Top 10 Free Things to Do in Rio

Discussion in 'Brazil' started by NileGuide, Apr 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

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    Santa Teresa
    If you’ve blown the travel budget checking out our guide to the Top 10 Treat Yourself Experiences in Rio, don’t panic – we can help you balance the books with our guide to the top 10 things to see and do for free. That’s right, nada. Not one centavo.
    Although Brazil’s increasingly strong economy means that Rio de Janeiro is no longer a cheap destination, that doesn’t mean it has to be out of bounds for travelers on a budget. The glorious weather, stunning natural landscape and, of course, those famous beaches, are all free to enjoy, so it’s easy to have a memorable stay without blowing the budget sky high. The relatively high cost of hotels and hostels in Rio de Janeiro can be balanced out by making a few wise budget choices elsewhere, and where better to start than by making the most of the plentiful number of free things to see and do?
    1.Ipanema Beach beautiful views, beautiful sunshine and beautiful people are all to be found in abundance at this world-famous beach. Bring along your own water, stretch out on the sands and just watch the world (and those world famous Brazilian butts) go by.
    2.Copacabana Beach. Possibly the most famous beach in the world, Copacabana is considered a less chic option than neighboring Ipanema, but it’s still an essential part of any visit to Rio de Janeiro. The crashing waves, blue skies and backdrop of Sugar Loaf mountain combine to make this celebrated stretch of sand well worth a few hours of your sunbathing time. If you are lucky enough to be spending New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro, meanwhile, it costs absolutely nothing to attend the fireworks and festivities at Copacabana.
    3.Santa Teresa. Take time out from sunbathing to head into the hills above Centro and wander the cobbled streets of Santa Teresa, known as Rio’s ‘arty’ neighborhood. The rambling colonial mansions, laid back atmosphere and friendly locals are all part of the charm here, and at just 60 centavos, the fun ride aboard the bonde (tram) has to be one of the bes value tourist attractions in the world.
    4.Parque Lage. Leafy grounds, a dramatic view of the Christ statue and the picture-perfect art school/cafe make this a perfect spot for a relaxed afternoon’s wandering, or even a picnic.
    5.Lagoa Flanked by jungle-clad mountains, Rio’s vast city lake is another of the city’s jaw-dropping sights. Stroll, run or cycle around the 7km track to take in the whole thing . At Christmas, a vast tree in the centre of the lake is the centerpiece of Rio’s festivities.
    6.Lapa Steps (Escadaria de Selaron). Possibly Rio’s kookiest landmark, the steep flight of stairs linking Lapa with Santa Teresa has been turned into an ever-evolving art installation by equally offbeat Chilean artist Selaron.
    7.Tijuca National Park The world’s biggest urban jungle, the Parque Nacional da Tijuca is a haven for adventurers – just don’t stray too far off the beaten track unless you’re with an experienced guide.
    8.Arpoador Rock. A vast lump of rock jutting out to sea between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, this lovers’ favorite spot offers dramatic views across the city and is best seen at sunset.
    9.Praia Vermelha Sitting directly beneath Sugar Loaf mountain, this little spit of sand is a wonderfully relaxed place to sunbathe, and the waters are calm enough (if not always clean en0ugh) for swimming.
    10.Lapa Street Party. It costs nothing to mingle with the crowds at this lively weekend flirt-athon, and drinks from the street vendors are cheap enough for even the tightest of budgets.

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