Rio de Janeiro
Churches & Cathedrals

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Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro Churches & Cathedrals

From Rio de Janeiro: Petrópolis Day Trip with Optional Lunch

1. From Rio de Janeiro: Petrópolis Day Trip with Optional Lunch

After pick up from Rio, relax on the 2-hour drive as you ascend into the hills towards Petrópolis, located 823 meters above sea level. Historic Petrópolis is famous for the period that Brazil was a monarchy, ruled by Dom Pedro II. Start the tour with a stop at the Casa do Alemão. Located at the entrance to the city, the diner is famous for German sausage and croquettes. Next, marvel at the gardens outside the Quitandinha Palace. Continue the tour at the Imperial Palace. Explore the interior of the palace, and see the original furniture, paintings, clothes, and jewelry used by the Royal Family in their former summer house. Next, revel at the neo-gothic architecture of the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcantara. Take photos at the Crystal Palace, once used as the princess’s private garden. After this, take a break and enjoy lunch at a buffet restaurant (if option selected). Otherwise, use your free time to wander. See the Santos-Dumont House, the former home of the famous Brazilian inventor and aviator, from the outside. Finally, visit the Bohemia Brewery (if option selected) and learn the techniques of beer making in the region. Stop at the Casa de Chocolate Katz before returning to Rio de Janeiro.

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Rio de Janeiro: Sugar Loaf & Corcovado Private Day Tour

2. Rio de Janeiro: Sugar Loaf & Corcovado Private Day Tour

Start your private Rio de Janeiro adventure with a drive along the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. Go to Corcovado Station and ride to the base of the Christ the Redeemer statue by train. Relax on the 20-minute ride through the Tijuca Forest, and get a preview of the wonderful landscape that awaits you. Upon arrival at the top of Corcovado, get a meet and greet at the main monument of Brazil and marvel at the 710-meter statue of Christ with his arms outstretched. Enjoy unparalleled views of the city and surrounding countryside from Rio de Janeiro's most strategic viewpoint. Follow your guide as they point out Guanabara Bay, the city of Niteroi and other highlights, such as the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, the Botanical Garden, the Jockey Club and the Tijuca National Park. Look further towards Copacabana, Botafogo, Flamengo and the famous Sugar Loaf mountain. Descend Corcovado and continue your tour with an external view of the Maracanã Stadium, Mario Filho (which staged two World Cups and one Olympic Games). Visit the Sambódromo, the famous parade ares of Rio's carnival. Enter the Metropolitan Cathedral to observe its impressive and unusual architecture. Go to the brightly-colored Selarón Steps in Lapa, one of the most visited landmarks in Rio de Janeiro. Take time to lunch at a restaurant of your choice (not included). Head to the Urca neighborhood to ride the cable car to the top of the mountain in 2 stages. Board the cable car to Urca Mount, 224 meters above sea level, and then continue to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain, 395 meters above sea level. Here, you will be rewarded with the most beautiful panoramic views of the city before you return via the beaches of Ipanema, Leblon and Copacabana en route to your hotel drop off.

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Niterói 1-Day Tour: The Hidden Gem Across Rio de Janeiro

3. Niterói 1-Day Tour: The Hidden Gem Across Rio de Janeiro

Discover the beauties of Niterói, the charming and lesser known side of Guanabara Bay, on a full-day tour. Leaving Rio de Janeiro, drive across Rio-Niterói Bridge, the largest reinforced concrete bridge in the Southern Hemisphere. Visit the Niemeyer Pathway, the architectural complex composed of the Teatro Popular (Popular Theater), the Roberto Silveira Memorial, and the Niemeyer Foundation building, all signed by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil's most famous architect. Up next, admire the façade and pay a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), the famous round and futuristic structure overlooking the Guanabara Bay, also designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Stroll along the waterfront areas along the Guanabara Bay beaches, passing through Icaraí, São Francisco, Charitas, Jurujuba, and Adam and Eve beaches. Enjoy the lunch break in front of the São Francisco beach, one of the city's most famous culinary centers. After passing by all the bay beaches, arrive at the Santa Cruz Fort. Notice the other side of the entrance of the Guanabara Bay, the main route of arrival to the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói until mid-20th Century. Finally, head up to the peak of Parque da Cidade (City Park), 270m (885 ft) high, and enjoy a complete panoramic view of Niterói: the ocean beaches to the left and the beaches of Guanabara Bay to the right. At the same angle, you can also see Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf, the two most famous points in the mountain range that gave Rio de Janeiro the title of UNESCO World Heritage site as Urban Cultural Landscape. Return by the waterfront path back to your hotel.

