15 Best Beaches in Rio de Janeiro

barra da tijuca beach

Rio de Janeiro is known for its wonderful world-class beaches, which attract millions of tourists every year. 

From the iconic Copacabana and Ipanema to lesser-known but equally stunning stretches of sand, there’s no shortage of options for beach-goers in this vibrant Brazilian city. 

Here are our picks for the top 15 beaches in Rio de Janeiro:

1. Praia de Copacabana (Copacabana Beach)

copacabana beach
Copacabana Beach by alobos life/Flickr

Perhaps the most famous beach in Rio, Copacabana is known for its iconic black and white mosaic sidewalk and lively atmosphere. 

It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, relaxing and people-watching. 

Copacabana is where most of the visitors in Rio de Janeiro choose to stay, and not surprisingly, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and other amenities nearby.

2. Praia de Ipanema (Ipanema beach)

ipanema beach
Ipanema beach by Marcos Paulo Prado/Unsplash

Located just southwest of Copacabana, Ipanema beach is another popular destination in Rio. 

It actually consists of two separate beaches – Leblon Beach and Ipanema Beach. 

The stretch of sand they form together is about 3,5 km long. It’s known for its upscale atmosphere and fashionable beach-goers or as they often describe it – a place to see and to be seen. 

It is a great spot for surfing and swimming. When you feel tired after a long day on the beach, you can choose from a really great variety of places to have a nice meal or just a refreshing drink. 

3. Praia do Leblon

praia do leblon
Praia do Leblon by Alex Teixeira/Unsplash

Leblon is a stretch of soft golden sand, located to the west of Ipanema, right next to the Dois Irmaos Hill. 

It is considered more quiet, while Ipanema is usually more lively and full of visitors. 

It’s considered one of the safest in Rio and is also a great spot for swimming, sunbathing or just chilling. 

4. Praia da Barra da Tijuca (Barra da Tijuca Beach)

barra da tijuca beach
Barra da Tijuca Beach by Jose Guertzenstein/Pixabay

Long and wide, Praia da Barra da Tijuca (or just Barra da Tijuca Beach) is located in the West Zone of the city and is known for its clear and clean emerald waters. 

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The stretch of white soft sand is outstanding! It’s a popular spot for kitesurfing, and there are plenty of amenities nearby, including restaurants, bars, and shopping centres.

5. Praia do Abricó (Abricó Beach)

abricó beach
Abricó Beach by André Sampaio/CC BY-SA 3.0

Located in the West Zone of the city, Praia do Abricó is a remote and secluded beach that is known for its beautiful scenery and quiet atmosphere. 

It’s a great spot for swimming and relaxing. The beach is also known for its huge oval rocks, scattered around the beach and in the water. 

As Praia do Abricó is situated on the outskirts of Rio, the area is sparsely populated and is mostly covered by a dense tropical rainforest. 

6. Praia de Grumari (Grumari Beach)

Grumari beach is located in the western part of Rio de Janeiro, right next to the west of Abricó Beach. 

Because of its location, Grumari is usually much quieter in comparison with Copacabana or Ipanema. 

However, on busy summer days, especially on weekends, you will hardly find a place for your own beach towel. 

We should also mention that there are a few small and cozy beach bars to enjoy a glass of caipirinha after the beach. 

7. Praia de São Conrado (São Conrado Beach)

são conrado beach
São Conrado Beach by VinnyWiki/Wikimedia Commons

São Conrado is one of the less crowded beaches. 

It is located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, on the middle of the way between Ipanema and Barra da Tijuca. It is known for being more clean as well as for its soft golden sands. 

You will find a few small and cozy beach bars to have a refreshing drink after a long day on the beach.

8. Prainha

Prainha is a 500 metres long stretch of fine golden sand in Zona West of Rio de Janeiro. 

It is well known for its clear emerald waters and picturesque setting. It’s a popular spot for surfing and other water sports, but it also attracts lovers of nature because of its proximity to the Prainha Municipal Natural Park. 

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9. Praia da Joatinga (Joatinga Beach)

joatinga beach
Joatinga Beach by Motta Produções/Unsplash

Located just east of Barra da Tijuca, Joatinga is a small and secluded beach. 

Known for its soft golden sands, it is situated right beneath the cliffs of Joa – a beautiful upscale neighbourhood in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro. 

It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing but it also attracts people who just come here to enjoy the beautiful view and observe the sea from the nearby cliffs.

10. Praia do Flamengo (Flamengo Beach)

flamengo beach
Flamengo Beach by MARCUS LEITE MLMIDIA/Pixabay

Located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Flamengo is a beautiful wide stretch of fine golden sand. 

It is very popular with locals and is definitely one of the most beautiful and iconic beaches in the city. 

It’s a great spot for walking and sunbathing. However, because of the long term pollution of the Guanabara Bay, swimming is not recommended. 

11. Praia Vermelha (Red Beach)

red beach
Red Beach by Mauro Lima/Unsplash

Located in the southern part of the city, Praia Vermelha (Red Beach in English) is a popular beach that is known for its lively atmosphere and proximity to the vibrant historical neighbourhood of Urca. 

It’s approximately 250 metres long and is a great spot for swimming and sunbathing. 

In addition, you will find a nice small beach bar to have a refreshing drink after the beach. Like all the other beaches in Rio, it offers a really soft stretch of fine golden sand. 

12. Praia do Leme (Leme Beach)

Located in the easternmost part of Copacabana, Praia do Leme (Leme Beach) is a beautiful 950 metres long stretch of soft golden sand. 

Leme is known for its beautiful views and its scenic location right next to the Rock of Leme. 

It is considered to be one of the very best surfing spots in the city. 

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The Rock of Leme is a popular spot for watching the sunset, and there are also a few small restaurants and bars in the area.

13. Praia da Macumba (Macumba Beach)

macumba beach
Macumba Beach by VinnyWiki/CC-BY-SA-4.0

Praia da Macumba is a 2,5 km long stretch of soft golden sand. 

It is located in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro and is considered one of the most remote beaches. 

Praia da Macumba is also less crowded and safer for visitors, at least during the day. 

It is a good choice for surfing, sunbathing and swimming. 

There are some very nice small bars to enjoy a refreshing drink while chilling on the beach. 

14. Praia do Recreio (Recreio Beach)

recreio beach
Recreio Beach by Fwellisch/Wikimedia Commons

Praia do Recreio stretches for miles to the east of Praia da Macumba and Pedra do Pontal (a huge rock on the beach). 

It offers huge waves and soft golden sands, which attracts lovers of surfing. Praia do Recreio is considered safer during the day in comparison with the popular beaches of South Zone. 

The area is less crowded because it is less touristy. The beach is mostly visited by local families. 

15. Praia da Reserva (Reserva Beach)

reserva beach
Reserva Beach by Andrevruas/CC-BY-3.0

Praia da Reserva stretches for miles to the west of Praia da Barra da Tijuca in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro. It is known for its white sands and turquoise water. 

It is a great spot for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, kitesurfing and many others. 

It is famous as one of the least crowded and safest beaches of the city, although visitors are recommended to leave before dusk. 

Overall, Rio de Janeiro has no shortage of beautiful beaches to choose from, and each one offers something unique. 

Whether you’re looking for a lively, crowded beach or a more secluded spot to relax, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this stunning city.