Top things to do

Top Choice Dance in Centro & Cinelândia

Ginga Tropical

For a look at Brazil's rich folkloric dances, book a ticket to an evening performance of Ginga Tropical. Some 16 different dance styles are represented, including a somewhat spooky Orixás performance, lightning-fast…
Top Choice Museum in Centro & Cinelândia

Museu Histórico Nacional

Housed in the colonial arsenal, which dates from 1764, the impressive Museu Histórico Nacional contains historic relics relating to the history of Brazil from its founding to its early days as a republic. Highlights…
Church in Centro & Cinelândia

Igreja São Francisco da Penitência & Convento de Santo Antônio

Overlooking the Largo da Carioca is the baroque Igreja São Francisco da Penitência, dating from 1726. Restored to its former glory, the church's sacristy, which dates from 1745, has blue Portuguese tiles and an elab…
Church in Centro & Cinelândia

Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Candelária

Built between 1775 and 1894, NS de Candelária was the largest and wealthiest church of imperial Brazil. The interior is a combination of baroque and Renaissance styles. The ceiling above the nave reveals the origin …
Historic Building in Centro & Cinelândia

Palácio Tiradentes

The stately Tiradentes Palace houses the seat of the legislative assembly. Exhibits on the 1st and 2nd floors relate the events that took place there between 1926 and the present. One of its darkest hours was when t…
Museum in Centro & Cinelândia

Museu de Arte Moderna

At the northern end of Parque do Flamengo, the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) is immediately recognizable by its striking postmodern edifice designed by Alfonso Eduardo Reidy. The landscaping of Burle Marx is no less i…
Church in Centro & Cinelândia

Mosteiro de São Bento

This is one of the finest colonial churches in Brazil. Built between 1617 and 1641 on Morro de São Bento, the monastery has an excellent view over the city. The simple facade hides a baroque interior richly decorate…
Church in Centro & Cinelândia

Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário e São Benedito

Sadly, a fire in 1967 destroyed much of the elaborate interior of this historic church, leaving only the unadorned walls that date back to the early 1700s. Dedicated to our Lady of the Rosary as well as the black St…
Samba in Centro & Cinelândia

Pedra do Sal

The Monday- and Friday-night street parties are major draws for lovers of samba, whether they be Brazilian or foreign, rich or poor. The lively samba da mesa features a handful of changing players who belt out well-…
Historic Site in Centro & Cinelândia

Morro da Conceição

One of Rio's oldest neighborhoods, this pretty area feels like a tiny slice of Portugal, with its old shuttered houses, quiet cobblestone streets and twittering birds. While there isn't a lot to do here (it's really…