Embratur, the Brazilian Tourist Board, put together a round-up of some of the best places in Brazil and why they’re not to be missed!

Rio de Janeiro
Over 450 years of history and the land of carnival and samba, the culture in Rio is simply magnificent. Rio offers numerous theaters, concert halls, which are open all year round; rich gastronomy and a really varied nightlife. All this contrasts with its breathtaking geographical features, such as the stunning sea, mountains and forests, making Rio de Janeiro a beautiful and truly unique city.

Rio is also home to some of the best traveler cheap eats. In the botequins you can enjoy an informal vibe and eat delicious bar snacks, mostly fried, called salgados. Or you can try one of the bars at Lapa, one of the best neighborhoods to hit the street, sip chilled beers or caipirinhas and shuffle the night away to live music played by some of the best samba bands in the country.


For those looking for lull and relax at the city’s sunny kissed, the beaches will be your spot. It’s the perfect place to meet friends for a chat, to work out, to drink a beer or simply to enjoy the sun, sea and sand. When it comes to Rio beaches, it’s hard to go wrong: just pick up your place and settle in.

Summer (from December to March) is by far the best time of the year to visit Rio de Janeiro, with its fantastic weather and the excitement of the world’s biggest carnival. Rio is a great place to leave the stress of the year behind, relax and have fun.

São Paulo
The cosmopolitan city is home to 12 million people, making it the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere. São Paulo is a city that welcomes all: people from over 70 nationalities, and Brazilians from every state, who come every day in search of opportunities, culture and fun. São Paulo will make sure you will never get home sick.

This mix gives tourists the opportunity to truly escape their sense of visitor – giving them the chance to fully blend in with locals and imerse in Sao Paulo´s vibrant culture. For those who fancy something that reminds them of home, food will be the best way to do it. The city food scene is experimental, ambitious and very diverse: from risottos of foie gras, from fresh lobster to airy Brazilian doce de leite pancakes and of course pizza! Sao Paulo is well know for the quality and tradition of pizza.

As New York, Sao Paulo is a city that never sleeps. There is so much to do that you will need to have focus to choose. For instance, by day, Chorinho at Benedito Calixto square is a good choice for Saturday afternoons. The square is in Pinheiros neighborhood and is a meeting spot for intellectuals, cool and alternative people. By night, you will be spoilt with the number of clubs renowned for their cocktails and superb DJ’s. If you would like something more chilled and relaxing whilst listening to blues and jazz, there are plenty of small cafés and cool bars spread around the city

On the other hand you could engage your intellectual side in São Paulo and explore some of its 100 museums – these include everything from art to science -, art exhibitions, workshops, debates and lectures. Masp, Pinacoteca and Instituto Tomie Ohtake are some of the gems in the city.

Manaus is one of the most well-known Brazilian cities – located at the junction of the Negro and Solimões rivers. The city is a perfect destination for ecotourists and travellers eager to explore Brazilian wildlife, as it has spectacular parks and ecological reserves. Tourists will have the chance to see some of the famous animals of the region, such as the Amazon manatee and several species of macaws.

In the heart of the world’s largest rainforest, Manaus is known for its biodiversity. The region offers various experiences during a gap year such as bird watching, visiting indigenous villages and the “meeting of the waters”, where two big rivers in the region meet in a spectacular phenomenon.

This is a great place to head at the end of your gap year to truly relax, unwind and take in the beautiful scenery. It’s a place to recover the hustle of the big busy cities and restore your energy before heading somewhere new.

For more information about these and other places in Brazil please head to: