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Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

Vienna, Virginia
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Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

Hi:

We are visiting Rio in December with 3 kids - 6, 7 and 10 yrs. old. On our to-do list is to go for a self-guided walking tour in Centro on a Saturday. We read the following note regarding safety on http://www.gringo-rio.com/centro-in-rio.html and wanted to check if it's true:

"Centro in Rio is not always a safe place, avoid it when the shops are closed. Ie. weekdays after 7PM, Saturdays after 3PM and all Sundays and holidays. The chances of getting robbed are extremely high since there are no police or shop security around."

Can you please tell us if we should really avoid Centro during the times mentioned above? BTW, we are staying in a hotel in Centro!

Now, here's the self-guided walking tour I put totgether. Our hotel is very close to the Catete station, but my plan was to take a taxi to the starting point and return by the metro train from Cinelândia. These are the sights we thought we could see.

1. Start at "Palácio Tiradentes"

2. "Paço Imperial"

3. "Praça Quinze

4. "Arco do Teles

5. "Travessa do Comércio

6. "Rua do Ouvidor"

7. "Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Lapa dos Mercadores

8. "Centro Cultural dos Correios"

9. "Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil

10. "Igreja da Candelária

11. “São Bento”.

12. Walk on “Avenida Rio Branco”

13. “Confeitaria Colombo

14. “Metropolitan Cathedral”.

15. “Theatro Municipal”

16. “Biblioteca Nacional”

17. “Cinelândia”

What do you think? Any sights that I should drop? How long will this walk take? We will be visiting the inside of churches and some buildings, but not taking any guided tours inside.

Thanks,

D

TourGuide Neyla
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Philadelphia...
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1. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

Yes, take very seriously the warnings about Centro. It can be unsafe, even in the daytime, so you need to be aware at all times of your surroundings.

That said, your walking tour looks very thorough.

Walking Tour: Lapa, Cinelândia, and Largo da Carioca:

http://on.natgeo.com/gsEZFN

London
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2. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

Catete is Zona Sul not Centro, and is very lively most of the time. I'd do the tour on a weekday when Centro is full of people.

Vienna, Virginia
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3. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

Thanks. Based on your replies and some more research, it is recommended to do the Centro walking tour on weekdays. That's what I will do as well. So on Saturday, can we go to Copacabana or Ipanema beaches in the afternoon? Maybe, we could go there for lunch and then hang around at the beach. Are those beaches safe on weekends?

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

Safety tips for first-timers in Rio:

http://bit.ly/113p9Yf

Rio's beaches are beautiful and seemingly tranquil, and as such may lull you into a relaxed sense of safety. However, thieves are always on the lookout for people who appear to be alone and have cell phones, watches, jewelry, cameras, or anything that can be quickly stolen. Never leave your gear unattended and don't spend time on the beach after sundown.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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5. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

Well, besides the suggestion of doing it on a week day (when Centro is busy), I think you should start in a different way, because the way you've listed is not very logical in terms of logistics.

1. Start at Cinelândia (subway station with the same name - best way to get there);

2. “Theatro Municipal” (try taking the tour, which is very cheap and you'll be able to see the theater from the inside");

3. “Biblioteca Nacional” (close to the theater - I sincerely don't know if there's much to see there, but as you'll be there, have a look at it);

4. Walk from Biblioteca Nacional to “Museu Nacional de Belas Artes”, just next to it. My suggestion;

5. Walk down Avenida Rio Branco and turn at Avenida Almirante Barroso, then keep walking straight ahead until you find the “Metropolitan Cathedral”. Directions: http://tinyurl.com/kxgcgsk Please note that at a certain point, Avenida Amirante Barroso starts being called Avenida República do Chile;

6. Walk back “Avenida Rio Branco” and turn left at Rua Sete de Setembro;

7. From Rua sete de Setembro, turn on the first right again, at Rua Gonçalves Dias - Confeitaria Colombo (directions: http://tinyurl.com/mjo9hnu);

