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Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro – Local Tips Of The Neighborhood

Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro – Local Tips Of The Neighborhood

Wondering what to do in Rio de Janeiro? One of Rio’s top attractions is one that not many people talk about, but is in my opinion, one of the most charming neighborhoods I’ve ever been to: Santa Teresa!

Right next to the busy city center is a mountain that is home to the quiet and artistic neighborhood of Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro – with a view of down to the city that will drop any jaw open. We’ll tell you all the details!

WHAT TO DO IN SANTA TERESA?

Although Santa Teresa is a residential neighborhood there are some options of tours and interesting places to visit there, one good tip is to meet the neighborhood on cloudy days. See some options of places you can visit there.

Local Options to Enjoy the Neighborhood of Santa Teresa

1  SANTA TERESA TRAM

The most charming tip is without a question to take the Santa Teresa Tram and pass the Arcos da Lapa enjoying the wonderful view of the ride, enjoy the location of the neighborhood and be dazzled by the sights of downtown of the city and to Guanabara Bay, Museums and the airport;

atrações-gratuitas-no-rio-de-janeiro-arcos-da-lapa

2 Visit the Tram Museum

The space has photos, parts and models about the tram and even one old life-size donkey-pulled tram. The museum is located at the entrance of the Santa Teresa garage and cable car maintenance place. This is a good option for the ones who loves the story of the machine, and it’s interesting to see the transportation that it was a part of Carioca’s life from the second half of XIX century until the end of the 1950’s.

Address: Rua Carlos Brant, 14 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 

Opening hours: From Monday to Friday, from 9 until 4:30pm.

3 TIJUCA NATIONAL FOREST AND CORCOVADO

The neighborhood has access to Tijuca National Park and to Corcovado, two places that also worth the visit, for sure;

4 Ruins Park

One of the most tourist attractions of the neighborhood it’s the museum called Parque das Ruínas (Ruins Park), undoubtedly a must see. That was the residence of the singer Laurinda dos Santos Lobo and over there used to happen lots of parties and events with famous artists  of Carioca Society like Tarsila do Amaral, in the XIX century, and received even presidents. 

In 1993 the building was declared a monument that preserves the structure in ruins and apparent bricks, from there we have an amazing and privileged 360º view of the Guanabara Bay, downtown of the city e one tip: the photos from there are amazing.

The local always offres free programming with exposicions and theater, representations of music and much more attractions. You can also do a stop for a coffee inside the place, and enjoy your coffee with a view.

Address: Rua Murtinho Nobre, 169 – Santa Teresa

Opening hours:  from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8 to 6pm

Tickets: Free Admission 

santa-teresa-rio-de-janeiro-parque-das-ruinas

Laurinda Santos Lobo Municipal Cultural Center

Laurinda received another tribute in the same neighborhood, having one Cultural Center that receives her name. Laurinda Santos Lobo Municipal Cultura Center was created in 1979 with the idea from a group of very important people that lives in the area.

The Cultural Center works in a very big pink house and Laurinda never lived at that place. In fact, the big house was built in 1907 by Baronesa de Parina  and was the home of importantes politicians of the time. 

But the tribute happened to Laurina in a time that her old house, Ruins Park nowadays, was abandoned.

Known only as “The Laurinda”, the cultural center is one of the neighborhood spaces where there is more reference to the memory of Santa Teresa. There are exhibitions, dance and music workshops, photo projections, theatrical performances, children’s activities, piano recitals and some outdoor events.

There is still a concern to maintain the tradition of culture incentive that the honoree had in her period, providing many meetings of local arts and culture. At the Laurinda Cultural Center many local art groups have the space to exhibit their work. The project named Reception began in 2009 and thanks to it more than 100 artistic groups were able to perform their rehearsals and artistic experiments on the grounds of the house.

Address: Rua Monte Alegre, 306 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 

Opening hours: from Tuesday to Friday, from 10 to 7pm; saturday and sunday from 12 to 7pm.

Does not open on Mondays.

Telephone: +55 (21) 2215-0618  

5 Chácara do Céu Museum

After the Ruins Park you can visit the Chácara do Céu Museum, they are really close by. The museum works in a beautiful big house, with a singular architecture and in this museum they have the private collection of one businessman that used to live in the place, the local also offers a panoramic view to the Guanabara Bay. The place has three floors and pieces of arts from different periods of time and origins.

In the museum, the exhibitions are long lasting, although some others are temporary.The space dedicates one floor to european art and to oriental art. The museum’s collection features exhibitions by Brazilian artists such as Di Cavalcanti and Portinari; European artists such as Matisse and Modigliani and Miró and exhibition of works by travelers known as Brasiliana with old maps and illustrations by artists such as Jean-Baptiste Debret, Chamberlain and Rugendas 

Address: Rua Murtinho Nobre, 93 – Santa Teresa 

Opening HoursWednesday to Monday, from 12h until 5 pm. 

