It’s always carnival time in La Cidade Maravilhosa, or the ‘marvellous city’, of Rio! Make the most of your time here if you’ve only one day to spare…

Morning coffee & Copacabana

Grab what will probably be the best coffee you’ve ever tasted and head out into this thrilling city. Perhaps you’ll begin your day with an early-morning stroll along Copacabana Beach, learning more about Brazilian history with a visit to the impressive museum at Forte de Copacabana. Here, a great beachfront café – Café 18 do Forte – is the perfect place for a stop. Next, take the cog railway to experience the iconic views from Corcovado, where you’ll find the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer.

Lazy lunch & lovely views

Why not treat yourself to lunch in one of the city’s legendary ‘weigh and pay’ buffet restaurants, where you weigh your plate at the till! Big spenders will want to work it off with a stroll around the Bohemian cobbled streets of the Santa Teresa district. Or perhaps escape the heat of the city at the cool, tranquil botanical gardens, where you might spot a toucan in the towering palms.

You could follow the coastal route, hugging Copacabana beach, and take the cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. At the middle station, there’s time to pause for photos before you journey to the very top and look back over this stunning city.

Sunset, samba & buzzing bars

After a busy day, it’s time to try a caipirinha – Brazil’s national drink – made with sugar, limes and cachaça spirit. Sip it in style at one of the many buzzing bars in Ipanema or Leblon. Or catch the stunning sunset over Ipanema Beach and the Dois Irmãos mountains, before heading to a churrascaria – a traditional steakhouse – for dinner.

Live music is everywhere in Rio. Try Bip Bip, in Copacabana neighbourhood. Behind this simple storefront is a party place, where roda de samba – informal samba played by musicians sat around a table ¬– is always on the menu!