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15 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Christ de Redeemer in Rio, Brazil

15 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Christ de Redeemer in Rio, Brazil

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The Christ de Redeemer Statue is one of the best things to see in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. Christ de Redeemer, as it is formally known, is a huge Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ that was built in the early 20th century.

Christ de Redeemer is located atop Corcovado Mountain, which provides stunning views of Rio de Janeiro below. It’s the most visited tourist attraction in all of Brazil, which is pretty impressive since the country is absolutely huge!

The statue is symbolic of the Brazilian people’s faith, and it’s also a national icon. It’s said to protect the population of Rio de Janeiro, and it has become a symbol of hope and resilience in the face of challenges.

However, it’s so famous that its significance now really extends beyond the realm of the religious – Christ the Redeemer is simply one of those bucket list places in Brazil that everyone wants to see at least once in their lifetime.

If you’re planning to visit the Rio Christ Statue, there are a few things you should know before you go. We’ve put together a guide to the top 15 things to know before visiting Christ de Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to help!

1. About Christ de Redeemer Statue in Rio, Brazil

The Christ the Redeemer with Rio de Janeiro in the background as seen from a scenic flight in Rio de Janeiro
Rio is one of the most beautiful cities I have been to! Photo credit: Dislentev Depositphotos

Christ de Redeemer is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, making the list alongside other world-famous cultural landmarks including the Colosseum in Rome, Machu Picchu, and the Great Wall of China. That should give you an idea of just how special this place is!

Christ the Redeemer was built in the early 20th century, and it’s located atop Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue is 30 meters (98 feet) tall and its outstretched arms span 28 meters (92 feet). It sits atop an 8-meter (26-feet) tall pedestal, making it 38 meters (124 feet) tall in total.

The statue is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone and is one of the largest Art Deco sculptures in the world.

Christ de Redeemer is one of Rio’s most popular tourist attractions offering stunning views of one of the best Latin American cities! In fact, the Redeemer Statue receives almost 2 million visitors per year. If you go to Rio, you absolutely cannot miss the chance to visit this iconic landmark.

2. Where is the Christ de Redeemer Statue?

View looking up at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro
You can see the statute from all over the city!

The Rio Christ Statue is located on top of Mount Corcovado, which is a rocky peak in Tijuca National Park in central Rio de Janeiro. There are several other attractions in the national park but the Redeemer Statue is easily the most famous.

Corcovado is 710 meters (2,329 feet) above sea level at its peak, so Christ de Redeemer really towers over Rio de Janeiro. From the statue, you’ll be able to see breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape – it’s truly one of the best vantage points in Rio.

3. How do you get to the base of the Christ de Redeemer mountain?

Daniel poses with the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio
This is the classic pose!

There are several ways to get to the base of Corcovado Mountain, where you’ll either be able to hike up or take the cogwheel train.

You can take an Uber or taxi, which is probably the fastest and easiest way to do it.

Alternatively, if you’ve rented a car for your time in Rio, you can drive there and park near the Corcovado train station, in the paid parking lot. Or, you can park in the Paineiras Station if you’re taking the van up to Christ de Redeemer, Brazil, but spaces are pretty limited. Just don’t park on the street, because you will get a fine.

There are also a few public transport options that will take you to the base of Mount Corcovado. You can take a bus to Cosme Velho, which stops close to the foothill of the mountain.

Alternatively, you can get off at São Judas Tadeu if you want to take the cogwheel train up to the statue. Bus tickets cost around 4 Brazilian Real per ride, which is just under $1 USD.

You can also ride the metro to Largo do Machado, which is a 40-minute walk from Mount Corcovado, but from that station, you can take Bus 580 towards Cosme Velho. To be honest, though, it’s probably just easier to ride the bus the entire way if you can.

Once you get to the base of the mountain, your entrance ticket will include the train ride up to the statue, unless you want to hike and save some money (more on that later!). Of course, if you’ve opted for a guided tour, then this will already be taken care of.

