Central Rio de Janeiro Walking Tour

Enjoy this 4 km self-guided walking tour of Central Rio

Candelaria Church in Rio de Janeiro
Candelaria Church in Rio de Janeiro cc licensed photo by Guilherme Sales

Our self-guided walking tour of Central Rio de Janeiro is a great way to get an overview of this part of the city with its concentration of historic buildings and landmarks.

You can begin this tour at either Carioca or Uruguaiana Metro Station as you can do it in either direction. The tour is about 4 kilometres in length which translates to about 1 hour of walking time without stopping. Since you will likely want to enjoy a more leisurely pace and perhaps even visit some of the attractions along the way we recommend you allow a minimum of 2 hours to complete this walk.

This walk passes by lots of interesting Rio de Janeiro attractions and landmarks. These include the Metropolitan Cathedral, Selarón Steps, Municipal Theatre, National LIbrary of Brazil, Paris Place, Old Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, Candelária Church, and the CCBB - Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre.

Our central Rio walking tour is a great way to get to know this part of the city at your own pace and learn more about the city's rich history. For our detailed step by step directions and a route map just click on the 'Map and Directions' tab above.

Directions

Metro Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Line-1 Orange or Line 2 - GreenUruguaiana Station0 Minutes
Line-1 Orange or Line 2 - GreenCarioca Station0 Minutes

How to get to Central Rio de Janeiro Walking Tour by Metro

The following directions are based on starting the tour at Carioca Station, but you can also mirror the directions and begin at Uruguaiana Station if you prefer.

  1. Make your way to Carioca Station Metro Station on Line 1 or 2 and take the south exit to Av. Republica do Chile. Follow the mosaic sidewalk to your right then go left across the pedestrian overpass and continue to the right along the mosaic sidewalk on the other side.
  2. Go left at the Metropolitan Cathedral and walk south along Av. Repulbica do Paraguai. Watch for the old elevated aquaduct on your right and a view towards the hillside neighbourhood of Santa Teresa.
  3. Cross both sections of road by the cluster of palm trees and go to you right down the narrow one way street and then left on the next road (Rua Joaquim Sliva). Look for the famous Selarón Steps one block ahead on your right.
  4. Walk east down the narrow road directly opposite the Selarón Steps (Rua Teotônio Regadas). When you get to the main road continue east via the crosswalks to the square on the far side and stay to your right, walking along the south side of the square. When you get to the far end you will be able to see the beautiful park Paris Place off to your right. If you wish to have a closer look the entrance gate is about half way down, but we haven't included that on our route. Instead continue to follow the square around to your left all the way up to the northern tip.
  5. Next go right and then walk left through the long plaza where Cinelândia Metro station is located. At the north end of the plaza you will see the National Library of Brazil on your right and the Municipal Theatre straight ahead.
  6. Continue north along the right side of the Municipal Theatre on Av. Rio Branco all the way to a major intersection with a public square to both the left and the right. The "triangular" square on the right is called Prace Mario Lago. Follow the pedestrian only road - Rua Sao Jose along its northern edge. There are many interesting little shops and restaurants along this stretch.
  7. When you get to the next main road (Rua Primeiro de Março), adjacent to the impressive Palácio Tirandentes which is home to the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro building, go left (north).
  8. On your right just past the Palácio Tirandentes you will see the Imperial Palace which now serves as a cultural centre and has a nice restaurant. There is a large plaza that fills the area along the north and east side of the palace which is also a great place to relax for a spell. Just past that, on the left side of the road, you can see the Old Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro
  9. Continue walking north and you will soon arrive at both the CCBB - Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre on your right and the Candelária Church to your left.
  10. From this point make your way west along the side of Candelária Church on Av. Presidente Vargas until you reach Uruguaiana Station where our tour concludes.
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