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- Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói
Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro: 3 Day Itinerary

Rio de Janeiro, with its famous Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, is tucked away between mountains and the sea and has breathtaking modernist architecture. A comprehensive look at Brazilian history and culture can be had in its museums. A reflection of its diversity, the city's eating culture offers everything from fine seafood eateries to classic Brazilian steakhouses that combine regional flavors with international fare. The cultural side of this amazing city is covered in our three-day luxury Rio de Janeiro itinerary.


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Luxe Rio de Janeiro Absolute Musts

Museu de Arte Contemporânea - iconic, Oscar Niemeyer-designed, showcasing Brazilian contemporary art.

Chez Claude - French-Brazilian fusion, Chef Claude Troisgros, innovative, intimate dining experience.

Tijuca National Park - Huge rainforest, hiking trails, waterfalls and diverse wildlife near to the center of Rio.

Luxe Rio de Janeiro Itinerary & Map 

Navigate your way through Rio de Janeiro with our recommended itinerary and map. View Google Maps with color-coded areas in interactive mode and access our scheduled list of spots.

Map Key

Daily Plan Summary

Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro


Day 1


Niterói Contemporary Art Museum


Museu do Amanhã


Trégua Cozinha


Copacabana Beach


Copacabana Palace Spa


Lasai Restaurante

Museu de Arte Contemporânea installation

Day 2


Museu de Arte Moderna 


Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião


Parque Lage


Si-chou Asiático


Ipanema Shopping


Chez Claude

Si-chou Asiático

Day 3


Tijuca National Park


Zazá Bistrô Tropical


Ipanema Beach


Mahayana Spa




Santa Teresa

Image by Ben Ostrower

Rio de Janeiro Day 1: Niterói, Ipanema and Centro

Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niteroi sky shot
Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói

Philippe Starck designed the luxurious yet understated Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro. Situated on Ipanema Beach, it provides elegant accommodations that capture the essence of Rio's beach culture, a rooftop infinity pool, and renowned cuisine.

Oscar Niemeyer created the marvel of contemporary architecture that is the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói. Perched above Rio's bay, this saucer-shaped building provides expansive vistas. Art lovers flock to the museum because it presents a vast collection of modern Brazilian and worldwide art.

Innovative scientific museum Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) investigates future society possibilities. Calatrava designed its architecturally arresting modern waterfront structure, which represents sustainability and hope. Visitors are encouraged to envision a better future with interactive displays that concentrate on social and environmental issues.

Nestled in the centre of Rio, Trégua Cozinha is a hidden culinary treasure where Chef Pedro Siqueira demonstrates his command of Brazilian food with a contemporary touch. Prominent for his dedication to sustainability and use of regional products, Siqueira's dishes provide a singular culinary experience that honors Brazil's rich culinary history.

Copacabana Beach

Rio de Janeiro's emblem, Copacabana Beach, runs over four kilometers over a crescent shoreline. Prominent for its golden sands, energetic ambiance, and recognizable promenade with waves in black and white, it's a hive of activity with beachgoers, vendors, and a busy nightlife that reflects the exuberant culture of Brazil.

Within the famous hotel in Rio de Janeiro, the Copacabana Palace Spa provides a luxurious and tranquil haven. Known for its lavish location and high-end treatments, the spa combines elegance and health, offering a variety of treatments with Brazilian ingredients meant to revitalise the body and spirit in the middle of the lively energy of the city.

Under the direction of Chef Rafa Costa e Silva, Lasai is a gourmet sanctuary. Well-known for his creative cooking and dedication to farm-to-table eating, Silva creates delicious recipes that highlight Brazilian ingredients. Recognised for its laid-back yet sophisticated ambiance, the restaurant serves a changing seasonal menu that showcases the chef's enthusiasm for sustainability and regional ingredients.

Rio de Janeiro Day 2: Jardim Botânico, Parque do Flamengo and Leblon

chez claude main_edited.jpg
Chez Claude, Leblon

Housed in an evocatively designed structure by Affonso Eduardo Reidy, the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) is a stronghold of modern and contemporary art. Key cultural monument, it overlooks Guanabara Bay and has a large collection of Brazilian and international artworks together with a beautiful sculpture garden.

Towering over the city is the modern architectural wonder of Rio Centro, the Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião. Edgar Fonseca designed its enormous interior, which has floor to ceiling stained glass windows and can accommodate 20,000 people.

Tucked down at Corcovado Mountain's base, Parque Lage is a peaceful haven that combines historical charm with unspoiled beauty. A café and art school now occupy the park's main home. It has lovely walks, gardens, and breathtaking views of Christ the Redeemer all surrounded by thick forests.

Leading the way at Si-chou Asiático is Chef Thiago Maeda. Maeda's inventive cooking is reflected in the restaurant's imaginative combination of Asian flavors with Brazilian touches. Its small size and well chosen menu promise a wonderful dining experience that highlights the chef's skill in fusing several culinary traditions.

Ipanema Shopping

For a Luxe shopping experience in Ipanema, start your journey at:

1. Rua Garcia d'Ávila: Start at the top of this upscale jewelry and luxury boutique strip. Here are some of the best luxury brands from around the world together with unique Brazilian creators. Make your way towards...


