Visiting Brazil should be on every traveler’s to-do list. Brazil is a country known for its food, markets, architecture, museums, nightlife but it offers so much more than that! We loved our time in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup so much that we vowed to come back soon to explore more of this beautiful country. If you read our recent announcement, you already know that we are heading back to Brazil this coming August to tick off yet another bucket list item – the Summer Olympics!

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We couldn’t be more excited, but we know that we won’t be the only ones planning to explore Brazil in August. (Far from it, in fact!) Those of you planning to explore Brazil for the first time may feel a bit overwhelmed with everything the county has to offer. Don’t fret!

First things first decide on a city. Brazil’s most famous and internationally recognized cities are Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Known to each other as Brazil’s Los Angeles and New York respectively, these cities offer an entirely different perspective to the country, so depending on the kind of trip you’d like to take, plan accordingly!

What to do in Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer

The most iconic landmark in Rio is the Christ the Redeemer statue that sits atop the Corcovado Mountain. The mountain, which translates from Portuguese as ‘hunchback’ stands at an impressive 710m tall and is just west of the city center. As the tallest monument in the world, FlightHub marks this site as a must-see while in Rio.

Christ the Redeemer. Rio de Janeiro. Brazil
Christ the Redeemer. Rio de Janeiro. Brazil
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Sugar Loaf Mountain

The incomparable views from the top of this mountain are a must and should be on everyone’s bucket lists. Take the cable-cars up, or if you’re feeling adventurous, hike your way up the 396m mountain through their hiking tours! Rio is known for its natural beauty and landscape, so take advantage of the highest views and be ready for countless photo ops!

View from the top of Corcovado Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
View of Rio de Janeiro from the top of Corcovado Mountain with Sugarloaf Mountain in the background

Rio’s Beaches sublime

As the Cariocas know, the beaches in Rio are some of the most spectacular in the world, emphasizing the city’s laid-back attitude.

One of the most beautiful (and obviously famous) beaches in Rio is Ipanema beach. With more than 7.5 kilometers of sand and coast, this beach has some of the cleanest waters around and is known for being frequented by international and local celebrities alike. FlightHub suggests breaking out those speedos and bikinis, and spending your Sunday lounging away in peace and tranquillity.

Sugarloaf Mountain, view from the top of Christ the Redeemer. Brazil
Sugarloaf Mountain, view from the top of Christ the Redeemer. Rio de Janeiro

Are you ready for Carnival?

Carnival is to Rio as oxygen is to the survival of humanity, and if you find yourself in Rio during the first week of February, there is no debate: experiencing Carnival is a-once-in-a-lifetime, check-off-your-bucket-list event that FlightHub cannot in good faith tell you to miss. Book your tickets for the internationally renowned Samba Parade and watch as King Momo officially opens Carnival. With dazzling costumes and phenomenal dance routines, the crowning of the Queen and Princesses of Carnival is an experience it itself! Carnival is something everyone should experience at least once, so make sure you’ve packed your dancing shoes and get ready for the biggest party week of your life!

READ NEXT: 7 Destinations You Have to Visit in Northeast Brazil

What to do in Sao Paulo

Considered the New York of Brazil, Sao Paulo has it all and more. Navigate the urban jungle of Sao Paulo’s busy streets and wander through museums, shopping districts and much more while you’re there!

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Visit MASP

The Museum of Art in Sao Paulo is internationally renowned for its impressive collection of European art, as well as its contemporary exhibitions ranging from feminist art to modern fashion. Spend the day wandering through the museum at your leisure and taking is the beautiful art on display in the museum. FlightHub believes this is a great activity for those looking to have an affordable trip in Sao Paulo. Adult admission will cost you roughly $8 CDN during the week, but visit on a Tuesday or Thursday evening after 5pm and enjoy free admission!

Bike around Sao Paulo

As a thriving urban center, FlightHub thinks that the best way to enjoy Sao Paulo like a local is by renting a bike and riding aimlessly around for hours! With more than 140km of leisure cycle lanes, enjoy the city stress-free and maybe take a break at a local park for some lunch and Pastel treats!

Shop until you drop

Rua 25 de Marco is the place to shop for bargain hunters! It is one of the busiest shopping markets in Sao Paulo, so the travel gurus at FlightHub suggest getting to the market early in the day, as the crowds begin to assemble by 10:00 am. With a high level of energy, the market is filled with sounds and smells that make it an experience that FlightHub thinks you’ll enjoy!


Open air market in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Open air market in Sao Paulo, Brazil

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key and relaxed, then enjoy local antique and pop-up market around the MASP on Sunday! Watch as the area surrounding the museum transforms into an open market filled with handcrafted goodies and delicious foods for you to munch on!

Eat your heart out

Much like any other travel destination in the world, eating local and authentic foods is by far the most satisfying way to enjoy a country and Brazil is no different. While you’re in the country, and specifically in Sao Paulo, enjoy local cuisine like Churrascaria.

But don’t think you have to eat Brazilian food day in and day out. Did you know that you can enjoy authentic Italian and Japanese food during your time in Sao Paulo? Italian and Japanese are the highest concentrated cultural groups living outside their native countries in Sao Paulo, so you don’t have to go far to find some of these culinary delights. Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine in Bixiga, or visit Liberdade for Japanese specialties. Grab a coffee at a Padarias, a local café where Brazilians love to start their days! Enjoy a quick breakfast, coffee or lunch! They have it all!

Don’t forget about the refreshing coconut water, straight from the shell itself!

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