Rio de Janeiro
Neighborhood Tours

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Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro Neighborhood Tours

Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha Favela Walking Tour with Local Guide

1. Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha Favela Walking Tour with Local Guide

Start your favela tour with a pickup from one of the meeting points in Copacabana or Ipanema beach. Journey to the Rocinha Favela for the start of a walking tour at approximately 2:20 PM. Follow your local guide through the favela and learn more about what it is like to live there. Rio's favelas are a big part of city life, and the non-intrusive tour aims to educate you in a way that pays respect to the locals. In addition, part of the cost of your tour is contributed to the community to help them build a better future. Get a different perspective about life in Rio de Janeiro, and benefit from insider tips from a local guide.

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Favela Santa Marta Tour with a Local Guide

2. Favela Santa Marta Tour with a Local Guide

Take an opportunity to catch a glimpse of life in the favelas on this guided tour. Your guide is a local from Santa Marta, who will be able to share you with you an authentic perspective of the beautiful favela they call home. Using the Santa Marta cable car, your guide will take you to the top of the favela. From here you will get to witness one of the best panoramic views of the city. Spot Christ the Redeemer, the Sugar Loaf, Praia de Botafogo, Lagoa Rodrigues de Freitas and the entire district of Botafogo. Then explore the streets and alleys held dear by both residents and the many famous visitors to Favela Santa Marta alike, from Queen Elizabeth II to Michael Jackson. Stroll through the favela, seeing the best sights and stopping at many of the local artisan shops along the way.

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Rio de Janeiro: Guided Bike Tours in Small Groups

3. Rio de Janeiro: Guided Bike Tours in Small Groups

Choose from 3 different itineraries to best fit your time in Rio and your preferences. Explore some of the city's highlights on a small-group bike tour with an expert guide and learn about the historical background of the city. • 3-Hour Urban Tour: Praia Vermelha, Botafogo & Lagoa Visit several of Rio's famous sites and some of its traditional neighborhoods on this tour that focuses on the southern part of the city. Start at Copacabana beach to experience where locals spend a large part of their social life. From there, bike to Sugarloaf Mountain to view its imposing vastness up-close, and make a stop at nearby Vermelha Beach, a tiny oasis of quietness. Next, pedal to the lively neighborhood of Botafogo to get a glimpse of the back lanes of Rio. This stretch of the bike tour will give you a closer look at how real Cariocas live when they’re not on the beach. Finally, head to Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, and admire its surrounding green hillsides and fancy neighborhoods. • 4-Hour Panoramic Tour: Botafogo, Flamengo Park & Old Rio Get a panoramic perspective of Rio on this tour that goes from Copacabana to the shores of the Bay of Guanabara, Lapa, and Rio’s historical center. Making use of the new cycle paths, bike through the lively backstreets of iconic neighborhood Copacabana to Botafogo. There, pass by Rio’s “celebrity” cemetery, São João Batista, the resting place of several Brazilian presidents, writers, singers, actors, and renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Pedal on to the Bay of Guanabara along the beach of Flamengo, the site of the first European settlement after the discovery of the city. Continue to the historical center of Rio, with stops at Cinelândia and the bohemian neighborhood Lapa, well-known for its nightlife and the Selarón steps, 250 steps covered in more than 2000 tiles from different countries. On the way back, cycle along the paths that wind through Flamengo Park, designed by famous Brazilian landscaper, Burle Marx. The last stretch of the tour will pass along Copacabana beach. 7-Hour Ultimate Tour: Urban Tour + Panoramic Tour + Lunch Discover the best of Rio de Janeiro in just one day. As well as exploring the popular South Zone, famous for the iconic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, pedal through less well-known but equally fascinating neighborhoods such as Botafogo and Urca. After taking these in, head to the old city center where you’ll stop in the Bohemian quarter of Lapa. Take a step back to Rio's colonial past at the historic Cinelândia Square, and visit Jorge Selarón’s psychedelically decorated staircase to see how art can be truly public in this city. Savor a typical Brazilian lunch — included in the tour — at a local restaurant. The last stretch of the cycle tour passes by the beautiful lake, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, surrounded by hills clad with lush Atlantic rainforest. Last, soak up lots of great views of Rio’s most famous landmarks, the Sugarloaf and Christ the Redeemer.

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Football Match in Rio

4. Football Match in Rio

Nowhere on the planet is the game of football more passionately loved than in Brazil. Get a feel for the importance of football to ordinary Brazilians by taking in a thrilling match. A match in any of Rio's Stadiums is an exciting experience even for those with only a passing interest in football. The atmosphere in the stadium is alive with fans waving huge silk banners and flags whilst setting off flares and fireworks. Chants and samba drums reverberate through the stadium as vendors climb through the crowds selling cold beers, popcorn, hats, scarfs, and headbands. Experience the fevered frenzy of Brazilian football and join the thousands of colorful, joyous fans, playing music, singing, and jumping throughout the match. Rio's passion for football makes every game a game to remember. Matches take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

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Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

5. Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

Begin your tour at Downtown (“Centro”), where you will get the tram (“bondinho”) to the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa. You will drive over the Arcos da Lapa, the aqueduct used to connect water from Santa Teresa to Downtown and one of Rio’s most traditional postcards. At Santa Teresa, you will experience an interesting local atmosphere. Walk through the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, a bucolic area in Rio de Janeiro. Located on a hillside, Santa Teresa has become a district of cultural interest because of its architectural value and prime location, famous for its winding, narrow cobblestone streets and a favourite spot for artists and tourists. A flair similar to Montmartre, in Paris. You will visit the Ruins Park, a public park with an art gallery built around the ruins of a mansion. (Please note that Ruins Park is closed on Sundays.) Take a minute to enjoy the city’s landscape, in particular the Downtown area and the Sugarloaf Mountain. Up next, you will walk down the colorful Selarón Steps, one of Rio’s landmarks, and arrive at the district of Lapa, the zone with the most traditional nightlife. Take a stroll in the Passeio Público, the oldest public park in South America, to reach Cinelândia, a lively spot in Rio thanks to its bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Among many remarkable constructions in the area, you will notice the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro’s most traditional theatre and opera house, as well as the Biblioteca Nacional, Brazil’s most important library. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo, a permanent member of all must-see cafés rankings around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decoration with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks – such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’) – or desserts – such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in what was one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th Century. (Please note that Confeitaria Colombo is closed on Sundays.)

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From Rio de Janeiro: Búzios Boat Trip with Lunch

6. From Rio de Janeiro: Búzios Boat Trip with Lunch

Enjoy an early morning pick up from Rio and relax on the 3-hour drive to the city of Búzios which is often called the Brazilian Caribbean due to the similarities in their natural beauties. Arrive in the docks of Búzios, around 10:00 AM, and hop on the schooner. Enjoy a boat ride through the best places to swim and relax.  Listen to some music playing and meet the friendly crew ready to assist on every matter. It is like having a small party on a boat.  Explore the 4 different stops in places like the João Fernandes beach, Azeda, and Azedinha beaches, Tartaruga, or Ossos beach at the end. Stops may vary according to weather conditions and the number of people in each place. The captain chooses the best and less crowded areas to have a good time. Búzios was a peaceful fishing village when its beaches began to be frequented for the summer holidays, in the ‘50s. Sometime later, the visit of a young Brigitte Bardot ended up revealing the resort to the world. Since then, Búzios has never gone out of style. The low houses, the windows of Pedras street, the boutique-inns, and the lively night make Búzios the desired destination in Rio de Janeiro State. Not to mention the beaches, more than 20 across the peninsula that make it look like a little piece of the Mediterranean ended up here. Leave the boat around 3:00 PM and have a buffet lunch. Enjoy some free time after eating to explore the das Pedras street and its boutique stores and beautiful stone paving street.  Hop on the bus and leave Búzios to make the journey back to Rio, arriving around 8:00 PM.

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Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

7. Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

Following pickup from your accommodation, head to the historic center of Rio de Janeiro. Consisting of centuries-old buildings and roads, the historic center of Rio best illustrates the most important chapters of Brazil’s history.  See the contrast of new and old architecture at XV de Novembro Square. Continue to Cinelândia Square until you reach the famous Carioca Aqueduct (Arcos de Lapa) in Lapa. Admire the historic beauty as you continue to Santa Teresa by car. Enjoy the winding narrow streets and colorful buildings of bohemian Santa Teresa, famous for its bars, galleries, ateliers, and the 19th-century Santa Teresa tram. From the top of Santa Teresa Hill, enjoy some of Rio’s finest views and look across Guanabara Bay.  Take in the panoramic views of the city from the Parque das Ruínas, located in the ruins of an old mansion belonging to Laurinda Santos. The mansion has been partially restored and is now used as a cultural center hosting various exhibitions and events.

