Best Things to Do When Visiting Rio de Janeiro

Visiting Rio de Janeiro

Brazil was the first South-American country I visited. I traveled from Lagos, Nigeria on Royal Air Maroc via Casablanca, Morocco to connect Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Why Rio de Janeiro?

Visiting Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro was on my bucket list for way too long. It is one of Brazil’s most visited cities, popular for the following reasons;

Friendly People:

Locals are exceptionally friendly and welcoming to visitors. I traveled solo but was never alone. I felt like they genuinely cared about me and were happy to help at all times. I had people offer me things even when I didn’t need them. This was very much appreciated.

Christ the Redeemer:

Rio de Janeiro is home to Christ the Redeemer which is one of the new seven wonders of the world. No visit to Rio is complete without a tour of this iconic statue which also represents the symbol of Rio de Janeiro.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Here, you can get a birds-eye view of the city. The view from the top of the mountain is absolutely stunning. Do not miss the sunset.

Visiting Rio de Janeiro

The Beaches:

With a stunning coastline of beaches, Rio de Janeiro is great for a beach vacation. Visit Ipanema and Copacabana beaches.

Culture:

Do you love samba? Rio is the birthplace of samba. Experience the best of samba in Rio de Janeiro.

Heard of favelas?

Rio de Janeiro has several favela tours that provide an eye-opening insight into the existence of these favelas and helps to break down preconceptions and stereotypes. I visited Rocinha, which is considered the largest in the city and Vila Canoas, one of the safest favelas in Rio de Janeiro.

I am not the same, having seen these places. I was nervous about my trip to Rio de Janeiro, nevertheless, I did it afraid. Exploring these places helped me gain a better understanding of Brazil. The tour not only changed my perspective of these favelas and it’s association with crime and violence, but it also offered a great opportunity to see a different side of Rio de Janeiro.

I booked a favela tour with Marcelo Armstrong and would definitely recommend it. By opting for this tour, you would also be making a contribution to a local school which is financed by the tour.

Nightlife:

Nightlife in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro is vibrant and explosive. According to Culture Trip;

Lapa is Rio’s buzzing nightlife spot with lively bars, pumping nightclubs and street parties that last all night. Lapa attracts foreigners and locals every weekend to drink caipirinhas and shake out some moves with many varieties of music playing. Whilst at night it comes alive, daytime Lapa is underground and raw, with jaw-dropping street art decorating the aged buildings…

Visiting Rio de Janeiro

Food:

Are you a foodie? Rio de Janeiro has a lot to offer. Don’t just dine out, take a cooking class and learn a mix of Brazil´s favorite recipes in one fun cooking class.

Other things I did while visiting Rio de Janeiro:

Brazilian waxing;

I got my first Brazilian wax. This is definitely not for the faint-hearted. If you are a waxing virgin, here are some tips before you get one;

  • Your body will be enveloped in very hot wax. Brace yourself, It won’t kill you.
  • The waxing man/lady has NO consideration for your pain. They are not gentle and they treat you as if you feel no pain.
  • You’ll have a few brushes against your inner part. Expect no apology. In any case, the pain may not let you pay attention.

Tour of the City

On this tour, I visited the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, a magnificent cone-shaped building designed like the Mayan Pyramids in Yucatán, Mexico. It was built between 1964 and 1979 and it stands 96 meters tall. The interior is absolutely stunning and surely should not be missed when visiting Rio de Janeiro.

I also explored the world-famous steps in Rio de Janeiro and Maracanã stadium.

Lapa steps Rio de Janeiro

Island Hopping:

I joined a group on a road trip to explore Angra dos Reis which is located three (3) hours from Rio de Janeiro. We did a boat tour of Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande where we visited the main islands and beaches of the region.️

Final words

Visiting Rio de Janeiro was a dream come true. I definitely loved my experience in the city and would be happy to return to Rio in the future. If you are Nigerian and you are visiting Rio de Janeiro for the first time, find out how you can successfully apply and obtain a visa to Brazil here.

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