What to do in Rio De Janeiro in one day

Rio de Janeiro is an exciting city known for its colors, its beaches, and its lively atmosphere. You will get to experience a bit of everything while on your Rio de Janeiro day trip. Start your day off right when you drop your bags off at the lovely tropical Mama Ruisa Hotel. Then head down and see what all the fuss is about at Copacabana beach where you will bask in the sun with lots of other happy beach goers. Then go to Boulangerie Guerin Bakery for some coffee and sweets before going for some shopping at the Feira Hippie de Ipanema where you will stroll through colorful stalls at the open-air market. Top your morning off with lunch in an enchanting old mansion at the Café du Lage

Summit the Corcovado Mountain to see Brazil’s most famous monument, the Christ the Redeemer statue opening his arms to the city. Indulge in sweets at the delightfully antique Confeitaria Colombo Café. Nearby is the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil where you can see art exhibits by local artists. The famous staircase Escadaria Selaron is well worth a visit as you walk through the old parts of Rio. Have dinner with a view up in the tropical forests at Restaurante Aprazivel. Then see an exciting musical performance at the famous Circo Voador. Finish the night off with some drinks at the laid back Sarau Rio and dancing to live Samba music at Rio Scenarium. A day trip in Rio de Janeiro is sure to be high energy and filled with life and music, like everything that happens in Brazil

09:00 – Have a Cozy and Eclectic Stay at the Delightful Mama Ruisa Hotel

Perfectly located in a wonderful little neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro is the charming boutique hotel, Mama Ruisa. The atmosphere surrounding the hotel is eclectic and bohemian with lots of old buildings and colorful streets. Mama Ruisa’s is a 19th-century colonial building on top of a hill overlooking the surrounding areas. The building is gorgeous inside and out. As you step inside you will be greeted with Brazilian wood floors and high ceilings and a friendly staff welcoming you at the front desk. This beautiful hotel is exactly where you want to call home on this trip

The grounds of Mama Ruisa Hotel are unique and beautiful. There is swimming pool surrounded by wonderful tropical gardens. The lounge area is eccentrically decorated with furniture and art by Brazilian designers and artists. Light streams in from the old windows and glass-paned doors and the brightly colored furniture and flowers create and exciting and welcoming atmosphere. The doors of the sitting room open on to a patio overlooking the lush grounds and the incredible surrounding areas. You will want to stay here forever looking out over Rio

Luckily, your room has a great view too. When you enter your room, you will be met with a spacious 19th-century style space with décor unique to your room. You also have your very own patio opening out in the lush greenery and bright airy views. The rooms are cozy and bright with lots of interesting Brazilian details. Hotel Mama Ruisa has designed its rooms to make you feel right at home. Cozy up on the couch for a minute while gazing out the window or lean against the iron bars of your balcony as you take in the view. This hotel offers you a perfect welcome to Rio  // Hotel Mama Ruisa – Rua Santa Cristina, 132 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20241-250

09:30 – Sink Your Toes in The Sand at the Famous Copacabana Beach

It would not be an authentic Rio de Janeiro day trip if you didn’t go to the beach, so head to the famous Copacabana for a little fun in the sun and sand. This long strip of beach has beautiful views and deep blue water. Locals flock to the beach to lay in the sand, splash in the water, and play volleyball or soccer. The waves lap against the shore and Sugarloaf Mountain looms in the distance. There is so much to see and do at Copacabana Beach. Rio’s famous beach scene does not disappoint

Sunbathers are everywhere, so pick a place in the sand to lay out your towel and get your tan on. If you get hot run to the water to cool off in the blue Atlantic. Join in a volleyball game, or go grab a snack or drink from one of the many stalls and vendors. There are also plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas if you want to hang out in the shade.  Take a walk along the boardwalk among the palm trees and the dozens of beachside hotels lining the road. There is plenty to do at Copacabana Beach

The beach is a great place to people watch. Men and women of all ages come to Copacabana beach in their skimpiest bathing suits to hang out with their friends and family. The beach is a world of color and noise so enter into the atmosphere and enjoy the energy. Copacabana beach is a real and authentic Rio beach experience, so take in all excitement  // Copacabana Beach – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

10:30 – Grab a Coffee and Some Wonderful Pastries at Boulangerie Guerin Bakery

After an exciting morning at the beach, pastries and coffee are the order of the day. Near to Copacabana Beach is a Rio bakery that is a favorite among locals and tourists. Boulangerie Guerin Bakery was opened by French pastry chef, Dominique Guerin, in order to bring the deliciousness of French baking into the lively city of Rio. They use fresh local ingredients and create classic French pastries with a touch of Brazilian flavor. Boulangerie Guerin Bakery has a warm and friendly atmosphere and incredible sweets, so it is the perfect spot for a midmorning snack

