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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Culture & history

Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Culture & History

Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket by Cog Train

1. Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket by Cog Train

Go all the way up to the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer by the Corcovado Train. The train rides through a railway inside Tijuca National Park, the largest urban forest in the world, making a unique view over Rio de Janeiro city. Enjoy an amazing ride on a train that takes you right up to the foot of the statue of The Christ, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and one of the most famous sights in Brazil. Besides admiring one of the most beautiful landscapes of the city, you will take a walk through Brazil's history. The Corcovado Railroad was the first electrified railroad in Brazil. Inaugurated in 1884 by D. Pedro II, it is older than Christ the Redeemer itself. In fact, it was the train that, during four consecutive years, transported pieces for monument’s construction. Your visit starts on the century-old electric locomotive, riding across the preserved Atlantic Forest, part of the Tijuca National Park. At the foot of the statue of Christ, you'll be able to take in the most beautiful view over the city, and see from above what makes Rio de Janeiro so special.

Rio de Janeiro: Sugarloaf Cable Car Official Ticket

2. Rio de Janeiro: Sugarloaf Cable Car Official Ticket

Discover the world-famous Sugarloaf Mountain with prebooked official tickets for the cable car, and explore one of Brazil's most popular attractions. Admire stunning views of Rio de Janeiro as you ride the cable car to the summit. Take incredible photos from the lookout point as you enjoy the panorama of the city and the ocean below. Make your own way to the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain, and head directly to the ticket office to exchange your printed voucher. Board the next cable car up the mountain, riding in the fully-enclosed cabin as you take in panoramic views of the city, Copacabana Beach, and Guanabara Bay.  Disembark at the top, where you can spend as much time as you wish. There is a food court and restaurant at the summit where you can purchase snacks and drinks. Once you have finished exploring the summit, your ticket is valid for any returning cable car.

Rio de Janeiro: Carnival 2023 Samba School Parade Ticket

3. Rio de Janeiro: Carnival 2023 Samba School Parade Ticket

Rio's Carnival is the most popular and the best Carnival in the world! No wonder it was named “Largest Carnival in the World” in 2004 by the Guinness Book of World Records. Carioca Carnival is a cultural event, where freedom of expression dominates in a creative and fun way, represented through samba school parades, carnival balls, and a street carnival. The official Samba School parades take place in Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome, created by the most renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer and inaugurated in 1983 with capacity for 80,000 spectators. Every year, the Samba Schools compete for the Carnival Champion Title, one school will be chosen as the best of the best. More than 30,000 people perform throughout Carnival. Each school has between 4,000 and 5,000 participants. There are 5 days of parades, divided into three categories: Access Group, Special Group, and Parade of Champions. Access Group In the Access Group, the best Samba Schools will be able to participate in the Special Group in the following year. You will see 12 schools parade with enthusiasm and beauty. This is perfect for those, who want to see the magic of carnival on a budget. Special Group  These are considered the main days of the Carnival Parade. The best 14 Samba schools in Rio de Janeiro show all their creativity and innovations. These are the true magical nights of the Sambadrome. Tickets are more expensive for these days as it is the most popular parade with major league schools. Champions Parade On that night, the top six Special Group schools, plus the Access Group Champion repeat their performances. This is an extraordinary night to see the Carnaval champions of the year.

Rio: Maracanã Stadium Official Entrance Ticket

4. Rio: Maracanã Stadium Official Entrance Ticket

Relive Maracanã Stadium’s greatest moments on a fascinating 40-minute visit to one of Rio's most memorable landmarks. Explore the stadium and museum of one of Rio's most popular tourist attractions. Admire an exhibition bringing together important pieces of Brazilian football history. Get ready to take your place in the changing room, prepare yourself in the warm-up room, walk down the tunnel and imagine the roar of nearly 80,000 fans. Visit the press conference room and fell like a Brazilian Football star after a big match. Explore this historical stadium built in 1950 and re-vamped several times over history to host 1950 World Cup and some matches of the World championship 2014. Also, hosted the Confederations cup of 2013, opening and closing ceremonies of the pan American games of 2007 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, in 2016. Besides the sport competitions, Maracanã has already been a stage for important events, like Madonna, Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner shows and camp mass, of the Pope João Paulo II, in 1980 and 1997.

Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

5. Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

Start your adventure with a pickup in the morning from hotels located in the South Zone and head towards your first stop at Christ the Redeemer.  Enjoy great jungle views in the minivan ride through the Tijuca Forest that surrounds the Corcovado Mountain. Reach the peak of the mountain and meet the statue of the Christ the Redeemer with its arms right open over the city. Admire the sweeping views and take breathtaking pictures. Head to a nice walk outside the Maracanã Stadium and find out more about the passion of the Brazilians for football. Learn about the samba tradition in Rio by visiting the Sambadrome, the place with the biggest Carnival parade on the planet. Marvel at the beautiful street art of the Selarón Steps, a gigantic mosaic work of the Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. He started dedicating himself to decorate the stairs in the early 90s. The 250 steps have become a monument and an icon of Rio. Stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro to revel at the biblical passages on the stained-glass inside it, following a stop for lunch in an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. With the batteries recharged, there is still one place left.  Head to Urca neighborhood and marvel at the beauty of the Sugarloaf Mountain and be amazed by the cable ride to the top. From 220 meters above sea level take in the breathtaking 360-degree view of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, the city of Niteroi, and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Rio Carnival 2023: Samba Parade Tickets with Shuttle Service

6. Rio Carnival 2023: Samba Parade Tickets with Shuttle Service

Experience Rio's Carnival, the most popular and the best parade in the world. This incredible cultural event is characterized by its freedom of expression, and creative and fun atmosphere represented through samba school parades, carnival balls, and street carnival. The official parade takes place in the Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome, created by renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer with capacity for 80,000 spectators.  Start the tour with a shared shuttle transfer to the Sambodrome, from main hotels in Copacabana, Leme, Ipanema, Leblon, Lapa, Barra da Tijuca, Centro, and Rio Cruise Port. Choose to spectate the incredible event from 5 days of the parade which are divided into 3 categories: Access Group, Special Group and Parade of Champions. – February 17th, 2023 (Friday): Access Group (2nd league) – February 18th, 2023 (Saturday): Access Group (2nd league) – February 19th, 2023 (Sunday): Special Group (1st league) – February 20th, 2023 (Monday): Special Group (1st league) – February 20th, 2023 (Saturday): Champions’ Parade (“All-Star Parade” with the 6 best schools) Access Group - Friday, February 17th and Saturday, February 18th On these dates, watch as some schools compete to get access to the main league for the following year. This event is perfect for those that want to experience the magic of carnival but have a limited budget. Special Group - Sunday, February 19th and Monday, February 20th With this option, experience the main days of the Carnival Parade. Marvel at the best Samba Schools in Rio de Janeiro showing all their creativity and innovations as you enjoy a magical night in the Sambadrome. Tickets are more expensive for these days as it is the most popular parade and features the major league schools. Champions Parade - Saturday February 25th On this night, the top 6 Special Group Schools plus the Access Group champions repeat their performances. This is an extraordinary night to see the carnival champions of the year. At the end of the tour, take the return shuttle transfer back to your hotel.

Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

7. Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

Begin your tour at Downtown (“Centro”), where you will get the tram (“bondinho”) to the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa. You will drive over the Arcos da Lapa, the aqueduct used to connect water from Santa Teresa to Downtown and one of Rio’s most traditional postcards. At Santa Teresa, you will experience an interesting local atmosphere. Walk through the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, a bucolic area in Rio de Janeiro. Located on a hillside, Santa Teresa has become a district of cultural interest because of its architectural value and prime location, famous for its winding, narrow cobblestone streets and a favourite spot for artists and tourists. A flair similar to Montmartre, in Paris. You will visit the Ruins Park, a public park with an art gallery built around the ruins of a mansion. (Please note that Ruins Park is closed on Sundays.) Take a minute to enjoy the city’s landscape, in particular the Downtown area and the Sugarloaf Mountain. Up next, you will walk down the colorful Selarón Steps, one of Rio’s landmarks, and arrive at the district of Lapa, the zone with the most traditional nightlife. Take a stroll in the Passeio Público, the oldest public park in South America, to reach Cinelândia, a lively spot in Rio thanks to its bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Among many remarkable constructions in the area, you will notice the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro’s most traditional theatre and opera house, as well as the Biblioteca Nacional, Brazil’s most important library. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo, a permanent member of all must-see cafés rankings around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decoration with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks – such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’) – or desserts – such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in what was one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th Century. (Please note that Confeitaria Colombo is closed on Sundays.)

Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, & Selaron Day Tour

8. Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, & Selaron Day Tour

Discover the landmarks of Rio on a full-day guided tour, including pickup and drop off at hotels in Rio. Start with a visit to Corcovado Mountain. Ride by van to the top or board the train, both through the Tijuca Forest. Then, marvel at the main monument of Brazil, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, as you take in panoramic views of Rio. Next, head towards the mythical Maracanã football stadium and observe its imposing façade. Continue to the legendary Sambódromo where the annual Carnival parade takes place. Visit the modern Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, influenced by Mayan pyramids. Check out the brightly colored tiles of the world-famous Selarón Steps at Lapa, before enjoying a typical Brazilian steakhouse lunch. After lunch, visit Sugar Loaf. Take the cable car to the top in two stages and see one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Rio.

Rio de Janeiro: Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar

9. Rio de Janeiro: Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar

Discover Rio’s nightlife in one of the top neighborhood bars. Soak up the unique atmosphere of the Rio Scenarium, a former antique store located in the heart of Lapa. Explore the three-level culture pavilion interconnected by stairs and an elevator from the belle époque. Admire its relics, colorful décor, and obsolete items which are commonly used in film productions while listening to incredible live music.  Watch the best artists bring to life Brazilian music genres such as Samba, Forró, and MPB (Brazilian pop music). Skip the line through a fast track entrance and live a genuine local nightlife experience while enjoying the 3-hour open bar (selected drinks) and 3-course dinner service.

Rio de Janeiro: 2023 Carnival Parade Admission Ticket

10. Rio de Janeiro: 2023 Carnival Parade Admission Ticket

Experience Rio's Carnival, the most popular and famous parade in the world. This incredible cultural event is characterized by its freedom of expression, and creative and fun atmosphere represented through samba school parades, carnival balls, and street carnival. The official parade takes place in the Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome, created by renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer with capacity for 80,000 spectators. There are 5 days of parades, divided into three categories: Access Group, Special Group, and the Champions Parade. – February 17th, 2023 (Friday): Access Group (2nd league) – February 18th, 2023 (Saturday): Access Group (2nd league) – February 19th, 2023 (Sunday): Special Group (1st league) – February 20th, 2023 (Monday): Special Group (1st league) – February 25th, 2023 (Saturday): Champions’ Parade (“All-Star Parade” with the 6 winners samba schools) Access Group (2nd league) In the Access Group, the best Samba Schools will be able to participate in the Special Group in the following year. 6 samba schools parades every night with enthusiasm and beauty. This is perfect for those, who want to see the magic of carnival on a budget. Special Group (1st league) These are considered the main days of the Carnival Parade. The best 12 Samba schools in Rio de Janeiro show all their creativity and innovations. These are the true magical nights of the Sambadrome. Tickets are more expensive for these days as it is the most popular parade with major league schools. Champions Parade On that night, the top six Special Group schools repeat their performances. This is an extraordinary night to see the Carnaval champions of the year.

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,789 reviews

Our tour was great! The pick up from our hotel was a little delayed, but I called as we were waiting and they gave us a new ETA, which was accurate and it was no big deal overall to me or my group. Once we were picked up, we began driving toward the Christ statue. On the way, Victoria was great about pointing out key building or facts about the buildings or areas we were passing by. She was very knowledgeable about the city as a whole and we really enjoyed hearing commentary on what we were driving past on the way to the main attractions. She even recommended dinner spots for us that we ended up trying and loving! It was definitely a great bang for our buck and we really enjoyed the entire day!

We really enjoyed our time. Juçara was very friendly and informative. She was happy to answer all our questions and we felt safe the entire time. To start the tour off, we took the bus to the favela, where we explored both main streets and small alleyways. We got to meet the locals living there and enjoy the breathtaking views of Rio from various viewpoints. Would recommend to everyone, such a unique experience.

Fernandes was wonderful. He speaks good English. He recommended a place for us for lunch and it was fabulous. That wasn’t even part of the tour. He goes above and beyond. Would definitely recommend this tour if you have a 6-8 hour layover at the airport.

It was very informational. Our guide was very knowledgeable of the area as she was born there. Stopped at local shops to support the community. Would definitely recommend to anyone who wants an amazing experience.

Short but nice! I would be more time in the stairs that they offer, because is one of the most beautiful places included in the tour