Praça 15 de Novembro, site of the 1869 Mercado Público, is the centerpiece of the city. The old building bustles during daytime hours, when vendors sell fresh produce, meats and seafood, as well as the all-important erva maté for chimarrão (tea).

Three blocks south, the picturesque Praça da Matriz is dominated by the early 20th-century neoclassical Catedral Metropolitana. On the northern side, you’ll find the elegant mid-19th-century edifice of the Teatro São Pedro and the sculpted facade of the Biblioteca Público.