Santa Teresa Tour

4.57 out of 5 based on 21 customer ratings
(21 customer reviews)

Selarón Steps

Santa Teresa Mansion

The Last Street Car

Colonial Architecture

Panoramic view of Favelas in Santa Teresa

One of our tour groups

Santa Teresa Tour Highlights:

Discover the colonial and artsy Santa Teresa
Take a trip on the city’s last remaining streetcar
Ride the efficient and safe Rio subway like a local
Take in the panoramic views at Parque das Ruínas
Visit the famous Selarón Steps

Walking Tour of Rio de Janeiro
Travel like a local on your walking tour of Rio. At Real Rio Tours, we are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment and exploring Rio like a true carioca. That’s why our tours utilize Rio’s efficient public transportation whenever possible. Note: Transportation fees not included.

Santa Teresa Tour Details:

Duration:4 hours
Time:10:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Meeting point:Carioca Square (Map)
Type:Group tour
Group size:Up to 10 people
Languages spoken:English, Portuguese
Included:Local expert guide
Not included:Incidentals, transportation, entry fees
Cancellation:72 hours

Your Santa Teresa tour will take you back in time, to an older, more romantic Rio de Janeiro and that is now home to some of the world’s leading street artists. Often likened to Paris’ Montmartre, a visit to Santa Teresa is sure to delight.

Your bohemian tour of Rio will start with your guide meeting your group to escort you personally via the efficient (and safe) metro system to the very center of Rio, Carioca Square. Once there, your guide lead you on an excursion that will show you the Real Santa Teresa, one of Rio’s most beloved neighborhoods.

After a quick stop at Carioca Square, you’ll head through the financial district towards the 100 year old tram that will take you up the steep hill to Santa Teresa, the boho-chic focal point of your tour. To get there, you’ll ride past the Lapa neighborhood of Rio, home to an aqueduct dating back to the 18th century but now one of Rio’s most sizzling areas for nightlife.

You’ll depart the tram at Largo dos Guimaraes, the main stop for the Santa Teresa neighborhood. Your guide will take you into the colonial neighborhood that is in the midst of renaissance, as more and more artists move in. Formerly dilapidated, the cobblestone streets and 18th century architecture now house fine restaurants, fabulous lounges and eclectic art galleries.

Your Santa Teresa tour will also visit the Parque das Ruínas (the Park of Ruins), which was home to one of Rio’s greatest patron of the arts, Laurinda Santos Lobo. Her mansion, built in 1907, was where she held great gatherings of Rio’s leading artists and intellectuals right up until her death in 1946. From her mansion, you will take in one of the most spectacular views in all of Rio (and there are many!) that will show you the entire city from downtown to Guanabara Bay.

As your tour of Rio continues along those historic streets, you’ll stop by Escadaria Selarón (Selarón’s Steps), famous for its tiles that were collected from cities all over the world by artists Jorge Selarón. Begun in 1990, there are now more than 250 tiles on the steps, representing more than 60 different countries. The steps have been featured in countless productions, from The Amazing Race and National Geographic to Pharrell’s “Happy” video. You’ll get a glimpse into the luminaries life, as his house is located right at the foot of the steps, where he sadly passed away in 2013.

Your group will them make its way to the Cinelândia square, home to the city’s architectural masterpiece, the Municipal Theater. The lavish theater is considered to be Rio’s most beautiful and important theater, inspired by Paris’ legendary opera house. Today it is still in use as home to the Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra.

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Tour FAQs

Where does your Santa Teresa Tour meet?

Your tour's meeting point will be sent over to you via email as soon as you book your tour. Your meeting point email will include detailed directions to your tour's starting point, including a map and photo of where your guide will be waiting to begin your tour.

What time does the Santa Teresa Tour begin?

It begins at 10:30 AM to ensure that you will get to see all of Santa Teresa's most famous sites.

What should I bring with me on my tour of Santa Teresa?

You should bring comfortable shoes, cool clothes, and a few reis to purchase lunch and any souvenirs you may want to bring back with you.

What if I have more questions about my tour of Santa Teresa?

Simply send us an email at or head to our contact page and we'll be happy to help.