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Copacabana: 4-Hour Brazilian Cooking Class with 7 Recipes

8. Copacabana: 4-Hour Brazilian Cooking Class with 7 Recipes

Learn to make the delicious Brazilian food you love yourself, from simple recipes using ingredients found worldwide with this fun, hands-on cooking class in Copacabana. Choose from 2 mouth-watering menus (vegetarian menu available as well), and make your own delicious Brazilian meals and traditional cocktails. Choose the Bahian Seafood Moqueca menu to learn how to make Moqueca, a seafood coconut stew, and cassava sticks, or Aipim Frito. You'll wash these dishes down with 2 different Brazilian cocktails: the famous Caipirinha, made with limes, and Batida de Coco, a coconut cocktail. Feijoada, a black bean and meat stew, is the main dish of your 2nd menu choice. You'll also learn to make Aipim Frito, or cassava sticks, as well as the Brazilian Caipirinha cocktail made with limes, and Batida de Coco, a coconut cocktail. Once you've mixed your cocktails and cooked your first traditional Brazilian meal, enjoy eating what you've made with your cooking class.

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Rio de Janeiro: Sacro, Bucolic, and Handicrafts Market Tour

9. Rio de Janeiro: Sacro, Bucolic, and Handicrafts Market Tour

The São Bento Monastery was built in 1671 by the Benedictine Order. The monastery church is gorgeous and rich and its interior is covered in gold powered. Every Sunday the Benedictine monks present the traditional Mass in a Gregorian chant at 10:00 sharp. Santa Teresa, a bucolic district on a hillside, is known for its crocked houses, steep streets and tile decorated stairways, Rio’s bohemian neighborhood. Rio’s Santa Teresa tram (when available), has been preserved both as a piece of history and as a quick, fun, cheap way of getting to one of the most quirky parts of town. The Hippie fair has become a mandatory touristic visit. There the visitors will find bronze and wood sculptures, oil paintings, silver objects, hand-painted porcelains, fabrics, leather clothes, shoes, handbags, several souvenirs and typical Brazilian food and handicraft of all kinds. This 4-hour tour operates on Sundays and it includes hotel pickup and drop off. A minimum of 2 people per booking is required.

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From Rio de Janeiro: Niterói Day Trip

10. From Rio de Janeiro: Niterói Day Trip

After pickup, sit back and relax during the 1-hour drive from Rio to Niterói. Take the opportunity to snap some photos as you cross Guanabara Bay. Learn about the old capital of Rio state and how the name comes from the indigenous Tupi language. Make your first stop in downtown Niterói and visit the Niemeyer Way, a series of works by the renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer. Sites such as the Oscar Niemeyer Popular Theatre, Oscar Niemeyer Foundation, and Roberto Silveira Memorial extend for 11km in the coastal neighborhoods of the city. Continue on to Juscelino Kubitschek Square. Head to Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, known locally as ‘the MAC’ and the highlight of this day trip. Revel at the interesting and inventive shape of what is considered one of the greatest works by Niemeyer. See contemporary art inside the museum. Make a quick stop at São Pedro Fish Market to finish off the tour. See where most restaurants buy their fresh fish and seafood. Finally, be dropped off back at your accommodation in Rio.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Rio de Janeiro

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 835 reviews

This was one of the best tours. I felt safe and the experience was amazing and the view was picturesque. It opens your mind about the fevalas. Alberto was the coolest guide. I had to do the tour twice!

Vicente was an amazing guide. In addition to the main attractions, he took us off the beaten path. We had such a great time. We highly recommend his services! Thank you Vicente!

Great Guide which speaks perfectly english and knows a lot. I felt secure at all the times. Support the local stores inside. Thank you!

The favelas are part of Brazil and immersing yourself in their breasts for a few hours is really a must to understand their history.

Rafael was an excellent guide, very informative and flexible due to the unexpected rain! His trip was interesting and very safe.