The 31st Olympic Games are less than a year away! Rio de Janeiro is set to be a hive of activity, with visitors from all over the world streaming into the Brazilian city to support their athletes.
So you’re lucky enough to be there in person? There’s plenty to see and do in this picturesque city when you need a break from all of that sport.
You can’t visit Rio without visiting its most famous attraction! Having the Barry Manilow song in your head for your whole holiday is a small price to pay for a fabulous day of sand, sun and swimming on this four kilometre stretch of beach.
It’ll be extra popping during the Games, as Brazil’s signature sport of Beach Volleyball will be hosted there. To line up with European viewing times some matches will be held at midnight – the party won’t stop!
Copacabana is the go-to place for celebrations in Rio so you can be sure the whole beach will be buzzing from the Opening Ceremony until the Closing!
2. Botanic Gardens
When the full throttle pace of Rio gets too much for you during your busy Olympic visit, head to Rio de Janeiro Botanic Gardens. This UNESCO biosphere reserve is over 100 years old and is home to monkeys, parakeets, and many unique varieties of plants.
A great option for families, the Gardens have picnic areas and playgrounds and are a beautiful, tranquil place to spend some time relaxing.
Supermodel Brigitte Bardot brought the tiny resort town of Buzios into the spotlight in the 1960s. Since then it has boomed as an up-market beach destination. Just 180km north of Rio, this is another great place to take a break from the mesmerising madness of Rio during the Olympics.
The little fishing village has retained its quaint charm and whilst you’re exploring its network of beaches you can still find hidden gems, where you’ll be the only people there to enjoy the warm waters and pristine sand!
4. Tijuca National Park
This is a national park that you don’t have to venture hours out of the city to visit – it’s right there on your doorstep! You might not be familiar with the world’s largest urban forest, but you definitely know its most famous resident – Christ the Redeemer.
Head up to the top of the hill at sunset for spectacular views over the entire city and for the obligatory I’m-In-Rio selfie with ‘Big Jesus’. If you’ve got more time on your hands you can spend an entire day (and come back the next day for more if you so choose!) hiking the many trails through this gorgeous park.
5. Santa Teresa and Lapa
During your stay in Rio you must pay a visit to the bohemian neighbourhoods of Santa Teresa and Lapa.
Santa Teresa is the more laid-back of the two. Artists in the 1960s came to this area and the creative, relaxed vibe is still present today. Wander the cobblestone streets, admire the graffiti, and café-hop all day.
Connecting Santa Teresa and its downhill neighbouring suburb, Lapa, is the famous Lapa Steps (Escaderia Selaron). This brightly adorned staircase was created by Chilean artist Jorge Selaron in the late 1980s and remains a signature piece of street art in Rio de Janeiro. Take a stroll down the steps and appreciate this stunning piece of work.
Lapa is the party area of the city. The streets come alive at night with the sounds of samba. Dance the night away with the locals in one of the many, many clubs to choose from!
6. Rent a Bike
Renting a bike is a wonderfully cheap and easy (not to mention healthy!) way of exploring Rio. Tourists can hire a set of wheels from The Bike Rio for as little as $1.50 per day. If you’re lucky enough to be in Rio for the entire length of the Olympics you can spend just $3 to rent a bike for a whole month.
Rio is a very cycle-friendly city with lots of bike paths for you to follow without worrying about traffic – easy for the whole family!
There are also some places that access by bike is far easier than trying to get there by car or public transport. Don’t trust your navigation skills? Take an organised bike tour. The guide will focus on the directions, you can concentrate on the beautiful views and peddling!
Rio de Janeiro has a wealth of activities and attractions to keep visitors entertained all year round, but if you’re one of those tourists visiting during the 31st Summer Olympic Games, you are in for a real treat!
When you find a gap in your Games schedule, head out to a national park, rent a bike, or go and visit some charming neighbourhoods. There’s a lot to explore so get out there! Make all your bookings through our partner websites and for every reservation we’ll plant a tree: 1 Reservation = 1 Tree Planted.
=> Holiday Homes
=> Car Rentals
You like or hate this article, comment below! Tell us what you think and share your opinion on your social media...