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Rio de Janeiro
Travel Guide

Rio de Janeiro featuring general coastal views, a sunset and mountains

The stunning scenery, vibrant atmosphere and year-round heat will ensure that you have the holiday of a lifetime in this ocean-front city.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second-largest city and former national capital, certainly lives up to its nickname “Cidade Maravilhosa”, or “marvellous city”. Located on the southeast coast of Brazil, its world-famous beaches look out over the deep blue Atlantic Ocean, whilst the distinctive mountain peaks, clad in dense rainforest, frame the cityscape. Thanks to the tropical climate, outdoor life is the norm. Delve into the city itself, and you will uncover a rich and fascinating history and culture that will leave you infatuated with this unique destination.

The beach is the first port of call for many of Rio’s visitors. One of the most popular is Ipanema Beach. Located in one of the most exclusive areas of the city, it attracts an upscale crowd. Soak up the daily party atmosphere with ice-cold cocktails served at your sun lounger. If you stay into the evening, you will be rewarded with a spectacular sunset.

For breath-taking panoramic views of the area, make the ascent up one of the distinctive monolithic mountain peaks that surround the city. Sugarloaf Mountain, or Pão de Açúcar, rises sheer out of the sea from its position at the mouth of the bay. Before you even reach the top, the views from the cable-car will delight you.

The second peak is Corcovado, known the world-over for the towering statue of Jesus that stands at the summit. The surrounding Tijuca National Park, the largest urban forest in the world, is also well worth exploring. Conservation efforts over the past 200 years have ensured an abundance of tropical wildlife.

Sport is at the heart of Rio’s culture, and the city is home to many impressive venues. Football games at the famous Maracanã Stadium are legendary for their exhilarating atmosphere. Even if you can’t get a ticket, the museum inside holds fascinating memorabilia from some of the world’s best players.

Rio comes alive at night, with vibrant bars and clubs hosting live music and samba dancers. It is also home to one of the most famous parties in the world, the Rio Carnival, held every year in either February or May, when the dazzling samba parades and multicoloured floats draw millions to the streets of the city.

Rio de Janeiro Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro

Américas Copacabana Hotel
Américas Copacabana Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Rua Barata Ribeiro 550, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is NZ$43 per night from 31 May to 31 May
Located in Copacabana, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rua Barata Ribeiro and Avenida Atlantica. Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach are also within ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (952 reviews)
"Great location with excellent roof top pool and great food"

Reviewed on 30 Mar. 2021

Américas Copacabana Hotel
Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort
Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort
5 out of 5
Avenida Niemeyer 121 - Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is NZ$157 per night from 20 May to 20 May
Nestled on the beach, this Leblon hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Leblon Beach, Ipanema Beach and Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden. Arpoador Beach is 2.7 mi (4.4 ...
4.2/5Very Good! (957 reviews)
"They offered me an upgrade for my room , but I paid a considerable amount of money on the taxes . Next time get all inclusive you’ll get a lot more for your buck !"

Reviewed on 30 Mar. 2021

Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort
Grand Hyatt Rio De Janeiro
Grand Hyatt Rio De Janeiro
5 out of 5
Av. Lucio Costa 9600, Barra Da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$186 per night from 13 May to 13 May
Located in Barra da Tijuca, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk and within 3 mi (5 km) of Reserve Beach, BarraShopping Mall and Bosque da Barra Park. KM ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (838 reviews)
"Just happy with everything. No bad comments at all. Thanks for everything."

Reviewed on 24 Feb. 2021

Grand Hyatt Rio De Janeiro
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Rio de Janeiro

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Reviews of Rio de Janeiro


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 38.63636363636363%
4 - Good
4 - Good 54.54545454545455%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 6.818181818181818%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent


12 Mar. 2020

Everyone should experience Carnival in Rio, AMAZING

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

29 Feb. 2020

Amazing city - a must see. We went during carnaval time and what we didn't realise that lots of places are closed so some of the museums and cathedrals that we wanted to visit were closed.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

26 Jan. 2020

Amazing natural beauty. some of the buffet which we had were great as well. You do feel a bit unsafe because of the loud noise and lack of clothing/type of people in some cases especially at night

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

25 Jan. 2020

My favourite city in the world

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

20 Jan. 2020

Fantastic city, thanks

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

4 Jan. 2020

I would recommend doing paragliding with Daniel at Rio Eleven Tandem Paragliding he was very professional & it was amazing, one of the best things I have done 

Cities near Rio de Janeiro