Way back in January 1985, Rio de Janeiro was gearing up to host a rock festival of gargantuan proportions. Queen, AC/DC, Yes and Rod Stewart were among those due in town for the very first Rock in Rio.
More than 30 years on, the festival will once again return to the city of its birth, with a lineup that is arguably unrivalled in size by any other festival on the globe – Drake, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, P!nk, IRON MAIDEN, Bon Jovi, and Muse to name just a few.
To celebrate the city that made this all possible, we've put together a quick guide on the must-see sites. From scenes of sporting prowess and vibrant nights out, to tranquil nature spots and luscious beaches, the city really does have a lot to offer, whatever your passion.
If any city can claim to have been the epicentre of the sporting world over recent years, it's Rio de Janeiro. Host of the FIFA World Cup in 2014, and then the Olympic Games in 2016, the city held the eye of sports fans the world over.
Rock in Rio actually takes place in the Olympic Park, which hosted such memorable moments as Usain Bolt's dominant display and hometown hero Rafaela Silva's ascent from favela to Olympic glory; so you'll get the chance to explore the site of sporting heroics while you're at the festival.
Sadly the iconic Maracanã stadium has fallen on hard-times of late. But for the football fan visiting Rio there are countless teams spread across the city, so the chances are there will be some football to watch while you're in town.
Tijuca Forest is, by most accounts, the largest urban forest anywhere in the world. Situated in the heart of the city, the national park covers 32 square kilometres and houses hundreds of species of plants and wildlife. Hidden within are lakes, waterfalls, streams and even the odd restaurant to keep you fuelled.
It is also home to the Corcovado mountain, upon the peak of which sits Rio's most famous landmark and one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World, Christ the Redeemer.
Thanks to the peerless carnival in February, and extravagant New Year's Eve celebrations, Rio has a reputation as being a lively party city. What may come as a surprise to outsiders is that Copacabana and Ipanema, the names that might spring to mind first when thinking about a night out, are not the best places to look.
Downtown Lapa and its wealth of bars and clubs should be the first port of call for anyone out for a party in the city. Wander around the vibrant streets and you'll soon find something that takes your fancy.
You probably don't need us to tell you about Copacabana beach, there aren't many in the world that are quite as famous. Naturally it gets pretty busy, but it's basically a must-do if you're visiting the city.
The beach at Barra de Tijuca – the closest to the Rock in Rio site – is the city's longest, stretching over an impressive 11 kilometres. As well as serving as a relaxation spot to kick back and sip cocktails, the beach is also well-loved by water-sports enthusiasts, with surfers of all kinds taking to the inviting sea.
If art is your thing, then head straight to Centro. As the name suggests, it is the historical centre of the city, and it is home to the must see artistic spots.
There's Museu Nacional de Belas Artes for fine-art enthusiasts, as well as the city's artistic hub – Museu de Arte do Rio – filled with a vast array of exhibitions covering all manner of styles. Metres from here is the Boulevard Olimpico, made famous by the impressive street art that were the subject of many iconic images at the Rio Olympics.
Book tickets, accommodation and extras for Rock In Rio 2019 here