How To Explore Rio In 48 Hours

Inca to Inuit Rio

We had planned to spend six days exploring the delights that Rio has to offer, however, one sickness bug and four days of bed rest left us with 48 hours to explore as much of the Rio tourist trail as possible.

Right now Rio is the perfect holiday destination for British and American tourists, especially those looking to “do” Rio on a shoestring. With Brazil experiencing their deepest recession since the 1930’s it has significantly bolstered the amount of money tourists have in their pockets to spend.

Inca to Inuit - Rio

Rio is comparatively small in comparison to other South American cities with the majority of the tourist trail being concentrated in the South of the city. The underground system is simple enough to navigate with only a handful of lines and it’s affordable, making it easy to jump on and off throughout the day.

Inca to Inuit - Rio

If like us you like to explore by foot and aren’t afraid of a hill or two, you can find some of the most stunning views of the city from residential hillside vista’s away from the tourist crowds.

Making your way around the main tourist attractions in 48 hours isn’t too difficult however it does require some prior planning. So here’s how to do it.

Rio: Day One

A trip to Rio wouldn’t be complete without a trip to see Christ himself. There are three ways you can make your way up to see Christ The Redeemer. The most common and in our opinion best way to see him is to catch the hillside train, the only problem with this option is you need to be sure to book in advance.

Inca to Inuit - Christ The Redeemer

The ticket office claims you can book online but the site is extremely difficult to navigate so we would advise taking a trip to the Corcovado train station to book your ticket in person for the following day. Alternatively you can choose to take one of the many mini-buses which go from the bus stop opposite the Corcovado train station or if you’re feeling brave hike your way to the top which I’m told takes around 5 hours.

From Corcovado you can take a walk to Copacabana. Be warned this walk will take you two hours and it’s across hilly terrain but it’s a great way to explore the various neighbourhoods as well as take in some of the best views of the city. From Rua Mundo Novo you get a fantastic view of Sugar Loaf  and the surrounding city without the hustle and bustle of other tourists.

Inca to Inuit - Rio

Along your journey be sure to stop off at Cafe do Visconde Bistro for a spot of lunch. This beautiful building is a diamond in the rough of an otherwise built up suburban district. Phenomenal food and affordable prices. The owner and his family speak perfect English so if you’re struggling with the Portuguese menu they’re more than happy to help. Tip: Be sure to try their homemade chicken pate for main and their gigantic chocolate brownies for dessert.

Arriving at Copacabana be sure to grab a cold drink and walk along the waterfront taking in the sights. The beach is teaming with volleyball players, beach football, sun-soakers and glamour-pusses all vying for attention.

Inca to Inuit - Rio

After a couple of hours soaking up the sun and sights take a walk to Sugar-Loaf around 4pm. This will get you there in time to take the cable car up in time for sunset. Sunset is by far the best time to visit Sugar-Loaf and will give you a completely different view of the city. Be sure to take a coat as it can get chilly up there as well as a couple of snacks as the round trip can take up to three hours in total.

Inca to Inuit - Rio

Inca to Inuit - Rio

Inca to Inuit - Rio

End the night at with a burger and beer in Botafogo at Hells Burger

Rio: Day Two

Start the day with a trip to the colourful Escadaria Selarón. Despite it being a haven for tourists it’s worth taking some time to explore the individual tiles and murals that create this gigantic splash of colour in the middle of the city.

Inca to Inuit - Rio

From there jump on the underground to Ipanema. Famed as being the home to the rich and famous, you can quite easily laze the day away people watching. The beach is slightly less crowded that Copacabana and offers up flour like sands and is overlooked by the Two Brothers mountain. Watch out for the incredible array of swimwear on show and the fabulous people fashioning it! Believe me you could sit and watch for hours.

Inca to Inuit - Rio

Ipanema has some incredible restaurants on offer however if like us you’re on a budget and a fan of sushi head to Koni. Unbeatable value and quality and the one in Ipanema has the added benefit of some fantastic people-watching.

End the day, cashing in your train tickets to see Christ The Redeemer and enjoy the amazing sights on offer from Corcovado Mountain.

Inca to inuit - Rio

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  • Reply
    My Pastel World
    24th February 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Oh my God the photos made at the night are absolutely breathtaking !

    • Reply
      25th February 2016 at 12:48 am

      Thank you My Pastel World! Love your site!

  • Reply
    Dick Wignall
    14th March 2016 at 12:07 am

    After dinner, enjoy a relaxed beverage at any of the bars in Baixo Gavea, but don’t expect to find a seat. This area is so hopping patrons are usually spilling out onto the sidewalk, especially on a Thursday or Monday night. Popular with students and businessman alike, a unique fusion of people is virtually guaranteed.

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