10 Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro in August

August is a special month in Rio de Janeiro, as we enjoy the passion of soccer, outdoor plans, tastings at festivals and much more. I share with you the best plans for this month!

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro in August

RIo Ladder | Thales Botelho de Sousa

Rio de Janeiro is an ideal city to visit all year round, as the climate remains pleasant and temperate regardless of the season. In August winter is at its peak, however the days are sunny and temperatures range from 19° to 25°. The main advantage is that it is one of the months with the fewest rainy days, so outdoor plans can be made. The only drawback is that it is high season, so the streets get crowded with tourists and prices go up considerably.

It is an ideal month to take advantage of the best things to do in Rio de Janeiro. For example, you can take advantage of the last soccer activities of the season, enjoy the tastings of Rio Gastronomy, vibrate with Rock in Rio, explore the seasonal crops or try the typical drink, better known as cachaca.

1. Take a tour of the Maracana stadium and enjoy the last soccer games of the season

At the Maracana| ©Jogos Rio 2016
At the Maracana| ©Jogos Rio 2016

From February to August is the soccer season in Brazil, so it is a must if you plan to visit the city. I recommend booking at least 3 days in Rio de Janeiro to live this adrenaline-filled experience. Locals live the games passionately, plus it's an activity that became popular when the Maracana stadium was used as the venue for the iconic 1950 World Cup.

It is also a stadium that hosted sporting events of other categories at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. Also, the reason why the last local soccer games are played in August is because of the good weather. Mild temperatures and a low chance of rain create the ideal conditions to enjoy an outdoor game without mishaps.

Take a tour of the Maracana Stadium

The Maracana Stadium is an imposing building with years of sports history, which has juicy behind-the-scenes secrets, such as the locker room, press room and field. By venturing on a tour of its facilities, you can discover at your own pace the curiosities of the home of soccer in the region. You can do it on your own, or take advantage of the best tours in Rio de Janeiro to see the trophies and collected objects up close.

This type of tour can be done between 9:00 and 16:00. You can take pictures for souvenir, without restrictions and there are professional photography packages available for purchase inside. This experience costs approximately €18 per person, but is completely worth it if you go as a family.

Buy tickets for the Maracana Stadium

Experience the passion of soccer in Rio de Janeiro

While the Maracana Stadium is impressive when empty, nothing compares to the vibrant energy during a soccer game. August marks the end of the season, so these are the most sought-after games that no local wants to miss. It is the perfect month to take advantage of the soccer activities in Rio de Janeiro, which involve Carioca rituals before, during and after the sports sessions.

The games last approximately six hours, it is advisable to buy tickets in advance to get good seats, or participate in a guided experience. In the middle of the game you will hear each team's supporters chanting, and you will even see people with flags. Some games are also held at the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium which is the sports center with modern facilities.

The price of the guided experience is usually around 105 euros, but it is well worth it as it usually includes tickets, transportation, comfortable seats in a covered area, as well as the advice of a local guide. It is advisable to attend the games with professionals, as in this type of event there are stands where fans of different teams mix and arguments can occur.

Buy tickets for a soccer match

2. Visit the carioca jungle of Rio de Janeiro

Hiking in Rio| ©Elias Rovielo
Hiking in Rio| ©Elias Rovielo

August is the month of outdoor plans, so you can take the opportunity to explore the Rio de Janeiro rainforest of Tijuca. It is one of the best excursions from Rio de Janeiro, as it is a nearby destination less than twenty minutes away, which you can access on your own or in the company of a local guide. It is an urban green area with a variety of animal species, including monkeys, butterflies and birds.

