Beyond the famous beaches and 24/7 party culture, Rio is a city enriched with culture, from museums to arthouse cinemas and art studios.
Since achieving independence from the Portuguese royal family in 1822, Rio has grown economically, culturally and politically to develop a pace all of its own.
Cariocas have fondly named Rio “Cidade Maravilhosa” (Marvellous City) – and with good reason! There is always something new discover in Rio thanks to the amalgamation of a strong sense of history and heritage with cultural influences from all over the world. Rio is pulsating with pure magic.
Knowing where to start in experiencing the magic of the Marvellous City can be intimidating! We have a few tips to get your started…
Located amongst the hills of Santa Marta, Botafogo has a reputation for being a laid back, safe neighbourhood of whimsical streets, museums, quaint cafes and art house cinemas. It is tipped to be an artistic neighbourhood like New York’s Soho, with a variety of creative and shared workspaces.
Away from the “touristy” areas of Ipanema and Copacabana, Botafogo hosts some new foodie hotspots that showcase only the best locally sourced produce. The prices are fair and a welcome break from the standards beach kiosk snacks!
Botafogo is home to Brazil’s only institution that is dedicated to indigenous affairs. Museu do Índio (The Museum of the Indian) features exhibitions on Brazil’s past and present indigenous people. The museum contains 14,000 objects, 50,000 photographs and 200 sound recordings. A visit is a must for anyone interested in finding out more about Rio’s heritage and history!
Centro & Lapa
A visit to the centre of the city will be worth your while (and venturing from the beach for!). The city centre is home to the most museums, cultural and historic destinations in Rio.
While in Centro you can visit The Monastery of St. Benedict, The Metropolitan Cathedral, Confeitaria Colombo, the National Library, the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, the Casa França-Brasil, Museu Histórico Nacional and the National Museum of Fine Arts… and many more!
The adjoining neighbourhood of Lapa is home to Rio’s best nightlife! Check out our top spots (insert link) to party in Rio!
Lapa houses some of the oldest buildings city. Rua da Lavradio is a street lined with tall colonial buildings, most of which are now used as antique stores or restaurants. Nearby, you can visit the Escadaria Selaron (Lapa Steps) and the Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Arches).
Santa Teresa is perched high above the city and boasts some of the most exceptional views of Rio. After years of neglect, Santa Teresa is now one of Rio’s most charming neighbourhoods, with cobblestone pathways and leafy streets. It is home to several artists and their studios and some of Rio’s best bars and gastronomy experiences.
A day in Santa Teresa isn’t complete without visiting Parque das Ruinas. The park is home to the ruins of the mansion that once belonged to Brazilian heiress Laurinda Santos Lobo. The heiress played host to Rio’s intellectuals and artists until her death in 1946. Make your way to the top viewing platform for one of the greatest panoramic views of Rio. If you plan your visit right, you can even watch the sun set while enjoying one of the outdoor concerts. Pure wanderlust.
Have you caught Rio fever? Contact us to book your dream Rio holiday and experience the Cidade Maravilhosa.