A guided tour really takes all of the hassle out of arranging transport for you. This full-day tour includes round-trip transportation in an air-conditioned van, and you’ll be picked up and dropped off from your hotel, which makes things nice and easy. Besides seeing this famous statue, the $130 USD tour includes stops at some of the other great sights around Rio including Sugarloaf Mountain (another one of the most popular attractions in Rio.)

4. How much does it cost to visit Christ de Redeemer?

View of Rio and Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas from the Christ the Redeemer
View of Rio and Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas from Christ de Redeemer

The price of visiting the Redeemer Statue depends on how you want to do it, and when.

Ticket prices vary during the high and low seasons.

High season means during Carnival, public holidays, and school holidays. In Brazil, the longest school holidays are from December until February, and in July. Carnival, meanwhile, takes place 40 days before Easter Sunday, which means it’s usually in February or March, but exact dates change from year to year.

The low season is whenever kids are in school and there are no special celebrations happening. This is the best time to go if you can, as Christ de Redeemer will be less crowded, although it is popular all year round.

Hiking

You can hike up to the Rio Christ Statue from Parque Lage at the base of Mount Corcovado. This is the cheapest way to get to the Redeemer Statue, and it will take you around 2-3 hours.

If you hike, all you’ll be paying for is your entry ticket, which costs R$31 ($6 USD) in the high season and R$21 ($4 USD) in the low season.

Further in this blog we will tell you more about the hike and things to consider before you choose this budget-friendly option.

Shuttle vans

There are also shuttle vans that run up and down the mountain. They are cheaper than the funicular but less charming and scenic.

You can take a van from Largo do Machado or Lido Square, which will cost you R$70 ($13 USD) in high season and R$57 ($11 USD) in low season.

The good thing about the shuttle vans is that they take you from the city to the base of the mountain, as well as up to see the Redeemer Statue but to be honest, they’re not the most comfortable option, and they don’t have the best views.

The front of the train that travels up to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro
A train travels up to the christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Funicular/Cogwheel train

By far the best way to get up to the Christ de Redeemer Statue is on the funicular or cogwheel train.

The Christ the Redeemer Railway is a historic cogwheel train that will take you on a scenic 20-minute journey through the Tijuca Forest National Park, up to Corcovado Mountain. It feels like a step back in time, and it’s definitely the most popular way to get to Christ de Redeemer.

Tickets for the cogwheel train cost R$84 ($16 USD) in low season or R$105 ($20 USD) in high season. Children between 5-11 years old ride for R$60 ($11.50 USD) at any time of year and under 5s go free.

The cog train is by far the most popular way to get up the mountain, and with good reason, but it’s not uncommon to wait a few hours to climb aboard. This is especially true during high season, but even during low season queues can be very long.

Because there’s never really a “quiet time” to visit, we highly recommend spending an extra $15 USD on skip-the-line entry. With this skip-the-line ticket, you can walk right up and get on the next train, which is well worth it in our opinion.

Skip-the-line tickets cost $32 USD for adults and $22 USD for children under 11. It’s best to book online in advance to avoid disappointment, because they do tend to sell out, especially during high season.

Related read: If you are trying to save money by backpacking through the country, make sure to check out our guide to backpacking in Brazil. It’s everything I wish I knew before I arrived!

5. When can you visit Christ de Redeemer?

The viewing platform at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil
The views alone are worth the trip!

Christ de Redeemer is open from 8 am until 7 pm daily. The last time that you can take the funicular train up is 5 pm, and trains run every 20 minutes throughout the day.

The best time to visit Christ the Redeemer is first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon to avoid the midday sun and the crowds.

Again, booking a skip-the-line ticket is the best way to make sure you get up there at the time you’d like because there can be long queues even early and late in the day.