Additionally, in the month of August there is little chance of rain and you can take advantage of a jeep ride, as the terrain is safe. This is a phenomenon that occurs mostly in Rio de Janeiro, due to its proximity to the Caribbean: in fact, the rest of the cities face a different type of weather. There are safe guided tours for tourists from 63 euros that usually include transfer, professional guide and recreational activities. Note that in the jungle you can take advantage of:

  • Knowing Cachoeira dos Macacos or the Monkey Waterfall, it is a hiking and trekking area ideal for beginners. Here you can refresh yourself and get to know local fruits.
  • Climb the Vista Chinesa viewpoint near the waterfall, which offers panoramic views of Christ the Redeemer and the bays of Ipanema and Copacabana.
  • Pass through the Mata Atlântica, an Atlantic forest where endangered species are found.
  • Visit Mayrink Chapel, a chapel in the middle of the mountain of high historical value where only one mass is held per month.
  • Explore the stone lookout Emperor's Table, which offers a complete perspective of the city.

Book a jeep tour through the Tijuca rainforest

3. Get a tan and enjoy the activities at the most beautiful beaches in Rio de Janeiro.

Copacabana| ©Victoria Rachitzky
Copacabana| ©Victoria Rachitzky

Without a doubt, Rio de Janeiro has a peculiar way of doing things. In this Brazilian city, the best time to get a tan and enjoy the beaches is not summer, but winter. In August you are likely to enjoy sunny days and great weather, although you should keep in mind that the water is usually cold. Therefore, the best plan is to take advantage of the tan and cool off during the peak hours when the rays intensify.

I recommend you to visit Copacabana beach since in August there are usually short races by the sea, volleyball tournaments, and other activities to take advantage of the weather. In addition, you can climb the Forte de Copacabana to enjoy the panoramic views.

You can also stop by the Copacabana Palace, the renowned hotel where Lady Gaga, Walt Disney, Princess Diana and other celebrities have stayed. This hotel celebrates its anniversary every August 10th with music, exhibitions, gastronomic tastings and more.

Another beach you can't miss is Ipanema beach where they organize salsa rounds by the sea, and it is surrounded by beach bars with a gastronomic variety. If you are looking for things to do in Rio de Janeiro at night, the nocturnal atmosphere of this bay will catch your attention. Finally, to take advantage of the calm winds of August and fly over the beaches, you can also join a tandem paragliding experience.

Book a tandem paragliding flight in Rio de Janeiro

4. Enjoy Rio Gastronomy events

Eating in Rio| ©sandeepachetan.com
Eating in Rio| ©sandeepachetan.com

Rio Gastronomy is a massive annual event that involves the secrets of Rio's cuisine. It is ideal if you plan to be in Rio de Janeiro for 3 days or more, as the festival has an estimated duration of one week. It brings together the best local restaurants, as well as fast food trucks and traditional food stalls. There are also outdoor concerts, cooking workshops and local tastings.

It is open to the public, so you can stay as long as you want. You will find free stands and other stalls where you will have to buy the dishes to taste.

If you plan to attend this gastronomic festival and after tasting the culinary delights of Brazil, you will surely want to complement it and join a cooking class in Rio de Janeiro, to learn the preparation of Brazilian dishes, such as picanha steak, farofa, brigadeiro and more.

Book a cooking class in Rio de Janeiro

5. Experience the carnival and other Brazilian rhythms in August.

Rio Carnival| ©Jonas de Carvalho
Rio Carnival| ©Jonas de Carvalho

Without a doubt, Rio de Janeiro is known for hosting the world's most famous carnivals, starring the flavor of samba. Unfortunately, they take place at the beginning of the year. However, in August there are replicas of this unmissable activity, which is undoubtedly in the DNA of the region. Get ready to experience the musical rhythms and Brazilian dances at:

  • Experience Carnival: you can visit the samba factory and witness the preparations for the parade at the Rio de Janeiro Samba School. This is an ideal activity in August, as the carnivals are approaching and you can watch the behind-the-scenes and other preparations, such as the making of the floats.
  • Ginga Tropical Show: to soak up the Carioca culture, there is nothing better than attending a show in August with Brazilian music, dances such as samba, capoeira, forró, lambada, typical costumes, orchestras and other performances.

