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Top 3 Attractions in Rio de Janeiro

By Eduardo Borowski |

Follow this tourist route and discover the top 3 attractions in  Rio de Janeiro, which includes visiting one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World and traveling on the same cable car James Bond rode.

To think about Brazil is to think about joy, warm days and festivities. Perhaps the Brazilian city that best represents these characteristics is Rio de Janeiro. Why? Because it’s a city that also possesses a magnificent historical legacy. In order to prove it, DINKtravelers will share with you a tourist route that will take you to discover the top 3 attractions in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, it will prove that while this Brazilian city is sunshine and happiness, it’s also culture and a fundamental meeting point.

History of Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is located on the southeastern Brazilian coast. Its history dates back to 1567, when father Jose Anchieta, a Jesuit from Spain, founded it. By the late 16th century, Rio was already a key city for trade between America, Africa and Europe. And between 1580 and 1640, it was part of the immense list of possessions of Philip II of Spain and his descendants. Rio de Janeiro suffered the presence of pirates and buccaneers of French and Dutch origin. Therefore, you’ll surely want to travel there if you love adventure.

In the early 19th century, during the Napoleonic invasion, the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil. Once there, they established Rio de Janeiro as the capital of Portugal (1808 to 1815). Later, Pedro I proclaimed the independence of Brazil, and the country adopted a monarchy as its first form of independent government. During that time, Rio de Janeiro was its capital.

As you can see, Rio is a city that’s historically connected to the world. It has been a key point of interaction that links people from many different nationalities. Meanwhile, it has also been present in the minds of many people from outside its territory.

Must See Attractions in Rio de Janeiro

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Attraction #1: Christ the Redeemer of Brazil

Begin the touristic route by visiting the Christ the Redeemer monument, of which we have already spoken to you in another article. It’s one of the most famous and emblematic attractions in Rio de Janeiro; therefore, try to arrive at 8:00 h, which is its opening time.

The Christ the Redeemer is located on top of the Cerro de Corcovado, at 700 meters above sea level. Its construction began in 1922 and it was inaugurated on October 1931. The great minds responsible for this work were the engineer Hector da Silva and the French sculptor Paul Landowski. Together, they used 1,000 tons of reinforced concrete resistant to Rio’s weather conditions.

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The Christ the Redeemer was included in the list of World Heritage by UNESCO. Then, in 2007, it was declared one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. For these reasons, it’s the most popular tourist attraction in Rio de Janeiro.

Attraction #2: Cable Car at Sugar Loaf Mountain

The second stop we suggest in this tourist route of the top 3 attractions in Rio de Janeiro is the cable car at Sugar Loaf Mountain. Perhaps you might know it from its Portuguese name, O Bondinho do Pão de Açúcar. This is another iconic site in this Brazilian city and, therefore, one that you can’t miss. Above all, this is place you must visit  if you like landscape photography.

The cable car’s first trips date back to 1908, when it was a technological novelty. Back then, there were only two other cable cars in the world: one in Spain and another in Switzerland.

This cable car has two lines; the first one was inaugurated in October 1912, while the second one opened 60 years later, also in October. Of course, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. Just sit back and relax as it travels across 1400 meters at a height of 396 meters. This attraction in Rio has gained more relevance since great personalities have traveled in it. Among them we can name presidents Kennedy and Walesa as well as James Bond himself (Moonraker, Roger Moore)!

You can easily reach Sugar Loaf Mountain as it is located near Botafogo metro station. In addition, there are two public transport lines that can take you there. Find updated rates and times for the Bondinho Cable Car here.

Attraction #3: Botafogo Bay

The last stop in the route of the top 3 attractions in Rio de Janeiro is the beach. End this tourist route by visiting one of the most amazing beaches in the south of Rio, in the Botafogo neighborhood. The waters at this beach are so calm, that when night falls, they become a mirror of the city lights. It should be noted that, unlike other beaches such as Ipanema or Copacabana, bathing is not allowed at Botafogo Bay. In fact, its appeal lies in its graceful crescent moon shape crowned by Sugar Loaf Mountain.

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In Botafogo you will see lots of boats anchored in Rio’s Yacht Club. These boats are part of what gives the landscape a charming touch. On the other hand, the area is surrounded by shopping malls and houses of prominent people such as Rui Barbosa, one of the great antislavery activists in Brazil during the 19th century.

Rio de Janeiro is a city that harbors great beauty, history and attractions. This tourist route is only one of the many that you can follow in order to learn more about this unique destination.