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The 20 Most Instagrammable Places in Rio de Janeiro

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Welcome to one of the most picturesque cities in South America, and one of our favorites in the world! There are so many Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro, and fun places to photograph.


From colorful murals to breathtaking viewpoints, we know you'll love taking your camera out while in Rio just as much as we did. In this article we're going to cover 20 of the most Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro for you to check out, and the best times and ways to shoot them. Let's dive right in!


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Most Instagrammable Places in Rio de Janeiro: Iconic Locations

Whenever visiting a city for the first time, it's only normal that you want to check out the highlights, so first we're going to cover some of the most iconic Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro for you to see.


1. Christ the Redeemer

As one of the seven wonders of the world, and an icon of the city, visiting Christ the Redeemer is a must! This place does get extremely crowded, making it hard to capture photos, so make sure to check some of our tips below. 

Christ the Redeemer, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer is one of the 7 wonders of the new world.

How to get there: You can drive and park on the hill, take a taxi (make sure to arrange both ways), or take the train from Corcovado

Best time to visit: As soon as they open! Google says it opens at 8, but the workers told us it actually opens at 7:20. If you're not an early bird, go in the last hour and just wait out the crowds.

Length of time needed: An hour (there are lines to take photos, and there is a shuttle from the ticket office to the statue)

Photography tips: Bring a wide lens, shoot low, and try creative angles to eliminate people.


Christ the Redeemer, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer is packed from early in the morning!


2. Sugarloaf Mountain

This is definitely one of the most epic spots to check out in Rio de Janeiro. The peaks of Sugarloaf Mountain have actually just been declared one of the natural wonders of the world, and are connected by a set of cable cars.


Sugarloaf Mountain is a full experience, with 360 degree views of the city, cafes, shops, and even a beautiful restaurant on site.

Sugarloaf mountain, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

Sugarloaf Mountain has some of the best views of Rio de Janeiro, and is connected by sets of cable cars.

How to get there: Take the metro to Botafogo, and then the 513 bus towards Urca. Uber is also an easy option.

Best time to visit: around 4/4:30 to be able to enjoy golden hour and sunset, and then watching the city light up at night.

Length of time needed: 1-2 hours

Photography tips: Have patience, as the fog sometimes goes in and out.


3. Parque Lage

Parque Lage is an iconic park in the city, and definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro. There is a garden area outside, and then once you enter there is a beautiful plaza with a pond and cafe. We definitely suggest sitting down for a bite to eat, but keep in mind the wait for the restaurant can be anywhere from 1-2 hours (granted we went during Rio Carnival).


Parque Lage, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro
Parque Lage, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro
Parque Lage, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

Parque Lage has a great cafe and rooftop.


For access to the rooftop you need to spend 60 Real in the gift shop, and can bring up to 6 people up to the top. (We were 6 people, so we spent 10 Real each on magnets and small souvenirs.)

Parque Lago Rio de Janeiro, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

Parque Lago is one of the most beautiful parks in Rio de Janeiro.

How to get there: You can either access from a trail from Christ the Redeemer (30-40 minutes waking down hill) or you can take a bus in the direction of Rua do Jardim Botânico.

Best time to visit: In between 10-11 for an early lunch, or between 3-5 for a late lunch/snack

Length of time needed: 1-2 hours

Photography tips: Use a polarizer for the sun rays, or go as late as possible for better lighting. We also used a wide lens to capture more of the plaza inside the frame, and a zoom lens to capture the shots on the rooftop.

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Most Instagrammable Places in Rio de Janeiro: Hikes

If you're looking for some of the most epic Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro, then you'll definitely have to work a bit for them! Just outside the center you can find some amazing hikes, and here are a few of our favorites.


4. Pedra da Gavea

This is known as one of the best views of Rio de Janeiro, and it has several different photo opportunities. It isn't the easiest hike, but is very rewarding. When you reach the top you'll see the iconic rock that you can sit on, panoramic views, and a window cave along the way.


How to get there: Rent a car and drive to the parking lot, take an Uber (it's about 30-45 minutes from the top tourist zones of Rio), or take a tour. The hike is then 2-3 hours each way.

Best time to visit: Either very early in the morning, or a few hours before sunset. You'll want to avoid hiking between the hours of 10 and 2, as the sun is very intense, lighting isn't ideal, and there will be more people.

