What to do in Rio de Janeiro on a Cloudy Day?
What to do in Rio de Janeiro on a Cloudy Day?? The idea of this post is to give you valuable tips to not lose the chance to see interesting places in Rio and join 5 stars tours, even if it’s raining!
On this text you will find out:
1 Is it worth to go to the main attractions (should or shouldn’t you go on a cloudy day)?
2 Why free walking tours are an excellent option on cloudy days.
3 Rainy days attractions, that can also be done on cloudy days.
4 Outside activities for cloudy days.
1- Main attractions: Sugar Loaf and Christ the Redeemer
It might be worth doing it! Rio’s main attractions can be done when the clouds are high. Our tip is: try to observe the monuments through the viewpoints, for example, we can see Christ the Redeemer from the neighborhood Botafogo, the Lagoon and closer places as Copacabana (from the beach) and Arpoador Rock, between Copacabana and Ipanema (a great place for a sunset in Rio). If you can see it, it means it has good view. If it’s covered by clouds or if the clouds are moving – just forget about it.
Important: Christ the redeemer tickets MUST be bought online. Sugar Loaf offers discounts for the ones who book online. And let’s agree that the most we save, the best, right? More trips, more tours, more fun!!!
2- Free Walking Tours: you will have the best of your experience if it’s cloudy
Yes! If you were about to ask if there is any place that have an even better experience if it’s cloudy here is our favorite: the free walking tours!
Free Walking Tours
Why are the free walking tours recommended on cloudy days? Because it’s much more pleasant to go for those tours, as the rain might be a bit annoying and the strong sun lets the walk more tiring (especially if it’s summer!)
And we know that you want to enjoy every day in the wonderful city, right? This is the chance of getting to know Rio de Janeiro though our walker’s perspective, completely in love by the city, besides getting to know interesting people from all over the world. Just don’t miss those tours while you are in Rio.
3- Attractions done on rainy days too
If you want to see details of rainy-days attractions, have a look on our blog post of what to do in Rio de Janeiro on a rainy day.
Confeitaria Colombo is a beautiful historic and antique bakery, where many decisions about the future of Brazil were made by the elite and by the politicians that always frequented it (of course our Free Walking Tour of Rio downtown has a quick stop there).
The Municipal Theater is part of a city renovation by a major that transformed Cinelândia square in Downtown of Rio de Janeiro. One of the most beautiful art and music places of the country.
There are 2 ways of seeing the inside of the Municipal Theater: buying the guided visit, that lasts about 45min and costs R$20,00 (R$10,00 for students) or chose an opera, and take the chance to see the inside!
There are affordable presentations too! More information on Municipal Theater Website
In Cinelandia Square we can find the National Library, one of the 10 biggest of South America. To tell you about this place, we need to tell a bit of Brazilian history.
In 1808, running away from Napoleon, the Portuguese Royal family moved to Brazil. Well, the National Library was invented to replace the old Royal library, that came to Brazil with John VI, when he brought part of its books to Brazil.
Today the National Library is between the 10 biggest of the world by UNESCO, and the biggest of Latin America. It’s beautiful! It has guided visits in Portuguese, English and Spanish. It’s free, but you need a document with photo. In National Library website information is always updated.
TOMORROW MUSEUM AND RIO ART MUSEUM
Both are located at Mauá Square, the museums have interesting architecture and amazing exhibitions that are worth visiting. The price of the museums is R$20,00 (full) or R$10,00 (students). Our golden tip is to visit the museums on cloudy Tuesdays (if possible!) as they are free. If you have time you can buy a combo: MAR (Rio Art Museum) + Tomorrow Museum for R$32,00 and R$16,00 for students
One of locals favorite places, and why not for tourists? If you are into sports, we highly recommend you to watch a football match in Maracana Station, the most famous stadium of Brazil!
And if you want to visit the stadium, they offer tours to the football lovers: the tours work from 9:00 to 4PM and costs R$60,00 (R$30,00 if you are student). You can see the backstage of the show, besides the incredible sensation of entering in it!
If you go, you can find detailed information on Maracanã website.
MOREIRA SALLES INSTITUTE
Moreira Sales Institute is a unique institution in Brazilian cultural landscape. It has important heritage in 4 different areas: Photography, Music, Literature and Iconography. It’s also famous for promoting art exhibitions of Brazilians and foreigners.
The activities of the space are sustained by a donation – initially by a Brazilian bank and today by Moreira Salles family. IMS is in tree different cities: Poços de Caldas (in Minas Gerais State), Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo
Besides exhibitions catalogs, photography books, literature and music, it publiches the ZUM magazine, about Brazilian contemporary photography and of the world, every 6 months and Serrote, about essays and ideas, every 4 months.
Why to visit on cloudy days? It’s highly recommended to visit museums and cultural centers on cloudy days – as they are interesting and many times free attractions to enjoy your vacations. Besides this, IMS is a beauty and pleasant option to who is into history, photography and to get to know more about Brazil and it’s art.
Address: Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 476
Visitation: FREE entrance to the cultural center and it’s exhibition. Check other activities prices.
Working time: from Tuesday to Sunday and bank holidays (except on Mondays) 11AM to 20PM
contact: (21) 3284-7400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
4- Outside attractions
Here we will suggest the main outside attractions that are pleasant on cloudy days. There are beautiful places that for sure, will make your trip unforgettable – even with the cloudy weather.
Just beside the botanical garden, there is a park, called park Lage. This is one of the hidden gems of Rio de Janeiro and you probably won’t find a better place for walking with friends/ family than Parque Lage. Inside of the park there is a school of arts. As the park is together with the Atlantic forest, it is possible that you will see animals. But remind, don’t feed the monkeys.