Tickets: R$6,00 and they have half entry.  

Tip: Free admission on Wednesday

chacara-do-ceu

6 Largo do Guimarães 

I already mentioned that Santa Teresa has many streets and hillsides, right? If after all the walking, going up and down you start to get hungry, my suggestion is to go to Largo do Guimarães, walking there you can appreciate the artistic movement that always happen in the and maybe you even meet someone doing art in the street, take the opportunity to visit the studios;

7 GASTRONOMIC POINT

Largo do Guimarães is the gastronomic point. So everybody over there know it, so if you get lost over there, it’s full of bars and restaurants, a bohemian center in the neighborhood, a very cool place to spend a late afternoon and enjoy the air of Santa Teresa.

largo-dos-guimaraes

SOME OPTIONS OF RESTAURANTS IN SANTA TERESA:

TRADITIONALS

Café do AltoIt’s a good option of restaurant. A really unique place in Rio de Janeiro!  We love this coffee. The place has a traditional food from the northeast of the country. 

Address: Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 143 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 

Opening Hours: Monday and tuesday from 12 to 9 pm; thursday and friday from 12 to 9 pm; saturday and sunday from 9 to 8 pm.

Does not open Wednesdays.   

Telephone: +55 (21) 2507-3172 e +55 (21) 9802-41666  

Bar do Mineiro: this is a place well known and frequented by locals and tourists. It’s a kind of simple bar and people talk and drink beer standing there, since the tables are few, want more informality than that? The place also offers feijoada on Saturdays.

Address: Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 99 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 to 11 pm 

Does not open Mondays.

Telephone: +55 (21) 2221-9227 

SimplesmenteThis is one of the darlings of the neighborhood, along with the Mineiro Bar above. It has a reasonably priced menu and is usually quieter, good for snacks and a reeeeeally cold beer!

Address: Rua Pascoal Carlos Magno, 115 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 

Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays, from 4 pm to 3:30 am; Saturdays from 1 pm to 3:30 am and Sunday from 1 pm to 2 am.

Telephone: +55 (21) 2507-1365 

HEALTHY OPTIONS

Maloca Gastrobarspace with a very nice environment and if you are vegetarian, this is certainly a golden option.

Address: Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 103 loja B – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Opening Hours: de terça a quinta das 12h às 22h; de sexta a domingo das 12h à 0h. 

Does not open on mondays 

Telephone: +55 (21) 3174-3597  

Cantinho de Santa: It is a healthy cooking space with options for vegetarians and vegans. The ingredients used are all organic and very reasonably priced, which makes the place so much more special. Visit and enjoy the cozy balcony that the space offers!

Address: Rua Aarão Reis, 20 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 

Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays, from 10:30 to 6:30 pm; friday to saturday from 10 to 10 pm.

Does not open on sundays and mondays 

Telephone: +55 (21) 3497-5122 

Raízes do Brasilif you are goint to Santa Teresa you need to visit this place. The space is connected  to the agroecology movement, with small farmers. With very rustic decoration and delicious food.They serve a peasant coffee, lunch (with very good-priced self-serve dishes) and afternoon snacks, offer a peasant basket (market). There is often live music too!

Address: Rua Áurea, 80 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 

Opening Hours: necessário verificar os eventos no site do espaço. 

Telephone: +55 (21) 3081-4652  

MORE REFINED

Explorer BarThis is a very cozy bar for drinks and with delicious options on its menu, worth a visit.

Address: Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 399 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays, from 5 pm to midnight; friday from 5 pm to 1 am; saturday from 2 pm to 1 am; Sundays from 2 pm to midnight. 

Does not open on mondays. 

Telephone: +55 (21) 3264-9665  

Aprazível: If you would like a more exquisite place with breathtaking views and varied cuisine using natural and tropical elements, this is the perfect choice. With self-made products like chocolate, wine, beer, coffee and cachaça, is a great recommendation.

Address: Rua Aprazível, 62 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 

Opening Hours: Wednesday to saturday from 12 to 11 pm; sunday from 12 to 6 pm.

Does not open mondays and tuesdays.   

Telephone: +55 (21) 2508-9174

8  Go to Samba dos Guimarães

Samba of Guimarães is a traditional in Santa Teresa neighborhood. Samba is the most famous type of music in Rio de Janeiro, and how come to Rio and doesn’t even a Samba Party? You need to enjoy one night of samba, that gets much more special in this historical and charming neighborhood!    

Address: Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 501 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 

Opening Hours: Saturdays from 7:30 pm to 1:30 am. 

Tickets: Between R$20 and R$30.  

