… because let’s face it – a trip to Rio de Janeiro is quickly becoming a travel must-do!

Th colours, the beaches, the parties, the food… there are so many reasons why you should and would want to visit Rio de Janeiro but when you visit, what should you get up to? Well we’ve got you covered!

7 Experiences You Need To Have In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1.) Experience a sensory overload at Rio Carnival
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Rio Carnival is easily one of the most famous events, not just in Brazil but across the globe! The sheer scale and colours of this event is absolutely incredible! If you happen to be in Rio at the time, you’d be a fool to miss out on this spectacular display of costumes, dance and fun packed into one massive party.

2.) Dance the night away in Lapa
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Speaking of dancing, be sure to reserve at least one night in Rio for exploring Lapa and its vibrant nightlife scene. Get your groove on to pumping Samba beats in one of the many bars or clubs in this area. Don’t expect to come home before dawn. Oh and take a taxi!

3.) Make time to explore on the beaches
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What kind of beach are you? Apparently in Rio, your choice of what beach to lay down your towel says a lot about your character. The fancy folks head for Ipanema whereas families and solitude-seekers will find their happy place at Leblon. If you feel indecisive, saunter along the famous Copacabana for some people-watching and a cold drink in the shade. Whatever kind of beach you are though – you’re bound to find your kind of beach here in Rio!

4.) Catch a glimpse of the Favelas
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Once a no-go area, Rio’s favelas now have become a tourist attraction. These less developed settlements in Rio are a way of gaining an insight into a slightly less filtered version of Brazil and a sensory overloaded experience. The most accessible favelas is considered to be Rocinha though regardless of which favela you choose to visit, always make sure you go with a reputable guide.

5.) See A Brazilian icon – Christ The Redeemer
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The town’s landmark and a globally recognised symbol of Rio de Janeiro, the giant open-armed stature of Jesus on top of Corvocado Hill, is essential for every trip to Brazil. It can be seen from almost everywhere in the city though a hike up here is worth it as, in return, you have beautiful views over Rio de Janeiro.

6.) Sugarloaf Mountain is another must-do.
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There are two cable-cars that take you to the peak of Sugarloaf mountain and from up here, you will be rewarded with even more staggering views over the city. If you haven’t grasped why Rio de Janeiro is one of the most beautiful places on earth yet, you definitely will from up here. Try to visit at sunset for some amazing panoramic shots.

7.) Take a hike in Tijuca National Park
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Even the most dedicated fan of Rio de Janeiro needs to get out of the noise and chaos once in a while. Head for Tijuca National Park and discover a variety of hiking trails, untouched, lush landscapes and, of course, stunning views of the city!

Image via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

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  • Love this! I don’t know why but I Rio or South America was never on my “must see” list but after seeing so many beautiful pictures and hearing amazing things it’s quickly gone to the top!
    The Fernweh Wolf / Travel & Lifestyle Blog

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s such an amazing place isn’t it. We’d love to spend a month just exploring so much of Brazil – how amazing would that be!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Marina Corrêa de Moraes

    I love Rio <3 it's nice to see you recommend to visit Favelas, cause, as a brazilian myself, I never had the guts to visit. My mistake, indeed. In Rio, I also recommend to visit the center of the city (it has some amazing colonial buildings) and Oscar Niemeyer's work (he's our most famous architect).

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! Thanks so much for the amazing recommendations Marina – such a great tip for visiting too!

      Rio is an amazing place, right! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Rio is such a magical place! Sadly when I visited, I got bad weather, but I’d love to go back one day. Would love to see the favelas like you recommend!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ahhh, bad weather sucks when you’re visiting a new place… It can really put a downer on visiting. On the upside, it’s the perfect excuse to return! Haha! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Lovely Photos! This one’s bookmarked!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Rio is incredible isn’t it! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx