Rio de Janeiro
Architecture Tours

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro Architecture Tours

Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

1. Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

Begin your tour at Downtown (“Centro”), where you will get the tram (“bondinho”) to the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa. You will drive over the Arcos da Lapa, the aqueduct used to connect water from Santa Teresa to Downtown and one of Rio’s most traditional postcards. At Santa Teresa, you will experience an interesting local atmosphere. Walk through the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, a bucolic area in Rio de Janeiro. Located on a hillside, Santa Teresa has become a district of cultural interest because of its architectural value and prime location, famous for its winding, narrow cobblestone streets and a favourite spot for artists and tourists. A flair similar to Montmartre, in Paris. You will visit the Ruins Park, a public park with an art gallery built around the ruins of a mansion. (Please note that Ruins Park is closed on Sundays.) Take a minute to enjoy the city’s landscape, in particular the Downtown area and the Sugarloaf Mountain. Up next, you will walk down the colorful Selarón Steps, one of Rio’s landmarks, and arrive at the district of Lapa, the zone with the most traditional nightlife. Take a stroll in the Passeio Público, the oldest public park in South America, to reach Cinelândia, a lively spot in Rio thanks to its bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Among many remarkable constructions in the area, you will notice the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro’s most traditional theatre and opera house, as well as the Biblioteca Nacional, Brazil’s most important library. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo, a permanent member of all must-see cafés rankings around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decoration with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks – such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’) – or desserts – such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in what was one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th Century. (Please note that Confeitaria Colombo is closed on Sundays.)

Rio: Museum of Tomorrow, AquaRio, and Olympic Boulevard

2. Rio: Museum of Tomorrow, AquaRio, and Olympic Boulevard

Begin the tour going to the Olympic Boulevard or Porto Maravilha, the city's port area that has been completely revitalized and where the newest tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro are located. Visit Museum of Tomorrow, a modern and technological applied science museum dedicated to exploring and questioning all the possibilities for building the future of the planet and the human race. Observe and take photos in front of the unusual and futuristic architecture from one of the most visited museums in Brazil. Inside the Museum of Tomorrow, you will learn about opportunities and challenges that humanity will have to face in the coming decades from the perspectives of sustainability and coexistence. Then, make a stop for photos at the Kobra Mural - one of the largest graffiti murals in the world - created by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. Observe five ethnic groups depicted realistically on a colorful background with geometric shapes. Last stop is at AquaRio (option with and without ticket to AquaRio included), the largest marine aquarium in South America. See more than 5,000 animals from 350 different species from around the world in 28 saltwater tanks. You will be able to see up close and even interact with an immense variety of fish, invertebrates, rays, sharks, and corals. Take a photo inside the main tank tunnel, where you will see animals passing over you! An entertainment show about nature for all ages!

Rio: Boat Tour of Guanabara Bay

3. Rio: Boat Tour of Guanabara Bay

Get a new perspective of Rio on a catamaran tour, on which you'll check out all the bright spots while exploring stunning Guanabara Bay. Your tour begins at Marina da Gloria, boarding a modern and well-equipped catamaran. Depart in the direction of the Museum of Tomorrow, one of the architectural icons of Porto Maravilha, Rio's port region. On the way, get a look at amazing Villegagnon Island, Santos Dumont Airport, Fiscal Island, and the Arsenal of the Navy. Continue towards Niterói, passing beautiful Rio-Niterói Bridge and the famous Concha Acústica (Acoustic Shell) before heading to the MAC, the Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Be enchanted by its unique disc shape. Before returning to Rio de Janeiro, get to know other remarkable sights that surround the shores of Guanabara Bay, such as Adão and Eva Beaches, Santa Cruz Fortress, Lage Fortress,São José Fortress, and São João Fortress. Take in views of the famous Sugarloaf, where you'll have a few minutes to take pictures of the mountain from the catamaran. Before returning to Marina da Gloria, you'll pass the old Urca Casino and Flamengo Beach.