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Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain & Maracana by Train

4. Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain & Maracana by Train

If you have always dreamed of visiting Rio then this is the tour for you. Take a tour of downtown and learn a little bit about the city's history with a stop at the incredible Metropolitan Cathedral.  Next stop is Sugar Loaf Mountain. From Urca Hill and Sugar Loaf Mountain, you'll see some great views of Guanabara Bay and Niterói. You'll also see where the City of Rio was founded and where the fights between the Portuguese and French took place. For a break before Christ Redeemer, enjoy an appetizing barbecue lunch. If you are not a meat lover, don't worry, there are plenty of sides and alternative options for vegetarians. After lunch, make your way to Maracanã Stadium where you will take a lap around the stadium and have a short stop so you can appreciate the splendor of the two-time World Cup Finals host. There you will be able to imagine the amount of history that took place since its opening in 1950 when Brazil hosted its first World Cup. Then, take a train ride up the Corcovado Mountain and sit beneath the Christ Redeemer Statue looking down on the marvelous city of Rio. Don't miss the chance to snap terrific photographs.

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Rio: Cariocando Tour with Visit to Christ the Redeemer

5. Rio: Cariocando Tour with Visit to Christ the Redeemer

Spend the day touring Rio’s neighborhoods, the home of bossa nova. Be guided round some of the most well-known sights, including Christ the Redeemer, with your south-side hotel pickup and drop-off included. Start your day with a hotel pickup for south-side accommodation. After meeting your guide and group, head to the first stop. First up is a visit to the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, entry tickets included. Be amazed by breathtaking panoramic views of the city from the top of Corcovado Hill during your journey to the statue. Next up is a visit to the outside of the famous Maracaña Stadium, home to many a World Cup match. Learn a little more about this important world-famous symbol while taking in its façade. Discover the samba catwalk by visiting the Sambódromo, where the biggest popular party on the planet takes place. Then, the next stop is the Metropolitan Cathedral of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro. Take in its unique architecture that attracts the attention of those who pass by — it boasts colorful stained glass windows 60 meters high all the way up to the dome. Next, marvel at the beautiful street art of the Selarón Staircase, a gigantic mosaic work by the Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. With 250 steps they have become a monument and an icon of Rio, it contains more than 2000 pieces from more than 60 countries. Finish off the day with a drop-off back at your hotel.

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Rio: Historical Walking Tour

6. Rio: Historical Walking Tour

Take the subway and enjoy a guided walking tour in downtown Rio. Rich in history and buildings of great architectural appeal, the center of the former capital of the country is best absorbed in the details when you walk through it. Travel by subway to downtown, arrive at Cinelândia Station an area with relics of the French architectural influence.  On the way to Carioca square see the Naval Club, the Monastery Church of Santo Antônio and the Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência. Visit the Confeitaria Colombo, built in 1894, Tiradentes Palace (State Hall), Praça XV including the Imperial Palace, the statue of General Osório, Mestre Valentim's Fountain and the Teles Arch. Reach the cobble-stoned Travessa do Comercio and the former residence of Carmen Miranda. See the Church of Our Lady of the Merchants, the Post Office Cultural Center, France-Brazil House, Bank of Brasil Cultural Center and Candelaria Church. Before heading back to your hotel by subway. 

