Centro Attractions in Rio de Janeiro

Things to do in Centro are often overlooked by tourists, but Rio de Janeiro's downtown has plenty to offer the adventurous visitor. Granted, this is not the place to find beaches and barely-clad beauties, but the centre of Rio de Janeiro is home to some of the city's most impressive colonial architecture, as well as lively nightlife and some of the best Rio de Janeiro museums and galleries.
One of the most charming Rio de Janeiro attractions, the kooky, artistic hillside neighborhood of Santa Teresa, is best visited by bonde (tram) ride from Centro. The last remaining example of what was once the main form of public transport in Rio, the bonde (pronounced bonjee), rattles over the impress Arcos da Lapa (Lapa arches) and up the cobbled streets into Santa Teresa itself.

While Santa Teresa is best explored while the sun shines, Centro is awash (pardon the pun) with good rainy day options, such as the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, which hosts some impressive visiting exhibitions.

While the business heart of Centro is quiet after dark and at weekends, this is when the party district of Lapa comes alive, and is the focal point for many visitors' most memorable nights out in Rio.

While things to do in Centro are plentiful, don't head here on Sundays, when the streets are dangerously quiet, and most shops and attractions are closed.

expert pick

Santa Teresa

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Ladeira de Santa Teresa

Rio's artiest neighborhood... read more

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Bonde de Santa Teresa

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Rua Professor Lélio Gama, 65
Centro

Rio's last remaining street car... read more

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Escadaria Selarón

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Escadaria do Convento de Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa

Hip hop-endorsed ceramics... read more

Arcos da Lapa

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Rua dos Arcos

Lapa Landmark... read more

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

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Rua Primeiro de Março, 66, Centro
Centro

The best place to visit when it rains!... read more

Rua do Lavradio

Rua do Lavradio
Lapa

Step Back in Time... read more

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Feira do Rio Antigo

Rua do Lavradio
Lapa

Shop to the sound of samba... read more

Centro Cultural de Justicia Federal

241 Avenida Rio Branco

A Multi-Purpose Space... read more

Rio Scenarium

R. do Lavrádio - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20230-070, Brazil

Convento de Santa Teresa

Ladeira de Santa Teresa, 52
Santa Teresa

Founded by the Carmelites... read more
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