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Cinelândia

Cinelândia: Our most recommended tours and activities

Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

1. Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

Begin your tour at Downtown (“Centro”), where you will get the tram (“bondinho”) to the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa. You will drive over the Arcos da Lapa, the aqueduct used to connect water from Santa Teresa to Downtown and one of Rio’s most traditional postcards. At Santa Teresa, you will experience an interesting local atmosphere. Walk through the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, a bucolic area in Rio de Janeiro. Located on a hillside, Santa Teresa has become a district of cultural interest because of its architectural value and prime location, famous for its winding, narrow cobblestone streets and a favourite spot for artists and tourists. A flair similar to Montmartre, in Paris. You will visit the Ruins Park, a public park with an art gallery built around the ruins of a mansion. Take a minute to enjoy the city’s landscape, in particular the Downtown area and the Sugarloaf Mountain. Up next, you will walk down the colorful Selarón Steps, one of Rio’s landmarks, and arrive at the district of Lapa, the zone with the most traditional nightlife. Take a stroll in the Passeio Público, the oldest public park in South America, to reach Cinelândia, a lively spot in Rio thanks to its bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Among many remarkable constructions in the area, you will notice the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro’s most traditional theatre and opera house, as well as the Biblioteca Nacional, Brazil’s most important library. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo, a permanent member of all must-see cafés rankings around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decoration with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks – such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’) – or desserts – such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in what was one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Rio de Janeiro: Guided Bike Tours in Small Groups

2. Rio de Janeiro: Guided Bike Tours in Small Groups

Choose from 3 different itineraries to best fit your time in Rio and your preferences. Explore some of the city's highlights on a small-group bike tour with an expert guide and learn about the historical background of the city. • 3-Hour Urban Tour: Praia Vermelha, Botafogo & Lagoa Visit several of Rio's famous sites and some of its traditional neighborhoods on this tour that focuses on the southern part of the city. Start at Copacabana beach to experience where locals spend a large part of their social life. From there, bike to Sugarloaf Mountain to view its imposing vastness up-close, and make a stop at nearby Vermelha Beach, a tiny oasis of quietness. Next, pedal to the lively neighborhood of Botafogo to get a glimpse of the back lanes of Rio. This stretch of the bike tour will give you a closer look at how real Cariocas live when they’re not on the beach. Finally, head to Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, and admire its surrounding green hillsides and fancy neighborhoods. • 4-Hour Panoramic Tour: Botafogo, Flamengo Park & Old Rio Get a panoramic perspective of Rio on this tour that goes from Copacabana to the shores of the Bay of Guanabara, Lapa, and Rio’s historical center. Making use of the new cycle paths, bike through the lively backstreets of iconic neighborhood Copacabana to Botafogo. There, pass by Rio’s “celebrity” cemetery, São João Batista, the resting place of several Brazilian presidents, writers, singers, actors, and renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Pedal on to the Bay of Guanabara along the beach of Flamengo, the site of the first European settlement after the discovery of the city. Continue to the historical center of Rio, with stops at Cinelândia and the bohemian neighborhood Lapa, well-known for its nightlife and the Selarón steps, 250 steps covered in more than 2000 tiles from different countries. On the way back, cycle along the paths that wind through Flamengo Park, designed by famous Brazilian landscaper, Burle Marx. The last stretch of the tour will pass along Copacabana beach. 7-Hour Ultimate Tour: Urban Tour + Panoramic Tour + Lunch Discover the best of Rio de Janeiro in just one day. As well as exploring the popular South Zone, famous for the iconic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, pedal through less well-known but equally fascinating neighborhoods such as Botafogo and Urca. After taking these in, head to the old city center where you’ll stop in the Bohemian quarter of Lapa. Take a step back to Rio's colonial past at the historic Cinelândia Square, and visit Jorge Selarón’s psychedelically decorated staircase to see how art can be truly public in this city. Savor a typical Brazilian lunch — included in the tour — at a local restaurant. The last stretch of the cycle tour passes by the beautiful lake, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, surrounded by hills clad with lush Atlantic rainforest. Last, soak up lots of great views of Rio’s most famous landmarks, the Sugarloaf and Christ the Redeemer.

Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

3. Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

Following pickup from your accommodation, head to the historic center of Rio de Janeiro. Consisting of centuries-old buildings and roads, the historic center of Rio best illustrates the most important chapters of Brazil’s history.  See the contrast of new and old architecture at XV de Novembro Square. Continue to Cinelândia Square until you reach the famous Carioca Aqueduct (Arcos de Lapa) in Lapa. Admire the historic beauty as you continue to Santa Teresa by car. Enjoy the winding narrow streets and colorful buildings of bohemian Santa Teresa, famous for its bars, galleries, ateliers, and the 19th-century Santa Teresa tram. From the top of Santa Teresa Hill, enjoy some of Rio’s finest views and look across Guanabara Bay.  Take in the panoramic views of the city from the Parque das Ruínas, located in the ruins of an old mansion belonging to Laurinda Santos. The mansion has been partially restored and is now used as a cultural center hosting various exhibitions and events.

Rio: Bike Tour: Botafogo, Flamengo Beach, and Downtown

4. Rio: Bike Tour: Botafogo, Flamengo Beach, and Downtown

Experience Rio like a local on a guided bike tour. Pass by beaches, parks, top attractions, and the downtown area. Peddle around the city’s network of bicycle lanes at a relaxed pace with guide who stops regularly to share insights on the city. Meet your guide at the Copacabana Palace hotel and get fitted with your high-quality bicycle and helmet. Make your way to the neighborhood of Botafogo, passing by red beach. Stop at the beachfront to sip on cold coconut water while gazing at Sugarloaf Mountain. Ride along Flamengo beach that contains the massive Brigadier Eduardo Gomes Park. Continue to the City Center to view skyscrapers and elegant squares. Learn about Rio's culture and history as the guide answers any questions you may have. View the Modern architecture of the Metropolitan Cathedral before heading to Lapa, the epicenter of the city's bohemian scene. End your tour at Cinelândia, the main square in Rio which is surrounded by important buildings such as the Municipal Theater and the National Library.

Rio: Historical Walking Tour

5. Rio: Historical Walking Tour

Take the subway and enjoy a guided walking tour in downtown Rio. Rich in history and buildings of great architectural appeal, the center of the former capital of the country is best absorbed in the details when you walk through it. Travel by subway to downtown, arrive at Cinelândia Station an area with relics of the French architectural influence.  On the way to Carioca square see the Naval Club, the Monastery Church of Santo Antônio and the Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência. Visit the Confeitaria Colombo, built in 1894, Tiradentes Palace (State Hall), Praça XV including the Imperial Palace, the statue of General Osório, Mestre Valentim's Fountain and the Teles Arch. Reach the cobble-stoned Travessa do Comercio and the former residence of Carmen Miranda. See the Church of Our Lady of the Merchants, the Post Office Cultural Center, France-Brazil House, Bank of Brasil Cultural Center and Candelaria Church. Before heading back to your hotel by subway. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Cinelândia

Want to discover all there is to do in Cinelândia? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Cinelândia

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 143 reviews

An excellent half day tour with Meilin who customised the tour to our interests and my walking ability. Lovely architecture in the historic centre, we saw the first library in Brazil which was stunning and had a coffee at the Cafe Colombo which is a local institution. Meilin is full of interesting facts and tells the history of Rio like a story. A must to do.

Great day. G the tour guide was so informative. Took us to off the beaten tracks to areas with no tourists which was wonderful. Explained the diffferent architecture and hidtory of the area. Loved the whole day.

Our guide Newton was very good and his explanations very clear, he was very attentive with us and helped us to take pictures!

Fantastic! Ulysses the guide was amazing and it was a very enjoyable way to see part of Rio. Totally recommend it!

Tour muy personalizado gracias a nuestra guía Matilde, muy simpática y muy profesional