaped beach, Copacabana is one of Rio’s liveliest neighborhoods, drawing a cross-section of locals and visitors to round-the-clock activity along its sands and mosaic-tiled promenade. Amid the high-rises overlooking the beach are the art deco Copacabana Palace hotel and imposing Copacabana Fort, home to a military museum. Inland, laid-back sidewalk cafes and casual bars line tranquil streets.

3- Christ the Redeemer

About: Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 metres (98 ft) high, excluding its 8-metre (26 ft) pedestal. The arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide. The statue weighs 635 metric tons (625 long, 700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovadomountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, and is listed as one of the New7Wonders of the World. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone.

Address: Parque Nacional da Tijuca – Alto da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, Brazil

Opening hours: Wednesday 8AM–7PM Thursday 8AM–7PM Friday (Our Lady of Aparecida’s day) 8AM–7PM Hours might differ Saturday 8AM–7PM Sunday 8AM–7PM Monday 8AM–7PM Tuesday 8AM–7PM

4- Sugarloaf Mountain

About: Sugarloaf Mountain is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 m above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. It is known worldwide for its cablewayand panoramic views of the city. The mountain is one of several monolithic granite and quartz mountains that rise straight from the water’s edge around Rio de Janeiro. The mountain is protected by the Sugarloaf Mountain and Urca Hill Natural Monument, created in 2006. This became part of a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 2012.

5- Ipanema

About: Fashionable Ipanema is known for its iconic namesake beach, which draws a diverse crowd for sunbathing and socializing. The rocky Pedra do Arpoador peninsula is a popular surfing spot that also offers trails and sunset views. Inland, the neighborhood’s leafy streets have high-end fashion boutiques, fine-dining restaurants and relaxed bars playing bossa nova.

6- Corcovado

About:Corcovado, meaning “hunchback” in Portuguese, is a mountain in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 710-metre granite peak is located in the Tijuca Forest, a national park. It is sometimes confused with nearby Sugarloaf Mountain. Corcovado hill lies just west of the city center but is wholly within the city limits and visible from great distances. It is known worldwide for the 38-metre (125 ft) statue of Jesus atop its peak, entitled Cristo Redentor or “Christ the Redeemer”.

7- Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

About:  Santa Teresa is a hilltop district with a charming, village-like vibe. Steep, winding streets are lined with elegant old mansions, many housing chic boutique hotels, quirky cocktail bars or romantic restaurants with bay views. As well as artists’ studios, “Santa” has Museu da Chácara do Céu, exhibiting European and Brazilian art, and the atmospheric Ruins Park, with an art gallery built around the ruins of a mansion.

8- Lapa, Rio de Janeiro

About: Vibrant, bohemian Lapa is renowned for its traditional bars, live music clubs, dance halls and the open-air samba jams held beneath the Roman-style Arcos da Lapa aqueduct. Another nightlife hub is the area around the Escadaria Selarón, an iconic stairway adorned with a mosaic of hand-painted tiles. By day, design enthusiasts browse the vintage and antiques stores on Rua do Lavradio and Rua do Senado.

9- Leblon

About:  Upscale Leblon is known for its beach, one of the city’s trendiest, most tranquil stretches of sand. Inland, leafy streets have restaurants ranging from cozy French bistros to lively steakhouses, plus mellow bars for beers and caipirinhas. Shopping options include designer fashion boutiques and Shopping Leblon, a modern mall. Teatro do Leblon is a grassroots venue with a packed, eclectic program.

10- Escadaria Selarón

About: Escadaria Selarón, also known as the ‘Selaron Steps’, is a set of world-famous steps in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people”.

Address: R. Joaquim Silva, S/N – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20241-110, Brazil Height: 410′

Need to know

Currency: Real

Emergencies

Call 190 for police, 193 for the fire service and 192 for an ambulance.

The tourist police (Avenida Afrânio de Melo Franco on the corner of Rua Humberto de Campos 315, Leblon) can be reached on the following numbers:

– +55-21-2332-2924

– +55-21-2332-2885

– +55-21-2332-2889

Hospitals and urgent care centers

Public hospital emergency rooms can be found at Hospital Municipal Miguel Couto and Hospital Municipal Souza Aguiar.

Private emergency rooms can be found at the Cardiotrauma Ipanema and at the city’s most renowned hospital, Hospital Copa D’Or.

Pharmacies

Pharmacies are abundant in Rio and the majority are well equipped and well stocked. Many also provide a home delivery service. They tend to be open till late, with many providing 24/7 service..

Health

Occasionally Brazil experiences outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses, especially following periods of rain. These include dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus.

Doctors & clinics

Many hotels will have arrangements with a local doctor, so it’s worth asking at reception if you need medical care.

If you need to see an English-speaking doctor, Clínica Galdino Campos offers 24-hour service, including house calls.

Transportation

On Arrival From & to Galeão Airport: Most international flights arrive at Antônio Carlos Jobim Airport (GIG), more commonly known as Galeão Airport. Buses are the least expensive way to get to the city center (15 km away) and the southern beaches (about 25 km away). The public Transcarioca BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) express line links the airport to the affluent beach suburb of Barra da Tijuca. A private bus can drop you in central Rio or directly at your beach hotel. Taxis are more expensive but can cut up to two-thirds from your journey time.

Public transport

Rio’s underground metro network offers a quick and easy way to get around the city . To reach parts of the city not covered by the Metro , you can use city buses , BRT rapid transit buses or VLT Carioca light-rail trams.

Driving:

Driving in Rio can be challenging given its hectic traffic and sparse parking. Luckily, a car isn’t required for exploring Rio: you can move around the city easily using a combination of public transit and taxis. Driving is on the right. The city has a “dry law” policy, with a near zero alcohol quantity allowed if you’re driving.

Parking spaces are highly sought-after in Rio de Janeiro and can be particularly difficult to come by in busy areas such as Leblon and Copacabana

 Taxi

Taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Yellow taxis can be hailed anywhere on the street and you will also find taxi stands throughout the city. There is a day rate, and one for night, public holidays and Sundays.

Radio taxis are more reliable but are about 20% more expensive. They often work with a set fee per destination and can be contacted by phone; try Coopertramo(+55 21-2209-9292) or TransCoopass (+55 21-22091555).

The smartphone apps Easy Taxi and 99 are used to book licensed cabs. Both are free and use GPS to alert taxi drivers close to your current location.

On Foot

Rio de Janeiro’s Centro and Zona Sul are flat and pedestrian-friendly, but the city’s cobblestone streets and uneven sidewalks can be challenging for people with disabilities or strollers. Take care when crossing the street and always watch for motorcycles, which often zip between parked or stopped cars and sometimes go in the opposite direction of traffic.

Walking around Centro at night, or on Sundays when it’s quiet, is not recommended as the area can be dangerous.

By bike

Rio’s waterfront is very bike-friendly and cycle paths extend from downtown through Flamengo Park, all the way to Urca and along the southern beaches. On Sundays, some road lanes are closed to cars in Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana and the Aterro do Flamengo to make extra space for cyclists and pedestrians.

Bike e Lazer Ipanema rents bikes by the hour or by the day. The local authority also runs a bike rental system with pickup and drop-off points around the city. Monthly passes are about R$10 and daily passes R$5.

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