See this selection of free tours to do in the city of Rio de Janeiro! Discover the best of the Marvelous City on a budget

We cannot deny that the Rio de Janeiro It is one of the most beautiful places in Brazil and it is not for nothing that it receives the nickname “Marvelous City”. With attractions for all tastes and personal styles, the metropolis is formed by beautiful beaches, parties, bars and countless postcards that make Rio de Janeiro one of the most visited cities in Brazil.

As if that were not enough, the city was built preserving a pleasant atmosphere, with remnants of the Atlantic Forest, mountains, cliffs, viewpoints and views that dazzle. Going beyond nature, a bohemian and bustling city brings together young people from all over the world to enjoy the capital's parties, bars and nightclubs. Cradle of samba, bossa nova and the biggest street carnival in the world, the Rio de Janeiro keeps these and many other surprises that guarantee an unforgettable trip. Do you want to enjoy your stay in the city discovering places and free tours? Pack your backpack and check out the complete list of 60 places to visit in Rio de Janeiro for free:

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Visit the Mirante Dona Marta

A different tour that has won everyone's hearts, are the tours to see the viewpoints and privileged views of Rio. A unique experience that deserves to be lived, especially for those who love photography. Want to visit a cool place to go without paying anything? At Mirante Dona Marta, visitors can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the city. Find out all the tips and how to go to Mirante Dona Marta.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

View from the Mirante Dona Marta – Photo: Gustavo Albano

Enjoy nature in Pedra Bonita

An unmissable walk in the midst of nature is the Pedra Bonita Trail. The route starts at Estrada das Canoas and lasts approximately 40 minutes to the top, where you can have one of the best views of Rio de Janeiro. The place is so high that you can see the West Zone, part of the South Zone, Tijuca Forest and Pedra da Gávea. The tour is free as it is in a public place.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

Pedra Bonita, in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Sunset at Pedra do Arpoador

After a hot day in the city, there's nothing better than enjoying a sunset on top of Pedra do Arpoador, with a panoramic view of the beaches of Ipanema, Leblon and Morro Dois Irmãos. The typical carioca sunset.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

Sunset at Pedra do Arpoador. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Visit Parque Lage

Between the Corcovado and the Botanical Garden, is one of the other beauties of Rio de Janeiro, Parque Lage, with several lakes, closed forest and leisure and social areas. You can enjoy the visit and take the trails that lead to Corcovado or simply enjoy the architecture of the central Palace and take good photos. Entry is free.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

Parque Lage, one of the main tourist attractions in Rio. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


ipanema is one of the most bohemian neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro and is located between the beaches of Copacabana and Leblon. The beach served as the inspiration for one of the greatest classics of bossa nova, it was in this neighborhood that Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes created “Garota de Ipanema”, a traditional landmark of carioca culture, launched in 1964.

Just walk along the edge, see the waves of the sea bending over the sand with the silhouette of Morro Dois Irmãos in the background and you will soon understand the reason for all this inspiration. Ipanema has different seaside restaurants, live music, hotels and nightclubs. In addition to luxurious residences and accommodations, it is also possible to find hostels in Ipanema with affordable values and great structure.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

Ipanema Beach, in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

beaches in Rio de Janeiro

Of course, the list could not leave out the beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro, spread across different corners of the city and the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Among the most visited by tourists are Copacabana Beach, Leme, Arpoador, Ipanema, Leblon, Barra da Tijuca, Recreio, Prainha and Reserva. There is no shortage of alternatives to find your favorite place, there are so many options that it will be difficult to choose just one. We talk more in this other publication about the best beaches to know in Rio de Janeiro.

