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Free Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Picture of Christ the Redeemer on the hill over Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro Helicoptero‘ taken by Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz is licensed under CC by 3.0

Five Free Things to do in Rio de Janeiro:


The people from Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiroans? Janeirites?) fondly call their home city “Cidade Marvilhosa” or in English – the marvelous city. After you have seen this city and its beaches for yourself you will not find it hard to see why.

This city has what it takes to make a great holiday – mountains, beaches, sunshine, world class hotels. It even boasts one of the new seven wonders of the modern world – Christ the Redeemer.

Rio de Janeiro is the most popular tourist destination in Brazil with 2.82 million tourists a year! If you are one of them you may be interested in our list of the top five free things to do in Rio de Janeiro:



5. Ipanema Beach


First up on our list of the top five free things to do in Rio de Janeiro is Ipanema Beach. This beach has been made famous by the song “Girl from Ipanema” . You will probably recognise the tune even if you don’t know it by name.

Check out the song below:

On Sundays the road next to beach is closed to motor vehicles so you are also free to bike, skateboard or roller skate alongside the beach each week.



4. Parque Lage


visiting parque lage is one of the free things to do in Rio de Janeiro
Palacio no Parque Lage‘ taken by Solstag is licensed under CC by 3.0


Parque Lage is a public park at the bottom of the corvocado mountain. It is usually used as a starting point for moutain hikes but can be a destination in itself.

The park gardens have an English-style feel to them and there are also little lakes. Hip hop fans among you may recognise the mansion from Snoop Dogg’s music video for the single “Beautiful

This mansion also occassionally hosts art exhibits and performances from Escola de Artes Visuais (School of Visual Arts). So if you are lucky you may get to enjoy some of these as well for free!



3.Santa Teresa and the Parque das Ruinas Cultural Center


Santa Teresa is an unconventional neighbourhood full of old colonial buildings and cobblestone streets and is number three on our list of free things to do in Rio de Janeiro.

If you somehow get sick of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro then maybe a trip to Santa Teresa is for you. You can experience a different side of the city and the culture that is often overlooked.

Parque das Ruinas is somewhere to visit if you do decide to come to Santa Teresa. With a 360 degree view of Rio from the looking point it is possibly the best view of Rio de Janeiro you can get for free.



2. Tijuca Forest


The Forest of Tijuca is one of the free things to do in Rio de Janeiro
Floresta da Tijuca‘ by Halley Pacheco de Oliveira is licensed under CC by 3.0


Brazil is apparently covered by around 60% rainforest. What better way to explore it for free than number two on our list of free things to do in Rio de Janeiro – Tijuca Forest?

This rainforest is technically hand planted which makes it one of the biggest urban rainforest in the world.Although, Johannesburg contests this title with its own urban rainforest.

If you want to see spectacular views, waterfalls, and wildlife in a rainforest not far from a busy city (not to mention that it is all for free!) then Tijuca is for you. If you don’t, then perhaps our final activity on our list of free things to do in Rio de Janeiro may tickle your fancy…



1. Copacabana Beach


Copacabana beach number one on our list of free things to do in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de janeiro copacabana beach‘ taken by Chensiyuan is licensed under CC by 3.0


Copacabana beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world, and if you visit Rio de Janeiro it is a must see.

There are literally hundreds of runners and walkers, there are volleyball matches, and people playing football. Oh, and of course sun bathers and people swimming in the sea.

The sea in Brazil is cool and refreshing, so it is ideal if you just want a dip to get out of the heat.

It may sound obvious but if you do go for a swim don’t leave any valuables on the beach unattended – thieves and pickpockets are quite numerous in this area



That concludes our list of the top five free things to do in Rio de Janeiro, if you have anything to add feel free to leave a comment!



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