Rio De Janeiro is a beautiful and  bustling megacity filled with history and culture. At the size of 720 square miles, the huge city could take at least 2 weeks to explore properly. With just a few days at hand on most vacations, deciding what to do can be really confusing! We’re pretty sure you’ve got the main sightseeing spots like the Statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain covered, so here’s our suggestion of some offbeat things to do with a more local experience:

1. Feira de São Cristóvão

Feira de São Cristóvão, also know as Feira Nordestina,  is a market specializing in products that come from the Northeast region of Brazil.  It is filled with hundreds of stalls selling traditional Northeasterner food, arts and crafts. There are also several stages bustling with live music and samba. We do recommend you get there hungry to try as many appetizing dishes that you can, because we know you want to!

2. Biblioteca Nacional Do Brasil

The National Library in Rio is the 7th largest library in the world with a collection of 9 million items. What stands out the most about this place is the beautiful architecture of the building which was designed with neoclassical elements. Huge staircases, wide skylights, stylized columns and ceilings are just some of the architectural touches. There is a free guided tour in English at 1 pm every day (except Sunday as it is closed).


3. Prainha Beach:

For a quieter beach option, take a short drive Southwest from Rio and head to Prainha Beach. The beach attracts a lot of surfers because of the strong underwater current. The views on from this beach will take your breath away and you will almost feel like you are on some isolated tropical island. If you’re a  casual swimmer, we do recommend you go in up to the waist deep only because of the strong currents.


4. Rio Food Tour

What better way to discover the best eats around this huge city than a guided local tasting tour! Our guide, Tom, took us around the city’s locals spots and markets to taste the best and most exotic fruits, drinks, and dishes we’ve tasted so far. We do recommend you come hungry to this tour!

5. Watch a Football Game

Watching a game between one of Rio’s 4 teams: Botafogo, Fluminense, Flamengo, and Vasco is an exhilarating experience. Whether you like the game or not, experiencing a full stadium with the sounds of drums, chants and cheers is unbeatable. This is also a great way to mingle with the locals.