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Famous for its originality and particular architecture, it arouses the curiosity of anyone who comes to visit and enjoy all of its beauty and charm. The neighborhood is located on top of a hill, a few minutes away from the center of Rio de Janeiro and with exits to several neighborhoods of the carioca capital. You will forget you are in a big metropolis with its typical mid-19th century architecture. “Santa” is surrounded by sights and landscapes from different parts of Rio.

Its main streets are cut by tracks of the old tram which, for many years, was one of the main means of transportation used by the region’s inhabitants and by the tourists who enjoyed the walk through the winding slopes. The Bondinho route starts at the heart of the center of Rio, at Carioca, passing over Arcos da Lapa and going up “Santa’s” slopes to the station of Silvestre. The original ride, deactivated years ago, included the arrival at the statue of Christ the Redeemer. The tram is currently not in service, due to modernization work that began after an accident in 2011.

A bohemian and historical neighborhood full of art studios and galleries, Santa offers a wide range of artists and works of all genres. In the vicinity of Largo dos Guimarães we have the Cine Santa, a small cinema who focuses on Brazilian productions. The gastronomic area is also close by, with many options of national and international menus and where it is also possible to find little handicraft shops and famous bars such as Bar do Gomes, bar do Mineiro and the Simples mentem Bar.

Santa Teresa received its name as a reference to the Santa Teresa convent, belonging to the Order of Carmelitas Descalças. It is one of the neighborhood’s main constructions, and it is in the origin of the famous Carnival block Bloco das Carmelitas, one of the biggest street Carnival blocks of Rio de Janeiro. The famous block owes its name to the legend that one of the nuns supposedly ran away from the convent to go have fun with the Carnival revelers.

The Largo do Curvelo unveils a landscape from the city’s southern area, from where you can appreciate the view of the Guanabara bay and in the horizon part of the coastline of the Niterói municipality and its Museum of Contemporary Art – MAC – designed by Oscar Niemeyer, an important architect from Rio. The Parque das Ruínas, a space dedicated to culture, is nearby, with an inside and an outside theatre where artistic, visual, scenic, musical and cinema events are produced. The mansion has a panoramic view overlooking the center of the city, Arcos da Lapa, Pão de Açúcar and Corcovado.

On Rua Monte Alegre you find the Museum Casa de Benjamin Constant, an important Brazilian figure on the transition from the 19th century to the 20th century, was a military man, a professor, an engineer and a statesman. His beautiful house is still an important construction in the neighborhood as it maintains the typical characteristics of the old abodes of Santa Teresa. It has a big museum-like collection composed by paintings, sculptures, personal objects, photographs, archives and book collections. Some of these rare works date from the 19th century. Going up the street we come across the Laurinda Santos Lobo Cultural Center which encourages Brazilian culture, a place where photographic projections, theatre workshops, music and activities for children are organized. It also offers yoga and handicraft classes. The cultural center is of major importance for the local artistic groups.

Street culture is very present here and you can see graffiti from several artists from Rio as well as a lot of stencil art interventions scattered all over the neighborhood. You can also find artists exhibiting their work on the street here.

The neighborhood has a lot of hostels with various lodging options and the Hotel Santa Teresa, a reference that offers a 5 star service for those looking for something more luxurious.

Santa Teresa lives more during the day, the night life coming down to little bars and restaurants, so the best thing to do is to enjoy the day to discover and unveil the neighborhood appreciating the tranquility, its landscapes, architecture and local culture. At night have a good diner and after have a beer or a nice drink, making a pit stop in all the bars of the neighborhood.