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Visiting Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio; How To Do It!

UPDATED 2020: I went to Rio de Janeiro for the World Cup in 2014 where I managed to get a free ticket to the World Cup Final, but that’s a whole other story! During my time in Rio De Janeiro there were a few main things that I wanted to do, Copacabana beach, Ipanema beach, Sugar Loaf Mountain, visit the Maracana stadium and of course visitING the Christ the Redeemer statue. Perhaps the most iconic statue in the world.

The Christ the Redeemer Statue is now one of the 7 new wonders of the world so that alone makes it worth the visit! 30m tall, over 1000 tonnes, and overlooking one of the most beautiful cities in the world, visiting Christ the Redeemer was a bucket list item for me, and it lived up to all my years and years of expectations. So how do you go about actually visiting Christ the Redeemer? Let me explain.

visiting Christ the Redeemer Statue
Visiting Christ the Redeemer Statue

There are 3 ways to visit Christ the Redeemer:

By train, by van or by hiking. Check out how to do each one here.

1) Funicular Train/Tram to Christ the Redeemer (this is what I did)

TOP-TIP: Skip the queues and buy your ticket online in advance here!

This is the most popular option, and the option I took when I was in Rio de Janeiro. A tram runs up from Corcovado train station, up Corcovado mountain and takes you to Christ the Redeemer. It takes about 20 minutes and it’s super steep but it’s the most fun option, and the traditional way to get up to the Big Man so I’d recommend it.

Visiting Christ the Redeemer Tram
Visiting Christ the Redeemer Tram

How much does the tram cost?

R$74,00 (high season) and R$61,00 (low season) which is $24 and $20USD

When does the tram run?

The trains run from 8am to 9pm each day, 365 days per year. It can be quite busy so I’d recommend getting a ticket in advance, although it’s a risk because if its a cloudy day, there are no refunds! You can buy tickets online here, or at Rio Sul Shopping Center kiosk, the Copacabana beach Rio Tur kiosk or Largo do Machado kiosk.

How do you get to the tram? 

Good question, it’s a little out of the way but it’s pretty easy. You need to get to the Corcovado train station in Cosme Velho, that’s where the tram leaves from. It’s a sleepy area of Rio and it doesn’t have a subway stop. So you have a couple of choices:

A) Take the subway to Largo do Machado and walk the 40min/2.5km to Cosme Velho

B) Take an uber/taxi direct to Cosme Velho

C) Subway then Uber

D) Bus! Take the Metro-Onibus Expresso combination 580 from Largo do Machado or bus lines 570, 583 and 584 from Leblon, Ipanema or Copacabana, they’ll all take you to Cosme Velho (I took it from Copacabana, super easy).

Here’s a google map showing you how to get from the Largo do Machado subway stop to the tram by foot:

2) Take a Van to Christ the Redeemer

TOP-TIP: Buy your van ticket in advance without getting ripped-off HERE. 

The second most popular entrance, and a quicker option when visiting Christ the Redeemer, is to take a van straight from Rio de Janeiro city, all the way up the Corcovado hill, straight to the main event.

You can jump on any of the vans right in Praça do Lido, Copacabana (R$41/R$51 depending on the season), Largo do Machado (R$41/R$51) or Estradas das Paineiras, next to the former Hotel Paineiras (R$22/R$32). You can buy the tickets right where you get in the van, and the prices include a return ticket and entry to Christ the Redeemer

You can also grab a taxi, it’s about R$20 round-trip to enter the park, then another R$20 or so for the shuttle up to the monument. The views from the drive are better than the tram, but the journey isn’t quite as romantic. And to be honest, the views from the top are the best of the lot!

The vans to Christ the Redeemer
The vans to Christ the Redeemer

3) Hike to Christ the Redeemer

I certainly didn’t do this in the heat of Rio, probably nursing a groggy head after a night of caipirinhas on Copacabana! But if you’re hardcore, you can do the 3-hour heat through the Tijuca rainforest. The trail begins at Parque Lage next to the Botanical Garden. To hike the trail is R$21 in the low season and  R$31 in the high.

This hike is tough, it’s steep and it’s sweaty so be prepared if you take it on – proper shoes, water etc, and enjoy!

Hike to Christ the Redeemer
Hike to Christ the Redeemer

My Experience Visiting Christ the Redeemer

I was loving Brazil. The World Cup was on, I was with old friends, the sun was shining and it was a big party zone. When we decided to visit Christ the Redeemer it was late afternoon. I was with a friend of mine who scored me my free ticket to the World Cup Final, anyway, we descended on Corcovado train station and there was a huge queue.

It was stupid of us, it was peak season AND the World Cup. My buddy lost a leg a few years ago though and Brazil is very accommodating to people with disabilities, so John being John, he managed to bypass the queue for all of us! Before long we were on the tram and on the way up. We arrived in time to see the sunset, more by luck than planning. 

Once you get up to the foot of the statue, there are HUNDREDS of people. Try to phase them out of your mind, but it’s packed up there and I’d by lying if I said it didn’t taint the experience a little. It’s tough even to take a photo when it’s so rammed, but the views are spectacular and the fact that you can see the huge statue, one you’ve seen on the news, on movies, on TV for years, is right there is amazing.

We arrived just before sunset, so we soaked up the views and took pics once the sun was down, breathtaking views everywhere. I love visiting famous places an hour before sunset because you get the day and night version of the experience! Anyway, soon we had enough of the crowds and headed back down the tram and out for dinner. A brilliant day.

Christ the Redeemer Statue

 

dinner rio de janeiro
Dinner with my friends after an amazing day

visiting Christ the Redeemer Statue

NOTES:

Best time to visit Christ the Redeemer?

First thing in the morning. It’s less hot and there are fewer tourists. Or an hour before sunset so you get it in the light and the dark/

Best way to visit Christ the Redeemer?

The tram. 100%. 

Christ the redeemer views at night
Christ the Redeemer views at night

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