Insider's Guide to Rio de Janeiro

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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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 the rainforest is filled with European alpine architecture and the gorgeous Museu Imperial would not be out of place in Austria.  Other buildings of note include the cathedral, which offers excellent views from the steps and the glasshouse (Palacio Cristal) imported from France for Princesa Isabela’s orchids.

Along Rue 16 de Marco there are lots of eateries and Rua Theresa is known for clothes shopping. If you’re after more strenuous activities you can also hike and mountain bike in the surrounding mountains.

Practical Info

Buses leave hourly from Rio de Janeiro and the trip takes about 1.5 hours. Once in town there are buses although it is easy to visit most of the highlights on foot in under 4 hours.

Tours & Tickets

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

4 star rating: Recommended 42 Reviews

Spend a day at Petrópolis, a mountainside retreat that once served as a summer getaway for Brazil's royalty. On this guided tour, wander through the ...  Read more

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $58.99

Private Petropolis Imperial City Tour

This private full-day tour will allow you to discover and explore Petropolis, the Imperial City of Rio de Janeiro State. History fills the air as you see ...  Read more

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: Flexible

From USD $150.00

Day Trip to Petrópolis from Rio de Janeiro

3 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

Dive into a piece of Brazilian history on this full day tour to Petrópolis from Rio de Janeiro. Learn about the history and heritage of this city and ...  Read more

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $55.00

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