6. Where do you purchase your ticket to visit the Redeemer Statue?

Stairs that lead up to the Christ the redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Even with the train, you’ll still need to climb some stairs to explore the area!

You can buy your ticket to the Rio Christ Statue in person at the entrance gate, but these lines can be hours long. We’re not exaggerating – if you don’t book skip-the-line entry, you’ll probably spend way more time queuing than enjoying the train ride and admiring the Redeemer Statue.

That skip-the-line ticket we keep mentioning can be purchased online in advance. It’s only $32 USD and could save you HOURS of waiting, which we think is totally worth it.

If you’d rather hike up to the Redeemer Statue, you will need to pay entry at the final gate at the top of the mountain. You’ll need to bring some cash for this as they don’t accept cards there – you don’t want to get all the way up there and then be turned away!

7. What is the cog train ride up to Christ de Redeemer like?

The train up to the christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
It’s a fun trip but I also loved the hike!

The ride up to Christ de Redeemer is beautiful, winding through tropical forest and giving you glimpses of Rio down below. It’s a super quaint and charming experience.

As you might expect from a cog train, it’s a fairly slow journey. It takes 20 minutes to reach the top, so it’s a lot faster than hiking, but it feels relaxing as the train ambles up the mountain.

Trains depart every 20 minutes and can take up to 180 passengers at a time.

8. Will there be a line to visit Christ de Redeemer?

Tourists line up below the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
It’s a busy place! Photo credit: Vitormarigo Depositphotos

Yes – and it might be hours long.

Buying a skip-the-line pass is definitely the way to go because it will save you so much time – time that you can use to explore the rest of this incredible city!

9. How hard is the hike to Christ de Redeemer?

View of Christ the Redeemer from Parque Lage, Rio
You have to climb quite high!
The old red house and the Corcovado Christ Statue view

We’ll be straight with you: it’s pretty difficult.

The trail is easy to follow, but it’s also steep, with an elevation gain of 719 meters (2,358 feet). Couple that with the hot and humid Rio de Janeiro weather and you’ve got a very challenging journey to contend with.

If you’re a keen hiker and on a tight budget while in Rio, go for it! But if hiking isn’t your thing, then we’d recommend taking the cog train instead.

We hiked up the mountain and we can confirm it was a very tiring and sweaty experience – definitely not for those who aren’t used to hiking in hot weather.

Related read: Brazil is also home to some of the best hikes in South America – like the Two Brothers Hike in Rio!

10. Is it safe to hike to Christ de Redeemer?

Several people told us about robberies and criminals waiting to strike on the Christ de Redeemer hike, but despite those warnings, we did the hike and we never had a problem or felt unsafe.

With that being said, there have been growing reports of incidents since we did the hike, so we don’t really recommend this. We’re not saying don’t do it, per se, but do be aware of what could happen.

If you choose to do the hike, make sure to go in a group, and don’t take any valuables with you, including your phone or camera. We know it’s a shame not to be able to take photos at the top, but it’s not worth the risk.

11. What are the best Christ de Redeemer tours?

View from a helicopter of the Christ the Redeemer staute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The scenic flights are out of this world!

There are several different tours you can take to learn more during your trip to the Christ statue, as well as take the hassle out of your visit and maximize your time in Rio de Janeiro. These are the most highly rated Christ de Redeemer touts available in Rio:

Full-Day Sightseeing Tour of Rio including Redeemer Statue

Tick off all of Rio de Janeiro’s top sights on this full-day tour. In addition to the Christ de Redeemer, you’ll take a cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, eat lunch at a top steakhouse, and visit the iconic Maracanã Stadium.

It costs $131 USD including all entrance fees, lunch, and round-trip transportation.

Half-Day Tour with Redeemer Statue and Sugarloaf Mountain

Summit two of Rio’s mountains on this small group, half-day tour, which allows you to beat the crowds and enjoy incredible views of the city, both from Christ de Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.

