Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Rio Landmarks Walking Tour (Self Guided), Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro can proudly boast of a number of landmarks that will impress even the most well-travelled visitor. This huge city, rich in culture and history, offers marvelous scope for sightseeing. Here's our rundown of spots you should definitely visit during your time in Rio.
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Rio Landmarks Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Rio Landmarks Walking Tour
Guide Location: Brazil » Rio de Janeiro (See other walking tours in Rio de Janeiro)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 Km or 3.6 Miles
Author: gene
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Monument to the Brazilian Armed Forces
  • Modern Art Museum (MAM)
  • Edifício Santos-Dummont
  • Gustavo Capanema Palace
  • Cinelandia Square
  • Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião
  • Museum of the Estate of Heaven
  • Santa Teresa
Monument to the Brazilian Armed Forces

1) Monument to the Brazilian Armed Forces

This monument to the dead of World War II is popularly known as the Monument to the Brazilian armed forces. It honors and keeps the memory of the Brazilian soldiers who died in battle and were buried in the Cemetery of Pistoia in Italy during the conflict.
Modern Art Museum (MAM)

2) Modern Art Museum (MAM) (must see)

The exhibitions of the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro are made up of significant works by 20th-century artists. The museum's collection represents a comprehensive and sophisticated display of the artistic evolution of the last century, both inside and outside Brazil. Home to some 4,000 photographs by Brazilian photographers as well, the museum's building is all glass walls, so everywhere you look you'll also get a stunning view of the beach.

Why You Should Visit:
To experience experimental art exhibits, together with exciting beautiful jewelry and home accessories by the top artisans and designers working in Brazil today, which are sold in the shop.
The setting is lovely due to the museum being located on the waterfront in Flamengo Park which is lovely to walk through and has views of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Don't miss the exhibits outside which you can see for free even if you are just passing by. Worthwhile to get a first impression.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri: 12am-6pm; Sat, Sun & Holidays: 11am-6pm
Edifício Santos-Dummont

3) Edifício Santos-Dummont

In the urban landscape of Rio de Janeiro, Edifício Santos Dumont stands out from afar with its elegance and beauty. Built in 1975, this cylinder-shaped steel and glass skyscraper has 45 floors.
Gustavo Capanema Palace

4) Gustavo Capanema Palace

The Gustavo Capanema Palace, also known architecturally as the Ministry of Education and Health Building, is a government office building in the Centro district of Rio de Janeiro. It is one of the finest examples of Brazilian 1930s modernist architecture, designed in 1935 and 1936. It was designed by a team composed of Lucio Costa (future designer of the master plan of Brazil's modernist capital Brasília), along with Affonso Eduardo Reidy, Ernani Vasconcellos, Carlos Leão, Jorge Machado Moreira, and Roberto Burle Marx. Construction was begun by the Getúlio Vargas government in 1939 and was completed in 1943, to house Brazil's new Ministry of Education and Health. In 1960 the national capital moved to Brasília, and the building became a regional Rio office for the ministry. The Ministry of Education and Health has since been divided into three: the Ministry of Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Culture, all in the building to the present day.
Cinelandia Square

5) Cinelandia Square

This trapeze-shaped square is marked by a monument erected in honor of Marshal Floriano. The region around Cinelandia Square (also known as Praça Floriano) resembles a Parisian district with its range of impressive buildings in the Eclectic, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião

6) Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião (must see)

The Catedral Metropolitana is one of the most visited sights in Rio. Inaugurated in 1976, this massive cone-shaped structure resembles a futuristic Mayan pyramid. Inside you will be amazed by the vast interior space, designed as a virtual cavern with no support columns and boasting a granite altar. You can also visit a sacred arts museum located underground. Complete with four huge stained glass windows, the cathedral is truly an architectural wonder right in the financial center of the city.

Why You Should Visit:
Majestic on the inside, free of charge, and with very minimal crowds. The massive coloured glass windows are as tall as the church itself and are beautiful beyond belief.

Try to go during the middle of the day since the church relies on natural illumination and going earlier / later can leave it dark inside.
As the location is so close to Cinelândia and all of its attractions, you can do both on the same day.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-5pm
Museum of the Estate of Heaven

7) Museum of the Estate of Heaven

The Museum of the Estate of Heaven (Museu da Chácara do Céu) brings together a number of paintings, drawings and prints by famous international artists such as Matisse, Modigliani and Degas. It also houses a great collection of Brazilian art, including maps and paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries as well as plenty of great works from the modern era.
Hours: Wed-Mon: 12:00-17:00.
Santa Teresa

8) Santa Teresa (must see)

The Santa Teresa neighborhood is like a town of its own inside historic Rio. The district occupies a hill in the heart of the city and opens to a magnificent view over Rio. For decades it has preserved its old architecture from colonial Portugal and retains a bit of history on every corner.

The neighborhood came to be around the Santa Teresa Convent, built in the 1750s, on the Desterro hill. At the end of the 19th century, it became an area for the upper class, covered by its numerous mansions, many of which are still standing on the hill. Its narrow, winding streets are also home to the old trams – the only ones still running in Brazil, which give the neighborhood an added peculiar attraction.

Why You Should Visit:
Ideal if you're looking for a village-feel experience! Historic mansions and street art are the highlight but you will also find good restaurants, a few cafés, and crafts shops.

Walking Tours in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Create Your Own Walk in Rio de Janeiro

Create Your Own Walk in Rio de Janeiro

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rio de Janeiro is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Rio de Janeiro without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Rio de Janeiro, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles
Lapa Walk

Lapa Walk

Rio de Janeiro is rightly proud of its many impressive landmarks. This great city, rich in culture and history, has many fantastic sights for even the most experienced traveler. Take this tour of Lapa neighborhood - home to some fine examples in architecture and impressive historic landmarks.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Rio Famous Museums Walk

Rio Famous Museums Walk

Rio de Janeiro is the perfect spot for visitors interested in cultural activities. As well as many great theaters and other cultural venues, Rio is home to more than 50 different museums. Take this tour to see the most important art museums in the city.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 Km or 4.3 Miles
Rio de Janeiro Classic Architecture Walk

Rio de Janeiro Classic Architecture Walk

Rio is home to many places where you can feel the colonial times. Each of these exquisite buildings has its own architectural style, whether it be Colonial, Gothic or Neo-Classic and so on. Nowadays often home to cultural events, the classic buildings on this tour are a must-see for every visitor to Rio de Janeiro.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 Km or 4.2 Miles
Rio's Remarkable Places of Worship Tour

Rio's Remarkable Places of Worship Tour

Take our self guided walking tour to discover the most remarkable cathedrals, churches and monasteries in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Even for a non-religious traveler these temples, both classic and modern, impress with their skill, creativity and devotion.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Rio de Janeiro Beach Walk

Rio de Janeiro Beach Walk

The Ipanema and Copacabana beaches are two of the main reasons Rio is so famous around the world. Take our self guided walking tour to discover these and more picturesque beaches and golden waterfront strips that will make for an unforgettable experience.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.0 Km or 5.6 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Uniquely Brazilian Souvenirs to Bring Home from Rio de Janeiro

16 Uniquely Brazilian Souvenirs to Bring Home from Rio de Janeiro

Other than the sun, passion and football, for which Brazil is renowned and which cannot be fitted into one's luggage, picking a memorable gift from Rio is a tough job. And this is not because of the lack of suitable things to choose from, but because of their abundance. Indeed, there're...