Rio de Janeiro

When in Rio, don't be afraid to follow the tourist trail—the major attractions really are "must-sees." Contrary to tourist-board images, the sun doesn't always shine on the city, so when it does, make the most of it. If the skies are clear, waste no time in heading for Cosme Velho to visit the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado mountain, or to Urca to make the cable car ascent to the peak of Sugar Loaf. Time-pressed travelers will find that whistle-stop city tours are a good way to see many attractions in one day, while those lucky enough to spend a week or more here can afford to take a more leisurely approach. Cloudy days are a good time to visit the attractions of leafy Lagoa and Jardim Botânico and the breezily bohemian hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa. The historic buildings, museums, and cultural centers of Centro, Catete, Glória, and Lapa are ideal rainy-day options.

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  • 1. Jardim Botânico

    Jardim Botânico | Garden

    The 340-acre Botanical Garden contains more than 5,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees, including 900 varieties of palms...Read More

  • 2. Palácio do Catete

    Catete | Garden

    Once the villa of a German baron, this elegant, 19th-century granite-and-marble palace became the presidential residence after the 1889 coup...Read More

  • 3. Parque Lage

    Jardim Botânico | Garden

    This lush green space down the road from Jardim Botânico was acquired by Antônio Martins Lage Jr., whose grandson, Henrique Lage, fell head...Read More

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  • 4. Sítio Roberto Burle Marx

    Jardim Piaí | Garden

    Nature lovers and architecture buffs will find it worth making the advance booking required to visit this plantation-turned-museum honoring...Read More

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