What to do Rio de Janeiro - City centre (Centro)
historical centre of Rio de Janeiroconsists of some notable colonial edifices, fragmented between modern office towers.
Best to start at the central square near the water,
Praça XV de Novembro(15 November Square), named after the date of proclamation of the Republic of Brazil in 1889.
From here, the pedestrian friendly area of several blocks north westward can be easily explored on foot.
Centro, Rio de Janeiro at dusk
Landmarks to look out for in the historical centre of Rio de Janeiro are, among others:
– Paço Imperial – Praça XV de Novembro
After Dom João fled the motherland Portugal for Rio de Janeiro, the royal family based themselves in this former governor’s residence.
Travessa do Comércio: Eating and drinking
in downtown Rio de Janeiro
|– Church Nossa Senhora da Candelária –
Praço Pio X
One of the most impressive and historical
churches in Rio de Janeiro. The interior is a mixture of baroque and renaissance styles.
– Travessa do Comércio – Entry from Praça XV de Noviembro
A lively, pedestrians-only cobblestone street with
bars and eateries in downtown Rio de Janeiro, guarded by a historical archway.
– Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil – Rua Primeiro de Março 66
One of the few excellent cultural centres throughout the country, sponsored by Banco do Brasil. Also this one in Rio de Janeiro is accommodated in a beautiful historical building and offers a cinema, theatres and temporal exhibitions.
– Espaço Cultural da Marinha – Av Alfred Agache
This is a cultural centre and maritime museum, opened in 1996 and is situated in the harbour (where boats leave Rio de Janeiro for Niterói and other destinations in the Guanabara Bay).
– Saara – Roughly between Uruguaiana metro station and Campo de Santana
Pedestrian streets crammed with small shops making this area in Rio de Janeiro like a huge bazaar, not in the least because of the many entrepreneurs of Lebanese origin. These days more and more immigrants of Asian descent dominate the street scene of Saara.
Saara, bustling neighbourhood in downtown Rio de Janeiro
Still in Centro, but a bit further out are:
– Monastery São Bento (Mosteiro de São Bento) – Rua Dom Gerardo 68
North of the city centre of Rio de Janeiro. This is a secluded monastery, which is still in function. It has a beautiful baroque interior.
– Igreja de São Francisco da Penitência – Largo da Carioca 5
This Rio de Janeiro church and convent is one of the best baroque specimens in Brazil.
Theatro Municipal - Rio de Janeiro
|– Rio de Janeiro Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana) – Av República do Chile 245, Lapa
The huge, modern cathedral of Rio de Janeiro looks somewhat like a beehive. The 64 metres / 210 ft high stained glass windows are its eye catchers.
– Rio de Janeiro Theatre (Theatro Municipal) – Rua Manuel de Carvalho
Epicentre of ballet,
opera and classical concerts in Rio de Janeiro. The building itself is an opulent Belle époque creature (guided tours available).
Further south is a lively area called Cinelândia, which is a public square chock-full of restaurants, bars, cinemas and street musicians.