CopacabanaFrom the soaring rain forest covered mountains, to globally recognised architectural structures and sandy white beaches, it is no surprise that Rio de Janeiro’s alluring beauty has led to the city been known as cicade maravihosa, the ‘marvellous city.’ Along with breathe taking landscape, the vibrant carnivals, samba queens and cuisine with music to match has kept millions of tourists flocking to Rio de Janeiro. This year with the added gift from the gods, that is the 2014 FIFA World Cup; Brazil and Rio will be more special and alive than ever before. With so much to see and do we have taken the time to compile a list of the top 10 tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro that all visitors will want to see.

Top 10 Tourist Attractions to see in Rio de Janeiro

#1 Maracanã Stadium – Football is the most important thing in Brazil, not only is it befitting but Maracana is one of Rio’s architectural landmarks. Built for the 1950 World Cup it had a capacity of 200 000. Over time with regulation s and refurbishments its capacity has declined to 80 000 and remains the largest stadium in South America.

#2 Lapa Neighbourhood – Once known as the city’s red light district, located in downtown Rio, the Lapa neighbourhood known as Centro is today known as the area of the city with a vibrant nightlife. With an 1800 architectural background, the streets are lined with bars, with music and dancing spilling into the streets.

#3 Sugar Loaf Mountain – Pão de Açúcar in Portuguese, is a renowned feature of Rio’s iconic landscape. Its name comes from the resemblance to the traditional loaf. Towering 396 metres (1 299ft) the views of the city from the top are breathtaking.

Copacabana – Stretching 4km, lined with tropical rainforest covered mountains and kiosk bars, Copacabana is the perfect destination for a beachside stroll.

#5 Jardim Botânico – the 137-hectare exotic botanical gardens contain over 5000 tropical species and dates back from a royal decree in the 1800s that ordered its conception.

#6 Parque Nacional da Tijuca – This 120sq km national park offers tourists the chance to partake in some challenging hikes, or leisurely tours in a park packed with wildlife and beautiful views.

#7 Corcovado – Christ the Redeemer, the symbol of the city. Visited by over 300 000 people annually, the statue illustrates Rio religiosity and is accessible via the oldest tourist ride in the country.

#8 Santa Teresa Neighbourhood – inviting visitors to step back into time and enjoy the faded resemblance of Rio’s 19th century scene aloft the city, overlooking the harbour with artisans, musicians and trendy bars.

#9 Ipanema beach – often finding itself on the list for Best Beaches in the World the long tracts of soft sand and rolling waves is all we need to say.

#10 Lagoa – Just north of Ipanema, this saltwater lagoon is home to several species of egrets and provides a great 7km stretch for jogging and cycling enthusiasts.

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