This delicious slice of France right here in Rio is filled with people dropping in for a cup of Nespresso and a sweet pastry. There are tons of options so look into the glass case and choose two or three that look good to you. There are classic options like pain au chocolat and croissants. There are also tartelettes, macaroons, éclairs, and brioches, just to name a few. There are plenty of incredible pastries to choose from, many top with fresh tropical fruits. Also, order some coffee to go with it. Espresso is the drink of the region, and it compliments your pastries perfectly

Boulangerie Guerin Bakery has a bright and warm atmosphere. The rows and rows of pastries add color to the space. White brick walls and lots of bright yellow accents make the environment feel sunny and upbeat. There are several small tables to sit at and enjoy your sweets as well as a few bright yellow stools for seating as well. Enjoy an atmosphere that is as sweet and cheerful as the pastries themselves. You will love what you see and especially what you taste here  // Boulangerie Guerin Bakery – Av. Nossa Sra. de Copacabana, 920 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

11:00 – Wander Through the Stalls and Buy Some Unique Souvenirs at Feira Hippie de Ipanema

Head over to one of the most authentically trendy shopping locals in Rio de Janeiro, Feira Hippie de Ipanema. You want to make sure to bring back proof of your Rio de Janeiro day trip, and this fantastic outdoor market is the perfect place to find something. Brazilian artists and artisans from all over come to Feira Hippie de Ipanema to sell their beautiful handmade goods. Wander through the many stalls and stop whenever something catches your eye. It is a wonderful way to shop and experience the bustling atmosphere

Feira Hippie de Ipanema has lots of stalls filled with a variety of goods. There are lots of painters selling their incredible artwork, which pictures various scenes from around Rio as well as colorful tropical depictions of plants, animals and people. Hand-crocheted colored tablecloths and doilies are beautifully hung from several stalls. There are also many stalls selling beautiful jewelry. There are interesting wooden children’s toys, dyed fabric wall hangings, bags, clothes, instruments, and lots of other interesting things. There is something for everyone here at the market. Haggle the best deal you can and buy one of these beautiful locally made items

Live music plays through Feira Hippie de Ipanema as you wander through the stalls. The smell of homemade Brazilian food wafts through as well. Old Brazilian women in traditional dress stir pots of colorful vegetables and meats. Someone strums a guitar while another musician drums on a cajón. The market is the perfect place to take a relaxed stroll while experiencing Brazilian culture at its finest. It is wonderful day here at the market  // Feira Hippie de Ipanema – Praça General Osório, s/n – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro

12:30 – Experience an Enchanting Old Mansion While Having Lunch at Café du Lage at Parque Lage

Lunch at the Café du Lage at Parque Lage will be a magical and unforgettable experience. The restaurant is located in a tropical park at the bottom of Corcovado Mountain. The Park has gorgeous mansion inside its grounds, which was built by a famous Italian singer in the 1920s. This mansion is now home to a visual arts school and Café du Lage, the restaurant which you are lucky enough to be having lunch at on your Rio de Janeiro day trip. It will be a beautiful experience in this enchanting atmosphere

The café is located at an interior patio of the mansion where there is a large water basin and wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and the Christ the Redeemer Statue on the peak of Corcovado. This beautiful outdoor courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy a fresh lunch from Café du Lage. Find a seat at one of the wooden tables beneath the mansions archways and take in the spectacular atmosphere. You feel like you have stepped back into 1920s Brazil, in this magical mansion surrounded by mountains and tropical forest

Café du Lage serves simple but fresh food grown locally and prepared wonderfully. There is a nice selection of soups, salads and sandwiches as well as heartier options like hamburgers or seafood. Enjoy your lunch with a mimosa or a glass of wine as you look out over the courtyard and your delightful surroundings. Fresh fruit makes an excellent dessert as does chocolate cake or other sweet options. You will have a delicious lunch in an incredible environment  // Café du Lage at Parque Lage – Rua Jardim Botânico, 414 – Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22461-000

14:00 – Visit the Most Famous Site in Brazil and Enjoy the View at the Christ the Redeemer Statue

