7 Unusual Activities To Discover Rio De Janeiro

We are going to do a brief but intense tour of the lesser-known side of the most famous city in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro.
7 unusual activities to discover Rio de Janeiro

Discovering Rio de Janeiro in depth requires several days of stay in the great Brazilian city. It is a place full of topics and absolutely must-sees, but there are also other spaces in the city that are real surprises for visitors. They are places that, although they are more unusual, can become the great memory of the trip.

Discover Rio de Janeiro in another way

Almost without ever having been to the Rio de Janeiro city, many of us can name several places that are great icons. Obligatory stops to discover Rio de Janeiro are its magnificent beaches, such as those of Copacabana or Ipanema. And so is Christ the Redeemer, who dominates the entire city.

However, from all this it is relatively easy to find information. Therefore, today we are going to talk about other less famous places, but that also deserve a visit.

1. Arpoador Beach

Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro
Arpoador Beach

Since we have named the two most emblematic beaches, we will also name another one that is less known, but perhaps more authentic: Arpoador beach. If you like surfing, this is the one you should go to. And, of course, if you travel to Brazil on your honeymoon, here you will enjoy a romantic sunset.

2. The Lapa neighborhood to discover Rio de Janeiro at night

To discover Rio de Janeiro you have to stay up a little late. It may not be necessary to do it every night, but it does need to be done every other night. And one of the best places to do is the Lapa neighborhood.

Bars and restaurants for locals abound in this neighborhood. Dare to visit it, but always be careful. You cannot forget that Brazil is not exactly the safest place in the world.

3. Live the day in the neighborhood of Santa Teresa

Staircase of Selaron in Rio de Janeiro
Seladas Staircase -Adam Reeder / Flickr.com

Another highly recommended neighborhood to discover Rio de Janeiro is that of Santa Teresa. In this case, it is much better to visit it during the day, when you discover all its colonial charm and bohemian atmosphere. In addition,  there we can go up to the colorful stairs of Selarón, an image of Rio’s joy.

4. Get to know the heritage of Rio

Interior of the Royal Portuguese Reading Cabinet
Royal Portuguese Reading Cabinet – Mayumi Ishikawa / Flickr.com

Surely, when you think about discovering Rio de Janeiro, it may not be among your plans to see interesting monuments. However, the visit to the city would not be complete without these incentives, which will truly surprise you.

In Rio there are several interesting palaces, such as Tiradentes or Catete. In addition, you should not miss other jewels, such as the Royal Portuguese Reading Cabinet or the monastery of San Bentao.

5. Two special museums

Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro
Museum of Modern Art – Halley Pacheco de Oliveira / Wikimedia Commons

Another big surprise for the savvy travelers are two of the most attractive museums in the city. One would be the Museum of Modern Art. It is a jewel of contemporary architecture in the city and inside it offers us a rich journey through the most recent art of Brazil.

And of course, one cannot say that he is going to discover Rio de Janeiro if he does not visit the Indian Museum. An entire institution that used to be a neighbor of the charismatic Maracanã stadium and is now in a nineteenth-century mansion.

6. Discover Rio de Janeiro by visiting the favelas

Houses in a favela, another way to discover Rio de Janeiro
Favela in Rio de Janeiro

We should also take advantage of this deep trip to Rio to visit some of its favelas. They are the most humble places in the city. Guided tours are made in some of them, which is always the best option.

For example, you can visit the largest of them all, that of Rocinha. But we better recommend the one from Cantagalo or the one from Santa Marta, made famous by Michael Jackson in one of his video clips.

7. Go on a trek

View from the Morro Dois Irmaos de Río
View from Morro Dois Irmaos

And to end these alternative routes that serve to discover Rio de Janeiro, we propose a peculiar hiking tour that, precisely, begins in another favela, in Vidigal.

From there you can hike to the highest point of Morro Dois Irmaos. This is a magnificent place to contemplate the city. A special city, with a thousand faces and that holds countless surprises for travelers.

Do not worry about the physical effort. In reality, the difficulty of this walk is rather low. Of course, it is better to get up early so as not to suffer from the heat. And if you end up tired, when you return, you just have to look for the typical Brazilian rodizio, in which, for a fixed price, you can have a real meat feast.

7 curiosities you should know before traveling to Brazil

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