The tour leaves early in the morning and at $50 USD per person (or under $100 USD including all entrance fees), it’s a budget-friendly way to see some of the city’s top attractions before they become too crowded.

Early Morning Tour

Be one of the first people in the day to summit Corcovado Mountain and see Christ de Redeemer at its best in the morning light on this early morning tour. You’ll be picked up in an air-conditioned van at around 7 am and enjoy commentary from your knowledgeable guide on your way there as you pass other historical sites in Rio.

At $40 USD this is a budget-friendly option, although you will need to pay the entrance fee at the park, which is around $13 USD.

Private tour

This private day tour of Rio de Janeiro is perfect for those who want an intimate tour experience and are short on time. In addition to visiting the iconic Christ de Redeemer, you’ll see top sights such as the Santa Theresa neighborhood, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, and the beautiful Taunay Waterfall.

Prices start at $240 USD per adult including all admission tickets if you’re traveling in a group of 4. For 2 adults, the price is $310 USD each.

Redeemer Statue and Selaron Steps

This budget-friendly, whistlestop tour will take you to the Rio Christ Statue in an air-conditioned van and then onto the Selaron Steps, which are famous for their colorful, mosaic tiles. You’ll have plenty of time to explore each site and take photos before being dropped back off at your hotel.

The tour starts at $44 USD per person and includes round-trip transportation, as well as your Christ de Redeemer entry ticket. It’s a budget-friendly way to avoid the queues, take all the hassle out of getting to and from the mountain, and see another of Rio’s top sights.

Helicopter tour

For a view that not many people get to enjoy, this helicopter tour takes you over the famous statue. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime view of Christ de Redeemer! You won’t have to worry about any lines or crowds and you’ll get to enjoy panoramic views of Rio and the coast.

You can choose a morning or afternoon flight and the cost is $141 USD per person. The flight requires a minimum of 3-5 passengers, so you may be sharing with a few others. However, if you’re booking this as an unforgettable family experience, you could have the entire helicopter to yourself!

12. How long should you spend at Christ de Redeemer?

Sunset at a viewing platform at the top of the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil
Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro from the air
Photo credit: Dislentev Depositphotos

You won’t need to spend THAT long at the top of Christ de Redeemer. The views are really impressive but there’s not a ton to do up there other than that.

There’s a church inside the base of Christ de Redeemer but it’s not that big and doesn’t take long to walk around. You might see a service happening, especially if you’re visiting on a Sunday. You can also buy souvenirs from the gift shop on the way out.

Really, you can spend as long as you’d like at the top of Christ de Redeemer. Some people like to go up later in the afternoon and stay for sunset, which happens between 5:15-6.40 pm, depending on the time of the year (the shortest day is in June, the longest in December).

Trains run up and down the mountain every 20 minutes, so you can leave pretty much whenever you want.

Personally, we only spent about 20 minutes up there, but you can definitely spend longer. It all depends on you!

13. When is the best time to visit Christ de Redeemer?

In terms of the time of day, earlier in the morning or after 3 pm is the best time because you’ll avoid the bulk of the crowds. The best visibility tends to be in the morning or evening.

You also don’t really want to go up Christ de Redeemer in the middle of the day because it will be very hot and there’s no shade up there. That combined with the crowds makes for a pretty uncomfortable experience.

It’s also best to avoid the high season, and around holidays such as Christmas and Carnival if you can. Christ de Redeemer gets really busy during these times, so it’s best to visit outside of them if you can. And if this is the only time you’ll be in Rio, definitely book a skip-the-line ticket or you’ll be waiting in line for hours.

September and October are generally the most comfortable months to visit Christ de Redeemer because the weather is milder. But really, any time of year is a good time to go, just try to go on a day when the skies are clear, as the amazing views of the city below are half the reason to visit.

If you book skip-the-line tickets online, you’ll receive either a full refund or a different date to visit in the instances of bad weather, so that’s great peace of mind to have! Just keep an eye on weather reports and change your booking date up to 24 hours in advance!