Bars and streets in the Santa Teresa neighborhood

The Santa Teresa neighborhood is marked by its old mansions and art studios, walking through its streets full of history is like traveling in the carioca past. Take the opportunity to discover the traditional restaurants and bars in the neighborhood.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

Santa Teresa neighborhood. Photo: City Hall of Rio de Janeiro

Enjoy the view from Cláudio Coutinho Track

This is a complete tour to admire the most beautiful points of the city. To get to the Cláudio Coutinho track, you have to go through one of the most beautiful beaches in Rio, Praia Vermelha. Along the way, enjoy the view of Sugarloaf Mountain, Morro da Urca and Corcovado from a different angle.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

View of Praia Vermelha, where the trail begins. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Hike the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

After getting to know the Cláudio Coutinho track, don't miss the Sugar Loaf trail,  that lasts around 40 minutes, well signposted and without much effort. Upon reaching the top it is possible to rest enjoying the Guanabara Bay on one side and Praia Vermelha on the other. This is also a different and free tour to do in Rio de Janeiro.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

End of the trail to Sugarloaf Mountain. Photo: Alexandre Macieira/Riotur

Discover the Royal Portuguese Literature Office

Did you know that Rio de Janeiro has one of the most beautiful libraries in the world? Another Another cool place to visit for free in Rio de Janeiro. The library is housed in a historic building that has served as a setting for different films and soap operas. Anyone passionate about books and architecture needs to visit this place, a space that still preserves traces of the last century and brings together works by authors such as Luiz Vaz de Camões, Machado de Assis, Camilo Castelo Branco. Admission is free for all audiences, learn more about the Royal Portuguese Cabinet.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

Inside the Royal Portuguese Literature Office. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Have fun in the Tijuca Forest

Do you like nature? The forest is part of the Tijuca National Park, and is a perfect place for those seeking direct contact with nature, in a large green area located in the middle of the city.  In the park there is no lack of options for free walks, there you can make trails to waterfalls, discover an intact part of the Atlantic Forest, picnics or even to relax between one walk and another.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro

Tijuca Forest and Pedra da Gávea. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Visit one of the city's postcards: Arcos da Lapa

Surely you've heard of the Arcos da Lapa, built during the colonial period, it marks one of the greatest architectural works of the time. Walking along the streets that form the Rio Antigo and visiting one of the city's postcards is another free tour option for those looking to save money in the city.

Another carioca postcard: Arcos da Lapa. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Selaron Steps

Have you ever heard of the most colorful staircase in Rio de Janeiro? This is Escadaria Selarón, which has a good story behind its beautiful paintings. It all started in 1990, when the Chilean artist Jorge Selarón decided on his own to renovate the staircase, which was in disrepair. Today the work has become one of the main tourist attractions in Rio.

Selaron Staircase. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Discover the Chinese View

THE Chinese view it is an oriental construction with more than 100 years. To get there and have one of the most amazing views of the city, you need to go through the Jardim Botânico neighborhood and when you reach the top, enjoy the panoramic view of Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain and Morro dos Dois Irmãos.

Chinese View. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Guided tours by Rio Free Walking Tour

The Rio Free Walking Tour is a tour that takes place in different parts of the city. They are itineraries with curiosities and historical information about Rio de Janeiro. The most popular is the tour of the Historic Center, departing at 9:30 am from Monday to Friday. More information on the website: Rio Free Walking Tour.

The FreeWalking Tour passes through classic buildings in downtown Rio. Photo: Alexandre Macieira/Riotur

Street art on the Ethnicity Mural

The largest street panel, painted for the Olympics, Mural Etnias is the creation of artist Eduardo Kobra. The work pays homage to the first inhabitants of each of the continents. Contemplating these vibrantly colored graffiti is an unmissable program.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro: Mural das Etnias is so big that it entered the record book in 2016. Photo: Eduardo Kobra/Personal Collection

Samba at Pedra do Sal 

The samba circles liven up different corners of the Marvelous City, and in several neighborhoods it is possible to perceive the bohemian spirit of the carioca, always accompanied by a cold beer and lots of music and good mood. At Pedra do Sal, near Largo da Prainha and at the foot of the Conceição hill, a traditional samba circle takes place. The meeting always takes place on Mondays, from 19:00 to 22:00, with free admission. During Carnival, the roda creates its own block, recreating the marchinhas of the time with lots of partying.

