Architecture in Rio de Janeiro

At first glance, Rio de Janeiro architecture can appear to consist mainly of modern high rises set against a backdrop of breezeblock favelas. Take a closer look, however, and you'll find there is much more to architecture in Rio. Magnificent churches, streets packed with colonial buildings and art deco constructions that pop up unexpectedly across the city - all can be seen here. The best places to admire Rio's colonial architecture are arguably Centro and Santa Teresa, both of which provide a glimpse of the city in times past. Our number one pick, Rua do Lavradio, is the oldest street in the city, and a great place to pick up antiques as well as to admire the buildings. Meanwhile, Centro's hilltop sister Santa Teresa features cobbled streets lined with crumbling colonial mansions, all of which can be admired from the antique bonde (tram) as it rattles along. Architecture buffs should keep their eyes peeled at all times while wandering around downtown Rio - Centro and Lapa are both home to some stunning buildings sitting alongside less interesting office blocks. Lapa is also home to the love-it-or-loathe it modernist cathedral, while the work of Brazil's most acclaimed architect, Oscar Niemeyer, can be admired at his space-age Modern Art Museum, across the bay in Niteroi.

Rua do Lavradio

Rua do Lavradio
Lapa

Step Back in Time... read more

Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Niteroi

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Miranda da Boa Viagem
Niterói

Space age archictecture... read more

expert pick

Catedral Metropolitana

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Avenida República de Chile, 245
Centro

Beautiful, or a beast?... read more

Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Teatro Municipal

Av. Rio Branco - Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil
Centro

Arcos da Lapa

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Rua dos Arcos

Lapa Landmark... read more

Beco do Comercio

Praça Quinze de Novembro

Happy Hour, Happy People... read more

Arco do Teles

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Praça XV de Novembro

Centro's hidden history... read more

Biblioteca Nacional

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Av. Rio Branco, 219
Centro

The largest in Latin America... read more

expert pick

Igreja da Candelária

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Praça Pio X

Magnificent, a landmark of Rio... read more
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