Free Attractions in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, the Wonderful City, gets each visitors head spinning on all the opportunities of what to do in the city. But sometimes the big touristic attractions tend to be expensive to visit, and you might end up thinking if they’re worth it or not.
But Rio is a perfect city for the ones travelling on a budget as well! Lots of free or very cheap sights, events and things to do. Read about the best Free Attractions in Rio de Janeiro!
THE MAJOR ATTRACTIONS OF RIO DE JANEIRO FOR FREE
Of course, when you visit Rio, you’d probably like to visit the major sites of the city. Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf mountain are attractions known all over the world! As these sights are extremely popular, they tend to be a bit expensive as well. But pay attention here, there are ways to visit these places for free or at least much cheaper!
The cable car ticket to the Sugarloaf costs R$100, but if you decide to hike until the first mountain (Urca Hill) and then take the cable car, the entrance is half price! You can also just visit the first mountain, admire the views from there and then walk down the same path completely free! Here‘s a blog text that explains you how to do it!
To visit Christ the Redeemer, unfortunately there’s no way to do it completely free, but there are some ways to save a bit. First of all if it is not high season, try to go during the week, since the entrance tickets are more expensive on weekends and high season. You have a few options getting in there. The train, minivan or a taxi/uber. The prices vary between R$60 to R$75. There is also a hike, between Parque Lage and Christ the Redeemer, and if you arrive to the Christ hiking, you only need to pay the entrance fee (around R$25). If you decide to hike, go in a group and don’t bring much valuable belongings, since some muggings have been reported on that trail. Check the details of all the options of how to get to Christ Redeemer!
FREE WALKING TOUR RIO DE JANEIRO
Rio has a rich history and especially the downtown area hides many secrets and curiosities. To discover better the city center of Rio, join daily to our Free Walking Tour Downtown & Lapa. We will explain you about the history and current situation of the city, give you good tips for your stay and show a bit of real Rio de Janeiro and you will also visit one of Rio’s major attractions: Selaron Stairs. And the best thing is, that there is no fix price for this tour, so at the end everybody pays as much you think the experience was worth it! Confirm here all the information about our Rio de Janeiro Free Walking Tours!
We couldn’t miss the beaches on our list of free atractions of Rio de Janeiro. When thinking of Rio de Janeiro, the beaches are one of the first things coming in mind for most people. And when we think of free things to do in the city, obviously the beaches are among the best options. Rio has several world-famous beaches, such like Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. Take a stroll on the famous Copacabana sidewalk, or catch an amazing sunset at Ipanema. Join in to our Free Walking Tour Copacabana & Ipanema to explore the neighbourhoods deeper!
Besides these three beaches, we highly recommend visiting some of Rio’s less known beaches as well. Barra da Tijuca beach is the longest beach in Rio, with almost 18 km of length! Take a metro until last stop (Jardim Oceanico) and you’re 10 minutes walking distance from the beach!
Feeling more adventurous? You should definitely visit the “wild beaches” of Guaratiba. Take the public transportation until Barra da Guaratiba, which locates about 40km from Downtown Rio. From there start an easy level hike until Praia do Perigoso, which is the first of four wild beaches. In 40 minutes time you’ll arrive to a picturesque beach, cristal blue ocean and white sand. These beach is never going to be extremely crowded, because the only access is by foot, or by taxi boat. You can visit all four beaches in one day if you leave early in the morning.
The geography of Rio is an attraction for itself. Rio de Janeiro is home for two of the biggest urban forests of the world! Tijuca National Park is a huge forest in the heart of Rio. There you’ll find hundreds of different hiking paths, viewpoints and waterfalls. And the entrance to the park is free! To most of the sections, you can arrive with public transportation in less than an hour from downtown Rio.
Propably two most popular hikes in Rio are Pedra Bonita and Dois Irmãos mountains. Both of them are in the southern zone of Rio, and the access is very easy. The paths are relatively easy, Pedra Bonita being easier from these two. And the views from the top are breathtaking! If you feel like getting off the beaten path, you’re hiking option could be Pico da Tijuca, which is the second highest peak of Rio (1022m), from there you’ll have a priviledged view of the city. We recommend you to go with a group of locals, who know the area or have a look on Free Hiking Rio.
On a very hot day, is a nice idea to have a refreshing bath in one of Rio’s waterfalls. The easiest access is to Horto Waterfall, which is located close to the Botanical Gardens. It’s better to go during the week, since weekends here tend to be extremely busy. Also, go with locals or someone who know the area.
Parque Lage is a beautiful park close by Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. There you can see some wildlife, mostly monkeys and birds. It’s a nice place for relaxing stroll, and mostly on weekends they also host different cultural events in the park as well.
CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL SIGHTS
Rio has several interesting cultural attractions and museums, but most of them have a small entrance free. But if you’re budget is really tight, don’t worry, all the museums also have one day in a week when the entrance is for free! So keep an eye open for these days! The most famous museums, Museum of Tomorrow and Museum of Art are free on Tuesdays, Natural History and Fine Arts Museum don’t charge on a Sunday.
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil is an exhibition center that hosts monthly changing art exhibits. You can visit the expos free, and they also have a cheap cinema and a theater.
The National Library is the biggest Library of Latin America, and is among the 10 biggest ones of the world! The archive contain more than 9 million books! Visit the library for free from Monday to Friday. Another amazing library that’s not to be missed in Rio is the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading. That’s a library containing the largest amount of Portuguese texts outside of Portugal. The building itself is worthwhile checking out because of it’s very special neo-gothic style architecture.
You could easily spend days just visiting the churches of Rio. Most likely you’re not going to spend your time in Rio only visiting churches, but here’s a few of them you should really explore. Candelária is a massive church close by the Olympic Boulevard. It’s very dramatic, and inside you’ll find an enormous roof painting. São Bento Monastery has a beautiful church, which is completely covered in gold. Located on the hilltop close by Mauá Square, so it offers nice views of the Museum of Tomorrow and the Port Zone of Rio. Last but not least, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio is a must visit! From outside, if you don’t know, you can’t really guess that it’s a cathedral. Looks more like a Mayan Pyramid. But once you go in, you’ll get the idea. Pay much attention to the detailed windows, full of colors and catholic symbols.