What locals generally refer to as Centro is actually several sprawling districts containing the city's oldest neighborhoods, churches, and most enchanting cafés. Rio's beaches, broad boulevards, and modern architecture may be impressive; but its colonial structures, old narrow streets, and alleyways in leafy inland neighborhoods are no less so. The metro stations that serve Centro are Cinelândia, Carioca, Uruguaiana, Presidente Vargas, Central, and Praça Onze.

Rio's settlement dates back to 1555. You can experience much of the city's rich history by visiting churches, government buildings, and villas in and around Centro. The metro is a good way to get downtown, but head here early, wear comfortable shoes, and be ready to walk multiple blocks as you explore this historic City Center. There are also daily free walking tours with English-speaking guides. If you're not up for a long walk, consider taking an organized bus tour.


Museu de Arte do Rio

Rio's once run-down port zone is now the focus of a major investment and regeneration program, and the 2013 opening…

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Centro Cultural Correios

The Post Office Cultural Center is rather in the shadow of the more impressive Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil around…

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Palácio Tiradentes

The Tiradentes Palace contains a permanent exhibit describing its history as the seat of the Brazilian parliament before Brasília was…

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