Pedra do Sal Samba Circle – Photo: Collection

Cool off in the Hanging Garden of Valongo

In the center of the city, the Hanging Garden of Valongo, is a beautiful garden with statues of Greek gods and archaeological pieces found in 1906, during the construction of the place. Ideal for those who want to relax and refresh themselves with fresh air and still discover a different place in Rio, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown. Free entrance.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro: Hanging Garden of Valongo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Flemish landfill

Aterro do Flamengo is another wooded park in the city. With a length of 7 km, it runs from Santos Dumont Airport to Botafogo Bay. Activities include the practice of sports and a breathtaking view of Guanabara Bay and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Flemish landfill. Photo/ Pedro Kirilos/RioTur

Statues and their stories

Several statues of famous Brazilian icons are scattered around the city, in places where the artists were inspired and lived. In Ipanema, for example, is Tom Jobim, who used to live in the region. It is still possible to see a tribute to Renato Russo on Ilha do Governador, and others, such as those portraying Dorival Caymmi and the writer Carlos Drummond de Andrade, located in Copacabana.

Tribute to Carlos Drummond at Copacabana Beach. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Cycling through various tourist attractions

Getting on a bike and walking through the various beauties of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most popular tours for residents and tourists of the Marvelous City.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro: Views and viewpoints in Rio. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Watch Rio de Janeiro life at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

Everyone has heard of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, one of the most visited and iconic spots in Rio de Janeiro. The lagoon is very visited by water sports practitioners and is 7.4 kilometers long. A program for all ages, whether to practice exercises, ride a pedal boat, ride a bike or even sit and enjoy this peace.

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Photo/ Alexandre Macieira/RioTur

Urca's Wall

Known as one of the best views in Rio de Janeiro, Mureta da Urca can be a good stop to enjoy the late afternoon in Rio. Take the opportunity to contemplate the landscape of Guanabara Bay: a free and unmissable tour to do in the city.

Urca Wall. Photo / Alexandre Macieira

Practice yoga outdoors

Want to enjoy the beach in a different way? In Rio there are several free and open-air yoga classes, there are several groups spread across the beaches of Ipanema, Barra da Tijuca, Leme, Aterro do Flamengo and Enseada de Botafogo.

Botafogo Cove. Photo/ Pedro Kirilos/RioTur

Discover the Island of Paquetá

THEREisland of Paquetá, in the heart of Guanabara Bay, is a small island and neighborhood in Rio, very different from other parts of the city. A really different tour to do in Rio. To get to the island you can use boats or catamarans. Within the island, transport is done only by golf carts, bicycles, as well as a train that takes tourists for a walk and discover the island.

Free tours in Rio de Janeiro: Paquetá Island, Rio de Janeiro – Photo/ Alexandre Macieira/RioTur

Cool off at Horto Waterfall

The city surrounded by hills and streams has numerous waterfalls, but one circuit in particular stands out as one of the most beautiful. Discover the Horto waterfalls, in the South Zone. The best known waterfalls are Chuveiro, Gruta and Primatas. Did you like it? This is the perfect request for a free tour in Rio de Janeiro, discovering a route beyond the beaches.

Discover Confeitaria Colombo

A traditional tour in downtown Rio de Janeiro is to have lunch at Confeitaria Colombo. Founded in 1894, the building has become a historical heritage, precisely because it brings an architecture that is a symbol of the Brazilian Belle Époque. Tasting some of the delicacies of the house or simply getting to know the building, can be a good activity to do in Rio de Janeiro.

Rest in Eduardo Guinle Park

Also known how Guinle Park, this is a place to rest in a calm and cool environment. It is in this park that you will find the famous gate with two statues of lions, posed as guardians.