21 reviews for Santa Teresa Tour

  1. 5 out of 5

    Santa Teresa lived up to our expectations. Lively and artsy. Marianne was a terrific guide (I think she grew up there) and knew the area really well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brilliant tour of a dynamic neighborhood.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fabulous. Our guide was great. Most memorable was the convent (where the neighborhood gets its name) and an old mansion with gardens that had an amazing view of downtown.

  4. 4 out of 5

    We originally planned to take this tour on our first day in Rio but they had to reschedule. The neighborhood was charming, walkable, and has lots of interesting little shops. The guide was very friendly, personable and informative.

  5. 4 out of 5

    The walk was a little tiring but after we asked our guide to slow down it was perfect. We were in a group of 5 people. The tour was well planned and we felt that we got to see interesting parts of the neighborhood.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Our guide was FABULOUS! She was incredibly knowledgeable about the neighborhood’s history but also passionate about how it’s an up and coming sort of place. She showed us great little boutiques and shops and recommended afterwards we find the Rooftop Bar for a caipirinha. (Which we did, thanks Marianne!)

  7. 5 out of 5

    I was surprised this neighborhood was as friendly and warm as it was. It helped that our guide knew the area well. He showed us how to use the metro (the tram is closed apparently) and where to go for shopping. He seemed to have a story about everything we saw. Great tour, highly recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Our guide took us through Santa Teresa at a good pace. We stopped to explore the more hidden areas that we probably wouldn’t have tried on our own. We felt safe with him. They didn’t tell us beforehand but definitely wear comfortable shoes, there’s a LOT of walking.

  9. 4 out of 5

    I was surprised to find out there was a street art festival in Santa Teresa when I booked this tour. It worked out as we got to meet a few local artists and our guide translated for us. It was a more crowded than I would have liked, but I enjoyed the tour overall. I would take this tour again.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ok, some of Santa Teresa is a little shady. But our guide was great. He steered us towards the more interesting parts and honestly we probably wouldn’t have found these places on our own. We came back that night to some of the places he recommended for nightlife – good recommendations.

  11. 5 out of 5

    We came for the famous steps but were surprised to find that the neighborhood was interesting on its own! Probably thanks to our guide, who was energetic, personable, and conversational. His knowledge of Rio was amazing, from history to current events. Highly recommend this tour.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nice way to spend an afternoon on the breezy hills. Friendly people, relaxed neighborhood. We had a great lunch in a very cool spot overlooking the city. Our guide introduced us to flavored pipoca (popcorn) from a local street vendor.

  13. 4 out of 5

    This area of Rio is well worth a visit. Walking up the tiled steps to the top of the neighborhood and a great view of the city. My family had a fantastic time, we just wished the tour lasted longer.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tram was closed, we did not know before. Still a very good tour, very nice guide.

  15. 5 out of 5

    This tour was FAST. I can’t believe how much we saw in one day! The day went by quickly. Our guide was energetic and enthusiastic and she knew the area well. Overall an excellent tour if you like this type of bohemian, artsy neighborhood.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Had a fantastic tour of Santa Teresa with Real Rio. Our guide was fun, and a real ‘carioca’. We found a great gallery where I was able to find a beautiful painting of Rio as well – something I’ll treasure forever.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Really enjoyed our tour with Michael. He pointed out a lot of interesting areas that we wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. The tram is currently closed but Michael led us through a whole subway and bus experience that was probably just as exciting. This was definitely an adventure.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Small, intimate tour. Well worth the time, I recommend it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    We were lucky and were the only two people on our tour! Our guide Marianne was full of energy. We felt that we got a great deal. It was fun to experience the neighborhood with a guide who knew it so well.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Our guide gave us time to explore on our own which was appreciated. Selaron staircase wasn’t as exciting as the pictures make it out to be, or maybe that was just us. The ambiance in the neighborhood was very relaxed and enjoyable, a nice change of pace from the busy areas of Rio.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Found this tour after asking for recommendations on Facebook. I wouldn’t have found this company otherwise but I’m glad I did. We took the El Centro and Santa Teresa tours so I’ll leave this review on both. We had the same guide for both. He was excellent, extremely well prepared. We were able to see a lot and have time to wander in between sights.

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