Don’t let the name fool you—Ruins Park, or Parque das Ruinas in Portuguese—isn’t just some abandoned relic of a bygone era. Well, the venue had been the mansion of a well-known Rio socialite, Laurinda Santos Lobo, whose early 20th-century balls were legendary. After her death in 1946, the house fell into disrepair, only to be salvaged by the city government in the 1990s and turned into this increasingly popular exhibition space and live music venue, complete with an al fresco café and one of the best views in the city.
Perched high atop one of the quieter hillsides of Santa Teresa, the restored complex features a beguiling mash-up of 19th- and 20th-century architecture, with an exposed brick façade and colonnaded veranda standing warmly next to Modernist metal and glass accents. During the summer, the outdoor concert series includes local jazz and samba bands, as well as children’s performances that add a decidedly familial air to an otherwise romantic ambiance. Be sure not to miss the marvelous weekend brunch served up with a stunning panorama of the marvelous city.