Length of time needed: 5-6 hours

Photography tips: Bring a versatile lens.

Other tips: Bring a lot of water in a vacuum-sealed water bottle, good sneakers. and snacks.


Here are a few tours that go to Pedra da Gavea:

5. Pedra do Telegrafo

This is another one of our favorite hikes in Rio, and actually became famous due to it's Instagrammable photo opportunity. The distinguished ledge juts out making it look like you are on a ledge, when in reality the ground is right below. 


Pedra do Telegrafo, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro
Pedra do Telegrafo, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro
Pedra do Telegrafo, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

How to get there: We rented a car, as it's pretty far away. You could also take a tour.

Best time to visit: Sunrise was when we went, and not only is it ideal for lighting, but it's the only way to avoid the crowds. (In the middle of the day you can find long lines to take your picture there).

Length of time needed: 2 hours

Photography tips: Shoot low and use a wide lens.


Rent a car in Rio de Janeiro:

Want to take a tour? Here are a few to choose from:

Want to learn more about visiting? You can check our full Pedra do Telegrafo guide for more info.


6. Pedra da Proa

This is another incredible hike in Rio, but on that is a bit under the radar. We actually haven't had the chance to do this one yet, but have heard about tours that visit. The hike takes around 40 minutes each way, and is right near the Vista Chinesa.


How to get there: Rent a car or take a tour

Best time to visit: Sunrise or early morning

Length of time needed: 1 1/2- 2 hours

Photography tips: Bring a versatile lens to get both wide and zoomed pictures.


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7. Vidigal Viewpoint

This is one of the best views in Rio de Janeiro, and one that isn't too far! Just past Leblon is a favela that how now become a beloved viewpoint of the city. The hike starts at the top of the favela, and then gives sweeping views of the coast of Rio de Janeiro.


How to get there: Take a bus or Uber to Vidigal. You can either get up by moto or car to the start of the hike, which is then 45 minutes each way.

Best time to visit: Sunrise- we suggest a tour for safety reasons

Length of time needed: 1 1/2- 2 hours

Photography tips: Have a versatile lens to also be able to zoom and compress the background.


Here are a few tours you can take here:

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Instagrammable places in Rio de Janiero pin
Instagrammable places in Rio de Janiero pin

Most Instagrammable Places in Rio de Janeiro: Viewpoints

One of the things that we love most about Rio de Janeiro is how mountainous it is! Due to the varying elevations, you can really get some amazing views of the city from very high up (rather than other cities that just have some rooftops). Here are a couple of our favorite viewpoints in Rio de Janeiro.


8. Dona Marta Viewpoint

This is definitely one of our favorite viewpoints in the city, and certainly one of the most Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro. Dona Marta has become a popular viewpoint for sunrise, and is located right near Christ the Redeemer. Driving from Corcovado, you take the fork to the left for Dona Marta, and to the right for Christ the Redeemer.


There is a parking lot where you walk just a minute to be welcomed with views of Sugarloaf and the coast of Rio. It's important to note that there are actually two area! One is in the front of the parking lot, and the other is a short trail tucked behind it.

Dona Marta, instagrammabla places in Rio de Janeiro
Dona Marta, instagrammabla places in Rio de Janeiro
Dona Marta, instagrammabla places in Rio de Janeiro

How to get there: Take a taxi (and have them wait) or rent a car

Best time to visit: A half hour before sunrise to get a spot

Length of time needed: Half hour- one hour

Photography tips: Bring a tripod and use interval shooting to get a good amount of photos quickly.


9. Vista Chinesa

This viewpoint was made to honor the Chinese that brought tea over the Brazil. Vista Chinese is located right off the side of the ride between the neighborhoods of the botanical gardens and national park. It has a beautiful gazebo with spectacular views of the city, and is one of the lesser known viewpoints in Rio de Janeiro.


How to get there: Drive or take a tour

Best time to visit: Sunrise

Length of time needed: 5-10 minutes

Photography tips: Bring a zoom lens to capture the city up close.

Other Tips: We suggest renting a car to visit here, or to take a tour that includes vista Chinesa in it.


Here are some tours that include Vista Chinesa:

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Most Instagrammable Places in Rio de Janeiro: Beaches

Rio de Janeiro is famed for its beaches, and it certainly has no shortage of amazing beach locations! Here are a few of our top picks.


