Flights to Rio de Janeiro (GIG)

When flights to Rio de Janeiro touch down, the party begins – and doesn’t end until sunrise. This city heaves with activity.

Flights to Rio de Janeiro

Explore your destination from the skies before your flight to Rio de Janeiro takes off with View from aboveopens in a new tab.

A sun-soaked metropolis that nearly 6.5 million people call home, Rio de Janeiro is one of South America’s most sought after travel destinations and one of its most recognisable too. Along with the splendid beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, there’s the majestic Sugarloaf Mountain that guards the bay and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that towers over the city. Needless to say, your holiday photos will be spectacular.

Most people who have been to Brazil will tell you that it’s impossible not to have a good time here, whether you’re sunbathing on a perfect stretch of sand, socialising with the locals well into the early hours or using the city’s improved travel infrastructure to explore what’s on offer.

Rio de Janeiro is a foodie's paradise, with offerings ranging from quick and easy joints on the street or the beach to five-star high-class restaurants where the only thing better than the service is the food. The best restaurants in Rio de Janeiro start with Aprazível, hidden on a hilltop that overlooks the city, and Satyricon, which sits just off the water at Ipanema Beach and features fare so fresh you wouldn't be wrong to think it was caught right in front of you.

If you're after a more traditional local meal, order leão veloso, a seafood-based soup with lobster, olive oil, and onion, frequently served with tomato and saffron. Another popular local delicacy is coconut water, which comes fresh off the many trees, while fresh fruit juices are just a bodega stop away. Make sure to have Quindim for dessert, an egg yolk, sugar, and coconut cake.

When it comes to accommodation, most areas in the city have dozens of options for every price range. Chances are you want to be based by the beach, and two of the best hotels in Rio de Janeiro near the sand and shore are Arena Copacabana Hotel and Hotel Maria Santa Teresa. Rio also has a lively and vibrant backpacking culture, and it's not unusual to see happy tourists with large packs and a smile on their face.

Admire the view from Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer is easily the most recognisable statue in Rio, perhaps the world. Built in 1931, it looks over the city from the peak of Corcovado Mountain. Take a 20-minute tram ride to the top or walk up 220 steps for the view of a lifetime.

Parque Nacional da Tijuca
Alto da Boa Vista

Explore Copacabana Beach

No trip to Rio is complete without a trip (or 12) to the most famous beach on the planet. Grab a chair (be sure to tip your server), stretch out, and enjoy the sunshine. Copacabana runs for three miles with each segment offering something different to the eye.

Praia de Copacabana
Avenida Atlântica

Learn about local history at the Museu de Arte do Rio

This popular museum – known as MAR to in-the-know locals – has a focus on up-and-coming Brazilian artists and international masters, as well as historical images from the country. Head here and you'll learn just as much about the history of Brazil as you do about the art on display.

Praça Mauá, 5
+55 21 3031 2741

Prainha Beach

Copacabana Beach is the hotspot for the liveliest crowds, but Prainha, a couple of hours to the west of Rio proper, is much prettier. If you need a break from bustle of the big city, visit this stretch of sand for a relaxing time in the sun.

2000 Avenida Estado da Guanabara
Recreio dos Bandeirantes

Shop on Rua Garcia D’Avila

Rio is your shopping city in South America and this Ipanema hotspot strip of Rua Garcia D’Avila has everything, from quality locally-made crafts to Louis Vuitton and Foxton stores. Plus, you're just blocks from the beach so you'll know where to go if you need a new bathing suit.

Rua Garcia d'Avila

Tijuca National Park

At 8,300 acres, this is the largest urban rainforest in the world, and you can do everything from hiking and hang gliding, to simply exploring and listening for the sounds of animals on the prowl. Trails range from an easy stroll in the park to strenuous all-day adventures, so plan accordingly.

