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7 Top Photo Spots in Rio de Janeiro

This vibrant and famous city on the coast of Brazil may be best known for its beaches, but that’s just the beginning of the wonders that await you in Rio. With some of the most stunning natural scenery on the planet combined with a unique cultural vibe, any photo shoot in Rio is guaranteed to give you spectacular images.


Christ the Redeemer

Perhaps Rio’s most iconic landmark, this enormous 30-meter statue of Christ stands on top of the Corcovado mountain and overlooks the city. No photo shoot of Rio de Janeiro would be complete without including some shots of this world-famous statue. The European sculptor Paul Landowski created the masterpiece, and then it was thanks to Heitor da Silva Costa, a Brazilian engineer, that the statue was successfully built in Rio. There are numerous ways to include Christ the Redeemer in your photo shoot. From a distance, you can appreciate the size and scale of the monument in comparison to other houses and buildings in the city. For an up-close shot, you can take the Corcovado railway all the way to the base of the statue, where there is also a famous chapel still used for services, weddings, and baptisms.



The entire downtown area of Rio de Janeiro is bordered by the beautiful Copacabana beach, a four kilometer stretch of golden sand blue ocean. Beach goers from around the world come to enjoy the special energy and vibrant festival atmosphere of Rio’s most popular beach. Next to the high-rise hotels and business buildings built next to the beach, there are also numerous local shops, restaurants, and vendors. By all accounts a top-photo site in Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana offers numerous photo opportunities to make your pictures unique. You can visit the elegant Copacabana Palace, arguably the most stylish hotel in the city and a national monument. For a bit of history, there is the Copacabana Fort, which was built in 1914 and was the site of a short civil revolt in Brazil’s history.


Nossa Senhora do Carmo

The rich and extravagant Nossa Senhora do Carmo church is a site that adds a touch of majesty to any photo shoot. Taking pictures with the elaborate gold carvings and spectacular sculptures of the church will add a distinct touch to your photographs of Rio de Janeiro. The façade of the church is an excellent example of Baroque architecture.

Once inside the monumental stone doorway you’ll be amazed by high-ceilinged interior and ornate silver altar. Both a majestic work of art and an important historic landmark in the city, you’ll not only be capturing beautiful photographs, but also a cultural aspect of Rio.


Sugarloaf Mountain

Situated out in the bay of Rio, the mighty Sugarloaf Mountain stands at 394 meters, and is visible from almost everywhere in the city. Photographers in Rio de Janeiro are practically under obligation to include this amazing natural formation in their photoshoot. From the beach and harbor, you can appreciate the scale of Sugarloaf next to the fishing boats and buildings lining the shore. It’s also worth it to get pictures from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, where you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views in the city. The two cable car rides to reach the top is a fun afternoon activity to get to know Rio, and you’ll come away with amazing pictures to boot.


Ilha de Paquetá

It takes about an hour by ferry ride to reach the small and peaceful Ilha de Paquetá, an island located in Guanabara Bay. With no cars allowed on the island, it’s a great way to escape the constant rush and traffic of Rio and get some peace and serenity for your photographs. Some of the attractions of the island include old buildings, like the chapel of São Roque built in 1698, and pleasant beach areas. It’s a side to Rio many people don’t experience, and one that will make your photo shoot unique.


Escadaria Selarón

The Chilean born artist Jorge Selarón decorated the stone staircase leading to his house in a unique way as an artistic gift to the city of Rio. By taking colorful tiles, bits of broken glass, and other salvaged scraps, he created a beautiful mosaic using the colors of the Brazilian flag, green, blue, and yellow. When people heard of this project, they began bringing him bits of clay, glass, and pottery from around the world, so now the 250 steps have been beautifully patterned with international artifacts. It’s a one-of-a-kind place to visit, and a top photo site in the city of Rio, since it has so much singular meaning and creativity.


Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência

This might church was built in three sections, each with its own separate entrance. A simple exterior is deceiving as to the rich and ornate interior design that captivate tourists and photographers from around the world. Most of the decoration is ornate and detailed gold gilded wood carving.

So detailed are these designs that it took from 1657 all the way to 1773 to complete them all. Other wonders of the church your photo shoot will benefit from include the amazing ceiling and nave paintings by Caetano da Costa Coelho. The church is a beautiful way to get a look at historic Brazilian Baroque design and capture meaningful photographs of the city.