8. Go back to Avenida Rio Branco and walk to the other part of Rua Sete de Setembro, all way down, and you'll find the Paço Imperial and Palácio Tiradentes (they're next to each other). Directions: http://tinyurl.com/kk2c49d

9. Walk from Paço Imperial to Arco do Teles. Directions: http://tinyurl.com/m5kyh78 Travessa do Comércio is just after the Arco do Teles (arco = arch, an entrance), so no need to list it as different attraction. The same with Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Lapa dos Mercadores, which is also in the same place;

10. Walk from Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Lapa dos Mercadores to Paróquia Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Sé (I'm adding it to your itinerary). Sometimes the front entrance is closed, so try entering it through the side entrance if it's the case. Directions: http://tinyurl.com/kytv5xq

11. Walk from Paróquia Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Sé to Centro Cultural Correios. Directions: http://tinyurl.com/mgwvjxo ;

12. Walk froM Centro Cultural Correios to Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB). Directions: http://tinyurl.com/mutkosn ;

13. Walk from CCBB to Igreja da Candelária. Directions: http://tinyurl.com/moy5ga2

14. Walk from Igreja da Candelária to São Bento Monastery (the monastery is kind of hidden; there's a discreet entrance to the path which takes you to the hill. Directions: http://tinyurl.com/l97zb68

15. Walk from the Monastery to Uruguaiana Subway Station. Directions: http://tinyurl.com/kaqxjy4 .

One last comment: I don't think Rua do Ouvidor is a big attraction.

Edited: 23 July 2013, 00:25
Vienna, Virginia
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6. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

jdsodre and others:

Thank you very much for your replies.

1. Can you tell me how long will the walking tour above take?

2. Is Centro best enjoyed and safe on weekday mornings (after 10 am) or afternoons?

3. By what time in the evening on a weekday should we leave Centro for safety reasons?

Thanks,

D

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

Plan on spending around four hours on your walking tour.

Mid-morning is a good time to start.

Leave Centro by four in the afternoon.

Vienna, Virginia
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8. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

Ouch! Four hours? That can be a little difficult with 3 kids! If I had to spend two hours, what are the sights that I could drop?

Also, here's a new problem: I will be landing in Rio around 8 am on Saturday, and the other family who wil be meeting us there will be landing around 10 am. So basically, by Saturday noon we should be ready to step out and start our vacation. Now, since Centro is not going to be an option for Saturday, and I am doing Sugarloaf and Copacabana (on Sunday), and Corcavado and Ipanema (on Monday), and Centro walking tour (on Tuesday), what do you recommend I do on Saturday afternoon and evening?

Thanks,

D

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9. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

As you'll be in Catete you could check out the Palacio do Catete, once the presidential palace (where Getulio Vargos committed suicide) now a museum with nice gardens and a children's play area, just up the road is the lovely 17th church Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Gloria do Outeiro, you can then cross the road to Aterro do Flamengo and Flamengo beach (very lively on a Saturday but don't swim there, it's inside the bay so water's not that clean!). In the evening you can dine with the locals at the friendly restaurant Paraiso do Chopp at Largo do Machado (there are plenty of other options there, including McD & KFC, but you wouldn't go there in Rio, surely?).

Prepare to be flexible, Sugar Loaf and particularly Corcovado can be cloud covered, check the weather forecast and pick the best day,

Edited: 23 July 2013, 20:59
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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10. Re: Self-guided walking tour in Centro, and a safety question.

From this itinerary, I think the highlights are the Municipal Theater (especially if you manage to go on a tour - you can do that by going to the side entrance of it) and the São Bento Monastery. However, is quite a walk between both sites...maybe you could take a cab from the theater to the monastery.

After the monastery, take a cab to the National History Museum: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g303506-d3… When I was younger, I'd love to see the old carriages from monarchy times...It's also in Centro, but it's kind of a walk as you have kids.

Cabs aren't so expensive, so you could do that.

Just start by subway (Cinelândia Station is across the Municipal Theater).

Feel free to ask further questions.

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