A bustling mix of historical buildings and imposing skyscrapers, Centro is considered the financial core of Rio de Janeiro. It also has a number of significant and cultural landmarks including the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Tomorrow, and the largest street mural in the world by Eduardo Kobra. During the weekdays, Centro becomes a heaving mass of busy workers rushing between meetings and lunch breaks, yet the evenings and weekdays remain empty. On the contrary, nearby Lapa is Rio’s nightlife district and comes alive after dark when hoards of party-goers head to the many bars and nightclubs that line the streets for all-night parties.

Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatravahe, the neo-futuristic façade of the Museum of Tomorrow draws in hundreds of visitors per day. While the striking architecture demands attention, the content of the museum is equally though-provoking with various interactive displays that discuss issues of sustainability, climate change and future possibilities of our planet.

A must-see in Centro is the largest street mural in the world designed by Eduardo Kobra. It features five tribal people that represent five of the world’s continents in a blend of photorealism and abstract shapes in vibrant colours.

With three floors that overlook the main stage and lavish decorations of antiques and vintage items, Rio Scenarium in Lapa is one of Rio’s most popular nightclubs among locals and international visitors. The nightlife venue is a great place to check out some of Brazil’s best local bands that bring a giddy mix of samba, choro, forró, MPB and Brazilian rock.

Known as the birthplace of samba, Pedra do Sal is a small network of streets where live samba bands gather every Monday night to play to the crowds that come to drink cold caipirinhas or an icy beer to the rhythmic beats of Rio’s most traditional music. The improvised style of the bands creates one of the most authentic samba performances you can find in the city.

The Best Coffee Shops In Centro

The Best Coffee Shops In Centro

While Brazil is outwardly considered the coffee capital of the world, it is often an afterthought for locals who fill bitter black espressos with heaps of sugar to start the day. My love for coffee is largely influenced by my British approach to how I drink tea...