Sunshine, clear skies and an awesome tan; I bet that’s what you had in mind when you first started planning your trip to Rio de Janeiro. But now you’ve taken a look at the weather forecast, some rainy days are ahead and you can only think: “what now?”. Don’t panic yet! There are many places to go and fun activities to do around the city that can be done whether it rains or shines. Here’s a list of some of our favorites.
Rio is home to many incredible museums and historical buildings that give you a peek into the city’s past, present and future. At Centro (downtown), you can learn about Brazilian culture or even see a world-famous exhibition displayed in one of the museums found in almost every corner of the neighborhood.
Technology is the main characteristic present in every exhibition of this museum. It’s one of the newest additions to Rio’s harbor area, which offers a different perspective of what the future will look like. And what you’ll see on the inside is just as impressive as what’s on the outside. The modern structure was inspired by bromeliads found in the Botanic Garden (a place you also can’t miss), being a beautiful sight at sunset.
Pro tip: Get your tickets ahead of time on the museum’s website, as it can get crowded pretty fast. Or, if you’re looking to save a few bucks during your trip, consider paying a visit on a Tuesday, when the museum offers free admission to all visitors.
Right in the heart of Cinelândia, the Municipal Theater is one the oldest and most important buildings in the city. Built in 1909 with inspiration from the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris, it’s seen many national and international presentations throughout the years. Today, it’s home to a Symphonic Orchestra, a Choir, and a Ballet.
If you’re in town for the performing season, support local artists and attend a show at this majestic Theater. Or, go on a guided tour and discover the history told through each painting, sculpture, and other art pieces that decorate the halls. Tickets have to be purchased on site.
The CCBB works as a cultural hub in Rio de Janeiro, as well as other cities like São Paulo and Brasília. Music, movies, visual and performing arts are displayed in the galleries of this beautiful historical building. Famous works like Salvador Dalí’s paintings are just some of the pieces that have passed through the museum.
Plan your visit so that you can explore the area as well. Just a short walk away (we promise you won’t be under the rain for long), you’ll find important landmarks like the Paço Imperial, Nossa Senhora da Candelário Church and Casa França-Brasil – another great place to see art exhibitions.
There’s no better way to discover the city like a true carioca than going to local markets. So leave behind shopping malls and gift shops, and buy the perfect souvenir at one of these spots.
From afar, the Centro Municipal Luiz Gonzaga de Tradições Nordestinas, where the fair is held, can be confused for a stadium. That’s how big it is. Inside, almost 700 stalls sell everything from drinks, to clothes and crafts. The theme? Northeastern Brazilian culture. You’ll enjoy traditional food (you have to try a tapioca) while listening to some music from the region like forró or baião. It truly is an authentic and unique experience! You can buy tickets at the entrance for approximately $1 dollar.
Even though this is an open-air street fair, we couldn’t leave it out of the list. So you may want to grab your umbrella for this one. All sorts of antiques, craftwork and a variety of objects ranging from handmade furniture to clothes and accessories can be found here.
While you walk looking for the perfect find, you may see people dancing to the rhythm of a local band or street artists performing. If you get hungry, there are many bars, cafés and restaurants surrounding the area with delicious Brazilian food. The fair happens the first Saturday of every month on Rua Lavradio.
Located in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, this farmers market is a foodie’s paradise. Flavors from different countries get together in one amazing place, which was inspired by markets all over the globe. Japanese, Arabic, Italian and Brazilian food and drinks are only some of the dishes that you can find here. For those with a refined taste, premium wines and craft beer is also available.
How about enjoying your day off from beach tanning to do a food tour around Rio? There are so many tasty dishes you have to try!
Trying the steak that made Brazil known worldwide is a must when visiting the country. At this churrascaria or steakhouse, you’ll get an authentic experience of a rodízio. Waiters carrying all kinds of meats, from chicken to picanha, go around each table ready to give you a piece. And that’s not all. There’s also a buffet full of varied side dishes to accompany the steak. Rice, sushi, bread and cheese, salads and much more. Our tip: order the polenta fries, they are to die for!
This award-winning restaurant is one of the hidden gems of the city. It serves breakfast all day long, so if you’re craving some eggs benedict at late afternoon this is the place to get them. You also can’t miss the lunch specials and artisan bread that is made by their own bakery. For a special treat, try their delicious cheese bread.
The setting around the restaurant contributes to the whole experience as well. In the Instituto Moreira Salles location, you’re surrounded by art and architecture, as the café is inside the museum. On the other, you’re walking distance to the Botanical Garden and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.
Confeitaria Colombo has been a part of the Rio’s culinary scene since 1894, and today it’s considered to be cultural and artistic heritage. The breathtaking architecture and tasty dishes make up the perfect combination for having an amazing time. Here you can try authentic Brazilian and Portuguese pastries or snacks like cheese bread and coxinhas. The main restaurant is located at the Centro neighborhood, but you can also find them in other spots around the city, even at the airport!
Want to explore everything that Rio de Janeiro has to offer? Maybe visit the famous Christ Redeemer statue or the Sugarloaf Mountain? Check out our tours here!