One of the most famous cities in the world. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with it. 

Rio is located in the Southeast of Brazil, and it is home to the country’s main tourist attractions. I’m sure you have heard about the Christ of Redeemer statue and Copacabana beach, indeed, they are indispensable spots. But Rio has a lot more to it. 

Being from there, I believe I am more attached to little spots and specific things to do in the city. So let’s go on to my personal list of top 5 things to do in Rio de Janeiro:

  1. watch the sunset at Arpoador 
    a peninsula located on the east end of Ipanema beach, where you will find a big crowd of tourists and local having a picnic whilst enjoying the amazing view. You’ll also find street vendors selling the most traditional Brazilian snacks. Last time I was at Arpoador, I devoured a delicious brigadeiro and corn on the cob. 
    But don’t be too distracted by the view. Unfortunately, the Arpoador has become a dangerous spot specially for tourists who might not be familiar with the area. Watch out for your phones, cameras and other valuables! 
  2. hike Pedra Bonita 
    I have lost count of how many times I have done this hike. It is definitely one of the most breathtaking views in the city. The hike is very simple and doesn’t require a lot of effort or preparation. As long as you have a water bottle, casual sneakers, and a camera you are good to go. 
  3. watch a soccer match at the Maracanā
    you are probably aware that Brazil is mostly famous due to soccer. The Maracana stadium is the largest and one of the most popular one in the country. Maraca is the stage to many emotions and chaos for Brazilians, specially to Flamengo supporters (the biggest soccer team in Rio). If you are planning to go, make sure to watch a typical Fla x Flu match. You will be impressed with Brazilians’ passion and excitement about soccer.
  4. drink a cafezinho at Confeitaria Colombo 
    cafezinho is what we call a “tiny cup of coffee”. One of the best places to do that in Rio is at the Confeitaria Colombo at the Forte de Copacabana. I was there last time I was in Rio and the view was incredible. You get to enjoy delicious sweet and savory with the view of the Sugarloaf and Copacabana beach.
  5. go for a walk at Ipanema beach and Joatinga beach
    you’ve probably heard about the “girl of Ipanema”. So, make sure to go check out one of the most astonishing beach in the city. That is for sure one of the best thing to do in a free day during a trip, to relax and drink some coconut water. Don’t forget to check out Joatinga Beach, most commonly known as praia do Joá, which is for me, one of the prettiest one. The beach is a great place to chill with friends.

These are my top 5 things to do in Rio going beyond the city’s most famous attractions. Make sure you have all these noted down, and enjoy the trip!

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