Rio de Janeiro in Brazil: Interesting Places on Travel Blog

Exploring Brazil #2: Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This is the second part of my Brazil travel guide. Last time we have visited the city of Recife, this time we will travel more to the south, to the great city of Rio de Janeiro. There is no need to introduce that city to anyone, am I right?

Rio de Janeiro is the most beautiful city in Brazil, probably also in the whole South America. In this travel blog article, I will describe the best tourist attractions and interesting places I enjoyed the most during my trip to the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Christ the Redeemer Statue

Christ the Redeemer (called in Portuguese Cristo Redentor) is the most famous statue in Brazil (maybe in the whole world?) and it's a symbol of Rio de Janeiro and the whole Christianity. The statue was designed by French sculptor named Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa in 1931. Christ the Redeemer is 38 meters tall (with pedestal) and its arms stretch 28 meters wide.

Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Source: Artyominc / Wikipedia.

Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro is located at the top of the 700-meter Corcovado mountain placed inside the Tijuca Forest National Park. It's also listed in the New Seven Wonders of the World list in 2007.

To get here, you must get to the ticket office of the Corcovado train station located in Cosme Velho (Full address: Rua Cosme Velho 513, Cosme Velho, Rio de Janeiro). If you want to get here from Copacabana, use bus number 583. An adult ticket costs 62 R$ for a low season and 75 R$ for a high season (information for 2018).

Warning: Ticket office does not sell tickets for the same day, so it's much better to buy tickets earlier online here.

Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Sugarloaf Mountain  

Another great point of view is the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, from where you will be able to see not only the great panorama of the city but also the Atlantic Ocean and Guanabara Bay. Another great place for photographers.

It's not easy to get from one place to another in Rio de Janeiro, as the city is huge. So how to get to the Sugarloaf Mountain? First of all, remember the Portuguese name: Pao de Acucar, as not every person in the city speaks English. If you cannot afford a taxi, try to find buses number 511 to "Ataulfo de Paiva" or the 512 to "Bartholomeu Mitre". Both will take you here.

After you will get to the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, to have to ways to get to the top. There are two levels: the first one is called Morro da Urca and you can get here by walk or by the cable car. The second level (top of the Sugarloaf Mountain) is only accessible by the cable car. IFf you will decide to walk, you will pay only 22 R$, otherwise, you will have to pay 53 R$.

Rio de Janeiro Cathedral. Source: Chensiyuan / Wikipedia.

Rio de Janeiro Cathedral

Rio de Janeiro Cathedral is a huge church located in the city center, built in 1970 by an architect Edgar Fonseca. Ithe a modern-style temple that was modeled on the ancient Mayan pyramids and that can hold more than 20 000 people. Every wall of the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral is covered by small colorful windows reaching over 200 feet up from the floor that looks like a spaceship from the future.

You can also find here a museum in the basement. The full address of the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral is Avenida Republica do Chile 245, Rio de Janeiro. It's opened from Monday to Sunday, from 07:00 to 17:00.

Largo do Boticário Square in Rio de Janeiro

Largo do Boticário Square

Largo do Boticário Square in Rio de Janeiro is located in the Cosme Velho neighborhood and it's one of the less known tourist attractions in the city. It's a square surrounded by the neocolonial architecture with many colorful houses, unfortunately, most of them are nowadays abandoned. Still, it's a great place to visit, I just love the exotic mix of the red, blue and green houses with the rainforest plants.

The history of Largo do Boticário Square was started in 1831 by Joaquim Luís da Silva Souto, very resourceful apothecary that has very rich people as clients, who bought this land and started to build the houses here. It fastly started to be a famous place because of the political elite and artists meetings.

Largo do Boticário, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In 1920 Edmundo Bittencourt bought the property and built another six neoclassical houses. In that times many other rich people started to buy land here and built their own houses. This was the Golden Era for the Largo do Boticário Square in Rio de Janeiro.

Some scenes from the Janes Bond movie Moonraker was filmed in Largo do Boticário Square.

The square was listed as a cultural heritage in 1990. Unfortunately, during a few next years, people started to move out of the neighborhood. Some houses get abandoned, some were taken over by homeless people, there were a lot of stolen cars and prostitutes here. Nowadays, people don't live here, but the Largo do Boticário Square is still opened for visitors and tourists. In the house number 32, you can find a great art gallery. 

Ilha Fiscal

Do you like Disney's style fairytale palaces? In addition, built on a water? Then you must see Ilha Fiscal in Rio de Janeiro! It was once an office of the Guarda Fiscal (Portuguese special military force), which reminds the times when Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil and the country was an empire. Ilha Fiscal was built in 1889 in a Gothic-Provence style by an engineer Adolfo José del Vecchio on a request of Pedro II of Brazil.

Ilha Fiscal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

"O Baile da Ilha Fiscal", was the last ball made by the Portuguese imperial government, which had a place inside the Ilha Fiscal in Rio De Janeiro in 9th November 1889. Six days later the monarchy was overthrown and it was a birth to the Republic of Brazil. Brazil has been a Portuguese colony since 1500.

The palace on a water Ilha Fiscal looks like a fairy-tale castle. It's not very big but makes a great impression. Nowadays, there is a museum inside. The entrance fee is R$10 for an adult (2018).

