Fun & Free Things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Believe it or not, there are plenty of things to do in Rio de Janeiro that don’t involve drinking and nightclubs! Famed for its non-stop partying and beach life, Rio is one of the world’s largest and most renowned cities, and it’s only getting bigger. The future host of the World Cup and Summer Olympics, Rio is primed to explode with new visitors in the next few years. For those savvy enough to get in before the crowds arrive, here are 5 things to do in Rio de Janeiro that won’t cost you a single real.

1. Carnival

What could be better than celebrating Carnival in Rio, the Carnival Capital of the World!? This two-week long party kicks off each year before Lent, and features LOTS of dancing in the streets to samba music, parades, wildly creative floats, and general merrymaking lasting into the early morning.

2. Hear some Brazilian Music

Brazil is the home to three world-famous music genres – Samba, Bossa Nova, and Choro. Known for its unmistakable rhythmic drumming, Samba also involves a dance performed by “Samba girls”, who typically wear colourful headgear and not a whole lot else. Many shows are played at local bars and clubs in Rio, so check the local newspapers or ask a guide to find out where the best musicians are playing that night.

3. Hang at the Beach

No “Things to do in Rio de Janeiro” list would be complete without mentioning the city’s famous beaches. Beach lifestyle is central to the culture in Rio; you’ll see people there at all hours of the day. Because it’s a large common area, you’ll be sure to see plenty of interesting folks walking down the beach in their speedos, thongs, or, (if you’re at a nude beach), nothing at all. A people-watchers paradise indeed!

4. Take a Hike

Just one look at the horizon in Rio de Janeiro and you’ll be itching to get out and explore the beautiful nature surrounding the city. Sugar Loaf is a relatively easy hike that you can do without spending a single real- a ride back on the cable car is free after 6 pm.

5. The Boardwalk

Rio’s boardwalks stretch for miles parallel to the beach. Some of the most famous boardwalks include the Ipanema and Copacabana Boardwalks, which have both been immortalized in popular songs. (Ok, maybe the “Copacabana” that Barry Manilow sang about was referring to nightclub in New York, but still, they got their name from Rio de Janeiro!)

If you’re looking for a place where you can live in the moment and enjoy life without having to spend money on touristy gimmicks, look no further than Rio. With its culture of celebration, its nature, and its diverse melting pot of people, there are tons of things to do Rio de Janeiro that don’t require you to take out your wallet.

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