2. Rua Visconde de Pirajá: The principal commercial thoroughfare of Ipanema is Rua Visconde de Pirajá. You'll come onto a variety of high-end fashion shops that carry both national and regional luxury labels as you go. Look for galleries and side streets that branch off; they frequently include one-of-a-kind shops. Now, visit the...


3. Forum Ipanema: This shopping mall on Rua Visconde de Pirajá has a range of stylish stores and is a terrific place to get regional luxury labels. Next, explore the area around...


4. Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz: With its upmarket stores and boutiques offering a large selection of high-quality goods from apparel to accessories, this sector, which is still inside the limits of Rua Visconde de Pirajá, has a more laid-back atmosphere. End your route at...


5. Shopping Leblon: Situated in the nearby Leblon district, Shopping Leblon provides a full luxury shopping experience with a wide range of high-end Brazilian fashion labels and international designer boutiques. It is also quite close to Ipanema.


This path guarantees the best of Ipanema's opulent shopping, combining the best of Brazilian style with worldwide glitz.

Under the direction of the well regarded Chef Claude Troisgros, Chez Claude combines Brazilian flavors with French techniques. Distinguished by its creative and delicious food, the restaurant provides a private dining experience where Troisgros' enthusiasm for fusion cuisine is visible in each well prepared dish. Everything we had tasted fantastic!

Rio de Janeiro Day 3: Alto do Boa Vista and Santa Teresa

Image by Wallace Fonseca
Parque Nacional da Tijuca

One of the biggest urban forests in the world, Parque Nacional da Tijuca has multiple stunning waterfalls, hiking routes, and verdant scenery. Using a local website, we hired a guide to show us the waterfalls. This covers driving to the park and pointing you in the right direction. Alternatively, you can follow this route on your own:

1. Beginning at the entry of Tijuca National Park: Start your journey at the main gate of the park, where maps and information are available. The sector A (Floresta da Tijuca) entry is usually the one nearest to the waterfalls.


2. Taunay Waterfall (Cachoeira Taunay): The most easily reached and one of the park's highest waterfalls is Taunay Waterfall. From the entrance, follow the signs to it. Taunay is surrounded by lovely countryside with strolling routes.

3. Cascata Gabriela: Go next in the direction of the lesser but equally lovely cascade, Cascata Gabriela. From Taunay, it is a comparatively short climb to this peaceful location encircled by rich flora.


4. Cascatinha Taunay: Though its name sometimes leads people to believe it to be Cachoeira Taunay, Cascatinha Taunay is another magnificent waterfall in the park. Its picturesque splendor makes it a must-see, and it's conveniently close to the park entrance.

5. Horto Waterfalls: Visit the Horto Waterfalls trek for a little extra adventure. There is some forest hiking involved on this rather more difficult trail. Multiple little waterfalls and natural pools that are ideal for cool dips will be your reward for following the trail.

Wearing good hiking shoes, packing water, and applying insect repellent are all advised to thoroughly appreciate the paths and waterfalls. Before you visit, find out what hours the park is open and whether there are any particular path issues. A stunning natural haven in the middle of Rio's busy metropolis, Parque Nacional da Tijuca boasts each waterfall's own charm.

Tucked away in the center of Ipanema, Zazá Bistro Tropical serves a unique blend of Brazilian and foreign fare. Co-founded by Zazá Piereck, the eatery is well-known for its creative menu items made with products that are organic and sustainably produced. A wonderful eating experience is created by the imaginative menu and the warm, bohemian chic décor.

Ipanema Beach

Famed for its lively ambiance, glistening waves, and golden sands, Ipanema Beach—which was immortalized in the song "The Girl from Ipanema," is a stunning stretch of Rio de Janeiro's shoreline. Sun worshippers, surfers, and anybody looking for the authentic Carioca way of life flock to this hotspot, which is framed by the Dois Irmãos mountains.

A calm haven from the bustle of the city is Mahayana Spa. Focusing on comprehensive therapies that combine contemporary wellness methods with Eastern customs, the spa offers a peaceful setting for renewal. Massages, facials and other special therapeutic treatments intended to balance the body and mind are available to guests.

Tucked away in Rio's Santa Teresa district, Aprazível is a chef Ana Castilho-created gourmet sanctuary. This well-known restaurant serves creative Brazilian food prepared with products that are obtained locally. Nestled among verdant gardens with breath-taking views of the city, Aprazível offers a sophisticated yet rustic dining experience that honors Brazil's rich culinary history. When you make your appointment, ask for an outside table because there is also a cottage that can accommodate several tables but lacks the surrounding atmosphere.

Luxe Rio de Janeiro Extensions

Oscar Niemeyer's modernist architecture sets apart Brasília, the capital of Brazil. It was built in the nation's interior in 1960 and is renowned for its unusual arrangement that looks like an airplane, futuristic structures, and representation of national growth and government.

The energetic city of Peru, Lima, is a gastronomic wonderland that combines African, Asian, Spanish, and indigenous elements to produce a singular culinary landscape. Famous for its ceviche and pisco sour, the cuisine there is anything from sophisticated restaurants to street food. Rich in culture, Lima reflects its varied history with its pre-Columbian ruins, colonial buildings, and humming markets.

Comments on this Rio de Janeiro Itinerary?

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