A magical world of entertainment: 10 gorgeous places in Rio de Janeiro

By Iryna BolshakovaJan 25, 2024 10:10 AMRio de Janeiro
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Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro. Source: By Heiko Behn, Pixabay

Rio de Janeiro is an amazing city for tourists that combines the beauty of nature, richness of culture and dynamism of life. It is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in the world, which attracts millions of visitors with its beaches, historical and cultural attractions, carnivals, picturesque parks, soccer and the sculpture of Christ the Redeemer. It is full of exciting and unusual entertainment that will give you unforgettable impressions and emotions. We will tell you about 10 places in Rio, which you must visit if you want to plunge into the magical world of entertainment.

Statue of Christ the Redeemer

A colossal art deco sculpture of Jesus Christ that sits on top of Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro. It is a symbol of the city and Brazil as a whole, and was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

The statue is located in the Tijuca National Park, 709 metres above sea level. It can be reached by electric train, which runs on a railroad built back in 1884. You can also take a bus, cab or car via the highway that runs through the Tijuca Forest.

Entrance to the statue site costs 61 Brazilian reals (about $11 USD) for an adult and 49 reals (about $9 USD) for a child. Tickets can be purchased online or on site. The statue is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

From the top of Corcovado Mountain, you have a stunning view of the city and bay with the picturesque Sugarloaf Mountain, the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the huge bowl of Maracana Stadium and other landmarks. This is one of the most photogenic places in Rio, so don't forget to bring your camera.

The statue of Christ the Redeemer was built in 1922-1931 in honour of the centennial of Brazil's independence from Portugal. The idea for the statue came from a Catholic priest, Pedro Maria Boss, who asked Princess Isabella for funding for the project in the 1850s. However, his idea was forgotten after the proclamation of the Republic in 1889 when the church was separated from the state. In 1921, the Bishop of Rio de Janeiro revived the idea and organized a fundraiser. The statue was designed by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, and construction was supervised by French sculptor Paul Landowski. The statue was made of reinforced concrete and lined with steatite imported from Sweden and unveiled on October 12, 1931.

The statue of Christ the Redeemer has deep religious and cultural significance for Brazilians and the world community. It symbolizes the faith, peace and hospitality of the Brazilian people, and is a pilgrimage site for many Christians who come here to pray and thank God for their blessings. The statue is often illuminated in different colours depending on events happening in the world. For example, in 2016, it was illuminated with the flags of all the countries participating in the Rio Olympics.

Web site: https://santuariocristoredentor.com.br/

Rating: 4.8 ⭐

Selaron Stairs

The unique art of Brazil
The unique art of Brazil. Source: By NakNakNak, Pixabay

A unique attraction in Rio de Janeiro that was created by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. It consists of 215 steps, is 125 metres high, and is decorated with a mosaic of more than 2,000 colourful tiles collected from around the world.

The staircase is located in the Santa Teresa neighbourhood, between Joaquim Silva Street and Pinto Martins Street. It can be reached by metro to Cinelândia or Glória station, and then on foot or by bus. Entrance to the staircase is free and it is open 24 hours a day. Various images and inscriptions reflecting Selarón's work and life, as well as landscapes and symbols of Rio de Janeiro, can be seen here.

Jorge Selarón was originally from Chile but moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1983. He began decorating the staircase in 1990 as a hobby and personal project. Over time, his work attracted the attention of locals and tourists. Selarón considered the staircase his "tribute to the Brazilian people" and continued to improve it until his death in 2013. He used tiles he found on the streets, as well as bought or received as gifts from visitors. Some of them he created himself, depicting himself, his friends, celebrities and other motifs on them.

Selaron Stairs has been the site of various cultural and artistic events, as well as filming movies, music videos and commercials.

Web site: https://prefeitura.rio/

Rating: 4.6 ⭐

Grumari Beach

It is one of the wildest and most peaceful beaches in Rio de Janeiro, located in the western part of the city in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood. It is surrounded by forest and is part of an ecological reserve. Entrance to the beach is free but you should keep in mind that it closes at 17:00.

Here you can sunbathe, swim, relax and do various sports and activities. This beach is popular among surfers as it has good waves. You can also try kayaking, snorkeling, fishing or just walk along the shore. There are several kiosks near the beach where you can buy drinks, snacks and souvenirs. There are also showers, toilets and changing rooms.

Grumari Beach is the perfect place for those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature.

Rio Aquarium

The unique atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro
The unique atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro. Source: By Poswiecie, Pixabay

A modern and large aquarium in Rio de Janeiro, which opened in 2016. It is located in the Porto Maravilha neighbourhood in a former warehouse building. Aquarium Rio covers an area of 26 thousand square metres and has 28 pools, which contain about 4.5 million liters of water and more than 5 thousand marine animals and plants.

Admission to the Rio Aquarium costs R$120 (about US$22) for an adult and R$60 (about US$11) for a child, student or senior citizen. Tickets can be purchased online or on site. The Rio Aquarium is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Monday.

The Rio Aquarium features a variety of marine life and flora:

  • sharks;
  • stingrays;
  • sea turtles;
  • jellyfish;
  • corals;
  • fish;
  • algae.

The aquarium has several interactive exhibits where you can touch sea stars and sea urchins, a tunnel where you can go underwater and watch the animals from above, and a virtual aquarium where you can create your own fish and track their movements. It also runs educational programmes for children and adults such as lectures, tours, games and workshops to learn more about marine biology, ecology and conservation.

Web site: https://ingressos.aquariomarinhodorio.com.br

Rating: 4.6 ⭐

Olympic Boulevard

A promenade along the shores of Guanabara that was created for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It is one of the city's largest and most modern projects, transforming the port area into a cultural and entertainment centre.

