If you picture Rio de Janeiro as a person, the beach of Ipanema would be the body’s strong tanned legs. Vibrant Lapa would be the swaying hips and above that would be the vital organs. Santa Teresa is the artistic heart of the city, packed with galleries and street art. This is the place to immerse yourself in Rio’s art scene.
In the 18th century, Rio de Janeiro’s wealthy population sought refuge on the beautiful green hillside of Santa Teresa. Even today, the neighbourhood features many stately colonial villas and mansions. Santa Teresa offers two major tourist attractions: the Escadaria Selarón, a long stone stairway that has been covered in colourful glazed tiles by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón and the elegant Convento de Santa Teresa. But that is not why Rio locals flock to this hill on weekends. Cariocas come here primarily to have a good time.