Rio de Janeiro is world famous for an incredible stature built up on a hill, the Christ the Redeemer. This is one of the most recognizable structures in the entire world and has become a symbol of Brazil. It was built in the early 20th century by a French sculptor and is located on the peak of the Corcovado Mountain. It looks out over the city of Rio and has come to be seen as a protector and watcher over the city as well as a cultural and religious icon. It is a must see location on your Rio de Janeiro day trip

Reach the summit by train. The ride up to the Christ the Redeemer statue is an experience in and of itself. It offers spectacular views of the city as you wind your way up the mountain. When you reach the top of the mountain and the base of the famous art-deco statue, you will be amazed by the size of the Christ and the incredible view from the top of Corcovado Mountain. Brazil is majority catholic and the statue pays tribute to the devout faith of many in the region. The Christ is depicted with his arms open as a symbol of peace and acceptance

From up here at the top of Corcovado Mountain you will feel like you are a god yourself with the incredible view of Rio de Janeiro and the sea beyond stretching out before you. You can see Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach where you were hours ago. Rio looks tiny from up here. The ocean is a deep blue color and blends into the blue of the sky. It is an incredible experience up here, you may not want to ever come down  // Christ the Redeemer Statue – Parque Nacional da Tijuca, Alto da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro

16:00 – Step Back in Time While Indulging in Incredible Pastries at Confeitaria Colombo Café

The central part of downtown Rio de Janeiro is filled with buildings that echo back to the early 1900s era of the city. The grand Confeitaria Colombo Café has been named one of the top ten most beautiful cafes in the world, and stepping into this old style café you will see why. This café opened in 1894 and has been a booming confectionary since that time and is one of Rio’s most beloved businesses. Enter into the café and get ready for an experience that is delicious, unique and takes you back to the old days of Rio

The sweets at Confeitaria Colombo Café are amazing and numerous. The glass cases are packed full of incredible pastries and baked goods. It will be a hard decision but no matter what you get it will be delicious. There are wonderful cakes in lots of different flavors, fruit tartlets, croissants, fudge bars, éclairs, macarons, and the list could go on and on. They also have some tradition pastries like bolinhos, which are a type dumpling, and pasteis, which are an egg based Brazilian pastry. Order a cup of coffee as well to perfectly complement your pastries

There are lots of tables in the big open dining hall at Confeitaria Colombo Café, so find a seat and enjoy the atmosphere. Look up and you will notice a lovely stain glass skylight letting in light. The ceiling is elegantly paneled and walls are large ornate mirrors. Everything is decorated in lavish art nouveau style. It is a classy way to enjoy an afternoon. Locals and tourists sit around the beautiful chatting and enjoying their coffee and pastries. You get to join in on this delicious cultural experience  // Confeitaria Colombo Café – R. Gonçalves Dias, 32 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20050-030

17:00 – See Incredible Local Art and Interesting Historical Exhibits at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

Another place situated in the center of old town Rio is that wonderful museum and art space, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. The cultural center is located in a lovely art-deco building and it is a wonderful environment to see some amazing exhibits of various kinds of art. The Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil is one of the most visited museums in Brazil and truly is the center of the country’s art and culture. You will be able to walk through an interesting architectural space while seeing galleries filled with beautiful art

As a cultural hub for Brazil’s art scene, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil features lots of art by local Brazilian artists. Give yourself time to wander through the galleries to see a wide array of art styles and mediums. They often feature modern art exhibits by artists from around the world as well, so keep your eyes open for who might be showing their work this month. Banco do Brasil also has movie theaters showing short art house films. There is a lot to see in this beautiful cultural center

The building itself is a piece of art with its circular central space. A large domed glass roof lets sunlight stream into the space making the ornate white walls and columns glow even more brightly. As the name suggests, the building was once a bank and there is a permanent exhibit of the bank’s history, which recreates the environment as it would have been then. It is a beautiful and unique space with lots to see and it is a real tribute to Brazil’s vibrant art culture  // Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil – R. Primeiro de Março, 66 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20010-000

18:30 – Walk the Colorful Stairs of Escadaria Selaron While Strolling Through Old Town Rio

Brazil was a colony of Portugal up until the late 1800s and the remnants of that time can still be seen today in many places around Rio de Janeiro. In the central part of town especially, there are numerous colonial buildings still standing as well as gorgeous buildings from the early 20th century. This fun area of Rio is packed with color and vibrancy that is a real tribute to the energy of the people of Rio. Enjoy wandering through the old town on your Rio de Janeiro day trip and stop by the exciting Escadaria Selaron while you’re here