Entrance to Boulevard Olympic is free and it is open 24 hours a day. The boulevard features various art objects and museums:

  • Museum of Tomorrow. A futuristic building dedicated to science, technology and ecology. Here you will see interactive exhibits that show how humanity can influence the future of the planet.
  • Rio Star Ferris Wheel. The tallest Ferris wheel in Latin America, which reaches 88 metres in height. It offers panoramic views of the city, the bay, and the Christ the Redeemer statue.
  • Ethnic Wall. Painted by 19 artists from different countries. The wall shows the diversity of cultures and peoples that have shaped Brazilian society.

The Olympic Boulevard, which is famous for its beauty, also hosts different events such as concerts, festivals, exhibitions and sports competitions.

Rio Museum of Art

Rio Museum of Art
Rio Museum of Art. Source: Изображение RUBENS CRISTOVÃO CRISTOVÃO с сайта Pixabay

A modern museum that combines two buildings: the former bus station and the former police palace. It is located in the Porto Maravilha neighbourhood, on Olympic Boulevard, near the Rio Aquarium and the Museum of Tomorrow.

Admission to the Rio Museum of Art costs R$20 (about US$4) for an adult and R$10 (about US$2) for a child, student or senior citizen. Tickets can be purchased online or on site. The Rio Museum of Art is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The Rio Art Museum features a collection of Brazilian art as well as temporary exhibitions on different themes and artists. The Rio Museum of Art is one of the most interesting and modern museums in Rio de Janeiro as it combines history, culture and education. The Rio Museum of Art holds different educational and cultural programmes for children and adults, such as lectures, guided tours, games, workshops, film screenings and concerts.

Web site: https://museudeartedorio.org.br/en/home/

Rating: 4.7 ⭐

Madureira Park

One of the largest and most diverse parks in Rio de Janeiro. It was inaugurated in 2012 as part of a project to develop and green the city. The park covers an area of 93 hectares and has many attractions and recreational areas for all ages and tastes.

Admission to Madureira Park is free and it is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. The park includes:

  • Skate Park. One of the largest and most modern skateparks in Latin America where you can skateboard, rollerblade, bike or scooter. It has different tracks, ramps and jumps with various levels of difficulty.
  • Amphitheatre. A place where different cultural and artistic events such as concerts, plays, festivals and exhibitions take place. The amphitheatre can accommodate up to 3 thousand people and has modern sound and lighting equipment.
  • Library. Here you can read books, magazines, newspapers or comics, as well as use the Internet and play board games. The library has more than 10 thousand volumes and conducts educational and literary programmes for children and adults.
  • Samba Museum. Learn the history and culture of samba, one of Brazil's most popular and traditional musical genres. The museum has displays on famous samba schools, composers, singers and dancers, as well as costumes, instruments and accessories used in carnivals.

There are also sports fields and recreational areas.

Parque Lage

Golden sand on the beaches in Rio de Janeiro
Golden sand on the beaches in Rio de Janeiro. Source: By Leo Galeno, Pixabay

A picturesque park in Rio de Janeiro, which is located at the foot of Corcovado Mountain near the Botanical Gardens. It is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the city where you can immerse yourself in a world of amazing nature, art and history.

Admission to Parque Lage is free and it is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. The park includes:

  • Botanical Garden. An area with a huge variety of tropical plants such as palm trees, orchids, cacti and others. The garden has several themed sections such as Japanese, sensory and water parks.
  • Historic Mansion. A building that was built in the 19th century and owned by different families, including Brazilian industrialist Henrique Lage and his wife, Italian opera singer Gabriella Besanzoni. The mansion was remodeled in Renaissance style and has a beautiful courtyard with a fountain and swimming pool. The mansion is currently home to the School of Fine Arts, which holds exhibitions and courses for visitors.

Web site: http://eavparquelage.rj.gov.br/

Rating: 4.7 ⭐

Morro Dois Irmãos

A hill that consists of two peaks located in the Leblon neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro. Its height of 533 metres makes it one of the highest and most beautiful in the city. From its summit, you can enjoy panoramic views of the beaches, the ocean, the lagoon and the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Carnival

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Source: By Pat, Pixabay

Of course, the first thing the city is associated with is the famous Carnival, the largest and most colourful show in the world.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is an annual celebration held from Friday to Tuesday before Lent in Brazil's largest city. This event attracts millions of tourists from all over the world who want to participate in a unique spectacle full of music, dance, colours and fun.

Carnival consists of two parts:

  • Folk carnival, which takes place spontaneously in the streets and squares of the city.
  • The official carnival is a competition of the best samba schools of Rio de Janeiro.

The samba schools are engaged in preparing and performing at the carnival, as well as preserving and developing the culture of the dance. Each school has its own theme, costumes, cars, songs and dancers who showcase their skills and creativity in the main arena of the carnival, the Sambodrome, a specially built venue that seats about 90,000 spectators. Parades of samba schools that start at 9 p.m. and last until morning are along its 700-metre track. Each school has 82 minutes to drive around the Sambodrome and convince the jury of its superiority. The jury evaluates the schools on ten criteria such as rhythm, harmony, evolution, costumes, cars, flag bearer, singer, script, flag and overall impression. The winner is announced on the Wednesday after the carnival and receives a trophy of honour and the right to participate in the parade of champions on Saturday.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is not only a spectacle and participation but also an unforgettable experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of joy, beauty and culture of Brazil. It is one of the most colourful and impressive events in the world, which is worth seeing at least once in a lifetime.

However, if you decide to come to Rio at another time, there's still plenty to do in this insanely delightful city.

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