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3 Days In Rio De Janeiro: Top Things To Do, See & Eat

Known as the ‘Marvellous City’ with its natural beauty and famous beaches, you won’t be short of things to do in the beautiful seaside city of Brazil! Rio De Janeiro has been listed as one of the most picturesque and worth-visiting tourist destinations in the world due to the stunning sights, incredible cuisine, and rich culture.

If you don’t have the luxury of visiting the city for more than three days and are overwhelmed with the thought of cramming all the activities into your itinerary, you can now relax as we have planned out your entire trip!

Take a look at our complete guide to 3 days in Rio De Janeiro, which you can adapt to suit you.

Day 1

Start off by experiencing an overview of the entire city with a full-day tour of Rio, which is perfect for people with a limited time in the city.

With the convenience of being picked up from your hotel in an air-conditioned minibus with knowledgeable tour guides, spend the morning and afternoon visiting all the main sights of the city including one of the 7 Wonders of the World: Christ the Redeemer. You’ll also get to spend time at the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain, Maracana, and the Selaron steps – with entrance fees to the landmarks and a delicious Brazilian-style lunch included!

You can be dropped back off at your hotel or you could hop off early at the famous Copacabana Beach, where celebrities from around the world have visited for a relaxing getaway since the 1940s. Grab yourself a cold coconut juice from a fresh coconut at one of the seafront cafes and absorb the scorching sunshine.

Head back to your hotel to freshen up and get ready for dinner at one of the top restaurants in the city, Coco Bambu Botafogo Rio, serving the finest Brazillian cuisine at moderate prices. Then make your way back to the hotel for a relaxed evening and a good night’s sleep before the adventures continue the following day.

Day 2

Wake up feeling energised and choose between a range of fun activities such as surfing, rock climbing, or even hang gliding! If you prefer to stay grounded, hire a bike, and enjoy a calm cycle along the beaches and streets of the city.

Sit down for lunch in one of the top 10 most beautiful cafes in the world, Confeitaria Colombo, where you can enjoy traditional food and indulge in the Brazilian dessert, Brigadeiro. This cultural treasure transports you back in time to a place where Presidents, Kings, and Queens have dined, including Queen Elizabeth II.


Gain an insight into the social issues in the city during a Favela Bike Tour with Rio By Bike. There are over 1300 slums in Rio, with over three million people living there. This tour highlights the social inequalities in the city and strives to make a positive impact by donating over 70% of the tour price directly to a project which is run in Mangueira, one of the oldest favelas in the city.

Take in the sunshine down at the popular Ipanema Beach, which is known as the best place to be during the summer months due to the endless activities taking place including the Ipanema Hippie Fair, football, volleyball and surfing. Get involved in the action or simply grab a cold drink and absorb the atmosphere! Afterwards, go for a delicious seafood dinner at the Marius Degustare near the beach, which is famed for its impeccable food and service.

If you’re excited to experience the Lapa nightlife and try some Caipirinhas (the national alcoholic drink) but are feeling uncertain about exploring this on your own in a new city, book the Pub Crawl de Janeiro Lapa. This is a guided pub crawl where you will be taken to the most popular bars of the vibrant street of Lapa, with several drink discounts and VIP entry to each venue. Perfect for those travelling alone or in a couple, you will meet people from all over the world in your guided group!

Day 3

Escape the bustle of the city, by taking a peaceful stroll around the Botanic Gardens or hiking up to the city’s most beautiful lookouts of Morro da Urca and Mirante Dona Marta. Stop for lunch at Curto Café, a tourist favourite for a pleasant cup of tea or coffee and a light bite to eat.

Take in your last dose of culture by visiting some of the top museums and cathedrals, by bike, electric scooter, or by foot. Explore the contemporary-designed Museum of Tomorrow, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Fine Arts Museum.

Enjoy spectacular views of the magical city from the water in a three-hour sailing trip around Guanabara Bay. Relish the traditional snacks, drink and culture, as well as getting to know the people of different nationalities on board!

For your final meal, treat yourself at the exquisite Michelin Star restaurant, Oro, established by celebrity chef Felipe Bronze. With a modern open-flame cooking style of traditional Brazilian cuisine, it is the perfect taste to be left with on your last day.

To end your trip on a high (quite literally), book in to be transported across the city by helicopter, providing incredible panoramic views of the blue skies, crystal waters and stunning monuments of the gorgeous city. This will be an unforgettable finale to a whirlwind of adventures!

By Layla Maguire


KeiKei is a London-based award-winning journalist and videographer with a degree in Broadcast Media and Journalism from the University of the West of Scotland and an extensive reporting background in news, entertainment, travel, and lifestyle.

KeiKei has travelled the globe interviewing, reporting and reviewing. Her work has been published in worldwide media outlets including, The New York Post, The Guardian, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, National Geographic and Conde Nast publications.


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