32 Things to do in Brazil at Least Once in Your Life
The beautiful country of Brazil is accented in rich culture, festive locals, and a bountiful natural landscape that welcomes more than 6.3 million tourists every year. With so much to offer, it’s challenging to choose just a few attractions to enjoy on your vacation.
If you find yourself in this South American nation, these 32 fun things to do in Brazil offer an incredible cross section of everything it has to offer:
1. Celebrate The Carnival of Brazil
One of the most famous celebrations held in Brazil is the Carnival. Carnival begins every year on the Friday before Ash Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro and lasts for five days. This festival is a time for balls, street parties, music, and costumes.
Carnival is one of the festivals that highlight Brazil and its unique culture.
2. Explore Barra da Tijuca
Barra da Tijuca is located on the western side of Rio de Janeiro. From its famous beaches and lakes to its high-end shopping centers, Barra da Tijuca is an excellent place to visit.
Check out the BarraShopping Center to find unique souvenirs to bring home, or visit the Jeunesse Arena to see some of the biggest names in Brazilian music. Regardless, you will not be disappointed by Barra da Tijuca!
3. Visit the National Library of Brazil
If you enjoy books, history, or architecture, the National Library of Brazil is a must-see! At 212 years old, this library is the 7th largest collection of books in the world. The main entrance has gorgeous cathedral ceilings and an intricate stained glass ceiling.
The library is also the home of the Teresa Cristina Maria photograph collection, which contains over 20,000 photographs donated to the Library by Emperor Pedro II.
4. Take a Trip to Hot Park
Brazil boasts one of the best water parks in the world! As the name suggests, Hot Park is a natural hydrothermal waterpark. Enjoy some of the largest swimming pools in the world, and then go ziplining on the same day! This park has it all.
5. See Copacabana Beach
One of the best things to do in Brazil is to see Copacabana Beach. The brilliant blue waters and clear sandy beaches make for a wonderful experience at any time of the day.
Watch the sunrise turn the cerulean waters a gorgeous orange in the morning, escape the heat of the sun in the gentle waves in the afternoon, and then grab dinner and a drink at an oceanside restaurant in the evening.
6. Experience the Festa Junina
While not as well known as Carnival, the Festa Junina is just as exciting. This month-long festival lasts the entirety of June.
You can catch Festa Junina celebrations across the entire country, but the northeastern cities have the most celebrations. Expect food, bonfires, and dancing!
7. Try Cachaça
Cachaça is a Brazilian liquor made from sugarcane. Enjoy this spirit in a Caipirinha or chilled on its own!
The lands and people of Brazil offer an enchanting vacation experience that you’ll never forget.
8. Explore the Amazon on a River Tour
The majority of the Amazon River flows through Brazil, giving over 3000 miles of river to explore. Whether you take a day trip or an extended multi-day trip, you’re sure to see tons of fascinating aquatic life!
9. Check Out the Fortaleza Central Market
The Fortaleza Central Market has a wide variety of goods to shop for! Fortaleza is known for its quality white lace and its intricate embroidery.
Here you can find a unique, handmade souvenir at one of the city’s best markets.
10. Rent a Beach Buggy in Cumbuco
One of the most fun things to do in Brazil is to rent a beach buggy. Beach buggies are easy to rent, easy to drive, and they come at a reasonable price.
Enjoy some fun in the sun while enjoying the ocean breeze rushing through your hair!
11. Snorkel With Turtles in Florianopolis
In Florianopolis, you can snorkel with turtles in their natural habitat. Turtles are much more likely to be in the area in spring and summer.
If you aren’t able to come to Brazil during turtle season, visit the Fundação Projeto TAMAR and sea turtles year-round.
12. Enjoy Canoa Quebrada
Often called the Pearl of Ceará, Canoa Quebrada is a well-traveled beach town. Enjoy some of the best hotels, beaches, and seafood in this popular coastal town.
13. Celebrate the Festival of Lemanjá
Check out the Festival of Lemanjá in Salvador on February 2nd. To celebrate the Festival of Lemanjá, honoring the Goddess of the Sea, locals wear white, dance, and sing.
Get a taste of the culture of Brazil by enjoying this unique cultural experience!
14. Check out the Octávio Frias de Oliveira Bridge
A marvel of modern engineering, the Octávio Frias de Oliveira Bridge in São Paulo is a cable bridge nearly one mile long that is iconic to Brazil. Come snap a picture, as the bridge is truly unique and beautiful!
15. See the Beauty of the Cathedral of Brasília
Another architectural must-see in Brazil is the Cathedral of Brasília. If the 22,000 square feet of intricate stained glass weren’t enough to get your attention, the three life-sized angel sculptures suspended from the ceiling will!
