Insider's Guide to Rio de Janeiro

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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The most bohemian of Rio de Janeiro’s neighborhoods, vibrant Lapa is best known for its eclectic music scene, with an abundance of bars, clubs and venues hosting local samba and forró bands. After dark, the main streets of Rua da Lapa or Rua Joaquim Silva come alive, with dancers spilling onto the streets and top clubs like the Rio Scenarium, Arco Iris and Asa Branca teeming with locals and in-the-know tourists. 

Even in the daylight hours, Lapa is a colorful district to explore, with the striking colonial buildings now home to a string of vintage shops and cafés frequented by Rio’s creative types. The area is also home to two of the city’s most iconic landmarks, most notably the Lapa Arches (Arcos da Lapa), an enormous 18th-century aqueduct that towers 64 meters over the central square. With the 42 grand arches dramatically lit at night, the arches make a popular meeting place for cariocas, as do the brightly painted steps of the Selaron Ladder, a short walk away. The masterpiece of Chilean artist Jorge Selarón, the 215 steps of the Selaron Ladder are richly decorated with over 2,000 tiles in the colors of the Brazilian flag and mark the way into the neighboring district of Santa Teresa.

Tours & Tickets

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From USD $157.99

Rio de Janeiro Main Landmarks Tour Including Christ the Redeemer

4.5 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 7 hours

From USD $52.00

Skip the Line: Rio Scenarium Nightclub with a Private Table

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 4 Reviews

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 6 hours

From USD $72.99

Santa Teresa Walking Tour in Rio de Janeiro

3 star rating: Worth doing 5 Reviews

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $35.99

Skip Line Rio Scenarium Nightclub in Rio de Janeiro

3 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: Flexible

From USD $64.99

Private Tour: Ancient Rio and Santa Teresa Tour

2.5 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better 2 Reviews

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $75.00

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