Downtown, view from Santa Tereza
Downtown, view from Santa Tereza.

The Downtown houses the financial heart of the city, this neighborhood is predominantly commercial. It has a mixture of historic buildings and modern skyscrapers.


The documented history of the neighborhood began in 1567, when the 120 Portuguese who had founded the city of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro two years ago in Morro Cara de Cão (Urca), moved to the Morro do Castelo (Castle Hill), which offered better conditions for expansion. From this hill, the city expanded in the following centuries, occupying the entire current Downtown.


Since 1763, when the city of Rio de Janeiro was elevated to the status of capital of the colony, until 1960, when the city lost the condition of the Brazilian capital to Brasília, the Downtown was the scene of some of the most important decisions and events in the history of Brazil. Architectural remains of this past persist today, having become important tourist attractions.






Praça Mauá


Mosteiro de São Bento (Monastery of St. Benedict)
Monastery of St. Benedict

Mosteiro de São Bento (Monastery of St. Benedict)

R. D Gerardo, 68 - Centro, map  Phone: 21 2206-8100

"Founded in 1590 by monks from Bahia, the Benedictine Monastery of Rio de Janeiro was built at the request of the inhabitants themselves of the newly founded city of San Sebastian. The church interior is rich, fully lined with gilded ranging from the late seventeenth century Baroque to the second half of the eighteenth century Rococo style.


In full center of the metropolis, is preserved here a place of silence, peace, prayer and work. The two main daily celebrations are the Divine Office and Mass with Gregorian chant."


Open: Everyday from 7am to 6pm. Vespers with Gregorian chant from Monday to Friday at 6pm - (Saturdays at 5pm and Sundays at 5:30 pm)

Site: Mosteiro





Teatro Municipal (Municipal theater)

Praça Floriano, s/nº, Centro map  Phone: 21 2332-9191

"One of the most imposing and beautiful buildings in Rio de Janeiro, the Theatro Municipal was inaugurated on July 14, 1909. Built facing the Praça Floriano, known as Cinelandia, downtown, the Municipal Theater is the main concert hall of Brazil and one of the most important in South America. His story is fascinating and mingles with the trajectory of culture throughout the country a little over a century old, the Theater has received major international artists, as well as top names Brazilian dance, music and opera. "


Guided Visit by phone scheduling:21- 2332-922 / 2332-9005 

Tuesday to Friday: 11am,12am, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm Saturday and holidays: 11am,12am, 1pm.
Adults: R$10,00, Children: R$5,00, Older than 60: R$5,00

Site:Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro

Museu Nacional de Belas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts)

Av. Rio Branco, 199 - Centro map  Phone: 21- 2219-8474
"The Museum of Fine Arts originated by the art collection brought from Portugal by D. João VI in 1808. Currently, the Museum is considered the country's most important art gallery. It has more than 70 thousand items, among paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints and Brazilian and foreign of all time. "


Open: Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 6pm. Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 12am to 5pm.



Biblioteca Nacional (National Library)

Av. Rio Branco, 219, Centro, map  Phone: 21 3095-3879
"The National Library of Brazil is considered by Unesco a top ten national libraries of the world, and is the largest library in Latin America."


Open: Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm. Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 12:30am to 5:30pm.


Largo da Carioca


Igreja São Francisco Penitência (Order San Francisco Penitence Church)
San Francisco Penitence Church

Igreja Venerável Ordem Terceira São Francisco Penitência(Venerable Third Order San Francisco Penitence Church)

Largo da Carioca, 5 - Centro, map  Phone: 21 2262-0197

"Construction of the church began in 1657. And the chapel, whose interior is all carved in cedar covered with gold particles, integrates the beautiful Convent and Church of St. Anthony, forming one of the most important sets of Brazilian colonial architecture."