9  Alternative Activit

To the travellers that loves cinema, you have to visit the Cine Casal Santa. It’s a small and cozy place. The nicest thing about this place is that they play very alternative movies, running away from the big commercials movies. You can see the details of the space, programming and more information on the website of the cinema.

Address: Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 136 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro  

Telephone: +55 (21) 2222-0203 

10 A lot of Party

And does Santa Teresa also have a party at other times? Yes there is! Carnaval over there is really famous and with some interesting blocos. One of the most famous bloco is related with one of the most old constructions of the neighborhood, the Convent of Santa Teresa. There is a bloco that’s called Carmelitas, one of the most traditional in the neighborhood, together with another one that is called Céu na Terra (Sky on Earth).  

Of course, modernity has also arrived in Santa Teresa, with the Bloco of Super Mario (with the music game in a marchina rhythm, which is impossible for you to forget). And many other blocks make the crowd happy, such as Badalo de Santa Teresa (Santa Teresa’s Badalo), Aconteceu (Happened), Frevo de Santa Teresa e o Me Enterra na Quarta (Bury me on Wednesday) .Go for it on the slopes of Santa Teresa!

carnaval-em-Santa-Teresa

11 Selarón Stairs

Between the neighborhood of Santa Teresa and Lapa there’s the famous Selarón Stairs. I was made by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón, and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Who has never seen those pictures of friends on the colorful staircase? See also!

escadaria-selaron-free-tour

What did you think about all these options of Santa Teresa?

HOW TO GET TO SANTA TERESA IN RIO DE JANEIRO?

There are some ways to get to know the Santa Teresa neighborhood, including tram, bus and even private transportation. We will explain some options here:

SANTA TERESA TRAM

In the late nineteenth century, precisely in 1896, the Arcos da Lapa connected to the public system of cable cars, becoming the main means of transport between the City Center and Santa Teresa neighborhood. Santa Teresa Tram is so famous now that is considered a tourist attraction! The yellow cable car is one of the routes used to transport tourists and cariocas themselves. This is the last old line of trams still active in Rio de Janeiro!

Through the Santa Teresa Tram is the easiest way to know the neighborhood, see how:

You can use metrô + the tram. It is necessary to get off at Carioca station. Take Exit B – República de Chile (note the signs), then walk to Lélio Gama Street where the tram station is located.

TIP

A very easy reference point is the Petrobrás Building, looking to this unusual construction, you will know that it is in the right place.   

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, from 8 to 5 pm; Saturdays, from 10 to 5pm. Sunday and Holidays, from 11 to 4:30 pm.   

The cost of the tram ride is R$ 20,00 that you have to pay when you go up, with return included. Trams run at 30-minute intervals.

IMPORTANT: Registered residents, uniformed students with public cards, people over 60 with CPF and social cards holders do not pay the boarding.

Do you want to go to the tram station by car? We’ll live here the address:

Rua Lélio Gama, 2 – Centro,  
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20031-080 
Telephone: (21) 2332-6615  

If you want more information, see the website Bondes de Santa Teresa 

arcos-de-lapa-bonde-santa-teresa

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

There’s also the option to go by bus to the neighborhood. There are three lines that runs over there: 006 / 007 and 014.

PRIVATE CARS 

You can also get to know the neighborhood with your own vehicle (watch out for tram tracks, especially on rainy days) or by private transport such as taxi / uber! The great advantage of going by private car is the ease of finding parking spaces!  

If you don’t know how to get to Santa Teresa from your neighborhood, you can use apps that will give you the easiest and fastest transportation options to get to your destination!  

IMPORTANT:

In Santa Teresa neighborhood there are no banks, so if you need to withdraw there is only one option that is 24 hour ATM, located inside a pharmacy (Rua Áurea, 30) and there is no gas station either. So be aware of these details before going up.

WHERE TO STAY IN SANTA TERESA

The neighborhood also has good accommodation options for those who wish to enjoy the quiet environment of Santa Teresa. The neighborhood has many inns and boutique hotels, here is a list of some safe and well-recommended options:

HOTEL

A 5-star boutique hotel option in the neighborhood is the Santa Teresa Hotel RJ –MGallery. It offers a unique tropical design and panoramic views of Guanabara Bay, with a swimming pool surrounded by gardens. Guests are welcomed with sparkling wine by a wonderful staff and still offers many amenities and the hotel is highly rated. One of the best options in the neighborhood.  

mgalery

GOLDEN TIP:

Bar dos DescasadosThis is a slightly more sophisticated option. This hotel’s bar is a spectacular place and has a simply amazing view of the city, with a somewhat romantic yet relaxed feel.

