Praça Mauá

This renovated square down near the port has two great museums. The Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) is a beautiful example of contemporary architecture and all about visitor interaction – entry is free on Tuesdays and you can walk on the undulating roof. The Museu do Amanhã (museum of tomorrow) looks like a spaceship and explores sustainability and the future of the planet.

Paddleboard Along Copacabana

Beg, steal or borrow a GoPro then rent a paddleboard for the afternoon and punt your way along Copacabana beach – prime people watching time and an excellent core workout. If you need a bit of direction, lessons start at £10 an hour.

  • +55 21 99438 2980
  • Go to Website
  • Avenue Atlântica
    Copabana
    22021-001

Hit the Beach

Postos eight and nine are where the young and beautiful hang out to soak up the sun. Try your hand at a game of volleyball or frescobol (paddleball) then quench your thirst with a coconut from one of the many beach stands. For sunset head to Arpoador, the large rock at the end of posto seven for a truly breathtaking display. Don’t forget to cheer when the sun disappears.

  • Estação General Osório Ipanema Rio de Janeiro
    Ipanema
    22411-000

Football Match at the Maracanã

You can’t visit Rio without making a trip, nay, pilgrimage to the Maracanã, Brazil’s football mecca. Watching the game here is a quasi-psychedelic experience – the stadium’s history and contagious energy of the crowd make it one of the most thrilling places to watch football in the world. Plan your visit for when when local rivals Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense or Botafogo go head to head.

  • +55 80 0062 7222
  • Avenue Pres. Castelo Branco
    Maracanã
    20271-130

Ilha Grande

Located just a few hours away by boat, Ilha Grande is Brazil’s undeveloped paradise. The island is noted for its scenic beauty, unspoilt tropical beaches and crystal clear waters. Relax in the sun, swim, sail, disappear into a spa then re-emerge to watch the sunset, followed by a fresh seafood dinner at one of the island’s many waterfront restaurants.

  • Vila do Abraão
    Ilha Grande
    23968-000

Hang Gliding Tour

One of the best ways to see Rio is from the sky and – if you’ve got nerves of steel – hang gliding is a cheaper option than a helicopter tour (not to mention way cooler). Remember what we said about Rio being a city of spontaneity and living for the moment?

Samba at Pedra do Sal

Every Monday night, hundreds of cariocas follow the sounds of the jungle drums to the birthplace of samba and the city’s best place for a free weekly dose of heady rhythm. On the steps of the Pedra (a large rock) near the Lapa district, you’ll find mobbed streets lined with vendors lauding anything from caiprinhas to smoked kebabs. Open from 7PM until 1AM.

  • R. Argemiro Bulcão 1
    Saúde
    20081-040

Jog Around the Lagoon

Far better than any gym session, don your slinkiest neon Lyrca and hit the road for a 7.5km run with one of the prettiest views of the city. Packed with joggers and cyclists from dawn until dusk, the area is patrolled by police so you can wear your headphones without fear (though we still recommend sticking to daylight hours).

  • Avenue Epitácio Pessoa
    Ipanema

Free Yoga at Arpoador Beach

The early bird catches the worm. But in Rio, early birds get free beach yoga – so we suggest setting your alarm to join locals meditating on Arpoador beach every Sunday between 9AM and 10AM.

  • Go to Website
  • In between Teixeira de Melo and Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim
    Ipanema
    22420-004

Escadaria Selarón

This world-famous stairway in Lapa is composed of 250 steps spanning a whopping 125 metres. Built by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón as a ‘tribute to the Brazilian people’ the colourful tiles and perspective make it one of the most Insta-worthy photo ops around.

  • Rua Riachuelo 124
    Centro
    20230-014

Dois Irmãos Hike

Wear a hat, lace up your shoes, charge your camera and begin the 45-minute trek up the Dois Irmãos mountain. You’ll pass through the Vidigal favela (‘pacified’ by the government and safe) before reaching the trail, but if you don’t fancy the walk there are mini buses and taxis. For the most spectacular views go at sunrise or sunset (when you’ll need a a torch). With the most outstanding view that Rio has to offer, you simply must not leave without ascending Dois Irmaos.

Parque Lage

Go for breakfast in leafy Parque Lage at the bottom of Corcovado. The Florentine mansion was once home to industrialist Enrique Lage and his wife, singer Gabriela Besanzoni, and has featured in many popular music videos for artists including Pharrell Williams, Black Eyed Peas and Snoop Dogg.

Praça Mauá

Paddleboard along Copacabana

Hit the Beach

Football Match at the Maracanã

Ilha Grande

Hang Gliding Tour

Samba at Pedra do Sal

Jog Around the Lagoon

Free Yoga at Arpoador Beach

Escadaria Selarón

Dois Irmãos Hike

Parque Lage

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