Everywhere you go in Rio De Janeiro you see vibrant colour, from gorgeous sunsets and umbrellas lined up on the beach, to bright-coloured buildings and eye-catching graffiti in bohemian neighbourhoods. We list 8 of the most Instagrammable places in Rio De Janeiro for the perfect photo op.
7 Most Instagrammable Places in Rio de Janeiro
1. Sunset at Ipanema Beach
Other than being famous for the hit Bossa Nova song "Girl from Ipanema", Ipanema Beach is also known for its vibrant sunsets. It is the perfect place to have a beach day and await the gorgeous sunset.
Once sunset rolls around, Arpoador Rock has one of the best views and is located on Ipanema beach right beside Postos 7. You get to see the whole beach, city skyline as well as the iconic "Dois Irmãos" (Two Brothers) mountains.
2. The colourful Escadaria Steps
The colourful Escadaria Selaron was created by Jorge Selarón, a Chilean artist who fell in love with the city. He spent more than 20 years creating the steps! You may remember these colourful tiled steps in the popular music video, "Beautiful", by Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams. Grab a seat on one of the bright steps for a fun pic.
3. The bohemian neighbourhood of Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa is a quirky neighbourhood with cobblestone streets and bright-coloured buildings on the hillside of Rio. Walking through the neighbourhood you will find many photo ops. Discover Santa Teresa's eccentric street art, aging colonial mansions, bohemian boutique shops, restaurants and bars.
4. Plage Cafe at Parque Lage
Grab lunch in a reformed mansion at Plage Cafe. The gorgeous cafe is located in Parque Lage, a private estate turned public park. The mansion's courtyard with pool is the perfect setting for lunch or a coffee. You can also see Christ the Redeemer in the distance from the courtyard!
5. Christ the Redeemer on top of Corcovado Mountain
Christ the Redeemer is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world and a sight you don't want to miss. Take the cog train (the scenic way to get up Corcovado Mountain) to see the famous Art Deco statue. You can also take a van or hike up, but it was way too hot for us hike! The top of the mountain is at 680 meters above sea level.
Do you need to print out your voucher for the cog train like it says online? Nope! We were able to just show the PDF form on our phone and give them the voucher code. They do require to see the credit card that purchased the tickets.You can easily purchase tickets for the cog train with GetYourGuide. We like how you can cancel up to 24 hours before for a full refund.
Best time of day to go for pictures: either early morning if you want light to hit the front of the statue or in the afternoon after 3pm if you prefer to get nice shot of the city.
Once you’re done taking your pics, take a break at the restaurant overlooking the city and order some refreshing watermelon. We ordered caipirinhas, but they were the worst we drank in the city.
6. The view from atop Sugarloaf Mountain
Take the cable car up Sugarloaf mountain to see a panoramic view of the city. There are two cable cars you take to get to the top. If you walk down the stairs at the back of the top of the mountain, you will find Classico Sunset Club Urca, a bar that has marvellous views of Copacabana beach and the city. Enjoy fruit juices, coffee, cocktails, or appies in the comfy chairs.
If you only have time to do Sugarloaf Mountain OR Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, we would recommend Christ the Redeemer, since the cog train ride is longer with nice views of the city and Corcovado Mountain is almost twice as high.You can easily purchase cable car tickets for Sugarloaf Mountain with GetYourGuide. We like how you can cancel up to 24 hours before for a full refund.
7. Praia Vermehla (Red Beach)
Once you take the cable car back down Sugar Loaf Mountain, stop at Praia Vermehla just next door. The beach is one of the most scenic with its views of Sugarloaf Mountain. Bask in the sun among the colourful beach umbrellas or standup paddle board to catch the views.
Enjoy these beautiful and colourful spots!
Bonus: Our top accommodation picks in Rio
We recommend staying in the Ipanema neighbourhood, since it's less touristy than its neighbour, Copacabana, and has an amazing local's scene. Ipanema has some of the best beaches, restaurants and bars in the city. Stay in a hotel or apartment close to Ipanema Beach, so you don’t have to bring your devices and worry about things getting stolen!
Our top hotel/apartment picks close to Ipanema Beach:
- Hotel Arpoadar - bright contemporary rooms next door to the beach.
- Ipanema Inn Hotel - a cute boutique hotel half-a-block from the beach.
- Mar, Lagoa, Vista Incrível em Ipanema - a colourful two-bedroom apartment with an incredible view. The beach is a 9 minute walk away.
Start planning your trip to Rio De Janeiro
- 💡 Travel tips: see our list of 15 things to know before travelling to Rio
- 🏖 Fun activities: see our list of 10 non-touristy things to do in Rio
- 🌃 Accommodation: Booking.com is our go-to for finding places to stay. Sort by top reviewed.
- 🚆 Cog Train: Reserve your train ticket to see Christ the Redeemer
- 🚡 Cable Car: Reserve your cable car ticket for Sugarloaf Mountain
- 🛫 Flights: use Skyscanner to compare flights across different airlines (we recommend booking direct with the airline however)
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out our list of Unique Cultural Travel Experiences to inspire your next trip.
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