Rio de Janeiro Facts

Here are some facts about Rio de Janeiro.

  • Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s second largest city, with a population of almost 6.3 million. It is located on the Atlantic coast in the south east of the country.
  • Rio is often said to be one of the world’s most beautiful cities and has a spectacular setting. It is famous for its beaches and nightlife, samba, bossa nova, soccer and annual carnival.

  • Portuguese explorers founded Rio de Janeiro in 1565, giving it its name which means ‘River of January.’ The city was once the capital of Portugal, the only European capital outside Europe.
  • The city’s famous carnival takes place around Easter and attracts almost 5 million visitors. The carnival featured in the James Bond film Moonraker.
  • The famous statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the 7 modern wonders of the world. It is 38 metres tall, with outstretched arms 28 metres wide, and lightning rods in its head.
  • The Copacabana area is one of the most densely populated places in the world, with about 25,000 people per square kilometer. Most of them live in high rise apartment buildings.
  • The city’s famous Sugar Loaf Mountain is almost 400 metres high and supposedly resembles a heap of sugar. It has over 250 climbing routes, making it one of the world’s most popular urban climbing areas.
  • There are over 30 beaches in Rio de Janeiro, stretching for about 50 km. During the height of the season, a million people can be on the beaches at the same time.
  • Poodles are the most popular dogs among the wealthy of Rio de Janeiro. Many of the city’s dog owners like to dress the dogs in hats, shoes and small outfits.
  • Thousands of residents of the city live in sprawling shanty towns, known as favelas. Tours of the favelas are incredibly popular and bring much needed money to the area.

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