4-Day Itinerary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Advisor - Fora
Curated By


Icon Share


  • Brazil

  • Rio de Janeiro

  • Active Travel

  • Beaches

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • Downtown

  • Outdoors

  • Sightseeing

View of the city of Rio de Janeiro with rocky coast in the background
Fora’s Take

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has a little bit of everything. It is a big city on the beach that features plenty of museums, hiking, restaurants and even jungle. Of course, Rio is also home to one of the world's seven wonders, Christ the Redeemer. But perhaps the loveliest part of Rio is its people, the Cariocas, who live life to the fullest every day, welcoming every passing moment with a smile.

The Fora Difference

Book with our team of advisors to unlock exclusive perks and discover hidden gems.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Previous slide

Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro

This Art Deco icon reigns supreme over its namesake beach, an unmatched destination for tapping into the spirit of Rio’s beach culture.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro

Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro is a luxurious gem located in the heart of Brazil's most vibrant city. With sleek and modern design, exquisite dining options, a rooftop pool boasting panoramic ocean views, and impeccable service, Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking sophistication and indulgence in one of the world's most captivating destinations.

Fora Perks
  • Complimentary 50-minute massage for two per room.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-In/out whenever possible.

Hotel Arpoador

Beachside hotel wedged in between Ipanema and Copacabana with unparalleled ocean views.

Next slide
Advisor - Fora

Unlock perks by contacting our team of advisors to book your trip.

Day 1: Beach it and dance samba

Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro filled with people on a cloudy day in Brazil

The beach is a quintessential aspect of the Carioca lifestyle, so what better place to start your trip? And don't worry if you forget something; the beach vendors can sell you anything from sunglasses and bathing suits to fresh coconut water and even cheese on a stick (highly recommended). 

Different parts of the beach have different personalities. For example, post 8 in Ipanema is LGBT-friendly, while Arpoador is an excellent place for surfing. 

After a day in the sun, head out to experience Brazil's famous samba music. Pedra do Sal in downtown Rio is the birthplace of the Brazilian samba. Nowadays, it's home to a group of outdoor bars with live samba every night of the week. Dance, drink and take in this incredible piece of Carioca history.

Day 2: Local institutions and sunset at Sugarloaf Mountain

View of the sun rising over Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil

Start the day off with brunch at Confeitaria Colombo. This beautiful restaurant with a stained-glass ceiling and French-inspired design is a Rio landmark and will give you the fuel you need for the rest of the day. 

A few minutes from Confeitaria Colombo is the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura (Royal Portuguese Reading Room), one of the most famous (and most beautiful) libraries in the world. Stop in for a quick photo and a peek at some of the best architecture in Rio.

Next stop: Oi Futuro, the Museum of Telecommunications. It's an interactive museum with sound and visual exhibits, all by Brazilian and Latinx artists. It's an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon, and you'll get some great Instagram photos from the mirrored rooms on the top floor.

Head to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) for the city's best sunset view. Take the cable car up to the top and enjoy the 360-degree views of Rio. If you're really adventurous, you can arrange a guide to help you scale it.

Day 3: Rio’s Botanical Garden & Christ the Redeemer

View of Christ the Redeemer statute on top of mountain in Brazil

Head to Jardim Botanico (Rio's Botanical Garden) for breakfast at Plage Café in Parque Lage. Get there before they open, at 9 am, because they don't take reservations, and by 9, there's usually a line down the block. It's worth the wait for a huge brunch spread in a gorgeous old arts building that will make you feel like you're in the middle of Europe. Walk off brunch in the botanical garden (be sure to check out the avenue of palm trees).

After brunch, it's time for Rio's most famous landmark Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). You can take a train up the mountain or hike, but be warned, the hike is steep and takes about three hours. Up at the top, you'll be rewarded with sweeping views of Rio and a close-up of one of the seven wonders of the world. 

At night, it's time to check out the Lapa neighborhood. Full of bars and live music, there's something here for everyone. Mingle with Cariocas over a beer or a craft cocktail and drink in the sounds of bossa nova.

Day 4: Art in Rio de Janeiro

Yellow streetcar in Santa Teresa, Brazil

Today is all about arts and culture. First, check out Santa Teresa, Rio's artsiest neighborhood. Start in Lapa and take the streetcar up the hill into Santa Teresa. Once you're up there, wander the cobblestoned streets and pop into art galleries and bars. There's fantastic street art around practically every corner. For the best views, go to Parque das Ruinas, where you can see all of Rio.

Up for a bit more walking? Head down to Rio's Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), an interactive museum with thought-provoking exhibits about nature, humanity and the future. Just outside the museum is a long, car-free avenue with warehouses covered in gorgeous murals. Grab coconut water and take a stroll down the avenue.

Carioca culture is beach culture. After a long day of walking, head down to one of the beach kiosks for dinner and drinks. Locals love La Carioca en la Playa and Classico Beach Club, near Leblon.

Need to Know

January and February are the busiest (and more expensive) times to go to Rio. Every year, the city hosts an enormous fireworks display on the beach for New Year's, and a week of celebrations for Carnaval in February. If you're interested in going to either of those events, book at least six months in advance.

Advisor - Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


Reach out to a Fora Advisor.

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience with a Fora Advisor. Or, to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Fora within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).