Rio de Janeiro Travel Tips
Rio de Janeiro cannot stop delighting tourists! Here there option of tours to all tastes: attractions to the nature fans, a lot of culture and history, beaches, Ferris wheel, aquarium… and much more! There are so many options of what to do that it is difficult to decide which one to do or where to start. On this post, we will give you all Rio de Janeiro travel tips for you to you enjoy most of your holidays at Wonderful City.
1) Start always with a free walking tour
There is no better way to start your holidays than joining a free walking tour. First, because probably you will get all the tips you need to enjoy the most of the city. Second, because everything will make much more sense after you understand a little bit of the history of the city. Third, because Rio is one of the richest cities in Brazil when we talk about history and culture. Forth, because it a tour for all budgets… We could name dozens of reasons!
However, maybe you do not know this model of tourism that is relatively new. Free Walking Tour is, as the name says, a walking tour to the main historical points of the city. During the tour, we tell the history in an informal, fun and entertaining way. We share our passion for Rio e we hope that you also leave in love. We do all with so much care that we decided not to charge a fixed price for the tour. At the end, if you like, you pay as much you wish.
To know more about this amazing tour have a look on our page of Downtown and Lapa Free Walking tour
2) Look at the weather forecast and be flexible with your tours
The majority of Rio big attractions (Christ, Sugar Loaf, Botanical Garden, Parque Lage and beaches) are not nice in rainy days. That is why a flexible chronogram will help you to be at the right place at the right time.
There are many cool things to do in Rio when it is raining, like the own free walking tour, tomorrow museum, Munipal Theater… Learn more on this article about what to do in Rio when it rains.
3) Most of the tourists prefer Sugar Loaf to Christ the Redeemer
If you are on a budget and decided to do only one of the two Rios big attractions, choose the Sugar Loaf. During years doing the free walking tour I asked to the tourist which attraction was their favourite, and the huge majority of the answers was the Sugar Loaf.
Usually, the ones that prefer Christ the Redeemer had a special reason like a huge dream of getting to know the attraction or the fact that they were lucky enough to watch a mass from the top. Then, obviously, if you have a huge dream of knowing Christ the Redeemer, go for it!
4)Buy the Rio Card (and not Metro Card)
Rio Card is a prepaid card that it valid at all transportation facilities you will need in Rio de Janeiro (VLT, buses, metro). It will make your mobility easier and you will not need to buy a ticket all the time. At VLT, only Rio Card accepted. The cost of the card is only R$3,00
PS: Não confunda Rio Card com o cartão do metrô, que é válido apenas no metrô.
5) Visit the new attractions
The Docks Area of Rio was completely fixed up to receive the Olympic Games and new attractions emerged in the place. The famous Museum of Tomorrow (my favourite museum of Rio because of its beautiful message), Rio Star, the biggest Ferris Wheel of Latin America e AquaRio, the biggest aquarium in South America.
To go from one attraction to the other, we recommend walking to admire the pretty graffiti on the way, including the biggest graffiti of the world made by one person: the mural Etnias of Cobra, one of the most famous graffiti painters of Brazil. The neighbourhood was the only in Brazil to be considered one of the most cool of the world, according to an English research.
6) Buy Tomorrow Museum Tickets Online
If you do not want to wait hours on the line to Tomorrow Museum, buy your ticket online. The line of the ones who bought tickets online has the preference to enter in the museum and it is much faster. Tickets are R$30,00
7) Choose the best schedules to visit Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf
Go to the Christ and the Sugar Loaf at the right time will change completely your experience. Choose Christ at the first time: 8AM. I know that it is early e that when we are on holidays we want to sleep until later, but I guarantee that you will not regret. The attraction is usually very crowded and it gets impossible to enjoy the moment and take good pictures. Waking up early is the only way to change this scenery.
While the Sugar Loaf it is nice to do at end of afternoon. For sure, this will be one of the most beautiful sunsets you have seen in your life. Make sure you will be at Sugar Loaf hill and not Urca Hill.
8) Should you visit the main points with an agency or by yourself?
The easiest way to go to Christ the Redeemer and the Sugar Loaf is a tour with an agency. Depending where you are hosted they can even collect you at the hotel, hostel or Airbnb. I like the agency option because it gives you a better time management besides you do not to worry about anything in your day. In addition, it is a safer option, as you will be walking with experts of Rio that know where to go.
However if you want to run way of the crowded times, want to do it on your on pace, and do not mind on going on your own to the places, to it by yourself instead of hiring a tour agency!
9) Rio is full of free attractions
Enjoy everything free that the city has to offer: lage park, CCBB, beaches, Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, Catacumba Park, numerous treks… The list is huge! Have a look at Rio de Janeiro free attractions to learn more.
10) Urca Hill Hike
The famous Sugar Loaf bondinho stops in two hills. The first is called Urca Hill and the second is the Sugar Loaf itself. The first (Urca Hill) is accessible by a free trek of easy level
I recommend it if you are adventurous or want to save money. After getting at the top of Urca Hill through the trek, you have the option of buying a ticket to go up to Sugar Loaf hill or go back to the beach, the starting point of the trek.