Insider's Guide to Rio de Janeiro

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Petropolis was the mountain getaway for the imperial court, popular in summer when the coast became hot and muggy. Nestled 3,000ft (800m) high in the  Serra dos Órgãos it is a few degrees cooler than at sea level. It’s a kooky place as ... 

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bobphillips65 Australia

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2016

A long way to go to be left window shopping for two hours in a surprisingly large town.Tour of Imperial Museum interesting but not riveting .Tour guide spoke very little english.Lunch was disappointing. Probably better ways to spend a day of your stay in Rio.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

hartsantos

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
October 2015

This tour was not worth full day trip from 8:10am pick up and 6:30pm drop-off. it wasted one hour to pick other passengers around the city. Emperor Dom Pedro II summer residence was currently a hotel, only good for picture taking from the fence. Museum of Santos Dumont was just a house, had to pay extra to enter. Only the Imperial Museum was worth the tour. The worst part was the guide Ms. T. Though I booked for an English guide, she kept talking in Portuguese and Spanish for nearly half an hour in the bus, then turned to English only for a short summary of what she said before, and we had passed all the places she explained about. After I shouted Do you forget we are here?, she improved. She tried to joke, but nothing funny at all! This was the worst tour I ever had so far.

Doing what: Day Trip to Petrópolis from Rio de Janeiro

Bobo828

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
October 2015

We spent two hours driving and waiting in the city to pick up passengers. The tour guide communication need improvement. Too much time speaking in Portuguese and did not provide correct information in English. All the English speaking tourist got confuse the pick up time , lunch time etc. The highlight of the tour was the Palace which was a 5 minutes stop to take pictures far away. Very disappointed tour lost a full day in Rio.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Athens Hootie United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

Quite a surprise to find a town of over 350,000 people on top of this mountain. Beautiful, although long, trip up the mountain, but our guide, Leo, was excellent. He knew his history and was enthusiastic to share his country's past. He was very attentive to his tourists and made sure they were well cared for. He explained all the different aspects of the museum we visited which made the experience interesting. Well worth the price!!

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Joseph F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

Loved the tour to Petropolis. TT was the best tour guide ever! she entertained us and gave us a fun history lesson during the tour and made sure we had time to explore on foot while there. We never felt rushed. I would recommend this tour with TT as the tour guide.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Robert G

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2015

Very nice trip and an excellent day trip from Rio. The guide was great and everything went very smoothly. The tour stopped at a chocolate candy factory/store in Petropolis and the people running that store could serve as an example of how not to run a business. They should skip that place on all future tours and spend that 20 minutes someplace else.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Angela C

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

Celia was a good tour guide- she was multilingual and made me feel comfortable on the tour. Was very nice about taking pictures for me. Great job!

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Donna M

3 star rating: Worth doing
June 2015

The tour guide didn't seem to include all languages as well as she should have and this may be due to the large group size. We liked the places of interest and learning about their history. We do feel as though this tour had far too many people to be able to hear the guide in our language.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Rachael G

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2015

Could not understand the tour guide's english. Lunch was expensive/not included/not very good.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Sachia M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

The tour guide was amazing, he had a very hard job as I was the only English speaking person there , it was done in error but luckily he spoke many languages. He was very attentive, and made sure he translated everything so I was still in the loop. He was very passionate about the history of Brasil.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Marius S

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2014

Nice guide (JB), nice tour but something was missing from the program: the Cervejeria (brewery) in Petropolis. Maybe would not be bad idea to introduce it in the tour.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Jesse L USA

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2014

Excellent value to a most interesting place away from Rio. Our guide spoke mostly Portuguese and Spanish since we were the only couple who understood English. Our guide spoke to us on the side however about everything we needed to know. Extremely happy to have taken this trip.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Gabriela R

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2014

I had a great time it is an excellent option while in Rio. I will recommend it.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Joseph S

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
August 2014

The palace was closed, which was the main attraction on this tour. 4 hours bus ride to get back to the city because of the bad traffic. The tour guide was nice tho.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Tonic O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

Great tour really informative
Guide was worth the price of the tour
All four tours were excellent however
Transport arrangements we're chaotic
At each hotel there were always heaps of people waiting on transport and the drivers/guides who had the names did not have signs with passengers names
Toni

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

graciela m

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

The place is beautiful! I recommend to go. Our guide was very warm and friendly, and I would love to have another tour with her! The choice of restaurant was excellent, and I wish I could eat that delicious food again. The only thing I would recommend is to have the shopping time at Petropolis reduced to zero and add that time to the museum.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

Philip P

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
April 2014

Our guide was FANTASTIC!!! Can't say enough good about him. Sites we saw were enjoyable. This we would give 4 stars. The service we had via phone ahead of time, countless calls, prompted by the company (0 stars) telling us to keep calling back for an update on pickup time, WAS HORRIBLE. The last time we talked, the night before, we were told we would be picked up at 7:10. The van arrived at 10:15. This did not make any of us very happy and because of this, we would not use your company again or recommend it. Therefore 2 stars

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

César S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2014

The tour was excellent. First, the pickup service made things a lot easier. Second, Carla, the tour guide, was fully prepared to give all necessary background and to explain the whereabouts of places we visit. Lastly, the schedule they provide was very accurate, regardless the heavy traffic in Rio.

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

cindyp

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

Worth the trip out; an hour and a half bus ride from Copacabana. The palace shows all the rooms as they once were when the queen and her son and grandson lived in Petropolis and the stories are pretty interesting. The lunch was not good (buffet which is about $15USD).

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

California Tourist USA

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2013

Worth the time for sure. Learnt the history of the country from a very good guide Maria. She was organized. Recommendation for buffet lunch was also excellent! Recommend it!

Doing what: Petropolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace

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