Rio de Janeiro UNKNOWN Touristic Attractions

Sure you know many of Rio de Janeiro’s gorgeous views and attractions, but what about the many undiscovered places that mostly only locals know about?

From the luxurious chambers of the Catete Palace to the lively music and good food at the Centro Luiz Gonzaga de Tradições Nordestinas, there is a plethora of options in Rio de Janeiro if you want to escape the obvious. And speaking of escapes, there’s even an island you can easily go to!

In this post we’re listing some of the best unknown touristic attractions in Rio de Janeiro and giving you all the details you need to know before visiting a few (if not all) of them! Before we go into them, we created a separate video of hidden gems you can visit in Rio, so make sure to watch it as well:

Catete Palace (Palacio do Catete) – The Interior of this building is AMAZING!

Address: Catete Street, 153 – Catete
Entrance Fee: free of charge
Working Hours: Museum – Tue to Fri from 10am to 5pm / Gardens – everyday from 8am to 6pm

Located in the neighborhood of the same name (Catete), this palace is literally a piece of Brazil’s History. It is an important example of Brazilian Neoclassical architecture from the late 19th century, so expect a lot of beautiful and luxurious (and Instagrammable) rooms.

The Catete Palace is also known as the Brazilian Republican Museum, which aims to receive, classify, catalogue, research, exhibit and preserve objects acquired, donated or transferred, directly or indirectly linked to the History of the Brazilian Republic.

Aside from all the history, the Catete Palace also has a beautiful green garden where you can sit and relax, as well as take some beautiful pictures of the surroundings. In the following video you can take a tour through the museum with us, take a look!

And here, you can have your own 360 experience through the Catete Palace!

Centro Luiz Gonzaga de Tradições Nordestinas – A piece of Brazil’s Northeast in Rio de Janeiro

Address: Campo de São Cristóvão street – São Cristovão
Entrance Fee: U$2.00
Working Hours: Tue to Thu from 10am to 6pm
Fri and Sat from 10am to 4am
Sun from 10am to 10pm
closed on Mondays

The Centro Luiz Gonzaga de Tradições Nordestinas (popularly known as Feira de São Cristovão – the latter being the neighborhood it’s located at) is a big burst of colors, music and different flavors. It is a cultural center for Brazilian Northeastern culture, so once you go inside, it’s like you’ve completely left Rio de Janeiro.

The Center is a total crowd pleaser. Whether you want to eat, drink, dance, or shop for the most various (and peculiar) things, you will find it all in here. And if you like to sing, you’re in luck! A lot of the bars have karaoke machines and people love to go wild at the song choices!

In the next video you’ll be able to take a glimpse at what we’re talking about, and you’ll also be able to check out CADEG, another undisclosed attraction that we’ll explain more after the video!

CADEG – Amazing Food with Portuguese Influence

Address: Capitão Félix street, 110 – Benfica
Entrance Fee: free of charge
Working Hours: the commercial units have different opening hours according to their line of business, so
working hours may vary. But if you want to visit to have a general idea, it’s best to come
from 9am to 3pm.

CADEG is Rio de Janeiro’s municipal market, where you will find various types of shops and restaurants. They have everything from fresh products (greens, meat cuts, spices etc) to wine, plants and even live animals.

CADEG is also known for its Portuguese influence, which is easily identifiable through the various restaurants that have codfish as their main dish. So if you’re looking for a good place to eat some real nice Portuguese cuisine, this is most definitely the place!

PAQUETA – A Tranquility Oasis in the middle of Guanabara Bay

Address: Paquetá Island – Guanabara Bay
Entrance Fee: free of charge
Working Hours:

Although Rio de Janeiro is a lot of fun, you can also kick back and unwind away from the big city – even while inside it. Paquetá is a very small island located at the Guanabara Bay, and due to the lack of cars and city noise, this is the perfect spot if you reeeally want to relax.

The island is nothing fancy but it has a very charming old town feel to it. There are no cars around and a lot of the streets are not paved, so it really feels like time-travelling in a way. And although the beaches are not really proper for swimming, it’s still pretty nice to bask under the sun or have a picnic maybe.

We took a walk around the island (literally) to show you a bit of the experience, so take a look at the video below if you’re interested in knowing more about Paquetá Island!

Lookouts and Overviews – Some of the most beautiful views from Rio are from these places!

If you’re looking for the most breath taking and instagrammable places in the city, you’ve come to the right place. As expected from a place with so many natural wonders, Rio de Janeiro is filled with lookouts from which you can gaze at the view and take in all of the beauty.

We have visited a few of these lookouts as you’ll be able to watch in the video below, so take a look so you’ll know what to expect once you get to Rio de Janeiro!

Also, you can have your own 360 experience at the Leblon lookout with the following video:

Royal Portuguese Reading Room – A Fairy Tale Library in the heart of the city

Address:  Luís de Camões street, 30
Entrance Fee: free of charge
Working Hours: Mon to Fri from 10am to 5pm
closed on weekends

Aside from the beautiful beaches, Rio de Janeiro also has tons of indoor cultural places you can visit, especially on a rainy day. One of these places is the Royal Portuguese Reading Room, located at the city’s downtown area.

This place holds the biggest collection of Portugal’s literary works outside of the country, with over 350k volumes. Amongst the most famous is a copy of “Os Lusíadas” by Luís de Camões, which was the first Portuguese epic piece to be ever printed on paper.

The place’s architecture is also very impressive, as you’ll be able to see from the library’s front and inside structures.

So, what do you think about these undiscovered touristic attractions? If you’re looking for more videos on Rio de Janeiro and other places, take a look at our Youtube channel, there is tons of content that will be very helpful!

While you’re here, I think we may interest you with these:

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– Looking to extend your stay in Brazil? We don’t blame you, there’s tons to see! Click on the link and find out how you can stay in Brazil for more than 90 days!

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– While it is a good idea to have insurance while traveling to a different country, is it mandatory to have on in Brazil? Click the article and find out!

Cover photo:

Bruno Reguffe

What's up, everyone! I'm Bruno, and I'm a nutritionist living in Rio de Janeiro. I've been a longtime friend of Ana's, and I'm excited to help her expand on all things Brazilian with y'all, as well as sharing some of our culture and a few personal experiences while living in the country!

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