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Rio de Janeiro: 4-Hour Afternoon Walking Tour

7. Rio de Janeiro: 4-Hour Afternoon Walking Tour

Dive into Rio de Janeiro's past. Travel through time from the discovery of Brazil, through the arriving of the royal family, the country’s independence, and the proclamation of the republic. Get to know the historical past of the city of Rio de Janeiro, which was once the capital of Brazil for almost 2 centuries, taking a walk through the city center that holds memories of different times. Also notice the contrast with the new Mauá Square a gift from the Olympic legacy that has changed the life of the Cariocas forever, creating a new pole of entertainment and culture, hosting two new Museums, the Rio Art Museum and the Museum of Tomorrow, and the famous Cobra murals. You can identify the different periods just by taking a look at the Downtown’s architecture: Colonial, Imperial and Republican.  This tour to the past begins at the doors of the museum of Tomorrow and the Rio Art Museum, where you have a wide view of the Olympic Boulevard. From there you will visit the Monastery of São Bento, founded in 1590 by 2 monks from Bahia and considered one of the most important heritage of Brazilian architecture. Afterward, continue to the Candelaria Church constructed in neoclassical style, which began being built in 1630 and finished in 1775.  Then will continue along Primeiro de Março Street, admire the France-Brazil House, the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center and the post office building until you reach the Praça XV where the Imperial Palace, which was built to be the residence of the governors of the captaincy and it was the residence of the Portuguese Royal Family, when it arrived in Brazil and lastly passing by the Tiradentes Palace. From Praça XV continue to Cinelândia, the tour's final point, where you can enjoy the beauty of the buildings of the Municipal Theater, the Legislative Assembly, the National Library and the Museum of Fine Arts. From there return to your hotel.

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Rio: Highlights Day Tour with Lunch

8. Rio: Highlights Day Tour with Lunch

Visit some of the most popular attractions in Rio de Janeiro on a day tour. See the Christ the Redeemer statue at the top of Corcovado Mountain, get a panoramic view of the Maracanã stadium, ride the cable car at Sugarloaf Mountain and more. Get picked up from your Rio hotel and drive up to the Christ the Redeemer statue. Take in this famous monument, snap some pictures, and enjoy the views before returning to sea level. Next, drive past the legendary Maracanã soccer stadium and see this iconic arena from the outside. Afterward, head to Sambódromo, the location of Rio's exciting carnival. See the Metropolitan Cathedral, a modern structure influenced by ancient indigenous pyramids. Check out the brightly colored tiles of the world-famous Selarón Steps, one of Rio's most distinctive landmarks. Head to a local steakhouse for a Brazilian barbecue lunch. After lunch, go up Sugarloaf Mountain using a series of cable cars and reach a height of 1,295 feet (395m). Finish off your tour with panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro before getting dropped back off at your hotel.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Rio de Janeiro

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 376 reviews

Our driver for the day (Jalbier) was just the loveliest man, and although he was later than our pickup time, it was not his fault and we still hit the road at 8.10am, plenty of time to get to Niteroi. He was extremely knowledgeable and helpful all day and at all stops, informative and answered all our random questions about Rio & Niteroi. We went on a Monday but the museums are closed but Jalbier still managed to get the lovely tourist office lady to give us a private tour of the Oscar Niemeyer way buildings eventhough they were closed for maintenance. The car was wonderful and he was very conscientious of the heat on the day. After our unplanned paragliding adventure from the parquet de cidade, Jalbier even took us for a quick tour of Santa Teresa neighbourhood on our way back to Ipanema. An excellent tour guide who made this day trip extra special. The BBQ lunch was also exceptional. Niteroi is gorgeous with amazing views across the bay to Rio and all the mountains, Sugar Loaf, etc.

Booking the private tour with C2Rio was easily the best money we spent in Rio. Our wonderful guide João had an encyclopedic knowledge of the city. He adjusted the tour to suit our particular interest in architecture and design, fitting in extra sights and experiences between the normal places. João even helped us build an itinerary for our next day in Rio. If you are on the fence about a private vs a group tour definitely make the private tour happen!

We experienced a private, customized tour of Rio today. With his knowledge of Rio and Brazil, João gave us a unique impression of this beautiful city and its inhabitants. We were sure at all times, João was very reliable, punctual and educated. He speaks German perfectly, as well as other languages. Thanks João - it was great

The tour with our competent guide Leonardo was very interesting and gave a good insight into the history and urban development of Rio. Highly recommended!

Marissa was energetic, thoughtful and educational. Most of all she was like meeting up with an old friend.