Walk the path of royalty at Quinta da Boa Vista

Amid the hustle and bustle of the city, another free tour to do in Rio is to visit the municipal park Quinta da Boa Vista, located in an area of 155,000 m². Its landscape is formed by gardens of great historical importance, place where the ancient royalty strolled. There is no lack of leisure options, you can ride a pedal boat, kayak, run along the bike path and much more.

Exercise in Bosque da Barra

Discover Bosque da Barra and enjoy a different tour in Rio de Janeiro. Here you can exercise, walk in the park, ride a bike or enjoy the city's green areas.

Reading a book in the Catete Palace Park

Resting from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the midst of nature, breathing fresh air, going for a walk or reading a good book are just some of the activities that can be done in the Parque do Palácio do Catete. The entrance is free.

Hike in Catacumba Park

On the banks of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, with a trail that leads to the Sacopã and Pedra do Urubu viewpoint, the trail offers a beautiful view of the Lagoa, Corcovado and Pedra da Gávea. Free entrance.

Enjoy the beautiful view of the Parque do Penhasco Dois Irmãos

It's hard to go to Rio and not fall in love with the city's breathtaking views and viewpoints. Parque do Penhasco Dois Irmãos is one of them: with a view of the most beautiful landscapes in Rio, visitors can observe the neighborhoods of Leblon, Ipanema, São Conrado and Christ the Redeemer from above. Another cool and free place to visit in Rio de Janeiro.

See the colonial architecture of the Parque das Ruínas Cultural Center

Taking advantage of the visit to the Santa Teresa neighborhood, going to the Parque das Ruínas Cultural Center is a must. The place is a mansion from the last century that was the residence of Laurinda Santos Lobo and today it functions as a space of culture, serving as a stage for musical, theatrical and circus activities.

See nature in Madureira Park

The park is located in the region known as the Samba neighborhood, precisely because it is home to the Império Serrano and Portela samba schools. In addition to the possibility of seeing the samba rehearsals or participating in a lively circle in an authentic carioca bar, the Madureira neighborhood also houses one of the largest parks in Rio, Parque Madureira, with free admission.

Visit the São Sebastião Cathedral in Rio de Janeiro

Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, designed by the architect Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca, has a conical shape. But it's not just the outside that has spectacular architecture, inside the colorful stained glass windows complete the beauty of the place.

Candelaria church architecture

For those who want to escape the hot sun and still appreciate a very well planned architecture. The Candelária Church is considered the most impressive and grandiose in Rio de Janeiro, with a gold finish and a grandiose dome.

Buy old pieces at the Rio Antigo Fair

The fair takes place only on the first Saturday of each month, where fairgrounds and artisans sell their works of art and old pieces full of stories. Perfect for those who want to shop or just stroll through a different place.

Dancing Forró at the São Cristóvão Fair

Forró, Northeastern food and lots of joy mark the São Cristóvão Fair, which takes place in an old pavilion, at the Luiz Gonzaga Municipal Center of Northeastern Traditions.

Enjoy Samba do Ouvidor

Samba is part of the carioca culture and nothing better than enjoying good music at night. This is what happens at Rua do Ouvidor, in the Historic Center, an open-air party that, in addition to lots of music, also offers some gastronomic delights from the region.

Visit the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center

An old building, opened in 1989, houses the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center. A cultural space dedicated to exhibitions, cinema, theater and a diversified program.

Discover the National Library

Part of the Brazilian documentary heritage can be found in the National Library of Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful dBrazil. In addition to enchanting book lovers, those who love architecture will be surprised by this beautiful neoclassical building.

See an exhibition at Instituto Moreira Salles

Another mansion from the last century has become a stronghold of Rio de Janeiro art. Surrounded by remnants of the Atlantic Forest, the Instituto Moreira Salles brings together photographic exhibitions, Brazilian music, literature and cinema. Admission is free for most activities.

