There are different stories as to how this destination received its name. The most popular is that during the centuries XVI and XVIII, at the peak of the production of sugar cane, the producers stored sugar blocks in little boxes to be exported, and the resemblance of the object with Sugar loaf mountain gave origin to the name.
From Praia Vermelha, visitors take a tram to Urca hill, and then a second tram to the top of Sugar loaf hill; 396 meters at sea level. From the top of the two mountains is a gorgeous view of the city, including the Botafogo cave, Copacabana and the entrance of Guanabara bay. In the summer, the amphitheater, located at the top of Urca hill is a stage for shows and night events, joining fun and a wonderful visual of lights of the city.
Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer, atop Corcovado mountain, is one of the most popular tourist sites of Rio. One of the largest and most famous Art Déco designs of the world, the Christ statue planning began in 1921 and opened in 1931. It was developed by the engineer, Heitor da Silva Costa.
It is located at Parque Nacional da Tijuca, 710 meter above the sea level, where you can have one of the most beautiful views of the city. It was named one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007 by the Swiss Institution, New 7 Wonders Foundation. The monument is accessible by train, van or car. To access the monument, there is a 20-minute train ride, crossing Mata Atlântica to Corcovado’s peak. There is easy access for visitors via three panoramic elevators and four escalators. The view is amazing, making it a must-see for visitors to the city.
Maracanã has been the site of some of the most important Brazilian soccer classics and historical moments in international soccer. The thousandth goal of Pelé, happened in 1969, on the grass of the soccer Brazilian temple!
Inaugurated in 1950, it hosted the World cup games that year and many matches of the 2014 World championship. It has also played host to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Besides sporting events, Maracanã has also hosted major events such as, Madonna, Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner shows and Mass, by Pope João Paulo II.
A four-kilometer stretch of yellow-gold sand, Copacabana beach is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most iconic and visited attractions. Once a small crescent of sand, it was transformed into the thriving, tourist hotspot it’s known as today. On a summer’s weekend, the place gets packed and beachgoers will find themselves jostling for a spot on the sand, yet the crowds bring life and energy to the shoreline and the background samba beats puts a spring in everyone’s step.
Inaugurated in 1909, the Municipal theatre is one of the main showcases of Brazil and Latin America. Recent restorations have included rescuing a large, original panel of the Italian Eliseu Visconti. In addition, other, important areas were restored, such as the impressive eagle, 350kg, that garnishes the construction top, it received 8000 gold papers, 23 karats of gilding.
The Municipal Theatre has earned recognition by international artists and important names in the Brazilian culture, including dancing, music, opera and performing arts. The project that started the construction of Municipal Theatre was made from the fusion of architectural projects of Francisco de Oliveira Passos and the Albert Guilbert. The design was inspired by the Paris Opera. Today, the unique Brazilian cultural institution maintains a choir, symphony orchestra and ballet company.
The port art is an outside art gallery and features the panel “Etnias” (ethnicities), painted by the graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra to bring more color to the Olympic Boulevard. It has an extension of 2600m² and is the second largest graffiti in the world according to the Guinness World Records. The panel was inspired by the Olympics and represents peace and unity among people, by portraying native faces from the 5 continents taking part in the Games.
The GaleRio Porto Maravilha (Wonder Port GaleRio) is a sequence of panels that make up an artistic pathway on the Orla Conde. With a combined area of 2 km², the warehouses 7 and 8, and the walls that connect them, have been painted by 20 artists, including KajaMan, Gil Faria, RafaMon, Marcelo Ment and Acme. The pathway ends with the work of portraitist Sini and Cety, in a piece which honors 10 athletes that were part of the first Refugee Olympic Team in the history of the Olympic Games. On the Muhammad Ali Square, a swing shaped like a whale and made of steels plates created by artist and sculptor Acme can be seen on display.
The Modern Art Museum (MAM)
The building was designed by the architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy and Roberto Burle Marx. It contains more than 15,000 works, with collections made up of sculptures and paintings by international renowned artists, including a notable representation of Latin American artist groups.
Rio de Janeiro Marine Aquarium (AquaRio)
The largest aquarium in South America is located in the Porto Maravilha (Wonder Port) and brings together about three thousand animals in 28 tanks, totaling 4.5 million liters of saltwater.
Museum of Tomorrow (Museu do Amanhã)
The new museum in the Port Zone studies the future of the world, addressing questions such as “where did we come from?” and “where are we going?” Reflecting on these questions, as well as others, the visionary project of the Museu do Amanhã took shape and became an ample space for debating and studying the impact of our actions and how we can alter the future. Institutions with worldwide renown, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Google and NASA are part of the collective effort that studies how individuals can change our destiny on Earth. The Museum of Tomorrow is a pioneer project: there is no place like this where cultural and research activities have this aim of studying our tomorrow.
Rio Art Museum
The Rio Art Museum is installed in the Praça Mauá palace. The neighboring building is the space for the School of the View (Escola do Olhar), an environment aimed at producing and provoking experiences, collective and personal, with its main focus on the formation of educators in public schools.
Brazilian Team Museum
This interactive museum shows the history of the Brazilian Soccer Confederation, CBF, using innovation and technology. Soccer arrived in Brazil in 1894, and 20 years after the Brazilian soccer team received the first trophy, the Roca cup. It started the legend of the most glorious team and also feared in history. This would transform soccer into more than a national passion – into a religion. Trophies, photos, images and the latest technology make a visit to this museum an amazing interactive experience.
Contemporary Art Museum (MAC)
The MAC is part of the Niemeyer Path (Caminho Niemeyer), an architectonic complex designed by Niemeyer in Niterói, which, behind Brasília, is the city which holds the largest number of the artist’s work.
The Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) opened on 1996 and is the symbol of the city of Niterói. The futuristic shape created by Niemeyer became a reference in modern architecture world-wide, being considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World (for museums). The reflecting pool surrounding the building contributes to the fluidity of its lines and the big concrete ramp, paved in red, leads visitors to the upper floors of the museum, from where you have a panoramic view of the Guanabara Bay and of the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói. The MAC houses the João Sattamini Collection, one of the most important contemporary art collections in the country, with over 1300 pieces.