One of Rio’s most fun and most loved attractions is the famous Escadaria Selaron in the old part of central Rio. This colorful staircase is a very popular location and it is representative of the art and colors that are so ingrained in Brazilian life and culture. Artist Jorge Selarón covered these 251 steps with colorful mosaic patterns as a tribute to the people of Brazil. The tiles were collected from constructions sites and donated by visitors as the project became more popular and Selarón painted them each by hand. It is a beautiful tribute to the city

Walk the stairs, up or down, and enjoy the color and vibrancy of the patterns. The streets surrounding are beautiful and old. Wander through the architecture and appreciate the quaint loveliness of the environment. Flagged bunting is often hung from rooftops and there is lots of interesting graffiti art spray painted on the sides of walls and buildings. Walking through the old town is a charming experience and a wonderful part of any Rio de Janeiro day trip. Take in your surroundings as you stroll the city  // Escadaria Selaron – R. Joaquim Silva, S/N – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20241-110

19:30 – Watch the Sunset From Up in the Trees While Eating a Great Brazilian Meal at Restaurante Aprazivel

If you want a delicious Brazilian dinner in an exquisite and tropical atmosphere, Restaurante Aprazivel is exactly the place to go. The restaurant is a beloved spot among both locals and tourists and is a wonderful place to enjoy the sun setting over Rio. The restaurant has excellent views of the city and a wonderful outdoor environment in which to enjoy your tasty meal. The staff is friendly and helpful and the restaurant space itself is tropical and unique. Restaurante Aprazivel is a delightful place to start your night out in Rio

Be sure to take in the atmosphere as well as the food. Restaurante Aprazivel is an incredible place filled with interesting details that compliment the view and the tropical surroundings. Wooden tables and chairs are set up inside a hut-like structure which is built so it feels as if you are in an elegant tree house. Woven lampshades hang down from the thatched ceiling and leaves from the surrounding tropical forest surround the entire space creating their own natural décor. It is truly an exquisite space to enjoy an incredible meal

Have a seat at one of the lovely wooden tables overlooking the city and chat with the waiter about what to order. The food at Restaurante Aprazivel is authentically Brazilian and creatively prepared. Enjoy some pleasant starters like palmito, which is made from bamboo, or Mix de Pasteis, which are fried turnovers with meat and tomato chutney. The fish of the day makes an excellent main course, as do any of the other meat options. Couple your meal with a glass of delicious wine and take in the scenery and the beautiful evening  // Restaurante Aprazivel – R. Aprazível, 62 – Santa Tereza, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20241-270

21:00 – Enjoy One of Rio’s Favorite Music Venues While Seeing a Show at Circo Voador

Music and dance are the heartbeats of Rio de Janeiro so to really enter into the soul of the city, head over to Circo Voador for an exciting show. Circo Voador is one of the top entertainment venues in the city and hosts a variety of incredible performances. Established in the 1980s, it was the center of Rio entertainment until it was demolished it in the mid-90s by the mayor at the time. Luckily, it was rebuilt a few years later and hailed as place of energy, excitement and most of all entertainment

The venue itself is exciting with its palm trees, large arches and circus tent-like roof. The large rounded structure has lots of room for dancing and waving your hands in the air as you listen to an amazing performance up on stage. Lights flash and illuminate the space in a rainbow of colors. You will party with hundreds of the hippest Brazilians as you listen to live music performed by some of the world’s most incredible musicians and performers. There are two levels of seating and the formation of the building makes the stage easily visible from wherever you happen to be

Circo Voador has hosted a number of fantastic and world-renowned performers. South American musicians make regular appearances here performing a variety of traditional music styles and more contemporary genres as well. Circo Voador often is the center of local music festivals that take place at various times throughout the year. Get ready to enjoy an amazing and exciting night of incredible music performances and a vibrant atmosphere  // Circo Voador – R. dos Arcos, s/n – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20230-060

22:30 – Hang Out With Your Friends and Enjoy your brazilian Night at Sarau Rio

For a chill night of drinks and music, the bar Sarau Rio is the perfect spot. With big wooden community tables and live traditional music, this is a great bar for hanging out with your friends. Night is when Rio comes alive, and Sarau Rio is the place to watch the transformation take place. The bar has a warm and welcoming atmosphere filled with great local people out for a night on the town. Join the fun as the music plays and a round of drinks is ordered here at Sarau Rio

