Planning a Rio de Janeiro itinerary can take the dedication and determination of an Olympian. After all, the city’s got myriad magnificent attractions to choose from, and information on them is scattered across the Web.
Time is precious, though. What you need is a little shortcut…
In this article, you’ll discover some of the city’s best experiences. The following 7-day itinerary was created with Inspirock’s free new Rio de Janeiro trip planner, which brings Usain Bolt-like speed to the planning process and improves your chances of having a gold-medal vacation.
Ready? Let’s go!
Day 1–History Lessons
History lessons, really? Believe it or not, there’s more to Rio than just beaches and Carnaval. Stretch your legs with a walking tour through the city’s historic neighborhoods and see places like Quinta da Boa Vista, the garden refuge of Brazil’s 19th-century emperors, and Candelaria Church, featuring a stunning white dome made in Lisbon and brought to Rio by ship.
Day 2–The Views
Ah, yes, the views. With stunning vistas behind every corner, Rio remains one of the world’s most scenic cities. Go up to Christ the Redeemer for the finest views of the entire city, or climb Sugarloaf Mountain to see the best of downtown Rio.
Day 3–Beach Time!
Both sandy stretches are so long that they host various scenes–hippies and leftists in one area, gay beachgoers in the next, and favela residents further on.
Day 4–Shopping and Dining
Dedicate this day to the Brazilian steakhouse dinner–or lunch–and spend the rest of your time picking up souvenirs and gifts for everyone back home. At Shopping Leblon, you can pick up a new swimsuit and enjoy panoramic views of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon from the top-floor restaurant.
Day 5–The Samba Experience
Time to take out your dancing shoes and spend the night polishing your samba moves. Your best bet on any night and throughout the year is the legendary Plataforma, where it’s always Carnaval.
If fútebol is one of Brazil’s unofficial religions (some would say the religion), then Maracana is one its most sacred sites. If you won’t be there for the opening or closing of the Olympics, take a guided tour to see behind those legendary stands.
Day 7–Day Trips
To wrap up your Rio visit, choose a half-day or full-day tour of nearby destinations, like Tijuca National Park, through which you can ride a cog train, or Petropolis, the former home of two emperors.
We’ve timed our suggested Rio de Janeiro itinerary to coincide with Rio’s big event, which may work outstandingly well for those with tickets to some of the Olympic competitions.
Not in the Olympic spirit but still want to go to Rio?
Modify our Rio de Janeiro itinerary to suit your schedule, or build your own trip from ground up with our free Rio vacation planner.