Santa Teresa: Artistic Neighbourhood in the Heart of Rio de Janeiro

Map Santa Teresa and Rio de Janeiro

Largo das Letras Book Shop

Largo das Letras Book Shop

The Artisitic Neighborhood of Santa Tereza is easy to reach: you go up from Largo do Carioca with the historic streetcar, called "Bonde" after it's inventor. The streetcar makes his way over the Arcos da Lapa, an ancient aquaeduct from the 16th century, and then runs through the winding cobbled streets, passing by colonial style mansions and huge gardens.

Colonial style Mansion

Colonial style Mansion

You go out on Largo dos Guimarães, central point of the enchanting neighborhood, where you find a baker, a Café and "Cine Santa Teresa ", a small Cinema with excellent Brazilian and International films.

If you pass along the street, you'll find a lot of charming, nostalgic bars and restaurants, most famous of all "Bar do Mineiro ".

"Bar do Marcô" has Bossa Nova Jazz on Fridays, from noon. There are plenty things to discover, above Largo dos Guimarães you find a book shop an café "Largo das Letras".

History of Santa Tereza

The neighbourhood of Santa Teresa originated around the Santa Teresa Convent, built in the 1750s on the Desterro hill. At the end of the 19th and early 20th century it was an upper class borough, as testified by its magnificent mansions, many of which are now have been rebuilt, and turned into charming B&Bs, Inns and Hotels in Santa Teresa.

In 1896, the Carioca Aqueduct, Arcos da Lapa, a colonial structure that used to bring water to the centre of Rio, was converted into a bridge for The Santa Teresa Historic Tramway (Bondinho). The Bondinho is still in use today - the only one in Rio - and is a popular attraction among tourists. The streetcars recently have been rebuilt, and you will see a new, historic tramway. The ride starts in the city centre, near the Largo da Carioca square, crosses the old aqueduct and goes through the picturesque streets of the neighbourhood. Wonderful views of the city downhill can be appreciated.


How to get here...

From International Airport Tom Jobim (GIG):

We offer pick up service at R$ 130,00

From National Airport Santos Dumont:

  • by taxi

From  Central Bus Station Rodoviária Novo Rio:

  • by taxi

Description for your taxi driver in portuguese:
Casa Aurea, Rua Aurea, 80, Santa Teresa Tel (21) 2242-5830
Seguir para Centro / Lapa até a Rua Riachuelo;
da Riachuelo entrar na Rua Monte Alegre e subir;
seguir até Esquina de Santa / Bar do Gomes;
dobrar à esquerda e subir a Rua Áurea até N° 80.