But the question is: why to visit it on cloudy days? Lage park is opened and with a really small covered area, where the Rio Art School works. In rainy days it is difficult to appreciate the beauty of the construction and of the nature in the park. If it’s cloudy and fresh, you will be able to enjoy it. Note the view won’t be as good as if it was sunny.
The Portuguese Royal family decided to escape from Napoleon revolution and cross the Atlantic in direction to Rio de Janeiro, in 1807. In the next year, 1808, Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden was opened.
The Garden was oppened to acclimatize plants and trees that came from different parts of the world, about 6500 in total. A few of them are really interesting and can be observed in the place. For example, do you know why Brazil is called Brazil?
When the Portuguese got here for the first time, the country was full of a tree, called Brazilian wood. Because of this tree, the Portuguese decided to call the new colony as “Brazil” . I bet you have never seen the tree, that’s because Brazilian wood is basically extinct from nature. In the Botanical Garden you can see many of this tree.
Other trees can be seen as Cacau (chocolate raw material tree), Vitoria-Regia (water plant) e Ipê Amarelo (beautiful tree with yellow flowers). There is also an orchid collection with more than 2500 plants of the specie, a truly party of collours and smells.
Today, Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden is one of the most important botanic research institute and biodiversity conservation in the world! You can read more about it on our Botanical Garden post.
IMPORTANT: We highly recommend you to visit the Botanical Garden on cloudy days, as it’s fresher and you can enjoy the walk without getting melted (believe us, it’s really hot in Rio’s summer). There is a huge external area, so imagine walking on it under 40º C or under heavy rain? It’s not the best experience.
Address: Rua Jardim Botanico, 1008, Rio de Janeiro
Opening times: Monday: 12AM to 5pm. Tuesday to Sunday: 8AM to 5PM
Entry fee: Adults: R$15,00 (only cash). Students and elderies: R$7,50. Children with less than 5 years: FREE
How to get there: 1. Take the subway to Botafogo station, and from there subway bus to Gavea. There are 5 stops until the Botanical Garden 2. Bus line 583 and 584 of Copacabana take you to the main entrance. 3. Take an Uber or Taxi.
NITEROI ON A CLOUDY DAY
Niteroi is a different city located just beside of Rio, about 13km away between both cities. Don’t fool yourself, the city is interesting and for sure it’s worth a day visit if you have the time.
A few of the points to get to know in Niteroi are:
1 Niemeyer (Brazilian worldwide famous architect) art works: after Brasilia, Niteroi is the second city with more of his masterpieces. The city has a walk known as “Niemeyer way”, where we can see many buildings of the artist from the center of the city to the neighborhood of Icaraí. It’s worth to visit the Niemeyer foundation too.
2 The popular theater of Niteroi and the Memorial Roberto Silveira, JK square and Petrobras Cultural Cinema Center.
3 Museums: MAC (Contemporaneous Art Museum of Niteroi), Antonio Parreiras Museum, Janete Costa Museum of Popular Art, Solar do Jambeiro Cultural center and Cultural Center Paschoal Carlos Magno.
4 Besides the art, Niteroi has amazing beaches, a few of them with a wonderful view to Rio de Janeiro. Of course, that if it is too cloudy, the suggestion is to do one of the 3 items listed above. If you believe you can do everything on the same day, the main Niteroi beaches are:
Guanabara Bay Beaches: it’s worth mentioning that those beaches are not recommended for bath but own a spectacular view. So, in this case it’s worth walking and taking pictures at the sand. If you have a private car, a good suggestion is to start in Praia de Boa Viagem. Here is the route: Praia de boa viagem – Praia das Flechas – Praia de Icaraí – Praia de São Francisco – Praia de Charitas – Praia de Jurujuba – Praias de Adão e Eva
Oceanic Beaches: those are the best for swimming and will not disappoint you with it’s beauty: Praia de Camboinhas – Praia de Piratininga – Praia do Sossego – Praia de Itaipu – Praia de Itacoatiara
You can get to Niteroi by ferry boat or crossing the bridge
Ferry boat: If you want an easier way to get to Niteroi this option is the ferry boat station, which is located at XV square in Downtown Rio. It takes you to Araribóia Square, in Niteroi downtown. The ferry boats work from 6AM to 00PM, from Monday to Sunday, they leave every 20min and weekends, every 30min. The tickets price is R$6,10 (march/2019)
Rio Niterói Bridge: There are many buses that leave Rio to Niteroi (740D, 750D, 751D, 760D e 775D). The tip is to look at apps as Google Maps or Moovit – they will give you details of closer points and better lines to get to your destiny.
Those are the main tips to enjoy the most of Niteroi, but of course, the city has other attractions, between parks, forts and fortress and a great nightlife.
Located just beside the Botanical Garden (a few minutes walking), this is for sure one of the most beautiful views of Rio de Janeiro. What about enjoying drinking a coconut water and walking around it?
The huge natural lagoon, at the heart of the city. There is a 7km cycling path around it, perfect for a stroll – by bike or on foot. The view from the lagoon to Christ the Redeemer, Two Brothers Hill and Tijuca Forest are incredible.
For sure it’s worth a visit on not too cloudy days, as it’s also fresher! A tip: go for a small picnic by the lagoon! Imagine how beautiful, an afternoon enjoying the beauty of the place, besides Christ the Redeemer and surrounded by nature? Only Rio offers you that! Enjoy.