What to do in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Or rather the question would be what not to do. There are a thousand things to do in this mythical city, a Brazilian classic. For example:
- Go to the famous beaches of Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema to relax (coconut water or beer in hand, obviously), walk or do some sport (running, yoga, etc), or, why not, flirt.
- Visit the Christ the Redeemer (I did not do it!), one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. More than the statue itself (which in my opinion is not that much), the best are the views. By the way, you can watch the Christ from (almost) every corner in the city.
- Go up the Pão de Açúcar. You can do the whole trip flying by cable car or part walk, part by cable car. I recommend walking a bit, because you can find along the way with some nice marmosets (little primate). The views of Rio from the Pão de Açúcar are stunning.
- Visit the neighborhoods of Santa Teresa, at the top of a hill, and Lapa which houses the famous stairs (Escadaria do Selarón), and where you can find an artistic and more authentic atmosphere (it is only my opinion) than at Ipanema area.
- Go to a football game at the Maracaná, if you are a football fan. I am not, but I went (for doing a favor to a friend) and I had a great time. I am not sure if it was because of the atmosphere itself (people live it in a very crazy way), or because we drank a bottle of cachaça. It is not expensive (at least regular games).
- Visit some favela. It is interesting to see with your own eyes the way people live in a favela. They are poor neighborhoods, very chaotic, but not so different from what many people think: there are bars, schools, medical centers... And, above all, people like you and me. I would only recommend a tourist one, like Santa Marta. I do not think it is wise to put yourself in a dangerous situation.
And if you find by chance the carnivals there simply enjoy them!