10. Praia de Ipanema

While most people flock to Copacabana, I truthfully love Ipanema so much more! The large stretch of sand with the "dois irmãos" (2 brothers mountains) as the backdrop make for some seriously Instagrammable shots.


Ipanema beach, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro
Ipanema beach, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

How to get there: Walking from Copacabana or Leblon, or taking a taxi or Uber

Best time to visit: Early morning

Length of time needed: Any amount of time

Photography tips: Bring a lens with a long zoom so you can bring up the mountains in the back.


11. Pedra do Arpoador

Located right at the end of Ipanema beach and Copacabana is a rocky peninsula that separates the two beaches. Jutting out into the ocean, this place is the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset.

pedra do Arpoador, Instagrammale places in Rio de Janeiro

How to get there: Walk to the north end or Ipanema beach

Best time to visit: Sunset

Length of time needed: Half hour - one hour

Photography tips: Bring a lens with a long zoom so you can bring up the mountains in the back.


12. Praia do Leme

This is one of our favorite beaches in Rio de Janeiro, as it is perfectly located. With less crowds, and a huge stone with greenery backdrop, this is a great place to hang out, and of course take a photo or two!

Leme Rio de Janeiro, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

Leme is a great area is to stay in Rio de Janeiro, as it is cheaper than Copacabana and Ipanema, but still walking distance.

How to get there: A short walk from Copacabana, or quick ride in Uber from any of the beaches in the city

Best time to visit: Any time of day

Length of time needed: Any amount of time

Photography tips: Take pictures from the water to have less people in them


13. Praia de Botafogo

Our final pick for more Instagrammable beaches in Rio is Botafogo. This beach is tucked away from the main beach area, but is super popular amongst locals. The small sandy bay has a fun, local vibe, and also has the stunning Sugarloaf mountain as its backdrop.

Botafogo, Instagrammable places in rio de janeiro

Botofogo is conveniently located near the main beaches, and the center of Rio de Janeiro.

How to get there: Take the bus to Botafogo and cross the avenue, or take an Uber easily from any neighborhood

Best time to visit: Early morning or late afternoon

Length of time needed: Any amount of time

Photography tips: Bring a lens with a long zoom so you can bring up Sugaroaf in the back.


Most Instagrammable Places in Rio de Janeiro: Architecture

While Rio is known for its beaches and landscapes, it actually also has some impressive architecture! Here are some of the most Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro when it comes to design.


14. Palacio Guanabara

The Guanabara Palace is the official seat of the government, and a beautiful architectural piece in Rio de Janeiro that will make you feel like you've teleported to Europe! It's located on Pinheiro Machado Street, in the Laranjeiras neighborhood.


How to get there: Right by the palace is a metro station, as well as a bus stop.

Best time to visit: Mid day when you can take a tour inside

Length of time needed: 1 hour

Photography tips: Bring a wide lens to capture the whole building.


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15. Theatro Municipal

When we first saw the municipal theater we couldn't believe that we were in Brazil! The theater has European architecture, and is simply stunning with its teal and gold accents. Unfortunately we didn't get any good photos, as it was during Carnival in Brazil, and full of people surrounding it. However, we definitely think that it is one of the most Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro!

theater municipal, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

The theater is one of the most beautiful buildings in Rio de Janeiro.

How to get there: Take the metro to Cinelandia Station, or take any bus that goes along Avenida Graca, getting off at stops between the numbers 58-76.

Best time to visit: Early morning for optimal lighting and less people

Length of time needed: 1-2 hours depending if you want to take a tour or watch a show

Photography tips: Bring a wide lens to capture the whole building from the outside.


16. Museu do Amanha

Museu do Amanha, (also known as the Museum of Tomorrow) is a science museum located next to the waterfront at Pier Maua. It was designed by Spanish neofuturistic architect Santiago Calatrava, and has a unique style to it. You can go inside to enjoy all it has to offer, or simply photograph it from the outside like we did (it was closed when we went due to it being a holiday).

Instagrammable places to visit in Rio de Janeiro

How to get there: You can either take the VLT (tram) to the port zone, or you can take the metro line 1 2, or 4 to the station Uruguaiana, and then walk 10 minutes.

