What to do in Rio de Janeiro in 3 days
What to to in Rio de Janeiro in 3 days? Rio de Janeiro is a city where you would easily spend weeks discovering it, and finding new attractions every day. But if you’re short on time, don’t worry! In just few days it’s possible to explore the touristic sights and some hidden gems of the Marvellous City. We prepared a 3 days itinerary, following it you’ll cover all the most interesting sights of Rio! Check out here What to Do in Rio de Janeiro in 3 Days!
Day one: Free Walking Tour + Santa Teresa + Sugar Loaf
We start our suggestion of what to do in Rio de Janeiro in 3 days with a general orientation of the city. On your first day discovering a new city it’s normal to feel kind of lost. Rio sometimes can be a tricky city to navigate, thanks to it’s special geography. So our recommendation is to start your visitation to Rio by joining in to a Free Walking Tour in Downtown & Lapa. In this 3-hour tour you will get a great general idea of the city and it’s history, and learn about Brazilian culture. The tour starts at 10:30 and ends by lunch time, around 14:00.
On the walking tour you already explored the downtown area and Escadaria Selarón in Lapa. Located on the top of Escadaria Selarón, the bohemian neighbourhood of Santa Teresa is a great option to grab a traditional brazilian lunch. For feijoada, a brazilian national dish, head to Bar do Mineiro. For more contemporaneous, north-east brazilian culinary consider eating at Café do Alto. After lunch, it’s time to take deeper look into Santa Teresa’s streets. Walk until Ruins Park, from where you’ll get magnificent views of downtown area and the Guanabara Bay.
Before sunset, start heading towards the Sugarloaf mountain. That’s where you’ll find one of the prettiest sun falls of the city. It’s good to arrive to Sugarloaf approximately and hour before the sun sets. When the sun finally has set, you’ll see Rio’s city lights from above. It’s a view you’ll never forget.
Day 2: Christ the Redeemer + Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon + Sunset at Arpoador + Lapa
The second day of a 3 days itinerary of Rio de Janeiro starts early. Early bird catches the worm! In this case, I’m talking about a picture of Christ the Redeemer without thousand other tourist in the same picture. To get this, is necessary to wake up early, and head to the statue as soon as it opens at 08:00. Buy your tickets online, and skip all the lines! If you want to know the 5 different ways to get to Christ the Redeemer click here
After visiting Christ the Redeemer, how about taking a stroll around Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon? Hire a bike and ride all around the lagoon meanwhile admiring the beautiful landscape. Close by the lagoon you’ll find Rio’s Botanical Garden. Thousands of different plants and trees, and if you’re lucky, maybe some monkeys as well! Botanical Garden is enormous, and you’ll easily spend hours wandering inside.
Today you’ll see the sunset from an other spectacular viewpoint. Head towards Arpoador, a big rock located at the end of Ipanema beach. Get a caipirinha from a beach kiosk and find yourself a spot at the crowded rock. The moment sun disappears at the horizon, everyone claps their hands loudly.
Tonight your night is not going to end at sunset, but continue until Lapa, the center of nightlife in Rio! If you’re in Rio during weekend (thursday to saturday) make sure you’ll take a stroll in Lapa. Whether your vibe is taking it easy sipping a drink in a casual bar, or practice your dance moves at one of Lapa’s samba clubs, Lapa has something to offer for you! Take a look at our Pub Crawl Rio de Janeiro Lapa to spend and unforgettable and a cultural night in Rio!
Day 3: Beach + Olympic Boulevard
Big night last night? Yes, today is better to take it easy. After waking up, head to the beach! In Rio you have several options. The most famous ones are Copacabana & Ipanema. But in case you feel like avoiding crowds, go to Barra da Tijuca Beach. It’s a 18km beach on the south-east zone of Rio, and from there you’ll truly find an empty corner to chill. Make sure you’ll try Rio’s most famous beach snacks, Globo biscuits and an ice-cold Mate tea. These snacks are Rio’s cultural heritage, so don’t leave from Rio before trying them!
After few hours on the beach, let’s add some culture to your itinerary. Rio is full of wonderful museums and culture exhibition centers. We recommend visiting the Museum of Tomorrow at the Olympic Boulevard. This museum is a project of famous spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. A walk by the Olympic Boulevard is very scenic, and interesting especially for the ones interested to street art! Here you’ll find several amazing painting by local and international artists.
If it happens to be Monday, by night your option is a samba street party at Pedra do Sal. A good mixture of locals and tourists, good music and cheap drinks. What else could you ask for? If it’s not Monday, consider having a drink in Botafogo. It’s a trendy neighbourhood full of bars, restaurants and shops. This is a local hangout, and there is something for everybody.
Some Alternativities of What to Do in 3 Days in Rio de Janeiro
If something in our itinerary doesn’t really work for you, here’s a few extra ideas to fill up your schedule! For football fans, a visitation to Maracanã stadium is a must. They do guided tours, but better experience if or course is to catch a game! The game days normally are Wednesdays and Sundays, but there is exceptions.
In case it rains while you’re visiting Rio, don’t get desperate! The views form Christ the Redeemer or the Sugarloaf are not visible, but you have many alternative options for rainy days in the city. Take a look at out blog post of Things to Do in Rio When it Rains.
If you’re more into nature than city life, make sure you’ll visit Tijuca National Park, a huge forest located in the heart of Rio. Hundreds of hiking paths, viewpoints and waterfalls to refresh. Go with a guide, so you’ll get the most out of your experience!
Anyone has another suggestion of what to do in Rio in 3 days?