Museum of Astronomy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Source: Carlos Luis MC of the Cross / Wikipedia

Museum of Astronomy

Museum of Astronomy can be found in the São Cristóvão part of the Rio de Janeiro, on the north part of the city. This is not a tourist area, so you will have to get here by bus or a taxi. It was built in 1913, and its full name is the Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences (or Museu de Astronomia e Ciencias Afins). Originally the National Observatory Center after it was moved from another place, called Morro do Castelo.

Nowadays, the Museum of Astronomy in Rio de Janeiro is famous because of the telescopes (some are even 100 years old), that are available to use for the public every Wednesday and Saturday night. The entrance is free.

The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading Library in Rio de Janeiro. Source: Mayumine / Wikipedia.

The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading

The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro with its three levels of bookshelves one of the most magnificent libraries I've ever seen in my life. The library was firstly opened in 1887 with an enormous amount of Portuguese books and was built in Gothic-Renaissance style. The whole collection, having more than 350 000 books, is the biggest collection of Portuguese books outside Portugal. It contains many rare and original manuscripts and other works of literature.

Nowadays, the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil receives about 6000 new titles every year and its now about 400 000 of them. The library itself is a piece of art and the book walls make an awesome atmosphere of that place. It's also a place with a huge Portugal history behind. For me, the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading is a must-see tourist attraction in the city and a very, very interesting place.

Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches

I don't believe that someone is flying all the way to Brazil and won't be swimming in the sea, especially that there are no low temperatures in any time in the year here (well, at least if 18-20 degrees in winter is not a cold time for you). So, this Rio de Janeiro travel blog will show you where to go swimming: to Copacabana Beach or to Ipanema Beach.

Copacabana Beach

The Copacabana Beach is one of the most famous beaches for tourists and it runs about 5 kilometers out from the populated residential area. There are a lot of hotels here (probably expensive), shops and restaurants, where you can get a drink, fresh juice or just listen to some live music. The beach is a little dirty, but mostly because there are thousands of people here every day and it's not easy to clean it right away.

When you come to Brazil, and especially to Rio de Janeiro, the Copacabana Beach is just a must-see tourist attraction. Despite the fact that that there are a lot of people, this is a great place for swimming and sunbathing. Just make sure to watch all your belongings, as I've heard that sometimes thefts happen here.

Ipanema Beach

Another, a little less crowded beach. Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro is also a great choice for swimming and bathing, not much worse than a famous Copacabana Beach. Is a smaller beach with less than two kilometers long. There are a lot of shops here, mostly inside small beach tents, where you can eat something or rent an umbrella or a chair.

Ipanema Beach during the night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

While being here, take a look at the coastline the neighboring mountain called Morro Dois Irmãos, as it looks awesome. Visiting Ipanema Beach is a great beach experience and I can recommend it to everyone who wants to stay in a bit less crowded (but still) beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Source: Sergio Luiz / Wikipedia.

Rio Carnival

Just imagine a weeklong parade of Samba groups parading through the city streets in costumes and party everywhere with rivers of cold beer. All filled with colors and sounds that are unique on the world scale. Welcome to something that many people call the Disneyland, but for adults. This is the Rio Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

I'm going to write a separate travel blog article about Rio Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, so for now, just know that if you have an opportunity to visit the city during the time of the Rio Carnival, do not hesitate even for a moment and pack your bags.


I've tried to describe all great tourist attractions and interesting places in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on this travel blog, but it's just impossible to do this in one, short article. So if you have other awesome places in the city, let me know and I will try to add them here. If you have any questions about this Rio de Janeiro travel guide or my travel to Brazil, feel free to leave me a comment in the section below.

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!

4.93 | 15 votes
Comments: 7
  •   6th June 2018, 10:55

    Rio de Janeiro is the most beautiful city not only in Brazil, but in whole South America. I used to live here for three years and not only there was a lot of great views, and many tourist attractions and interesting places, but the people were just awesome. I hope to come back there one day, as I had some great memories from Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. Great travel blog by the way!

  •   20th June 2018, 16:54

    For me, Rio de Janeiro is the most beautiful city in the world, perfect for traveling. If you are planning to visit South America, make sure to spend at least few days in Rio, its perfect!

  •   14th September 2018, 15:43

    It is interesting that so little is written about this city ... Rio de Janeiro is beautiful, a miracle, for me one of the most worth visiting cities in the world. Besides, the whole of Brazil is a very interesting country. This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Ciekawe, że tak mało się pisze o tym mieście... Rio de Janeiro jest przepiękne, cudo, dla mnie jedno z najbardziej wartych odwiedzenia miast na świecie. Zresztą cała Brazylia to bardzo interesujący kraj.

  •   30th November 2018, 12:12

    I always wanted to see Brazil but your posts are making me want to go more and more. What A fascinating writing. Enjoyed every line of it. Brazil is on my next travel list. Very excited to go there. These are some serious photography. Very rich in life. Thank you for sharing this. 💮💮

  •   26th January 2020, 02:25

    I guess you miss the Copacabana on the list. To be honest I was so disappointed by this neighborhood and the beach. The area is too touristic, with too many vendors, too much dirt and too many people.

  •   9th October 2021, 08:56

    We planned a trip to Rio de Janeiro, one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere, for our summer vacation. My father is a lover of natural beauty, and we decided to book flights to Rio de Janeiro because it is known for its natural settings, samba, carnival, bossa nova.

  •   29th December 2021, 11:56

    Great post! I recently visited Rio and absolutely loved it, such a vibrant city!

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