8 best free things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Being one of the most expensive cities in South America, Rio de Janeiro is totally worth to be seen. And even if you don’t have lots of money, or have not even enough as you may think, here’s a perfect free stuff to include in your to do list in Rio.

1. Santa Teresa Tram.


I believe it’s one of the musts in Rio de Janeiro city.

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One of pieces of art of Santa Teresa

You’ll have a ride over the Lapa arches and the Santa Teresa cultural neighbourhood where a lot of hostels are situated. Nowadays this is recognized to be a heritage tramway system with a 1.7 kilometre tourist route length and 139 year history. It is totally free, even though some of my friends contrived to “discover” that it costs around 70 reales 😀

The best way to see Santa Teresa in Rio and have a tram ride is to take a bus (3.80 reales) from the downtown to the top of the neighbourhood, to walk a bit down having a good look around, visiting some nice cafes and small souvenir shops and to take a tram from one of its stops.

You’ll have to make a quite long line to board, but the time will pass quickly as there are mainly tourists and you might find a mate from your country (as it happened to me).

2. Having just 10 reales in your pocket you can spend a wonderful day in Niteroy city, having free excurcions and visiting marvellous beaches. I wrote about this awesome trip earlier. Believe me, it is so close to Rio de Janeiro, but the views are amazing! Especially if you dare to see one of the best sunsets in your life there.

Morro da Viração

3. Museum of Tomorrow.

Museo do Amaña not only looks great and is interesting to visit. The main conception of the museum opened for me, after going there, as the idea of our world as an independent organism that can take care of itself, and that instead of trying to protect the world of disasters, we should think of how to save humanity from these disasters. It is an interactive popular science space, that is easy to understand even if you don’t speak Portuguese.

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The Museum works from Tuesday to Sunday from 12pm to 7 pm. And if you are thinking what to do on Tuesday, that’s a perfect variant, because it is totally free to visit every Tuesday. To check the current expositions and working time you can in its official site.

4. Among the best things to do in Rio de Janeiro for free is hiking.

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You enjoy sports, trail and backpacking? Magnificent views, delight after the way up and pure nature are waiting for you in Brazil! Don’t forget about hiking shoes, a backpack and hiking gear and start hiking in Rio!

In this to do list I tried to give you four best hiking trails in Rio de Janeiro. We start with the easiest ones and continue with the most challenging.

5. ccbb rjBeing frankly broken, you still can afford a totally free museum “Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB)” that is near Uruguaina metro station. By the way, you can find the branches of this museum in Brazilia, San Paulo and Belo Horizonte as well. To check current expositions and working hours you can on its official site.

i13731115005525596. One more amazing museum to visit in Rio de Janeiro is “Museu Aeroespacial”.
It can take a while to get there, but it is totally worth it. Tens and tens of aeroplanes, old and modern ones, the history of Brazilian aeronautics and a lot of space for your imagination. Check the official site to be updated!

7. Rio de Janeiro is about beaches! The best ones! Don’t lose a day and explore as much as you can! Be true Carioca: if you have nothing to do – go to a beach! If your plans crushed – go to a beach! If it is a sunny day – the answer is beach!

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Praia da Barra da Tijuca

In the list of my favourite beaches in Rio on the first place is Praia da Barra da Tijuca. Of course, visit the most famous “Praia Copacabana”, Ipanema and Leblon. And don’t forget to take typical tourist pictures a-la “coconut and me” or “my legs are on the beach” 😉

8. And the cheapest of the cheap ones, the grates of the great: sunset on Ipanema beach! At Arpoador precisely. Be there at 6.30 – 7 pm to see the most beautiful nature show. Prepare your camera and a coconut. Just enjoy and no hurry.

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Never give up on travelling , even being broken! You’ll find out lots of activities to do and many places to visit for free!


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