16. Go to the Museu do Amanhã
The Museu do Amanhã or “Museum of Tomorrow” is a science museum located in Rio de Janeiro. The museum has five large sections, and with an entrance fee of less than $3, the Museu do Amanhã provides an entire day of entertainment on a budget.
17. Take a Samba Lesson
While in Brazil, why not take a lesson in the country’s most popular dance? With roots in Afro-Brazilian traditions, Samba is a fun, rhythmic dance that you’re sure to love learning!
18. Visit the José de Alencar Theater
The José de Alencar Theater, located in Fortaleza, is a popular landmark to visit. The theater received Historical Work status and is a protected building. The delicate ironwork and bright stained-glass making up the majority of the building’s front make it an excellent place to take a selfie.
19. Try a Wildlife Hike Through the Rainforest
From toucans and macaws to sloths and armadillos, Brazil is full of a wide variety of wildlife. Take a hike through the rainforest and see which animals you encounter.
One note of caution: make sure that you are fully vaccinated against Typhoid and Yellow Fever before hiking through the jungle!
20. Listen to Some Choro Music
Choro music is nearly as analogous to Brazilian music as Samba, but the styles are pretty different.
The smooth rhythms are similar to New Orleans style Jazz and are popular among local performers.
21. Snap a Picture of the Farol de Itapuã Itapuã lighthouse
While you cannot enter the Farol de Itapuã Itapuã lighthouse, the 70-foot structure is located on a picturesque beach.
If you’re looking for pictures for your Instagram page, this lighthouse is a must-visit destination on your trip to Brazil!
22. Walk Across the Selarón Steps
A popular tourist attraction and art piece in Rio de Janeiro are the famous Selarón Steps. In the colors of the Brazilian flag, these brightly painted steps are a symbol of the Brazilian FIFA soccer team.
23. Catch a Soccer Match at the Maracanã Stadium
Speaking of soccer, the Maracanã Stadium is an excellent place to check out a match. The stadium was built in 1950 when it hosted the FIFA World Cup, but the stadium is still in use today.
Come check out Brazil’s favorite sport and see a match when you visit Rio de Janeiro!
24. Experience Iguazu Falls
One of the top things to do in Brazil is visiting Iguazu Falls. Located on the Argentinian border, this breathtaking waterfall system is visible from either country.
Visit Foz do Iguaçu to enter the Iguaçu National Park through the Brazilian side to see the most extensive waterfall system in the world.
25. Eat a Bowl of Feijoada
As the most famous Brazilian dish, feijoada is a must-try for any visitor. This thick pork and bean stew is generally known for being a comfort food for Brazilian natives.
The dish is rich, thick, and salty. However, it is not overly spicy, making it a good choice for natives and visitors alike to enjoy.
26. Visit the Famous Christ the Redeemer Statue
Possibly the most famous landmark in Brazil, the Christ the Redeemer statue looks down at tourists visiting the Corcovado mountain from nearly 100 feet in the air.
Since its restoration in 2003, the statue has been easily accessible with wide clear paths and escalators and elevators for those who want to avoid stairs.
27. Go to the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden
If you enjoy flowers and gardens, the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden is the perfect place for you! This garden is over 200 years old and is overflowing with different varieties of plants. Numerous greenhouses keep plants of all kinds beautiful and available year-round!
28. Check Out Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf Mountain has the most beautiful view of Guanabara Bay in all of Brazil. Take a ride in the glass cable car for the best way to get to the peak.
29. Windsurf Surrounded by the Lençóis Maranhenses Dunes
If you are staying in São Luís, consider going to the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. The 40 miles fill with water during the rainy season, creating a large and beautiful connected waterway. Go windsurfing on the water during the rainy season or go sandboarding on the dunes during the dry season.
Either way, the park is an excellent destination!
30. Explore Petrópolis
The historic buildings in Petrópolis make it a vital spot to hit for any visitor to Brazil. Formed by German immigrants in the mid-1800s, this city has a wide range of influences on its architecture.
Learn about the Brazilian Imperial period at the city’s Imperial Museum.
31. Hike in Tijuca National Park
The Tijuca National Park is the world’s largest urban forest and spans more than 15 square miles. It has hundreds of species of plants and is home to many waterfalls. Make sure to check out the Taunay cascade, one of the prettiest waterfalls in the park, while you’re there!
32. Go Snorkeling at Praia de Moreré
Last but certainly not least on our list is snorkelling at Praia de Moreré. This beach has some of the clearest waters in Brazil, making it the best snorkelling in the country!
The lands and people of Brazil offer an enchanting vacation experience that you’ll never forget. If you’re overwhelmed by the choices the nation has for eager travelers, we hope these 32 must-see attractions help you narrow down your bucket list.