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Rio De Janeiro is one of the Host Cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. This will be Brazil's second time to host the competition, the first time being in 1950. In a huge city like Rio de Janeiro, it is hard to pick out places that you must see. Every place has something to offer, and you are sure to have an experience to remember wherever you go. However, you may not have much time, so here are ten places that are worth your time.
1. See the view from Sugar Loaf. This is one of the most visited sites in Rio de Janeiro as it offers a breathtaking view. Enjoy the cable car ride, eat, drink and spend time on the benches in the visiting area.
2. Spend an evening on the Copacabana beach. There are good reasons as to why this is one of the most famous beaches in the world. Mountains on one side, a city on the other and restaurants all along the beachfront make it one the most lively and beautiful places to be. Even if you don’t want to get into the water, it is a perfect place to meet friends, chill out and watch the people go by.
3. Stop by, and watch a Carnival rehearsal. If you visit between August and February, then it is worth seeing a rehearsal for one of the most spectacular events in Rio de Janeiro — especially if you won’t be there for the Carnival parade. Different groups, called Samba Schools, rehearse in different places, so find a rehearsal going on you.
4. See Christ the Redeemer Statue. This is the number one sightseeing attraction in Brazil, so you probably don’t want to miss it. However, make sure there are no clouds in the sky before you go up because there is nothing worse than reaching there and not being able to see the view or even the statue.
5. Shop at the Hippie Market. Every Sunday, the Feira Hippie de Ipanema (Hippie market in Ipanema) is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it is the most popular open market in Rio de Janeiro. You can buy all the souvenirs you ever wanted.
6. Have lunch in Santa Teresa. This is one of the oldest and most charming towns. It has the feel of olden times because of its colonial houses, artsy shops, cobblestones and authentic restaurants. Get there before 1 p.m. so you don't have to wait for a table.
7. Visit the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden. If you want safe and controlled contact with nature, then this is the best place to go. Stroll around the garden and learn about the various rare species of plants from around the world. You can get to know about some wild animals and birds here as well. At the end, you can have a snack and a drink at the Botanica Café.
8. See a show at the Theatro Municipal Do Rio de Janeiro. Even if you don’t see a show, it is worth taking a tour to see this spectacular theater built in 1919. The murals, chandeliers, stained-glass windows and statues are a sight to see.
9. Enjoy the walking trails and waterfalls in Rio de Janeiro’s very own rain forest. With over 46 square miles of tropical forest, Tijuca Forest is the world’s largest urban rainforest. You can immerse yourself in nature and experience what Brazil once looked like. If you are a serious hiker, you can climb to the top of Pico da Tijuca, which is 3320 feet, or you can relax and enjoy the 115-foot waterfall surrounded by diverse greenery.
10. Rent a paddleboat and go for a couple’s only ride on Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, known as Lake Lagoa. Start with a drive around the lake and plan to stay through the afternoon and into night because there are nightclubs, restaurants, quality hotels and bars that surround the lake. It is a favorite weekend destination for the local people especially during Christmas season.
These are some places and activities that have something unique to offer. Remember to enjoy, explore and be open to new ideas and places, and you won’t ever forget your visit. And if you are visiting in July, don't miss the final on July 13th.
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