Best time to visit: It is open from 10 am to 5 pm, and is also cool to photograph from the outside right after sunset when the lights come on.

Length of time needed: 1 hour

Photography tips: Bring a variety of lenses to capture its architecture in different ways.


17. Arcos da Lapa (Aqueducto da Carioca)

Arcos da Lapa, also known as (the Carioca Aqueduct) is an 18th century aqueduct in Rio de Janeiro that was built to bring fresh water from the Carioca River to the people of the city. Now it stands as an iconic location in the city, and is super fun to photograph with its 42 different arches as a background.

Carioca Aqueduct in Rio de Janeiro, The Carioca Aqueduct, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

The Carioca Aqueduct has 42 arches in total.

How to get there: There are plenty buses, but we preferred getting Uber since the area isn't super safe.

Best time to visit: When it's light out. We suggest mid-day, when the police are around.

Length of time needed: 5-10 minutes

Photography tips: Take shots from the side to get all 42 arches in, and take them quickly. We don't suggest extravagant photoshoots here as there is a lot of petty crime in the area.


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Most Instagrammable Places in Rio de Janeiro: Art

One of our favorite parts about Rio de Janeiro is just how colorful it is! The city is full of vibrant colors, creative graffiti, and beautiful murals. Here are a few of our favorites that we've visited.


18. Escadaria Selaron

Not only is this one of the most Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro, but it's a super iconic landmark to check out in the city. The set of mosaic stairs was a tribute to Brazilians from a Chilean artist, and is now one of the most famous things to see in Rio. The colorful steps go from Rua Joaquim Silva up to Rua Pinto Martins, connecting the neighborhoods of Santa Teresa and Lapa.

Escadaria Selaron, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro

Escadaria Selaron is a set of beautiful mosaic stairs in Rio de Janeiro.

How to get there: Take a bus to Lapa, and walk down Rua Teotonio Regada, which is just a couple minute walk away.

Best time to visit: As early as possible! This place gets super packed throughout the day, and despite the line to take a photo, many people don't respect it.

Length of time needed: 10-20 minutes if you go early, up to 1 hour if you need to wait in line for a photo.

Photography tips: Wear a solid color, as the background is very busy.


19. Brazilian Flag Stairs

While the most famous stairs in the city are Escadaria Selaron, there is another less know set of stairs that is worth visiting. The set of stairs is painted as a large Brazilian flag, and is located right near the port area of Rio de Janeiro on Rua Eduardo Jansen.

Brazilian flag stairs, Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro


How to get there: Take the tram to the port area, or take an Uber to Rua Eduardo Jansen

Best time to visit: Mid morning or late afternoon- the area isn't super safe, and locals are not thrilled with sharing the space in the early mornings or evenings.

Length of time needed: 5-15 minutes

Photography tips: Use a tripod in case some one walks on the side of your picture.


20. Etnias Mural de Graffiti

Located in the port area of the center of the city, is one of the most colorful and Instagrammable places in Rio de Janeiro. Etnias Mural de Graffiti was awarded as the largest piece of graffiti in the world, measuring 15 meters high, and 170 meters long. It was created in 2016 for the Olympics, and signifies unity.

mural in Rio de Janeiro, best places to visit in the South of Brazil

 

How to get there: Take the VLT (tram) towards ‘Praia Formosa’ and you can get off at either "Parada dos Museus" or "Parada dos Navios".

Best time to visit: Late afternoon when the sun isn't as harsh

Length of time needed: 10-15 minutes

Photography tips: Use a wide lens to capture the murals without the trees nearby.


Want to see more cool art? You can also take a tour which will keep you safe, and discovering more hidden gems. Here are a few we found:


How We Capture the Most Instagrammable Places in Rio de Janeiro:

All of our photos were taken by us. Here are the different things we use:

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So are you ready to start taking some amazing pictures in Rio de Janeiro? We know that you're going to have a fun time shooting. Just remember to be very aware of your belongings! Fancy cameras can certainly be an easy target for theft and crime in general. Travel in groups, and keep your camera away until you are ready to take your photos.


Want to know other fun things to do in Rio de Janeiro? Make sure to check out our complete Rio de Janeiro travel guide. Planning on going to other parts of the country? We also have plenty of other Brazilian travel guides for you!


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