2 DAYS IN RIO DE JANEIRO – BEST THINGS TO SEE & DO

2 DAYS IN RIO DE JANEIRO – BEST THINGS TO SEE & DO

Rio de Janeiro is arguably one of the most exciting cities in the world! Spending 2 Days in Rio de Janeiro is a decent amount of time to get a taste of what this dynamic beachside city has to offer.

I spent one weekend in Rio and have put together this Rio de Janeiro Itinerary with the best things to see and do to help you craft together your own trip!

 

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WHERE IS RIO DE JANEIRO & HOW TO GET THERE

Rio de Janeiro is located on the southeast coast of Brazil and it is the second-largest city in the country with a population of 6.3 million people.

The best and easiest way of reaching Rio de Janeiro is by plane. Daily flights operate in and out of Rio de Janeiro International Airport, connecting domestic and international travellers from around the world. Rio de Janeiro city is a thirty-minute drive from the airport.

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2 DAYS IN RIO ITINERARY

I have put together this 2 Day Rio Itinerary which includes six awesome spots that I highly recommend visiting during the time that you have in Rio de Janeiro.

The top six things to do that you’ll find in this Rio Itinerary are:

  • Copacabana Beach
  • Ipanema beach
  • Two Brothers Mountain
  • Lapa Stairs
  • Rio Walking Tour
  • Christ The Redeemer

See All ∼ Tours in Rio de Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO ITINERARY – DAY 1:

# COPACABANA BEACH

The first thing you’re going to want to do in Rio is hit the beach and taking a stroll down to Copacabana is a great place to start!

Copacabana is one of Rio’s best beaches that buzzes with energy and can be a lot of fun. The long stretch of white sand beach at Copacabana is lined with shops, bars, restaurants, beach umbrellas and market stalls, offering something for everyone.

Join in on a game of beach volleyball or go for a body bash in the waves, all the while soaking in the terrific atmosphere.

Copacabana is a police patrolled beach and safe for tourists to visit at any time during the day though it’s always best to keep a close eye on your valuables, especially if you decide to go swimming.

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# IPANEMA BEACH

Ipanema Beach was informally made popular by the hit song from the 60’s ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ and a visit to this iconic beach will give you a sense of life in Rio.

From the south end of Copacabana Beach, it’s a short fifteen to twenty-minute walk around the rocky headland till you reach Ipanema Beach.

See All ∼ Tours in Rio de Janeiro

The sand and sea on Ipanema Beach are seemingly cleaner than that of Copacabana’s and you can also find plenty of fun activities to do such as surfing, volleyball, racket tennis and beach soccer along this stretch of sun-drenched shores.

What makes Ipanema a stand out location among most is the Two Brothers Mountains, also known as Morro Dois Irmãos, that tower dominantly above the southern end of Ipanema’s shoreline.

Grab a cold refreshment from one of the local beach sellers who roam up and down the sand or pop up to one of the many beach bars and restaurants for a quality meal with a side of people watching.

Search All ∼ Flights to Rio de Janeiro

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#  TWO BROTHERS MOUNTAIN HIKE

Morro Dois Irmãos, is one of the best hikes in Rio de Janeiro, boasting incredible views of Ipanema beach and Rio’s cityscape from the summit.

Dois Irmaos in English translates to Two Brothers which refers to the two iconic mountain peaks located at the south end of Ipanema Beach.

The Dois Irmaos hike goes above and beyond and I guarantee when you reach the summit after a short 45-minutes of hiking, it will exceed your expectations!

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At the summit, you’ll be greeted with one of the best 360-degree panoramic viewpoints you’ve ever seen! A large sloping rockface at the top of Dois Irmaos is where to take the best pictures from, though do be careful because it is a long way down, 533m to be exact.

Enjoy extensive views of Rio de Janeiro, its beaches and the surrounding mountain ranges!

I have written a full blog post of the Two Brothers Mountain Hike with all the nitty gritty details of how to get there and what to expect on the trail.

Click Here to give it a read.

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RIO DE JANEIRO ITINERARY – DAY 2

# LAPA STAIRS

On day two of your Rio itinerary, I recommend heading to one of the world’s most beautiful staircases in the Lapa neighbourhood.