Estrada da Cascatinha
850 - Alto da Boa Vista
+55 21 2491 1700

Aprazível (Brazilian)

The family-run restaurant sits on the side of a mountain overlooking Rio, and the stunning views are the only thing that can compete with the excellent food. Plus, the traditional Brazilian cuisine – think plenty of beef – is served on dining tables in treehouses. Stay at nearby Hotel Maria Santa Teresa for easy access.

Rua Aprazível, 62
Santa Teresa
+55 21 2508 9174

Bar do Mineiro (Brazilian)

A hidden gem in the cute neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, Bar do Mineiro serves up simple, unpretentious food in a laid-back setting. Their feijoadas, a hearty stew of meat and beans that’s Brazil's national dish, ranks among the city's best.

Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 99
Santa Teresa
+55 21 2221 9227

Hachiko (Japanese)

This hidden gem in Rio is tucked away down a cobblestone alley in the centre of the historic district. But there's nothing secret about the incredible quality of the Japanese food. The mix of traditional dishes and modern flavours make for a beautiful evening.

Travessa do Paço, 10
+55 21 2210 1950

Porcão Rio’s (Brazilian churrascaria)

The atmosphere is loud, fast, and lively at this popular spot for Brazilian churrascaria (barbecue). The Flamengo branch of the chain is the place to go, with a pace in the kitchen that matches the non-stop action you'll see through the huge windows looking out over the water.

Avenida Infante Dom Henrique
Aterro do Flamengo
+55 21 3521 2900

Satyricon (Mediterranean)

Need a meal near the beaches of Ipanema? No worries, Satyricon is your best bet for some of the freshest Mediterranean cuisine in Rio. It's the perfect place for a relaxing yet truly exceptional meal, fuelled by the creativity of the Brazilian palate.

Rua Barão da Torre, 192
+55 21 2521 0627

Zazá Bistrô (Seafood)

Work your way through the eclectic menu at this converted house, which is full of art from locals and other festival-themed goodness on the walls. Just a short stroll from the beach, this bistro has plenty of character, and the seafood-focused menu works well with the ocean scent wafting through the windows.

Rua Joana Angélica, 40
+55 21 2247 9101

Miramar Hotel by Windsor

Start with the infinity pool that overlooks Copacabana Beach. Need more? How about beautiful rooms with a view, a gourmet restaurant, and friendly staff dedicated to making you feel at home? This is oceanfront luxury at its finest – just what Rio is all about.

Avenida Atlântica, 3668
+55 21 2195-6200

Relais et Chateaux Santa Teresa

A hidden five-star gem set amidst the hustle and bustle of the big city. Slip behind the hotel's walls and relax as the attentive staff take care of your every need. But don't worry about missing out; you're still close enough to all the action of central Rio.

Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 660
Santa Teresa
+55 21 3380 0200

Arena Copacabana Hotel

Arena has 135 rooms, many of which look out over the water, meaning that you don't have to leave your room to feel like you're right on the beach. However, should you want to sunbathe, you’re literally just a few steps away from the sand.

Avenida Atlântica, 2064
+55 21 3034 1501

Copacabana Palace

This popular spot on the famous beach offers grand comfort and luxurious style. The rooms look out over the water or offer a view of the city, and it’s wonderfully easy to grab your towel and sunscreen, and join your fellow beachgoers on the sand.

Avenida Atlântica, 1702
+55 21 2548 7070

Discovery Hostel

One of the best ways to experience Rio's happy-go-lucky vibe is by staying in a hostel. Discovery is the city's top spot for cheap rooms, adventurous guests looking to have a good time, and a cool location in the popular Glória neighbourhood.

Rua Benjamin Constant, 26
+55 21 3449 0672

Hotel Maria Santa Teresa

This luxury boutique hotel in Rio is one of the most unique accommodation options in the city, a six-room masterpiece hidden in the cosmopolitan Santa Teresa neighbourhood. Spend your afternoons relaxing on the pool terrace before hitting the town.

Rue Aprazível, 163
Santa Teresa
+55 21 3259 7169

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