The mere mentioning of Rio de Janeiro brings to mind beautiful time spent on the beach, carnivals, amazing fruity drinks and night life that never seems to stop. This is a place where anyone who loves fun in the sun and scenic terrain could spend weeks, if not months or years without ever seeing all that the municipality offers. Rio simply has an appeal to everyone who travels to the beautiful area while visiting Brazil and it’s a place where many tourists yearn to live long-term and where expats flock from global destinations to live a life of excitement and wonder for years to come.
There are buildings around the world that travelers are in awe of. Thousands actually, and there are many people who travel the world just to see the awesome architectural design in countries around this great big globe. Buildings of this magnitude are a dream come true for an architect or building designer.
These buildings include Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India as well as La Pedrera in Barcelona and even One World Trade Center in New York. Rio is no exception to awesome structures and many travel to the city just to take in the wondrous buildings. It could take hours to take you on a virtual trip through Rio to show you all the amazing things you can find, but with a short amount of time, as well as space, we’ll have to narrow it down to five of the must-see buildings you won’t want to miss during your visit.
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum
Designed in 1996 by architect Oscar Niemeyer, the museum is a constant source of entertainment for travelers in Rio. The museum took five years and more than 300 construction workers to build the 10-floor structure high above the sea. The museum has a futuristic shape that resembles a flying saucer. Known as the MAC Niter’oi, the museum is one of the most amazing structures in Rio and is a popular place for tourists as well as locals who enjoy visiting. The museum includes not only spectacular views of the ocean and gardens surrounding the structure itself, but inside you will find one of the most awesome collections of Brazilian art in the country.
Palácio do Catete
The Palácio do Catete is a unique pink granite and marble building that is framed with exquisite white marble. It may look like many other buildings to the naked eye, but inside, it is an art lovers dream come true. Built in 1858, visitors can find beautiful Brazilian and French furniture, one of a kind artwork including sculptures, paintings and other hand designed works. The artwork is all from the 19th and 20th centuries and tourists find it an enchanting place to visit. Outside, you can relax with a walk through beautifully attended grounds that include lakes, bridges and reflecting pools. Many people spend hours relaxing on the grounds around the Palácio do Catete when they visit.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Candelária
Tracing back to the year 1630, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Candelária in Rio is filled with paintings on the dome interior that bring an awestruck feeling to those who enter. The windows are beautiful stained glass and both the interior as well as the outside of the building are architectural wonders with the design and craftmanship found throughout the entire structure. As visitors enter the cast bronze doors, they immediately feel the history encased within as they view the spectacular artwork throughout the building.
Mosteiro de São Bento
Monks from Bahia built the Mosteiro de São Bento in 1590 when locals requested a church be built. Visitors to the church can relax to soothing Gregorian chants sang by the monks every Sunday. It is also a very quiet place where prayers are ongoing, and peace is easily felt at all times. This is a stunning monastery and the experience alone is extraordinary to those who have the pleasure of a visit. Not only is Sunday mass held for visitors, but you can also take a trip to the monk ran bakery where they sell their delicious wines and breads to people.
While this structure may not technically be a building with a warm, enclosed interior, it is one of the more popular structures in Rio and is located inside the beautiful Tijuca Forest at the top of Alto da Boa Vista. From the monument, you can see great views of the Christ the Redeemer statue as well as Sugarloaf, Laguna Freitas and other spectacular views of the brilliant scenery of Brazil. Cycling is popular in the local area and it is easy to access the monument by bicycle, walking or even by automobile. It’s a little off the beaten path but is generally a calm, serene area where you can catch some awesome views of the surrounding city.
The scenic Brazilian landscape and the wonderful people will always be the top reasons to visit Rio de Janeiro, but the spectacular buildings throughout the area are must-see stops during your visit. Whether you travel to Rio to enjoy carnival season or to simply lounge on the beach for a week or so, be sure to check out the beautiful architecture found in the area. You won’t be disappointed, and you may find yourself enlightened or even inspired to try to recreate a few of the great buildings with the help of an architect or building design team once you get home from your trip.