Curitiba is the capital of Paraná, Brazil. If you're heading for Iguaçu Falls from Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, it's worth stopping by for a day or two.
The botanical garden in Curitiba, Brazil
Curitiba is one of the largest cities in the prosperous Southern region, and its population is largely descended from German, Ukrainian, Russian, Italian and Polish immigrants. The city is known to urban planners worldwide for its innovative public transit system.
There is a great cidade velha (old city) in the center which was restored very well for its 319 years, but unfortunately much of it is covered in graffiti and only a few of the buildings are aesthetically pleasing as a result. There is a huge arts and crafts fair every Sunday in the old city that is well worth visiting.
Curitiba's Bus & Train Station (Estaçao Rodoferroviária) is a large station with 3 terminals (train terminal, interstate bus terminal and intrastate bus terminal) provides scheduled bus service from Curitiba to all over Brazil, as well as locations in Argentina, Chile and Paraguay.
Actually the bus is the best way to come from or go through São Paulo and Florianopolis, since the travel doesn't last too long and the bus terminals are strategically located downtown in these cities (avoiding traffic jams and long transfers to distant airports). São Paulo Station is not located exactly downtown but is nearby, and has a subway station inside the terminal. Curitiba-São Paulo: travel time 6h, R$ 60-80, departures every hour (there's no need to book in advance). Curitiba-Florianopolis: travel time 4h30, R$ 50-70, lots of departures every day (although not so widespread than to São Paulo)
Curitiba is one of the major cities of Brazil and is served by an international airport, named Aeroporto Afonso Pena, which is in the nearby city of Sao José dos Pinhais and about 17 km (10.6 miles) from Curitiba city center. There are daily scheduled departures to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Brasília and other major cities. It also serves flights to other Paraná State cities, such as Foz do Iguaçu, Londrina and Maringá. International destinations with scheduled flights from Curitiba are Buenos Aires (Ezeiza and Aeroparque), although other destinations may be eventually served on a non-scheduled basis.
Major airlines such as Gol, Azul and TAM provide scheduled services to other cities, including those in Paraná State, as well as international destinations. Other minor airlines, such as Brava and Passaredo, also serve Curitiba in scheduled and non-scheduled basis.
There are different options of ground transportation between Afonso Pena Airport and Curitiba city center. Regular city buses cost R$ 4,25. However, you need to take two buses to arrive at downtown. At first, take the gray bus "E32-Aeroporto/T.Boqueirão" in the airport tube station (a bus stop in the form of tube) and stop at Terminal do Boqueirão (Boqueirão bus terminal). There, take one more gray bus called "Boqueirão/Centro Cívico" and stop at "Círculo Militar" , a tube station located at the downtown.
The Airport Shuttle departs every 20-30 minutes on business days and is quicker than the city buses and much more comfortable, but its fare is R$ 15,00. You can pay with cash, debit or credit card. If you choose debit card and buy two tickets, you get a discount.
Taxi cabs are available 24 hours per day, but the fare varies on the final destination. You can plan on roughly R$ 60 to go downtown.
Other options include Uber, Cabify and 99Pop apps, which are cheaper than the taxis (about R$30-R$40 until the downtown).
There are more than 4 rental companies in site.
Due to the Brazilian government decision on not providing passenger train services anymore, Curitiba is no longer serviced by scheduled passenger train service. However, there is a touristic train route that goes to Paraná State's ocean coast, reaching its end in Paranaguá. It is definitely a worthwhile ride for those willing to see natural and Atlantic Forrest scenery, with many waterfalls, cliffs, peaks and historic sites. For more information see the Do section
Coming from São Paulo use BR-116 South. From Florianópolis use BR-101. From Porto Alegre use BR-116 North.
Curitiba has a very simple and practical transportation system. Public transportation consists entirely of buses. A metro line is in construction. There are several different types of bus, each with a different function.
Driving can be difficult for those who are not used to the traffic in Curitiba, especially for first comers. In the central area, there are many one-way streets, parking restrictions as well as pedestrian-only and bus-only streets. Bus lanes are very common in Curitiba, as the city has over 60 km (38 miles) of them. Most avenues are wide and have spacious sidewalks and they are mostly laid out in a grid system in the city center area.
Public transportation is probably the best option for those visiting the city. The fare is R$ 2,70 and R$ 1,50 (€ 0.55 / U$ 0.70) on Sundays, and you can connect for free between the bus routes if you connect inside the bus depots or the tube stations. There are also special services, like the City Center Circulator, which costs only R$ 1.50 (€ 0.60 / U$ 0.90), the Touristic Route, which serves more than 20 attractions and allows each rider visit 4 of them paying only one fare, although expensive (R$ 35.00) and the Airport Shuttle, operated with mini-buses between Curitiba downtown and Afonso Pena Airport.