Rio: Olympic Boulevard, Museum of Tomorrow & History Tour

4. Rio: Olympic Boulevard, Museum of Tomorrow & History Tour

Begin your tour by being picked up from your hotel and discover the many hidden gems in Rio’s Downtown area with a tour guide. Start at the Valongo Wharf (the latest Unesco World Heritage site in the city) and learn more about the African influence in Brazil. Then head to the Kobra Mural — one of the largest graffiti walls in the world — created by the Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, to admire the five ethnic groups portrayed in a colorful geometric background. After a few pictures, you will walk along the Olympic Boulevard towards the Museum of Tomorrow. This is a modern and technological science museum dedicated to exploring and questioning all the possibilities for constructing the future of the planet and mankind. Discover its remarkable architecture, and pay a visit to the most visited museum in Brazil. After exploring the future, travel to the past in the Monastery of Saint Benedict, where you will experience the contrast of the simple façade, with the interior covered with golden ornaments, a heritage from the Baroque period. Before heading towards the historical streets of Rio, you will see the Rio 2016 Olympic Cauldron created by the American artist Anthony Howe. You will notice the reflective-kinetic-sphered-structure is a reminder of the Games. At the Praça XV, you will see one of the former headquarters of the Brazilian empire and learn more about important facts of Brazilian history that happened in the area. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo (closed on Sundays), one of the “must-see cafés” from around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decorated with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’), or desserts such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th century.

Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

5. Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

Following pickup from your accommodation, head to the historic center of Rio de Janeiro. Consisting of centuries-old buildings and roads, the historic center of Rio best illustrates the most important chapters of Brazil’s history.  See the contrast of new and old architecture at XV de Novembro Square. Continue to Cinelândia Square until you reach the famous Carioca Aqueduct (Arcos de Lapa) in Lapa. Admire the historic beauty as you continue to Santa Teresa by car. Enjoy the winding narrow streets and colorful buildings of bohemian Santa Teresa, famous for its bars, galleries, ateliers, and the 19th-century Santa Teresa tram. From the top of Santa Teresa Hill, enjoy some of Rio’s finest views and look across Guanabara Bay.  Take in the panoramic views of the city from the Parque das Ruínas, located in the ruins of an old mansion belonging to Laurinda Santos. The mansion has been partially restored and is now used as a cultural center hosting various exhibitions and events.

Rio: Christ Redeemer by Train & City Highlights Morning Tour

6. Rio: Christ Redeemer by Train & City Highlights Morning Tour

After being collected from your hotel in Rio, you will drive up to the Cosme Velho station in order to catch the Corcovado Train. This train ride through tropical forest stakes about 20 minutes from ground level to the top of Corcovado Mountain. Once having ascended to the top of the mountain, you will discover the Christ the Redeemer Statue, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Once you're back at sea level, you will drive past the legendary Maracanã soccer stadium for an external visit of this park where you will have another photo opportunity. Following this, you will head to Sambódromo, the location of Rio's exciting Carnaval. Afterwards, you can pay a visit to the distinctive Metropolitan Cathedral, a modern structure that takes influence from Mayan pyramids. You can then check out the brightly colored tiles of the world-famous Selarón Steps, one of Rio's most distinctive landmarks. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be comfortably returned to your pickup location.

Rio de Janeiro: Private Full-Day Highlights Tour

7. Rio de Janeiro: Private Full-Day Highlights Tour

Visit Rio's top attractions on this exclusive private tour. Get picked up at your accommodation by your professional, English-speaking guide and your adventure starts by visiting Christ the Redeemer. Travel through a rainforest to reach it and then, after a photo at the awe-inspiring statue, head to visit the Maracanã Stadium, the main site of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics. Stop at the Sambadrome where Rio’s Carnival competition takes place, and learn from your guide about Brazilian Carnival culture. Continue the tour through the historic center of Rio and stop at Colombo Bakery, open since 1894. It still preserves its Art Nouveau décor (food and drinks available to purchase), and is closed on Sundays. Next, visit The Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, a masterpiece of modern art that takes influence from Mayan pyramids. Drive past the bohemian Lapa district, where the monumental aqueduct was built in the mid 18th century to transport water from the Carioca River to the city center. Stop and explore the Selaron Staircase – 215 colorful steps, one of the most fascinating and original staircases in the world. Conclude your trip visiting the Sugarloaf mountain, taking the cable car from Urca hill up to the top. This unique rock formation also offers a fun way to reach its summit, enjoying views out over Rio and its surroundings. At the end of your tour, enjoy comfortable transportation back to your accommodation.

