Brazil’s ‘Marvelous City’ didn’t earn its nickname for being commonplace, and as soon as tourists disembark at Rio de Janeiro International Airport
, they start to get a sense of the wonder. This is the kind of destination where locals embrace celebration as a way of life, where Carnival festivities, beach culture, and the samba combine to scintillating effect. Rio de Janeiro is intoxicating, and it has a habit of making expatriates out of tourists.
For visitors, the action begins on Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, where hotels in Rio de Janeiro back a beautiful crescent of white sand. Beaches in the city center are perennially clean, and they seem to attract some of the world’s most beautiful people.
The parade of beautiful swimsuit-clad locals would dominate the scene if it weren’t for the backdrop of mountains draped in rainforests. Few cities can boast such a breathtaking setting, and it gives Rio a surreal edge that is better experienced than described.
In fact, so much of a holiday in Rio de Janeiro is about the experience, yet there are a range of great sightseeing attractions for those who can pull themselves away from the leisure and entertainment scene. Walking tours of the Centro historic district come highly recommended, giving visitors a great chance to put the city in context. Historic buildings, monuments, and museums trace the colonial efforts of 16th-century Portugal through to 19th-century independence. Christ the Redeemer
– Rio's most famous landmark – is also a must on the itinerary.
Find the most suitable accommodation for you by clicking on our interactive map and exploring Rio de Janeiro for hotels and must-see destinations.