Curitiba Tourist Attractions
Top Tourist Attractions in Curitiba
Situation and CharacteristicsCuritiba, capital of the southern Brazilian state of Paraná, lies near the Atlantic coast on the Curitiba Plateau, on the west side of the Serra do Mar. With its wide streets and extensive open spaces it has a reputation throughout Brazil as a pleasant place to live, with a higher-than-average quality of life.Bus stationAvenida Presidente Afonso CamargoAirportAeroporto Afonso PenaHistoryThroughout the 17th century the Curitiba area was merely the poor hinterland of the port of Paranaguá. In 1693 the settlement was granted the status of a vila and thereafter grew rapidly, thanks mainly to its proximity to the plateau between the Serra Geral and the Serra do Mar - a natural corridor along which cattle from Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina were driven to the markets and trading centers in the south-east. In 1853 Curitiba became capital of the newly established province of Paraná, which hitherto had belonged to São Paulo.
Barigui ParkOn the west side of the city, which is traversed by BR 277, the road to Ponta Grossa, are the Barigui Park (6km/4mi from the city center) and the Santa Felicidade district. The park, which has an area of 1,500,000sq.m/1,800,000sq.yds, contains a large lake, expanses of forest, sports facilities, a children's playground and a track for model cars. Also within the park are the Automobile Museum and an exhibition center.
Santa Felicidade District
Santa Felicidade DistrictFrom the city center Avenida Jaime Reis runs north-west into the Santa Felicidade district (8km/5mi), predominantly inhabited by Italians, which grew up in the 19th century. The main street, here named Avenida Manoel Ribas, is lined with pseudo-Italian restaurants, mainly patronized by the city's new rich. This district is the scene annually of a Festival in February and an event called "Quattro Giorni in Italia" ("Four Days in Italy"; dates vary).
Paraná MuseumFarther south-east is Praça Generoso Marques, with the former Prefecture, an Art Nouveau palace which now houses the Museu Paranense (Paraná Museum), originally founded (in another building) in 1874. Among its 135,000 exhibits the material relating to the Guarani and Kaingang Indians is of particular interest.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary ArtSouth of the Cathedral, in Rua Desembargador Westphalen, is the Museu de Arte Contemporânea. It has some 360 items on display, including paintings, sculpture, drawings and printed graphic art by Brazilian and foreign artists.
Passeio PúblicoRua Carlos Cavalcanti leads to the Passeio Público, which was laid out in 1866. This park, with an area of 7 hectares/17 acres, is a favorite rendezvous of the people of Curitiba, who like to stroll along the tree-shaded paths and round the lake with its little islets and to visit the zoo and aquarium. Occasionally there are musical performances of various kinds along the avenues.
On Praça Santos Andrade, a little way east of the Passeio Público, is the Teatro Guaira, Curitiba's leading theatre and one of the most renowned in Brazil.
Old-time railwayAn essential item on the program of a visit to Curitiba is a trip on the train drawn by an old steam engine, Maria-Fumaça ("Smoky Mary"), which runs south-west from the city to Lapa. The train starts from the Railway Museum, housed in the old station in Avenida 7 de Septembro, on the first and third Sundays in the month; the journey takes 3 hours. Lapa, situated in the border area between Paraná and Santa Catarina states, was the scene of the Contestado War of 1912-16, which had religious and social grounds.
Largo da Ordem
Largo da OrdemOn Largo Cel. Enéas, also known as Largo da Ordem, are some of the oldest buildings in Curitiba: the Franciscan church of São Francisco de Chagas (1737), with the adjoining Museum of Sacred Art; the 18th century church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário; and the Casa Rosário Martins (also 18th century), the second oldest house in the city, with exhibition rooms and the city's historical archives.
CathedralOn Praça Tiradentes is the neo-Gothic Cathedral (1813).
Solar do Barão
Solar do BarãoThe Solar do Barão, in Rua Presidente Carlos Cavalcanti (between the Cathedral and the Passeio Público, is an old mansion which has been renovated and now serves as an art and cultural center. It runs music and theatre workshops and has an art gallery, a function room, a documentation center, a poster museum and a woodcut department.
Casa Alfredo Andersen
In Rua Mateus Leme, near the intersection with Rua Carlos Cavalcanti, is the Casa Alfredo Andersen, with drawings, paintings, books and personal mementoes of the artist of that name (1860-1935), one the most distinguished painters of Paraná. The house is also used for periodic art exhibitions.
Parque São Lourenço
Farther out on Rua Mateus Leme, 5km/3mi north of the city center, is the Parque São Lourenáo. Within its 204,000sq.m/244,000sq.yds are an expanse of forest, a lake, a children's playground and a leisure center which runs pottery courses for both children and adults.
Bosque João Paulo II
On the north side of the city are the Centro Cívico and the Bosque João Paulo II, a 4 hectare/10 acre park named after Pope John Paul II. In the park is the Immigrants' Museum, mainly devoted to the Polish settlers in the region, with photographs, domestic equipment and implements illustrating their way of life.
Map of Curitiba Attractions