- The first public park to be opened in Rio de Janeiro, Passeio Público is an oasis of calm sandwiched between the hustle and bustle of Centro and the down-at-heel sidewalks of Lapa. Patrolled by security guards, the park offers abundant green spaces, trickling streams traversed by tiny bridges, tropical vegetation, and a host of stray cats. You are likely to spot herons by the streams looking for a bite to eat, while local office workers enjoy their own take-out lunches on the abundant benches. It's a great place to take five during a day s shopping or sightseeing in Centro and Lapa. - Lucy Bryson
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