Sarau Rio is easy to spot because of the huge graffiti mural painted at the entrance to the bar. This large piece of art is the signature of Sarau Rio and it pictures a diverse and eclectic group of people drinking, playing music and hanging out, which is exactly what you’ve come to do. The crowd at Sarau Rio is just as interesting. Find a spot outside to watch the people come and go or grab a table indoors near the musicians to watch them perform their incredible music. It’s a lively atmosphere with lots to see

The bar has an extensive drink list and plenty beer on draft, so chat up the friendly staff and let them help you choose something good to drink. As you sip on your beer enjoy the atmosphere at this welcoming bar. Sarau Rio is definitely a local hangout, so you will get a real taste of Brazil’s laid-back night scene. Friends and couples sit talking and laughing and enjoying the music. There’s no rush, everyone is here to simply enjoy this moment here in Rio  // Sarau Rio – Av. Mem de Sá, 64 – Lapa, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20230-150

23:59 – Party and Dance Like a True Brazilian as Live Samba Music Plays at Rio Scenarium

Rio de Janeiro’s nightlife is world famous for its energy, vibrancy and excitement. To really enter into the atmosphere of Rio’s nighttime energy, head to Rio Scenarium. This nightclub is the perfect place to dance the night away. This is the center of Samba, but don’t worry if you don’t know the traditional Brazilian dance. People of all backgrounds come to Rio Scenarium to dance, party and watch professional Samba dancers glide around the room. This high-energy traditional Brazilian nightclub is a great way to end your Rio de Janeiro day trip

Rio Scenarium has three floors each decorated elaborately in traditional styles with antiques and bright colors. There are balconies on every floor with young people leaning on them to watch the action on the first floor. A live professional Brazilian band plays popular samba music on the red-curtained stage and dancers twirl and shake in time to the beat. Head down to the first floor and get ready for a friendly Brazilian to pull you onto the dance floor. You will be rocking right along to the rhythm in no time

If you have worked up a sweat from all the dancing and you need a break, there are plenty of places to sit while drinking something from the bar. Refresh yourself and enjoy the atmosphere as tourists and locals alike get lost in the music. Don’t be surprised if the party spills out into the street. Brazilians are famous for their no-boundaries partying style. Walls can’t contain all the energy, and at Rio Scenarium the party never stops. It’s the best way to end an incredible day in Rio  // Rio Scenarium – R. do Lavradio, 20 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20230-070

We mapped out your day trip in Rio De Janeiro

Each highlight of your day trip is numbered, simply follow the guide

What you should absolutely know about Rio de janeiro

City highlights, food & drinks, expressions, weather, how to get there and how to get around

Rio de Janeiro is a city of beauty, luxury, and charm. During your Rio de Janeiro day trips, take time to relax and people-watch on the sandy shores of Copacabana or Ipanema beaches. Rio has fantastic opportunities to take in the city’s natural beauty. Visit the many national and local parks around the area and soak up the natural sunlight. Hike through Tijuca National Park and explore the vast rainforest with its waterfalls, thousands of plant species, and over 300 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Venture into quaint charming neighborhoods like Santa Teresa and check out the enticing nightlife in the neighborhood of Lapa

Spend hours at the botanical paradise of Jardim Botânico, looking at its exotic plants. Visit Sugar Loaf Mountain at sunset for stunning pictures of the landscape or lay on the stunning beaches of Ipanema, Leblon or Copacabana. Check out the famous Maracana Stadium and cheer on a futbol match

Food is at the center of Carioca life. No visit to Rio de Janeiro is complete without visiting a churrascaria (traditional barbecue restaurant) or filling up on Feijoada, stewed beans in gravy, accompanied by vegetables and fruit, for lunch. Leave room for delicious tapioca for dessert

Knowing a little Portuguese in Rio will go a long way. “Oi” means “Hello” and to ask someone if they speak English, ask “Voce? fala Ingles?” Another common form of greeting is “Tudo Bem” or “Tudo Bom”, which translates to “All’s well”

Rio summers are hot, humid, and rainy. Winters are less hot, around 75 degrees, not as humid, and significantly less rainy. Fall and spring are both wet and warm. Lightweight clothes are best year round so don’t forget your swimwear

Getting into the heart of Rio is easy with a taxi (around 50 Dollars) or with an air-conditioned bus (between 8 to 15 Dollars). The subway line is a 10-minute walk from the airport and should costs you around 5 Dollars for a single trip

Cruise around Rio in a minivan with packed with locals or hop on and off the subway to explore the city. Hail a taxi or ride the bus around town. Rio also has a number of ferries used to transport people around the area

Feeling adventurous? Have a look at these city guides