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Lively Lapa

The neighbourhood of Lapa is right in the city centre of Rio: combine your sightseeing with a great night on the town. With its colonial aqueduct, colourful art projects, green parks and countless bars, Lapa is fun day and night.

The striking white Arcos da Lapa aqueduct – Lapa’s landmark monument – is one of the few remnants from the Portuguese colonial era in Rio de Janeiro. Built in 1750, the aqueduct counts 48 arches and is more than 100 metres long. It was built to bring water from the Carioca River to the city. Today it no longer serves as an aqueduct, but is still an important reference point and popular tourist attraction.

Arcos de Lapa
Arcos de Lapa

Rio de Janeiro

“Passeio Público park with its tall trees is a charming oasis in the city”

A pond full of swans

One of Rio’s loveliest city parks, the Passeio Público is also located in Lapa. Famous Brazilian sculptor Mestre Valentim designed the park in 1783, modelled after the design of a botanical garden in Lisbon. In 1860, the park was renovated by French landscape architect Glaziou. Thanks to the efforts of both gentlemen, the park is now a lovely oasis with tall trees, a huge pond with swans and a fountain in the shape of a crocodile.

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Passeio Público, Rua do Passeio, Rio de Janeiro

250 steps of art

The artistic highlight of Lapa is the colourful tiled staircase created by artist Jorge Selarón: the Escadaria Selarón. The Chilean artist came to Rio de Janeiro in 1983. In 1990, Selarón began covering the 250 steps of the staircase with colourful tiles. The entire staircase is decorated with hundreds of tiles from around the world. Selarón even included a tile with the image of former Dutch Queen Beatrix in his artwork. According to the artist, the staircase was never finished and he frequently replaced the mosaics. The stairs are still one of the biggest attractions in Lapa and connect the neighbourhood to the hillside district of Santa Teresa.

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Escadaria Selarón

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Rua Manuel Carneiro, Rio de Janeiro

Rio Scenarium

Lapa's vibrant nightlife

Every weekend Lapa breaks out into a huge street party. The sounds of forró, choro, samba and axé vie for your attention as people dance in the street. If the streets get too crowded, seek refuge in Lapa’s many bars or nightclubs. One of the trendiest clubs in Lapa is Rio Scenarium: dance to live Brazilian music and admire antiques such as baby strollers, mannequins and cuckoo clocks that adorn the walls of this former antique shop.

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R. do Lavrádio, 20 - Centro Rio de Janeiro

Photo credits

  • Rio Scenarium: Bob Z, Flickr