The metro system in the Brazilian cities loses badly Metropoline systems of cities like Paris, New York and Berlin, yet it is still possible to soghtseeing in the maintourist points of the Rio de Janeiro using the subway as a means of transport.
Ipanema – General Osório Station Peace Terrace: Inaugurated a little over a year ago right at the access to the Cantagalo Slope, the Peace Terrace, in Ipanema, offers one of the most spectaculars views of the city. To get there, take one of the elevators-– they are in two towers that connect the Ipanema/General Osório station to Cantagalo.
Cardeal Arcoverde – Cantagalo – Siqueira Campos Stations – Copacabana beach: Copacabana is worldly famous, and has been an inspiration for songs and an open set for movies many times through the years. The curvy design of its beach’s boardwalk is like a fingerprint, and has been one of the most reproduced features of Rio’s beauty in ten among ten postcards of the city. Getting there by subway is a piece of cake: the neighborhood has three stations with accesses close to different spots along the shoreline.
Botafogo Station – Botanic Garden: An honest to God oasis in the middle of the city, the Botanic Garden is an obligatory stop for tourists and cariocas alike. One of the most well preserved green areas of Rio, it houses 6,500 plant species, spread throughout an area of over 133 acres, both out in the open and in greenhouses. Dress appropriately, take the Subway Bus (Metrô Na Superfície) that leaves from the Botafogo Station, get down at the Jardim Botânico stop and forget about life. But if you’re looking for a bigger crowd – of tourists, mainly -, get down in Botafogo, take the Express Bus 513 and go the Sugarloaf Mountain to experience one of the most incredible sightseeing experiences the city has to offer.
Glória Station – Our Lady of Glory Church: Considered one of the jewels of Brazilian’s colonial architecture, Our Lady of Glory Church is a piece of history preserved at the top of Glory’s slope. Its high location makes it easy to be spotted from Flamengo’s Landfill – to get there, take the subway get down at Glória Station.
Cinelândia Station – Municipal Theatre and National Library: A few steps away from the accesses to the Cinelândia Station are two of Rio’s biggest historical monuments: in one side, the Municipal Theatre, newly renovated, is open to visits that must be previously scheduled—they happen from Tuesday to Saturday, for R$ 10. And across the street there’s the National Library, home to the country’s entire bibliographic and documentary heritage, and the bearer of the title of largest library in Latin America. If you can spare a whole day inside its walls, don’t hesitate to do so—it will prove to be a great history class.
Central Station – Central do Brasil: In the divide between downtown Rio and the Gamboa neighborhood, right at the middle of Presidente Vargas Avenue, the Central do Brasil hosts one the city’s most iconic tower clocks. The visit is worth for the historical aspect of the place—during the rush hours it is a challenge to walk there unperturbed; if you’re on vacation, choose to go there at a calmer time. And since you’re there, take the integration with the SuperVia trains and get down at the Bonsucesso Station to ride the cable car that goes up the Conjunto de Favelas do Alemão, which works from Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 6 pm, on Saturdays, from 9 am to 4 pm, and on Sundays, from 9 am to 3 pm.
São Cristóvão Station – Quinta da Boa Vista: Public park of great historical value, incrusted in the São Cristóvão neighborhood, the Quinta da Boa Vista is also home to Rio’s zoo and to Brazil’s Museum of Natural History. The entrance to the park is free; however, to get into the zoo the visitor must pay R$ 6, while the visit to the museum costs R$ 3.
Maracanã Station – Maracanã Stadium: If you think that the Maracanã Stadium is totally closed due to the renovation taking place to prepare it for the 2014 World Cup, think again. A few steps away from the currently inexistent bleachers, the sports complex also has a Football Museum and a Walk of Fame, as well as statues of some of Brazil’s soccer icons, such as Zico and Zagallo. The visitor can also follow the progress of the renovation process the stadium is going through, thanks to a terrace with a view to the working site. To plan your visit, right down the schedule: the museum opens daily from 9 am to 5 pm, and the ticket costs R$ 10.
Largo do Machado Station – Corcovado: From the top of Corcovado’s 710 meters it’s possible to see some of Rio’s most gorgeous landscapes – those that we’re used to see in movies or in paintings only. When planning your visit, try getting there close to sunset – the result is almost poetic. The mountain is open to visitors from 8:30 am to 7 pm, and the train station is located at 513 Cosme Velho Street (Rua Cosme Velho, 513). To get there, get down at the Largo do Machado Station and take the Express Bus 580.
Estácio Station – São Cristóvão Fair: With about 700 booths, the São Cristóvão Fair is a little piece of Brazil’s northeast region in the heart of Rio’s North Zone. Completing eight years inside the neighborhood’s old pavilion, the fair receives about 70,000 visitors every weekend and works from Tuesday to Thursday, between 10 am and 6 pm. On Fridays it opens at 10 am and only closes at 8 pm on Sunday night. To get there, take the Express Bus 012 that leaves from the subway’s Estácio Station.
Carioca Station – Santa Teresa’s streetcars: For over 100 years, Santa Teresa’s streetcars wheel around that that is considered Rio’s most bohemian neighborhood, known by the many bands and groups that choose its streets to parade during carnaval season. Serving not only as a mean of transportation by workers that live nearby, the streetcars provide an enchanting ride for those boarding them for the first time. The usual route starts downtown, close to the Largo da Carioca – the station is at Lélio Gama Street and works daily from 6 am to 8 pm. The fare is R$ 0.60.