What to do in Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa, the land of the famous tram, has way more things to offer. Keep reading!
 Last update: 16 Apr 2018

How to get there

You can start your day in Lapa and then go up to Santa Teresa, by tram or by bus, as I explain better in this postAsk to be dropped off at Largo dos Guimarães.  

What to do in Santa Teresa

Once in Largo dos Guimarães, you can check Cine Santa (an old-fashioned theater), buy souvenirs at craft stores (my favorite is La Vereda) and walk around.

I’d also recommend going for a walk, appreciating the urban art in the walls, the cobblestoned streets and, if you’re lucky, catch the tram. Go in the direction of Largo do Curvelo and meet Parque das Ruínas, one of my favorite places in Santa. The building’s architecture is gorgeous, so as the view from up there. In weekends, you may get lucky to catch music and/or art presentations.

Where to eat in Santa Teresa

For lunch, every single travel guide will suggest you Bar do Mineiro, well-known restaurant of feijoada and other typical dishes. Even though the restaurant is, indeed, quite good and traditional, it is the obvious choice. A few houses further, there is a restaurant named Simplesmente, which also serves Brazilian food at better prices. There is no sign written outside, so look for this painting.
If you want only a quick snack, stop by Cultivar Café, across the street of this painting. Don’t miss trying their pão de queijo and açaí.
Speaking of which… Read10 typical foods to try while in Rio
Most of the restaurants will concentrate around Largo dos Guimarães, except for Aprazível Restaurant. The view is unbeatable, but the menu is definitely not for budget travellers. It is worth it, though. 

Where to drink

Santa Teresa is not a place for crazy partying all night long. If that’s what you are looking for, Lapa is your call. However, for a chill and early night-out, there are good options in Santa. Right after sunset, you will be able to notice how the night feels in there. 
Let’s start with Bar do Mineiro. In the sidewalk in front of it, there is usually a blend of locals and tourists hanging out (from Thursday to Sunday, mostly). 
Go ahead until you reach Bar do Gomes, in Áurea Street. Mainly attended by locals, people have their beers standing up and sometimes there are spontaneous jam sessions of artists who live nearby. The bar is really antique, with a charming decoration. I love it!
If you want to taste creative drinks in a cool and lovely place, try Explorer Bar. It is affordable! Speaking of coolness, Mama Shelter is a trendy hotel which bar is open to the public. Finally, the Bar dos Descasados, inside the Hotel Santa Teresa, is a good call for a special occasion. And when I say special, I mean it!

Live music

From Thursday to Sunday, chances are many restaurants will be hosting live music groups. Ask in advance how much is the artists fee, if there is any. Galeria Bazá is an alternative spot, with collaborative entrance and interesting events going on.
As I said, Santa Teresa is not a place for crazy partying, so the movement should ease around midnight, top. Every Saturday, starting from 7pm to 1am, there is Samba dos Guimarães, at Mercado das Pulgas. Check out their Facebook page for schedule and more informations!
If you can’t manage to do all of this in one day, split this route in shifts (morning – afternoon – night) and choose two of them, but please don’t leave Santa Teresa out of your days in Rio 😛
Attention: in Santa Teresa there is no bank (only an ATM inside the pharmacy next to Bar do Gomes, at Rua Áurea) and no gas stations.  If you get there by car, pay attention to the tram rails, especially if they’re wet.

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