In the centre of Rio is the district of Lapa which combines various places of interest and an exuberant nightlife. With its colonial aqueduct, colourful art projects, green parks and huge selection of bars, Lapa is alive day and night.
The eye-catching white Arcos da Lapa aqueduct is one of the few remains of the Portuguese era in Rio de Janeiro. The aqueduct dates from 1750, numbers 48 arches and is more than 100 metres long. Originally built to transport water from the Carioca River to the city, now the popular and colourful Bondinho da Teresa tram runs over the aqueduct. This tram brings people from the centre of Rio to the picturesque district of Santa Teresa, and riding it is a great way to get to know the city.
Address: Estação Carioca, Rua Professor Lélio Gama
One of the loveliest parks in Rio de Janeiro is Passeio Público. The famous Brazilian sculptor Mestre Valentim designed the park in 1783 based on the layout of a botanical garden in Lisbon. In 1860 the park was renovated by the French landscape architect, Glaziou. Thanks to the efforts of both gentlemen Passeio Público is now an idyllic spot in which to wander. There is a huge pond with swans on it, a fountain in the shape of a crocodile and trees many metres high.
Address: R. Cel. Alfredo Portugal
One of the biggest artworks in the district is the colourfully tiled stairs created by Jorge Selarón. This Chilean artist came to Rio in 1983, and in 1990 Selarón began tiling the 250 steps of the stairs. The stair is decorated with hundreds of small mosaic tiles from all over the world. For instance, Selarón incorporated a tile with the image of the Dutch Queen Beatrice on it in his artwork. According to the artist the stair of art can never be finished and he regularly replaces the mosaic tiles. The stairs are still one of the biggest attractions for visitors to Lapa.
Address: Rua Manuel Carneiro
Every weekend is a street party in Lapa. The sounds of forró, choro, samba and axé drift throughout the district and everyone dances outside. If things get too busy on the street it is easy enough to divert yourself into one of the many small bars or discotheques. One of the most fashionable clubs in Lapa is the Rio Scenarium. The patrons dance to Brazilian music and the walls are decorated with oddities such as prams and cuckoo clocks.
Address: R. do Lavrádio, 20 - Centro