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Last updated on December 31st, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Read about 10 Fun Things to do in Rio that Only Locals Know from our Brazil Travel expert Jason Mayo.

things to do in rio

When getting ready to travel to Rio de Janeiro, I’m sure you will be ready for the Ipanema & Copacabana beaches, Christ the Redeemer Statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain. You are probably also prepared for a little samba dancing and some classic Brazilian style barbecue. But read our insider’s guide to Rio de Janeiro and find out what will get you ready for so much more!

For more ideas on things to do in Rio, check out our blog post on Rio de Janeiro City Tours.

1. Fun Things to do in Rio:  Juice Bars

The juice bars in Rio are very unassuming. You will walk by one on nearly every street corner and think to yourself, “I wonder if this place has good juice?” Once you get past figuring out the Brazilian names for things, you will realize that they are all incredible! Nothing beats a pineapple juice walking down Ipanema beach.

2. Fun Things to do in Rio: Eat an Acai Bowl

Not to get too far into the food theme, but Acai is that important to share. Dubbed the “super food” by the Brazilians because of the antioxidant qualities, it is made from a plant in Brazil and is very similar to ice cream. If you’ve had Acai where you’re from, I can promise you that it is better in Rio. It gives that pineapple juice a run for it’s money!

fun things to do in rio

3. Fun Things to do in Rio: Speedos

In Rio, clothing is used only when absolutely necessary. If locals can get away with walking around without a shirt, they’ll do it! This seems to be the thinking with bathing suits as well. Everyone wears the bear minimum here! Whether you are a 75-year-old man or a 5-year-old boy, you are wearing a speedo when headed to the beach. So men, don’t be afraid to be bold and wear your speedo!


4. Fun Things to do in Rio: Carnival

This is hardly an insider’s tip, but Carnival influences Rio in many ways. The city stops for it and the Brazilians let go for the entire month. If you are looking for the biggest spectacle in the world, Carnival is the place for you!

fun things to do in rio

5. Fun Things to do in Rio: Fitness

Rio is one of the most fitness-oriented places in the world. Everywhere you turn, there are runners, bikers, surfers, bodybuilders, volleyball players, etc. There are outside gyms along the beaches every 100 meters or so! Jump into a game of volleyball, football (soccer), paddleball, and more while walking along the beach! If you are active, you’ll fit right in!


6. Fun Things to do in Rio: Santa Teresa

Everyone knows of Ipanema & Copacabana, but Santa Teresa is a bit of a gem in the city. Located on a hill, it provides some of the best views of the city. It’s also a unique place to explore during the day. It also has one of the more interesting landmarks in the city called the Selaron Steps where many celebrities have visited and posed for pictures.

Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro-fun things to do in rio

7. Fun Things to do in Rio: Havaianas

The classic, simple sandals are arguably the best brand out there and they originated in Brazil! Rio is the perfect place to buy a pair and wear them around. They offer hundreds of colors and styles at unbeatable prices.

8. Fun Things to do in Rio: Best Pool in the City

This tip is for the people looking for the best pool in all of Rio de Janeiro. The good news is that you can easily have access to it, the bad news is that it comes at a price. It is the Belmond Copacabana Hotel’s pool and is one of the most famous and luxurious places in all of Rio. But speaking of beauty, this pool adds to the beauty and luxury that Rio is known for. And you are just across the street from Copacabana beach!

fun things to do in rio

9. Fun Things to do in Rio: Lapa

Another great neighborhood in Rio, this is where you can find nightlife. If you are interested in seeing Rio at night, this is the place to go. This is definitely not for everybody, but if you are looking for the party, this is where you can find it!


10. Fun Things to do in Rio: Botanical Gardens

This is a beautiful destination in the middle of Rio de Janeiro. Rio is known for its beauty in its geography, culture, and people. The gardens can be included in this list of beautiful things. The incredible botany, art and general aesthetics of the gardens make it worth spending a whole day here, but a couple of hours will give you a good taste.


View more of our Rio de Janeiro Tours here.

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fun things to do in rio