Interesting facts about Rio de Janeiro

rio de janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas.

Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s third-most populous state.

It is located on the Atlantic Ocean, in the southeastern part of the tropical zone of South America, and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful and interesting urban centers.

As of September 2018, the population of Rio de Janeiro is about 6.7 million people.

Rio de Janeiro covers a total area of 1,221 square kilometers (486.5 square miles).


The Pico da Pedra Branca is the highest point of the city at 1,024 meters (3,360 ft) above sea level.

Rio de Janeiro’s climate is considered tropical savanna and has a rainy season from December to March.

The name was given to the city’s original site by Portuguese navigators who arrived on January 1, 1502, and mistook the entrance of the bay for the mouth of a river (rio is the Portuguese word for “river” and janeiro the word for “January”).

Sixty-three years later, on March 1, 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro was officially founded by the Portuguese.

rio de janeiro history

Rio de Janeiro became the colonial capital in 1763 and was the capital of independent Brazil from 1822 until 1960, when the national capital was moved to the new city of Brasília.

Today, Rio de Janeiro is considered the cultural capital of Brazil because of its combination of historic and modern architecture, its more than 50 museums, popularity of music and literature, and its yearly Carnaval celebration.

Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro. The statue was created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 meters (98 ft) high, excluding its 8-meter (26 ft) pedestal. The arms stretch 28 meters (92 ft) wide.


The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro is located in Brazil and was created by erosion from the Atlantic Ocean and is also known as Guanabara Bay. It was formed naturally by the Atlantic Ocean. Over time, the sea eroded the rocks and sand developing the bay we recognize today. The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

harbor of rio de janeiro

Rio de Janeiro’s best-known landmark is the rock peak of Sugarloaf, towering 396 meters (1,299 ft) above the harbor. It sits on a point of land that projects out into the bay and wraps around its harbor, and is connected to the city by a low strip of land. It is known worldwide for its cableway and panoramic views of the city.


Copacabana is a bairro (neighbourhood) located in the South Zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is known for its 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) balneario beach, which is one of the most famous in the world.

copacabana beach

Ipanema shares a border with Copacabana, but this world-class beach destination is more poised than its south Rio counterpart. Like a samba that swings so cool, this neighborhood is known for culturally enriching contributions and nonstop parties.

ipanema beach

The Maracanã is a football stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stadium was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, in which Brazil was beaten 2–1 by Uruguay in the deciding game, in front of 199,854 spectators, making it the world’s largest stadium by capacity when it was inaugurated. After its 2010–13 renovation, the rebuilt stadium currently seats 78,838 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Brazil and the second in South America after Estadio Monumental in Peru.


One of Brazil’s most famous attractions is Rio Carnival. It is a festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.

rio carnival

The Tijuca Forest is a tropical rainforest in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is claimed to be the world’s largest urban forest, covering some 32 square kilometers (12.4 square miles), although there are sources assigning this title to the urban forest of Johannesburg, South Africa, where between 6 and 9.5 million trees were planted.

tijuca forest

Every 31 December, 2.5 million people gather at Copacabana Beach to celebrate New Year‘s in Rio de Janeiro. The crowd, mostly dressed in white, celebrates all night at the hundreds of different shows and events along the beach. It is the second largest celebration only next to the Carnival.

The city is Brazil’s main tourist attraction and it also receives more international visits per year than any other city in South America with around 2.82 million.

Of all Brazilian music styles, samba is undoubtedly the best known. Both abroad and in Brazil, samba has become a symbol of the Brazilian nation and its people. Modern Samba music dates from the 19th century when the crude tones of the slaves met with the stylized European sound of Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro was once the capital of Portugal, making it the only European capital outside of Europe.