Cultural Experience | Brazil

11 Things You Must Do in Rio

Eat, Surf, Dance, Repeat

1. Try Acai.

You cannot go to Rio de Janeiro and not try a delicious bowl of Acai. Made with acai berries, it is not only rich in health benefits but it also incredibly delicious. There are some places that serve it plain, or with granola, bananas and honey. It is the best way to start your day! They have it almost everywhere in Rio, but Bibi Sucos is a well-known juice shop, their most simple bowl starts at 7,60 Brazilian reals and there are many options for add-ons.


Acai Bowl Image

Acai Bowl with Granola and Honey

2. Visit the Christ the Redeemer

This 30 meter tall statue is one of the most incredible sights in the world. This landmark is located at the top of the Corcovado Mountain, so you’ll have quite an impressive landscape to appreciate on your way up there.


Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro Image

Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro

3. Enjoy a sunset at Pedra do Arpoador

Arpoador is a small peninsula between Ipanema and Copacabana. The Arpoador rock is one of Rio’s most scenic spots; it offers a great view of the sunset, the ocean and the surfers. It is one of the most amazing views you will ever see.

Pedra do Arpoador Image

Pedra do Arpoador

4. Enjoy a fresh coconut on Ipanema Beach.

Ipanema beach is a lovely place to drink some fresh coconut water. This beach has a stunning view of two mountains called the Dois Irmãos at the west end, it also has amazing vibes, people are sunbathing, playing soccer, volleyball and surfing. There are street vendors selling fresh coconuts all over the beach as well as some local sweets and snacks. These refreshing coconuts are served cold and with a straw, at several beachside stands as well.

5. Have a Capirinha.

You must try Brazil’s national cocktail. Capirinhas are delicious drinks made with sugarcane hard liquor, sugar and lime. They are refreshing and delicious. These cocktails are sold everywhere, at restaurants, bars and beachside stands.

Capirinhas Image


6. Visit the Sugarloaf Mountain.

Ascent to the Sugarloaf mountain is made in two stages. First stop is the Urca Mountain, then you will take a second cable car up to the Pão de Açúcar. The view from this place is magnificent. It stands at 1,299ft above the harbor and provides a view of the ocean, the coastline and of Rio de Janeiro. One cannot leave Rio without a view from this peak.

Sugarloaf Mountain Image

Sugarloaf Mountain

7. Ride a bike down Copacabana Beach.

Rio is a great place for cycling! There are bike racks everywhere, bike rental shops and a SAMBA public bicycle system. There are 60 stations and 600 bicycles all over Rio. Riding beach side is not only fun and a healthy way of transportation but it also provides you with a gorgeous view of the beaches, the ocean and the mountains. You’ll also see lots of runners and skateboarders along the streets.

Copacabana Beach Image

Copacabana Beach

8. Eat a Feijoada.

A feijoada is a stew of beans and a variety of pork or beef products like bacon, ribs, sausage links, and in some places, several vegetables are added to the stew. It is delicious and rich in flavor. You cannot leave Rio without getting a taste of their feijoadas. These are commonly served in many restaurants and are quite inexpensive for the amount of food served.

9. Take a surf lesson.

Surf is huge in Rio de Janeiro; it is one of the surf capitals of the world. There are several surfboard rental shops and surf lessons available all along the coast. Never surfed before? Don’t worry, there are beginner classes available.

Surf's always up in Rio Image

Surf’s always up in Rio

10. Go to a steakhouse.

Brazilian steakhouses are well known worldwide. Imagine trying a steakhouse in Brazil, it just seems right, doesn’t it? It is an amazing experience and here’s a little bit about how it goes: First you order your drinks, then you are served some sides like beans, rice, plantains, cheese bread (pao de queijo), etc. Next is a salad bar with a large selection of foods like salmon, fresh mozzarella, vegetables, etc. Then, the show begins. There are chefs circling around the tables, carrying large skewers of meat. They’ll stop as they’re walking around to offer a cut of meat on their skewer, which could be lamb, filet mignon, sausage, chicken hearts, sirloin, amongst several other types of meat. It is a little expensive, but most definitely worth it. Most places charge as an “all you can eat” type of system, plus drinks. A well-known steakhouse in Rio, is Porcão Rio’s.


Porcão Rio's, Brazilian Steakhouse Image

Porcão Rio’s, Brazilian Steakhouse

11. Check out a local club.

The nightlife in Rio is colorful, vibrant and exciting. There are several nightclubs all over Rio and it is definitely an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the upbeat music, the dance, the shows, and the overall vibe of Rio’s nightlife. Some clubs work with a credit system. You pay to get in but it is added as credit on a card, which you then use throughout the night to buy drinks, at the end of the night you pay for your balance on the way out!


Nikki Mckenna

Florida Atlantic University | 9 stories

Nikki is Mexican and Scottish. She was born and raised in Mexico, then spent two years in England and is now living in South Florida. She recently graduated with a Languages and Linguistics degree from Florida Atlantic University. Nikki loves travel, languages, cultures and adventure. She's always longing for distant places.

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