Rio’s Heartbeat: 10 Unmissable Places in the Center for a Day Trip

We did everything walking from the first point we started and in the order that we left the titles, it is in the order that we did it. We always walk with the camera in hand except in the streets from the stairs to the cathedral and then through the confectionery area.

However, no one bothered us, nor did we see any incident of insecurity, but as the streets are very busy, it is possible to experience some outbursts. So be very careful and attentive when removing your valuables.

selaron stairs

I think that after Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain, for us it is the attraction that we must visit in Rio de Janeiro. I even think that that should be the order of the most visited places.

To get there, we take a uber from the Copacabana area. In this case, due to the distance, it is advisable to take public transportation, but the truth is that we were lazy and had little time. We didn’t want to be looking for the bus or subway stop, much less wait.

As its name indicates, the artist of this work was Mr. Selaron. Who was in charge of decorating all the steps that make up this famous staircase, with mostly red tiles.

Among them we can find soccer shields, countries, some provinces among others. Many consider it an unsafe place, since the area is very close to a favella and Lapa is usually the home of many criminals. If we go at night we will see quite a few people sleeping on the streets, some taking drugs which is why it is not the most pleasant places.

We even went in the early morning to take photos and there were police on the stairs. Otherwise we wouldn’t have stayed for long.

Selaron was murdered on these same stairs, without exactly knowing the motive. We went to the end of the stairs, to continue walking to the ruins park.

To find the stairs almost empty, we recommend going before 9 in the morning and at least until 10 there is a line to take photos. Then it starts to explode with people and it is almost impossible to have a good memory.

On the street that goes towards the stairs, we found some murals to take photos.

Ruins Park

From the stairs, another thing you can visit in Rio de Janeiro is the ruins park. From the top it is about 10 minutes walking. We asked a man who was selling drinks and he told us that he was sure. We trust each other and start walking.

We didn’t think it was an ugly neighborhood but we were the only ones walking around, so they could have easily stolen everything from us. Luckily nothing happened… Maybe it was also because the park was closed and that’s why we couldn’t see it.

From here you have good views of Rio de Janeiro and there is also a museum with works of art.

What to visit in Rio de Janeiro – Lapa

We went back down the stairs of Selaron to go to the cathedral, passing first through the Lapa arches. The truth is that the arches are nothing striking. It used to be an aqueduct from the colonial era, being one of the most important works at that time in Rio de Janeiro.

Later it became a viaduct, since the train that goes to the Santa Teresa neighborhood passes through it, it was suspended for a few years, to return to operation since the World Cup.

Lapa is also the area to go out drink something at night , since there are several bars with dancing included. I would tell you that it is the most similar to the San Telmo area but only about 3 blocks long.

As we told you before, we went at night to have a drink, we danced a little zamba and from there we walked to the stairs to end up taking an Uber back to the hotel.

Rio de Janeiro Cathedral

Striking on the outside but much more so on the inside, the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral is the complete opposite of a cathedral.

In the shape of a pyramid and with a circular layout inside, it is different from any church in the world.

Royal Portuguese reading cabinet

A building that is not so famous yet, but that went viral on Instagram for the beautiful photos that can be taken inside.

Therefore, the visit must be carried out with the respect that people deserve, since here you will read and seek peace of mind.

You just have to sign up in the ticket book and photos are allowed without any problem.

colombo confectionery

It is not obligatory to visit, but it is in passing and if it is already midday, it is a good option to have something to eat for lunch.

It is not necessary to sit down to eat, because ahead there are some counters with very delicious things to grab as you go and continue on your way.

It is the most prominent and historic in Rio de Janeiro since it was founded in 1894. We also saw incredible things to have a snack, if they start later.

candelaria church

It was also a place that we visited in passing, but that caught our attention because of the surroundings. From here on it seems that we are walking through another Rio de Janeiro. The parks are super well maintained, everything is more modern and cleaner.

Here we already see a classic baroque and Renaissance style architecture that almost everyone likes and that is why it is advisable to stop by and waste a few minutes exploring it.

Museums to visit in Rio de Janeiro

This was another of the attractions that we missed by visiting on a Monday when it is closed. From the outside it looks incredible and they told us that inside it is worth visiting.

A few meters away is also the Rio Art Museum, also one of the recommended ones. Everything is located in the port area that was recovered in 2013 and you can truly see the work they have done and what they have achieved. It really feels like we are walking through another city.

I don’t know what the Cariocas thought about this part, but the truth is that it has given us an excellent impression.

kobra mural

And finding ourselves in the same area we ended our day visiting the Kobra murals. Some incredible murals that even make it difficult to look at those faces that seem to only look at you.

In addition, I repeat walking those streets again, it is incredible, with several restaurants and food trucks to spend some time during the day.

Titled, “ETNIAS”, it is nothing less than the largest mural in the world.

Kobra, its author, painted five faces, each one with the characteristics of a tribe or indigenous people.

The Mulsi of Ethiopia (Africa), Karen of Thailand (Asia), Tapajós of Brazil (America), Chukchis of Siberia (Europe) and the Hulis of New Guinea (Oceania)

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