Rio de Janeiro: Half-Day Christ the Redeemer and City Tour

8. Rio de Janeiro: Half-Day Christ the Redeemer and City Tour

Discover the best of what Rio de Janeiro has to offer on this 5-hour city tour with a visit to Christ the Redeemer at the top of the Corcovado mountain. Admire not only the iconic statue but also the incredible views of the city from above. Start with a pickup in the morning from hotels located in the South Zone and make your first stop at Christ the Redeemer. Enjoy a great jungle view while riding through the Tijuca Forest in a minivan and take in the stunning surroundings of Corcovado Mountain. Reach the peak of the mountain and see the statue of Christ the Redeemer with its arms right open over the city. Admire the sweeping views and take fantastic pictures. After going down from Corcovado Mountain, enjoy a nice walk outside the Maracanã Stadium. Find out more about the passion of the Brazilians for football. Then, learn about the samba tradition in Rio by visiting the Sambadrome, the place with the biggest Carnival parade on the planet. Marvel at the beautiful street art of the Selarón Steps, a gigantic mosaic work of the Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. The 250 steps have become a monument and an icon of Rio and have more than 2 thousand pieces from more than 60 countries. Stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro to revel at the biblical passages on the stained-glass inside it. Afterward, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Rio: 5-hour Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Express Tour

9. Rio: 5-hour Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Express Tour

Start with a pickup in the morning from hotels located in the South Zone and make your first stop at Christ the Redeemer.  Enjoy a great jungle view while riding through the Tijuca Forest that in a minivan and take in the stunning surroundings of the Corcovado Mountain.  Reach the peak of the mountain and see the statue of the Christ the Redeemer with its arms right open over the city. Admire the sweeping views and take breathtaking pictures. Head to the Urca neighborhood and marvel at the beauty of the Sugarloaf Mountain and be amazed by the cable ride to the top. From 220 meters above sea level take in the breathtaking 360-degree view of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, the city of Niteroi, and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Rio: Main City Sights Day Tour with Optional Tickets & Lunch

10. Rio: Main City Sights Day Tour with Optional Tickets & Lunch

Make the most of your time in Rio de Janeiro with an 8-hour city tour. Throughout the duration of this experience, you'll discover the city's most iconic attractions whilst enjoying the company of a bilingual local guide.Enjoy a lively day filled with popular attractions such as the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Maracanã Stadium (outside), the Selarón Staircase, and the historical downtown district. You'll also encounter both the Sugar Loaf and Corcovado mountains, along with the Christ the Redeemer Statue and other sights.Later, discover the bohemian Santa Teresa neighborhood, which is home to a collection of local boutiques and galleries. The tour follows a set itinerary for people of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities seeking to discover the beauties of the city in the company of an expert guide.

Frequently asked questions about Rio de Janeiro Architecture Tours

What are other things to do than Architecture Tours that are worth visiting in Rio de Janeiro?

Which Rio de Janeiro Architecture Tours are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in Rio de Janeiro

Want to discover all there is to do in Rio de Janeiro? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 85 reviews

Amazing personalized private tour. Patty, our guide, pick us from the hotel with brand new car and personal driver. Tour started with Cristo Redentor and Patty showed us the perfect spot/angle to take pictures and even other tourists were following ours. Tour is completely private, driver waited at every exit point to pick us. We enjoy all the itinerary and most importantly Patty is extremely friendly. She helped us a lot in tips/info/ translation around Rio. We could not expect better service than this! Thanks Patty for the unforgettable trip! Hope to see you again during the carnival

Patty organized everything perfectly and her explanations were very exciting. Your English is excellent. We visited so many beautiful places in 7 hours and personal wishes were fully taken into account. In addition, Patty is an excellent photographer and we have great souvenirs! If we come again - Patty is booked! Thank you very much!

Patty listened to what was important to us to see and do and then added amazing additional sights to visit. Patty English was very good. The Driver made our trip comfortable and safe The knowledge of Rio was insightful We packed a lot of sights into the day tour. Our guides were gracious with their time and energy

Amazing experience discovering the artistic part on Rio and so much more . Definetly a tour to choose in rio . Our guide Matheus was incredible and made this experience unforgettable .

Carla was an excellent tour guide and it was a beautiful sunset trip.