The breathtakingly beautiful city is home to landmark sites like the Christ the Redeemer statue and world-class art museums. Sprinkle in beach volleyball matches, samba dancing, and stunning tropical mountains meet azure sea scenery you won’t find anywhere else.

Rio de Janeiro boasts dramatic views from nearly every angle. From the slopes of Corcovado Mountain, you’ll admire the striking 125-foot-tall Christ the Redeemer, who overlooks Rio’s pristine beaches. And from the shores of Copacabana and Ipanema, you’ll admire the picture-perfect backdrop that has attracted Cariocas (native Brazilians born in Rio de Janeiro) and visitors alike for more than 500 years.

But there’s much more to Rio than scenic vistas, tropical rainforests, and cerulean seas. Here, glitz, high fashion, and a laid-back attitude dominate the city’s character. Stroll along Avenida Atlântica in Copa, and you’ll find a city brimming with bikini-clad beachgoers. The city is also known for its love of the sport. From Maracana Stadium (home of the 2014 World Cup finals and the 2016 Olympic Games) to the volleyball courts of Flamengo Park, the city is alive with activity. At night, you’ll hear the soothing sounds of samba pulsating through the city streets in Lapa.

In Rio de Janeiro, every day is a party. Rio, as it’s usually called, is a place like absolutely no other in the world. The jet set and glitterati descend here year-round for the white-sand beaches, bass-forward nightlife, and five heady days of Carnival bacchanal celebrations in February or March.

Rio is well served by restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines – from traditional Brazilian to French and Japanese. In general, eating out in Rio is not cheap – and can, in fact, be very expensive – but there’s no shortage of low-priced places to grab a lunchtime meal, or just a snack and a drink.

The best time to visit both city and state is between May and August when the region is cooled by trade winds, the temperature remains at around 22–32°C and the sky tends to be clear.

According to the Internet