1. Bike or run Copacabana & Ipanema on a Sunday – My favorite thing about Rio is that the main road right next to the beach is closed to cars all day Sunday, so that bikers, runners, and outdoor seekers can use it. Nothing quite like enjoying the views of Copacabana and Ipanema using your own two feet to get around.
2. Christ the Redeemer – One of the top 7 wonders of the world is truly breathe taking. Best to take the train to enjoy the views, as you reach the summit. The platform at the top is not very big, so I would recommend going during the week.
3. Pao de Açucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) – Another popular “must-see” in Rio, given its 360 degree view of the city. Because it is slightly lower than the Christ, you can see more details of the surrounding area, as well as the city across the bay, Niteroi. Nice place to watch the sunset, as well.
4. Santa Teresa & Lapa – Starting at the famous Selaron steps, a great afternoon can be spent wandering the streets of this historic area. Along the way, you can stop at the Ruins Park, which is an old abandoned house on the top of a hill with spectacular view, and enjoy a feijoada (bean stew) served for two, in an old house with live samba music.
5. Favela bar – Some of the best real estate in Rio can be found in the favelas. After climbing Dois Irmaos, overlooking Ipanema beach, take a stop at Bar da Laje for a cold beer to cool off and enjoy the sunset.
Rio has so many amazing things to offer. You could spend a whole lifetime here and not have the chance of seeing it all.
While I am sad to have left this wonderful city, I know it will always have a special place in my heart. The memories, I hope, will never fade.