Rio De Janeiro Bucket List

christ the redeemer brazil

Rio De Janeiro Bucket List

Rio is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and iconic landmarks. Below are the top twenty things to do in Rio De Janeiro. You will find iconic adventures to add to your Rio De Janeiro Bucket List in this post!

Major Landmarks:

#1: Admire the Statue of the Christ the Redeemer-

christ the redeemer brazil
Photo by 4FLY RJ

The best thing to do in Rio de Janeiro is to admire the massive statue of Jesus Christ, offering panoramic views of the city. The views from the top of the Corcovado mountain are stunning. On a clear day, you will see the Atlantic Ocean from a distance. The journey to the top is a beautiful trek in itself. The hike will take you through the lush forest, home to incredible wildlife and plants.


-Book an 8-hour tour of the city which will take you to see the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain!
Book skip-the-line Christ the Redeemer statue tickets!

#2: Cable Car Adventure at the Sugarloaf Mountain-

green mountain under the cloudy sky
Photo by Pedro Ramos

The cable car adventure at sugarloaf mountain should be at the top of your Rio De Janeiro bucket list. It takes 6 minutes to reach the top, offering 360-degree breathtaking views.

#3: Take a Photo of the Seleron Steps at Lapa District-

rio de janeiro brazil
Photo by AXP Photography on

The Lapa District is home to the Seleron Steps, with 2000 brightly colored tiles. Don’t forget to take a photo walking along the incredible mosaics. Jorge Selaron spent 20 years collecting tiles all around the world.

Adventurous Activities:

#4: Go Hang Gliding or Paragliding-

person paragliding above forest

Rio is known for its landscapes and hang gliding or paragliding is the perfect way to take it all in. It is an experience you will not find anywhere else. They will make sure that you have a safe and enjoyable ride.

#5: Enjoy Parasailing at Sunset or Sunrise-

long angle silhouette photography of paraglider
Photo by Nitin Dhumal on

Parasailing in Rio is an enjoyable adventure, where you can watch the Christ and Sugarloaf from the sky. You will have a life vest and a harness. You will ascend into the sky smoothly while sitting in a swing. Going at sunset or sunrise will make for an even more beautiful view.

#6: Go Island Hopping and Snorkeling on a Boat Tour-

 Book a boat tour to island hop for $45.00. The islands you go to are Ihla Grande and Angra dos Reis. You will go snorkeling with tropical fish and have a great time! 

#7: Take in the Amazing Views from a Helicopter-

photo of ams helicopter in flight
Photo by Jean van der Meulen on

You will LOVE going on a helicopter tour over Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer statue.


#8: Swim at the Beautiful Beaches in Rio-

city buildings near body of water
Photo by Frans van Heerden on

Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach are the most iconic beaches. Copacabana is a beautiful beach stretching over 2.5 miles, lined with palm trees, bars, and shops. Other beaches to enjoy your day at are Prainha Beach and Grumari Beach. The Island of Ilha Grande is known for its crystal clear water and is a great place to relax. There are no cars allowed on the island. You will find beautiful villages and natural beauty everywhere.


#9: Explore the Amazing Museums in Rio-

Museum of Tomorrow, Museum of the Indian, and Santa Teresa Museum are the best museums to visit!

Hiking/Lookout Points:

#10: Admire the Views at the Dona Marta Lookout Point-

Dona Marta Lookout is one of the best spots to go with a 360-degree view of the city.

#11: Go Hiking to Waterfalls at the Tijuca National Park

If you are a nature lover, you cannot miss the rainforest at Tijuca National Park. It provides hiking and rock climbing opportunities and has several waterfalls and rivers perfect for a nice swim. There is something for everyone in Tijuca National Park.

Gardens/ Parks:

#12: Enjoy a Stroll at the Botanical Garden

Relaxing at the botanical garden will be a lovely way to spend your day in Rio.

#13: Relax at the Parque Lage

Botanical Garden and Parque Lage are the most beautiful spots to relax. Parque Lage is known for its mansion, which was once the residence of Enrique Lage and his wife. You can have a picnic and a leisurely walk while you are there.


#14: Admire the Stained Glass Windows at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian-

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian is located in the center of Rio and is beautiful with stained glass windows. It is an important center of Catholicism for decades.

Historical Places:

#15: Buy a Book at the Royal Portuguese Reading Room-

The Forte de Copacabana and the Royal Portuguese Reading Room are must-see historical places to add to your list of things to do in Rio. The Royal Portuguese Reading Room is a gorgeous building home to 350,000 books. It is the largest library in South America, with a grand neoclassical structure, details, and stunning interior.

#16: Visit Forte de Copacabana

The military base, Forte de Copacabana, in Brazil is home to an Army Historical Museum. The fort was built to protect the beach of Copacabana and the entrance to the harbor of Rio de Janeiro.

Local Food:

#17: Go Shopping at the Local Markets in Gloria and Uruguaiana

Be sure to try the local food and go shopping at the Markets in Gloria and Uruguaiana.

#18: Try the Local Food on a Tour

desserts on brown wooden surface
Photo by Paloma Clarice on

The food in Brazil is delicious!!! This tour will teach you about the local food and dishes. You will try Bridadeiro, which is truffles made with condensed milk and covered in chocolate sprinkles.

Events to Attend:

#19: Attend the Carnival Event

Carnival is the biggest party on the planet and it takes place annually leading up to Ash Wednesday. It draws in millions of people with colorful floats, costumed dancers, and musicians playing live samba music. You get to try Brazilian food and immerse yourself in Brazilian Culture at the Carnival event.

Top of this post: Rio De Janeiro Bucket List

Similar Post: How to Spend 7 Days in Rio De Janeiro for Carnival

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