The Lapa Stairs, also known as Selaron Staircase, are the works of the Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claims it was his tribute to the Brazilian people.

Lapa Stairs are truly a magnificent piece of artwork boasting colourful ceramics on each step that connects two bohemian neighbourhoods, Lapa and Santa Teresa.

You would have surely seen countless pictures of Lapa Stairs on Instagram which ultimately means it is one of the most popular points of interest in Rio.

I recommend getting to the Selaron Staircase before 9am to beat the crowds if you want that perfect Instagram shot.

Find All ∼ Hostels & Hotels in Rio de Janeiro

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# RIO DE JANEIRO WALKING TOUR

A walking tour in Rio is one of the best ways to really immerse yourself in the Brazilian culture and learn more about the history of the city. The tour guides are full of energy and bucket loads of information who will be more than willing to answer any questions you may have while strolling around Rio’s hot spots.

There are dozens of tour operators and offices dotted around the city to book walking tours in Rio, but in my experience, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which operator to book a tour through without being ripped off.

Alternatively, you can book a Rio walking tour online in advance to avoid the hassle of having to organise a trip once you have arrived.

I recommend finding a tour that best suits you on the Get Your Guide website. They have a variety of walking tours in Rio that are affordable and reliable!

Rio Walking Tours – 2 days in Rio de Janeiro

# CHRIST THE REDEEMER

Last but not least on this 2 Days in Rio itinerary is Christ The Redeemer which is easily the most popular tourist attraction in Rio and perhaps the world.

Christ The Redeemer, or Cristo Redentor in Portuguese, is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ which stands a staggering 30m tall on the summit of Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro. It has been listed as one of the New 7 Wonders Of The World and has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.

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There are a few ways of reaching the summit of Mount Corcovado to visit Christ The Redeemer and they are by walking, bus or funicular train.

If you decide to walk/hike to the summit you won’t have to pay an entrance fee for Christ The Redeemer, though bear in mind that it’s at least a one hour hike each way in the blistering sun.

My personal recommendation is to take the funicular train from the train station at the bottom of the Mount Corcovado and ride it to the very top which takes approximately twenty minutes. The cost is R$65 in low season and R$79 in high season.

Once you have finally reached the summit you can enjoy the most amazing panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro city! To avoid the crowds aim to go early in the morning or at sunset.

Find All ∼ Hostels & Hotels in Rio de Janeiro

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Sunset at Christ The Redeemer – Rio Itinerary

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WHERE TO STAY IN RIO DE JANEIRO

Rio de Janeiro has thousands of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my favourite places to stay in Rio de Janeiro to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travellers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

Luxury: Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Ipanema

  • This luxury 5-star hotel is located right on the edge of Rio’s most famous beach, Ipanema. The Sofitel features an outdoor pool, sauna, spa and gym, all with panoramic views of the ocean and Rio’s skyline. The rooms are spacious, stylish and comfortable with free wifi and breakfast is included.

Click Here to check availability and rates.

Mid Range: Atlantis Copacabana Hotel

  • A 3-star hotel centrally located next to Copacabana beach and Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro. Atlantis features an outdoor terrace and a rooftop swimming pool. Free wifi is available at the hotel and a buffet breakfast is included. Each room offers cable TV, spacious living, air-conditioning and private bathrooms. Perfect for couples and families.

Click Here to check availability and rate.

Budget: Solar Hostel Beach Copacabana

  • Rated one of the best hostels in Rio, ideally located at Copacabana beach. This budget hostel offers dorm rooms and private rooms, perfect for solo backpackers, friends and couples. There is a shared kitchen at this property and free wifi. For $8 a night, it’s pretty hard to beat!

Click Here to check availability and rates.

Airbnb Rio de Janeiro: Another option is to stay in an Airbnb, which has some great deals in Rio – Get your $40 Airbnb discount here!

RIO DE JANEIRO MAP

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MORE SOUTH AMERICA

If you are planning a trip to South America, be sure to check out my other travel guides below that you might find useful while crafting together your South America Itinerary:

Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions at all about this Rio de Janeiro Itinerary, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Happy Travels! 🙂

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