Appreciate a work by Jacques Van de Beuque at the Casa do Pontal Museum

Considered the largest and most significant museum of popular art in the country, the Casa do Pontal Museum brings together a collection of renowned artists such as the French designer Jacques Van de Beuque. After enjoying the great works of art, it is possible to walk through the large gardens surrounded by an ecological reserve that extends along the route.

Discover different works at the International Museum of Naive Art

There are several artists, without academic training in the arts, who exhibit their projects, which is why it takes the name of Naif, that is, a simpler art, but that deserves to be seen.

Keeping up with modernity in the Bhering District

One of the busiest artistic centers in the city, Distrito Bhering brings together eighty artists in an old chocolate factory, built in 1930. Today the place is a mixture of contemporary arts, with fixed installations and traveling exhibitions.

Discover the Imperial Palace

The Paço Imperial is a building that is part of the colonial history of our country, an 18th century heritage, which was once the residence of the Governors and Paço Real, today it has become a stronghold for those passionate about painting, photography, cinema, music and theater. .

Imagining the colonial era on Ilha Fiscal

Have you ever imagined living in colonial times? At Ilha Fiscal, you can imagine the past and think about the last ball of the Empire. And still understand more about the history of Brazil in a beautiful neoclassical bookstore or choose one of the many shows that take place on Ilha Fiscal.

Do Stand Up Paddle, in Tijucas Islands

An archipelago of islands between Barra da Tijuca and São Conrado, it is a paradise of calm waters, ideal for the practice of stand up paddle or even for a dip.

Skateboarding at Praça Juliano Moreira

Sports enthusiasts will love this place, with newly renovated skating rinks, the place has become the perfect meeting point for the practice of sport.

Walk downtown

Discover several buildings from the last century, important brands that built the history of Brazil. These mansions and buildings were once home to French, English, Arabs and different nationalities who left their marks in the region. Walking through the place is like living in the past, a walk to appreciate the details of each construction.

Walking along the Copacabana boardwalk

The most famous boardwalk in the world is immense, full of kiosks, hotels and excellent restaurants. Undoubtedly the ideal tour to enjoy the beautiful beach of Copacabana, see the comings and goings of people and immerse yourself in the carioca culture. ave. beachfront is also closed on Sundays, great for cycling, running or just relaxing.

Niemeyer Path

Close to Rio de Janeiro, in the city of Niterói, is the Caminho Niemeyer, a tribute to the iconic Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. In the place you will find eight monuments with futuristic features, in a route of 11 km.

See the colorful houses of Largo do Boticário

Pure charm and many colors mark the residential village of stones, Largo do Boticário. Built between 1920 and 1930, it was the home of Joachim Luiz da Silva Souto, official pharmacist from the time of the monarchy. The setting has even been used for one of the James Bond films, shot in Rio de Janeiro in 1960.

Go to MAR – Rio Art Museum

One of the new museums in the city, MAR is located in the port area and has wonderful exhibitions, as well as a restaurant with a beautiful panoramic view.

Enjoy the calm at Morro da Conceição

Morro da Conceição is a quiet place outside the city of Rio, formed by Portuguese buildings with colorful facades. Its streets are lined with workshops and craft shops.

Flower Market

Enjoy the beautiful flowers with aromas and different species. To go to the Flower Market, you have to get up early, as the trucks from the producers arrive at the place around two in the morning.

Rio Municipal Market

Want to shop in a different place? Enjoy the wide variety of fruits, cereals, drinks, sweets, spices and spices found at the Mercado Municipal do Rio. Some shops also offer a hearty breakfast served in the market itself.

Listen to good music at Rivalzinho

In the middle of the street, in pickup trucks, DJ's make everyone dance and sing along to rock, indie, blues and jazz. The Rivalzinho bar will brighten your nights, open from Thursday to Saturday.

» What to do in Rio de Janeiro
» Best beaches to enjoy in the state of Rio de Janeiro
» 9 cheap trips to take from Rio de Janeiro

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