Open: Tuesday to Friday

Site: tripadvisor  g1.globo

Financial District

Av. Chile, Centro map
"The Avenida República do Chile, Rio de Janeiro, boasts tall and imposing buildings. It is located in a new area inside the Old Town. In fact, the avenue is in a terrace resulting from almost total dismantling of Santo Antonio Mountain.


The hill stood between the Largo da Carioca and Lavradio Street (Lapa) and this hill was almost completely demolished around the middle of the 20th century, aiming to follow a policy of urban expansion of the city. Morro de Santo Antonio, the only remaining part is where the Convent and Church of Santo Antônio and São Francisco Penitence Church are placed, facing the Largo da Carioca. Fortunately these two historical relics have been preserved from colonial times.


After the Morro de Santo Antônio was devastated, one of the first and largest construction site was the new Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, a masterpiece of modernist architecture that can be better understood and appreciated if it's seen inside. "

Praça XV


Paço Imperial

Praça XV de Novembro, 48 - Centro, map  Phone: 21 2533-4407

"It was not just the fact that the "Paço Imperial" (Imperial Palace) was the first residence of the royal family who transformed this palace into something as important and grandiose. This site accompanied many events of great importance to Rio de Janeiro, as the coronations of D. Pedro I and D. Pedro II, the "Day of Fico," Abolition of Slavery and the Proclamation of the Republic, and it has also served as piers and installation of a fountain, which supplied the ships and houses nearby.


Stage of key events in the history of Brazil, the Imperial Palace concentrates references and remarkable values, both from a historical standpoint and as an architecture and art work.


Today, the Imperial Palace is a multicultural area with intense and diverse program of visual arts, cinema, theater, music, library, educational activities, workshops, services, stores and restaurants."


Open: Tuesday to Friday from 7:30am to 4pm. Saturday from 8 am to 12am. Sunday and holidays from 9am to 1:30pm.

Site:Paço Imperial



Igreja da Candelária
Candelária Church

Igreja da Candelária

R. Candelária, 81 - Centro, map  Phone: 21 2262-0197

"Construction of the church began in 1657. And the chapel, whose interior is all carved in cedar covered with gold particles, integrates the beautiful Convent and Church of St. Anthony, forming one of the most important sets of Brazilian colonial architecture.


Today, this church is a sumptuous traditional wedding scene of Rio society. The Church of Candelária is a major artistic works of the nineteenth century Brazil, the quality of the names involved, the neoclassical architecture and the lush interior decoration, mixed style and neoclassical eclectic. To this is added the beautiful facade, a masterpiece of the eighteenth century. Like most colonial churches of Rio de Janeiro, the facade of the church of Candelária is facing the Guanabara Bay, since that was the main route of entry into the city."


Open: Tuesday to Friday from 7:30am to 4pm. Saturday from 8 am to 12am. Sunday and holidays from 9am to 1:30pm.


Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil - CCBB (Bank of Brazil Cultural Center)

Rua Primeiro de Março, 66 - Centro map  Phone: 21- 3808-2030 
"The Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil deserves respect for the large number of initiatives engaged to the culture and art. Besides hosting the most anticipated exhibitions in the city, CCBB has three theaters, auditorium, two cinemas and a library with over 140,000 titles on various subjects. Moreover, only the architectural details alone justify the visit. With neoclassical traits, CCBB has huge marble columns in the hall, which extend to the beautiful skylight."


Open: Tuesday to Sunday and holidays from 9am to 9pm.



Casa França-Brasil (France/Brazil Home)

Rua Visconde de Itaboraí, 78 - Centro map  Phone: 21- 2332-5120
"The story of the building of the France-Brazil began to be written in 1816, when Country French Artistic Mission arrived at Rio de Janeiro, with its official architect, Grandjean de Montigny. He was the author of this building, which is the most important neoclassical symbol of city.


Only in 1982, anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro idealized this building as a cultural area, combining Brazilian and French resources to restore the building and rescue the architectural lines designed by Montigny."


Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 1am to 8pm.

Site:Casa França-Brasil




desenvolvimento:Claudia Valle