Related read: If you are going to be here during Carnival, check out our best budget-saving tips for Carnival in Rio!

14. What to bring to Christ de Redeemer

A crowd of people at the Christ the Redeemer in Rio
It can be very crowded! Photo credit: Depositphotos Wirestock

Don’t forget your camera (or your smartphone) as you’ll kick yourself when you see those views.

Sunscreen and sunglasses are also a must because there’s no shade up there and the sun is really strong. Remember that you can still burn on cloudy days!

If you’re hiking, you’ll need some cash for the entrance fee at the final gate before you get to the statue, and cash is a good idea for the gift shop if you think you’d like to buy some souvenirs.

It’s also a good idea to bring some bottled water because the Rio weather can be hot and humid.

15. Is visiting Christ de Redeemer in Brazil worth it?

Christ the Redeemer Statue rio
Steps up to the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio

Yes – it’s one of the most famous statues and cultural sites in the world. Going to Rio and not visiting Christ de Redeemer would be like going to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower, or going to New York and not visiting the Empire State Building.

However, we’ll be honest – although it’s a cool thing to do, it wasn’t our most amazing experience in Rio. For us, it was the kind of thing we wanted to tick off our bucket list, and we’re happy that we did, so we did it pretty quickly and didn’t spend hours up there.

We will say that it’s definitely not worth queuing for hours to get up there, so if you are going to visit Christ de Redeemer, book skip-the-line tickets. We know, we’re probably starting to sound like a broken record, but once you’ll see those queues, you’ll understand.

So all in all, visiting Christ de Redeemer, Brazil is worth it for most travelers to Rio de Janeiro – after all, it’s not every day you get to see a modern wonder of the world, is it?

Where to Stay in Rio

view of the pool and beach at PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
Imagine swimming with this view! Photo Credit: PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
a clean hotel room with patio overlooking the ocean
Photo Credit: PortoBay Rio de Janeiro

Rio is a HUGE city, so there are tons of places to stay if you’re hoping to work in a visit to Christ de Redeemer while you’re here. The three most popular areas to stay in Rio are Copacabana, Ipanema, and Lapa/Santa Teresa.

Each location is unique, with Copacabana and Ipanema being close to the beach and Lapa and Santa Teresa more in the historical part of the city. We have recommendations for each area so you can figure out the best option for you.

In Copacabana, budget travelers will love Pura Vida Hostel. Its clean, social, and dorm beds start at $13 USD per night. If you can spend a little more, Nacional Inn Rio Copacabana is a popular choice that’s a few blocks from the beach and has a pool. Luxury travelers should stay at PortoBay Rio de Janeiro. It’s a beachfront hotel with a rooftop pool, gym, spa, and sauna.

In Ipanema, Ipanema Beach House is the best budget option. It’s close to the beach and also has a pool! For medium-budget travelers, Arena Ipanema Hotel is a beachfront property with stunning views and a rooftop pool. For the price, it’s great value. Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro is another fantastic option for luxury travelers. You can’t get any closer to the water and with a rooftop pool and all the facilities you’d expect – it’s perfect!

For budget travelers wanting to stay in Lapa and Santa Teresa, I love the Selina Lapa Rio de Janeiro. The hostel is clean and modern with excellent facilities. The Mansion Aline is located in Santa Teresa and would suit the medium to high-end budget. The hotel has a rooftop jacuzzi as well as breathtaking views over the city.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey poses with the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro
Thanks for reading!

Hopefully, this guide to visiting the Christ de Redeemer Statue was helpful! If you’re planning a trip to Rio, you really shouldn’t miss out on seeing this iconic landmark up close. Plus the views of Rio are second to none!

If you’re planning a trip to this part of the world, check out our other Brazil blogs for more travel inspiration. We spent two months exploring Brazil and learned a lot while visiting that we would love to share with you.

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