Our tip in this space is to enjoy the wonderful drinks and enjoy the sunset. Although it operates within the hotel, the bar is open to the public and you can get to know the place without necessarily being a guest! Usually on Sundays there are jazz shows.  

bar-dos-descasados

For more information access the website of Santa Teresa MGallery 

If you want to search for other options of hotels:

TripAdvisor Hoteis in Santa Teresa 

Booking Hoteis in Santa Teresa 

HOSTEL  

If you want to stay in a Hostel, we have this good option with a very positive vibe and good prices:    

MAMBEMBE  

This hostel was founded by three travelers who treat all guests as if they want to be treated and are willing to show everyone why Rio is so special! This was considered one of the best hostels in Rio by Hostelworld.

Mambembe-hostel

If you want to search for other options of hostels in Santa Teresa:

Hostelworld options in Santa Teresa 

TripAdvisor options in Santa Teresa 

If you are staying in Santa Teresa and want to have a night party close by, be sure to participate from our Pub Crawl in Lapa, and enjoy to know the most bohemian neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro!

A LIT BIT OF THE HISTORY OF SANTA TERESA

The origins of the neighborhood came in the eighteenth century with the construction of the Convent of Santa Teresa that named the place. The neighborhood was initially inhabited by the upper class of the time, with the city’s first expansions, as well as the initial settlement core in downtown Rio de Janeiro, and the development of Santa Teresa began with the explosive growth of the coffee industry in the nineteen century.

By 1850, this mountainous region was occupied by a large portion of the population seeking to escape the yellow fever epidemic that ravaged the area. The location was less affected by the disease, since it was at a higher point, different from other neighborhoods.

ARCHITECTURE

In Santa Teresa the houses and mansions were inspired by the French architecture of the time, the Art Nouveau style, precisely until 1940. It is still possible to observe some of these buildings until the present day.

NEIGHBORHOOD SYMBOL

The area established itself as one of the elite neighborhoods after the Santa Teresa tram was built around 1872, which is a symbol of the neighborhood to this day.

The cable car was initially green, but do you believe it changed to yellow by complaining residents, who said that “the tram was lost in the vegetation of the place”? Interesting, is not it?

bonde-verde

With the end of the coffee boom in Brazil, the neighborhood went into decline and lost the status of prime neighborhood. In the 1960’s, many artists, writers and musicians moved into the area and began a revitalization process with a more cultural interest, due to its logistics facility and prime location.

In 2009, some communities around the neighborhood were walled so that they would no longer grow. Nowadays residents have to regularly pay tax on urban land and property, water, energy and gas.

Just like Santa Teresa’s history, come and learn more about Rio de Janeiro’s history on our Free Walking Tour through Downtown and Lapa! Discover various curiosities and details about the wonderful city!

SANTA TERESA AND HER CHARM IN THE CURRENT DAYS

This neighborhood is charming, right next to the bustling Lapa, Santa Teresa is a quiet and artistic place made up of many winding hills and alleys. Some of Santa Teresa’s buildings are still well preserved, some others need restoration, but that’s why walking these streets has its charm. The streets still maintain the old pavement, that is, with stones, which was most used in the period of construction of the neighborhood.

The neighborhood is called Santa, in a more informal and loving way, a more intimate way. Santa Teresa has become a very famous neighborhood known as the “Montmartre Carioca” (as well as the Lapa neighborhood) for how many artists have lived and still live there, so it is common to see paintings on the neighborhood walls, galleries, studios and boutiques scattered throughout the area.

With all this cultural vein, it is very common to observe many expressions of art and graffiti in various streets of Santa Teresa, art is present on all sides. The neighborhood has received many investments from large businessmen and foreigners, who have been acquiring and renovating properties such as some hotels and Castelo São Fernando.

The neighborhood is very residential. It is considered a quiet neighborhood, but a little more expensive for lodging than Lapa for example. The disadvantage of the neighborhood today is safety, so it is good to prepare the neighborhood walking route to avoid potential problems.

There are bus options that circulate around the neighborhood so it would be easy to get around and safer, or Uber and taxi options too.

CURIOSITY ALERT

Did you know that all neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro have flags? It’s true!

The flags are made up of events, colors and many other details that built the neighborhood.

SEE SANTA TERESA FLAG

bandeira-Santa-Teresa

FLAG CHARACTERISTICS AND SYMBOLOGY

COLORS AND PATTERN:

Blue, White and Red

The colors in this case make reference to the colors of the flag in France, due to the French architecture of the mansions of the region.

IMAGES AND SYMBOLS:  

Santa Teresa Convent: first construction of the neighborhood and gave rise to the name.

Santa Teresa Tram: The most traditional symbol of the neighborhood.

Interesting, isn’t it? We found it all so cool!

o-que-fazer-no-rio-de-janeiro-com-chuva-santa-teresa

And did you enjoy getting to know the neighborhood better? Do you have any other advice to leave us?

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