Sighstseeing Rio’s historic center is a must-go during your visit
Those visiting Rio de Janeiro should take a tour around the city’s historic center. It’s packed with hundreds of year-old buildings and streets that played an important role in Brazilian life from the mid 19th Century until when Rio lost its federal district status to Brasilia in the 1960s. Until then the city was undoubtedly the cultural and political center of the country.
The tour should include Avenida Rio Branco (former Central Ave) with its historic buildings like the National Library, Largo da Carioca, Cinelândia, then taking Rua do Ouvidor until Rua Primeiro de Março. Through these streets the visitor can see and visit museums, cultural centers and other places that served as meeting points for artists and intellectuals.
The tour has become even easier since Rio’s Light Rail Vehicle System (known in Rio by the acronym VLT) has gone into operation. There are two lines: one linking Santos Dummont Airport to the Bus Terminal Novo Rio and another one going from there to Praça XV, passing through the Olympic Boulevard and by the futuristic Museu do Amanhã. You have to embark the VLT with your card charged at least with the basic fare, which is R$ 3.80 and validate inside the vehicle.
Here there are three suggestions for stops:
Open in 1909, it receives orchestras, dance and ballet companies and operas, either performed by local or international attractions. It was in this place the historic event led by singer Eliseth Cardoso in the 1970s, becoming the first woman and popular singer to perform on that stage. The Theater is facing Cinelandia, a large square that used to be packed with movie theaters once and has been adopted as one of the most important demonstration places in town. It was in the theater that Barack Obama made a speech during the last state visit of a US president to Brazil.
Address: Praça Floriano, S/N – Centro, get there by VLT, Line 1
RUA DO OUVIDOR
It’s pratically a scenario, a narrow street with many buildings that took part in the country’s history. There were newspapers headquarters, jewelries, bookstores, bars and restaurants. For sometime it was THE place for new trends in the country. In Ouvidor street opened the first Rio’s Patisserie. In one of those, cariocas were presented to the icecream in the late 1800s. A samba school song immortalized its corner with Primeiro de Março.
ARCO DO TELES
It’s a passage among 18th Century buildings near Praça XV and Rua do Ouvidor. By night, the place is packed with people seeking the open-door tables of trendy bars and restaurants during the happy hour.
Address: Praça Quinze de Novembro, 34 A – Centro, get there by VLT, Line 2