Buy tickets for the Carnival Samba School Parade

6. Participate in the Rio de Janeiro Half Marathon

Rio de Janeiro Marathon| ©Gerardo Lazzari
Rio de Janeiro Marathon| ©Gerardo Lazzari

The vibrant August weather is ideal for running through the streets of the city. That is why the Rio de Janeiro Half Marathon is held every year. It is a sporting event where beginners and professional runners can participate, since it has a route of 5 kilometers and another of 21 kilometers. To sign up, you must register in advance and reserve your race number.

The packages to participate are varied and range from 22 euros to around 70 euros per person, with certain benefits included. Generally, the 5k race starts from Lapa to Flamengo beach, while the 21k runs along the shore of Copacabana beach. Along the way you will find hydration points, as well as transportation stations.

7. Attend the Cachaca Fair in Rio de Janeiro

Cachaza| ©LenSOP
Cachaza| ©LenSOP

The Cachaca Fair is an extension of Rio Gastronomy, initially held exclusively in Paraty. This city is a five-hour drive from Rio de Janeiro, but fortunately in recent years it has begun to be organized in the center of the region. Cachaça or cachaça is a Brazilian alcoholic beverage consumed in many cities around the world.

In this event you can taste the famous cachaça, as well as learn about the elaboration process. The organization has food stands, music and cultural performances. After this event, you can continue exploring the city in one of the best tours of Rio de Janeiro and take a tour of the main bars of the city. No doubt, at nightfall you will be able to live new experiences and taste the variations of this peculiar carioca drink.

8. Shake it up with the Rock in Rio music festival.

Rock in Rio| ©Rutger Geerling
Rock in Rio| ©Rutger Geerling

Rock in Rio is a music festival that comes to life in the city between August and September. Not to be confused with the event of the same name that takes place in Lisbon in June. A curious fact is that it became internationalized and some editions took place in Madrid, Las Vegas and other cities around the world.

In fact, the first edition took place in 1985 in the neighborhood of Jacarepaguá and was attended by the band Queen. Since then, every year bands and artists of different rock styles are presented. You can find tickets from 50 euros, as well as family passes for around 150 euros. Additionally, this is an ecological and sustainable event, where some funds are distributed to environmental causes.

9. Celebrate Theater Artist's Day in Rio de Janeiro

Municipal Theater| ©José Eduardo Nucci
Municipal Theater| ©José Eduardo Nucci

In Rio de Janeiro art is very important, that is why every August 19 the Theater Artist's Day is celebrated. It is a special date where creative work is honored, therefore recreational activities are organized that you can't miss. Throughout the month you will find something to see, such as samples of plays and opera performances. To learn more about the history of local art, you can take a look at the best museums in Rio de Janeiro.

Of course, the best place to experience this day are the theaters of the city. The price of the performances will depend on the theater and the type of play. For example, there are economic options from 15 euros to 70 euros. In general, I recommend you to go to the Municipal Theater: it is an imposing façade, where renowned Brazilian artists perform. The plays on the Theater Artist's Day are magical, fun, and engaging.

10. Take a tour of Rio de Janeiro's harvests

Rio wine| ©CH2A Comunicação
Rio wine| ©CH2A Comunicação

From June to August wine consumption increases in Rio de Janeiro, so I recommend going out in search of the most exquisite Brazilian wines in the region. For example, enjoying an evening of wine tasting is one of the best activities to do in Rio de Janeiro during this month, where temperatures are a little cooler from the evening onwards. It is an ideal plan to keep you warm and connect with Carioca traditions.

Brazilian wine is characterized by the use of European, African and regional grapes. The most interesting thing is that you will learn more about the challenges of winemakers, and get to know the production process. Another plan is to take advantage of the best excursions from Rio de Janeiro and visit the local wineries, where the grape harvest festival is also celebrated in the summer.