Actually the best way to come from the airport to downtown is a city bus lane called "Aeroporto", which final stop is on the tube just next to the airport's main entrance. The fare is R$ 2,70, cheaper than the Airport Shuttle (R$ 13,00) and way cheaper than by taxi (R$ 60,00).
The public bus system is overcrowded in rush hours.
Many tourist attractions are closed on Monday. The tourist bus does not run on that day either.
Municipal libraries, located at schools or public places, with a reference collection of five thousand books inspired by two ancient landmarks: the library and the lighthouse from Alexandria. The modular building, with a metallic structure, has a height of 17 meters and 98 square meters of built area. The internal division is simple: the ground floor – where the books are, a hall and a spiral staircase, leading to the top of the tower, where there is a lair, covered with a metallic vault and above it a rooster. The Farol das Cidades, João Gava Street, s/n° - Abranches. M-F 9AM-9PM, and on Sa 9AM-1PM. The only one of its kind, is different from the others because of its collection, made of videos and CD-ROMs, equipped with computers and connected to the Internet and to the City Hall geoprocessing, with free access to the population.
- Jerusalem Fountain, Sete de Setembro Avenue, corner with Arthur Bernardes Avenue – Seminário. Pays homage to the 3,000 years of Jerusalem. The construction in concrete and masonry has a height of 14.5 meters and was designed bythe architect Fernando Canalli. At the top there are three bronze angels, of approximately 600 kilos each, sculpted by the artist Lys Áurea Buzzi, representing the three main monotheistic religions in the world, who believe in the existence of angels and for which Jerusalem is a sacred city: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
- Memory Fountain, at Garibaldi Square – São Francisco. authored by Ricardo Tod, the horse head in bronze characterizing the fountain pays homage to the old immigrant colonists, who with their carts would come from their small farms at the city's outskirts to sell their agricultural products at the center.
- Maria Lata D'Água Fountain,Generoso Marques Square - Center, at the vicinity of the Paranaense Museum. Together with the historic houses, it was inaugurated on May 15th, 1996. Structured in concrete, it occupies an area of approximately 36 square meters and has a 60 centimeters deep water mirror. The highlight from the fountain is a reproduction of the sculpture "Água pro Morro", from the beginning of the 1940's, from Erbo Stenzel, one of the most important artists from Paraná.
- Arab Memorial, at Claudino dos Santos Street – São Francisco. Opens from M-F, from 9AM to 6PM, and on Saturdays, 9AM to 1PM. paying homage to the Middle-Eastern culture, it works as a specialized library. The building reminds of the architectural style of the Moorish buildings, with elements such as the vault, the columns, the arches and the stained glass windows. With just over 140 square meters of built area, the Memorial has a cube shape and is placed over a water mirror. Inside the building, over a marble base is a sculpture representing the writer Gibran Kalil Gibran. It is located at Gibran Khalil Gibran Square - Center.
- Curitiba Memorial - a space for art and folklore, information and memory, the past and the future. Built on an irregular land, the architectural project allows the creation of spaces and functional and creative installations. The dome, resembling a painting, makes evident the work's role of cultural origin.
- Mocinhas da Cidade Fountain, at the crossing of Cruz Machado and Alameda Cabral. pays homage to the couple and country music duo Nhô Belarmino e Nhá Gabriela. With drawings from Fernando Canalli, it has colums with rods, which frame tiled pictures showing the verses of the song "Mocinhas da Cidade", immortalized by the duo and recorded for the first time at the beginning of the 1950's.
- Capão da Imbuia Wood / Natural History Museum,Benedito Conceição Street, 407 / Prof. Nivaldo Braga Street, 1225 – Capão da Imbuia. Opens Tu-Su, from 9AM to 5:30PM. With an internal exhibition of dioramas, stuffed animals and dehydrated vegetables. At the external area is the "Araucarias Path", a wood remanent from the Araucaria Forest, where an elevated pathway goes trough a 400 meters long path, with 12 windows and panels showing the inter-relations of the natural elements found at the Araucaria Forest and also the different products from this vegetable formation, obtained and used by Man.
Ópera de Arame (Wire Opera)
- Ópera de Arame / Pedreiras Park, João Gava Street, s/n°. – Abranches. Tu-Su from 8AM to 10PM. one of the emblematic symbols of Curitiba, with tubular structure and transparent ceiling, of great beauty. Inaugurated in 1992, it caters for all types of shows, between lakes, typical vegetation and cascades, on an unique landscape. The Opera is part of the Pedreiras Park, together with the Paulo Leminski Cultural Space, where the Passion of Christ was enacted, and hosted many other big events since 1989, and can receive, in open air, 10 thousand people seating or 50 thousand standing.
- Japan Square, Sete de Setembro Avenue, junction with Rep. Argentina Avenue – Água Verde. Opens – Culture House – Tu-Su 9AM to 6PM; Tea Ceremony – Thursdays from 9AM to 4PM. homage to the sons of the "Rising Sun", who settled there dedicating themselves to agriculture. Scattered around the square are 30 cherry trees sent from Japan by the Nipponese empire and artificial lakes Japanese style. In 1993 the Japanese Portal, the Culture House and the Tea House were built.
Metropolitan Cathedral at Tiradentes plaza
- Tiradentes Square, the main square in Curitiba and also its birthplace. On the north end of this square, lies Basilica Cathedral Minor of Our Lady of Light, centennial in 1993. Anciently known as Largo da Matriz, the square is the city's initial landmark. In 1880, because of the emperor D. Pedro II visit to Paraná, the Square became known as D. Pedro II. Nine years later, at the Republic, it has received the current name of Tiradentes Square. It is an important public transport terminal. It is a permanent meeting point, bringing fond memories to the common curitibano memory.
- 24 Horas Street, between Visconde de Nácar and Visconde do Rio Branco Streets – Center. The Street that never sleeps is the synthesis of a city which also never sleeps. It is 120 meters long and 12 meters wide. It is composed by 32 arches in metallic tubular structure, trademark of the modern curitibana architecture. There are 34 shops that are open eternally, from the daybreak sandwich to the bank withdrawal; from the pharmacy to the florist; from books to milk for the children. Great meeting point for tourists and curitibanos seeking leisure, pastimes, night life and good eating options. At 24 Horas street it also possible to have free Internet access, day and night. The user just has to schedule a time.
- Santa Felicidade, Along Manoel Ribas Avenue. The neighborhood where some of the first Italian immigrants arriving in Paraná settled, where they dedicated themselves to the agricultural production, planting herbs, wine and cheese making and willow tress. Almost in front of the church is the cemetery, with the unique pantheon made of 18 chapels in neo-classic style, which became heritage through the Historic and Artistic Heritage. Standing out for their architecture, the Geraniums House, the Panels House, the Arcades House and the Culpi House. The greatest attraction in Santa Felicidade is to be the gastronomic district of Curitiba, with a large number of restaurants offering typical food and wine from the colony. There are also wineries and wine bars, craft stores and willow furniture.
- São Cristóvão / Italian Wood, Margarida Ângela Zardo Miranda Street, s/n°. M-F 8AM to 5PM. A place for the typical parties of the Italian community in the district, such as the Grape Party, the Wine Party and the 4 Giorni in Italy. It has structure for food and drink stalls, space for shows and folkloric presentations and a polenta pot.
- Historic Area, Largo da Ordem / Praça Coronel Enéas, Praça Garibaldi – São Francisco. Complex with the oldest buildings in the city. Among these buildings are the Romário Martins House, from the XVIII century and the Church of the Third Order of Saint Francis, from 1737, as well as the architectural examples inspired by the Germans, from the second half of the XIX century. On Sunday mornings, the old stones at the Largo da Ordem and the pavement giving access to Garibaldi Square, with the Rosário Church, the Flowers Clock, the Memory Fountain and the Società Giuseppe Garibaldi make the setting for the Crafts Fair, an exciting meeting point with live music.
- Guaíra Theater, XV de Novembro Street, s/n, Santos Andrade Square – Centro. Live memory from the multi-faceted culture of the curitibanos, it is one of the biggest theaters in Latin America. It used to be called Theatro São Theodoro, inaugurated in 1884 at Dr. Muricy Street and rebaptized in 1900 as Guaíra Theater. It was demolished in 1930 and the rebuilding, in 1952, already at the current location, was linked to the celebrations of the Centenary of Political Emancipation of Paraná (19th of December, 1953). It only got finished in the 70's. There are three auditoriums, the biggest of them with 2173 seats.
- Paiol Theater, Chile Street, corner with Reynaldo Machado Street – Prado Velho. Opens daily, from 8:30AM–noon and 1PM-9PM. Symbol of the cultural change in Curitiba in the 1970's, it inaugurated the process of recycling the use of buildings which are valuable for the city's collective memory. Built in 1906, the old gunpowder barn was restored and recycled in the 1970's, becoming an arena theater. Its inauguration on December 27th 1971, was baptized by the poet Vinícius de Moraes, with whisky and a song specially composed for the occasion, "Paiol de Pólvora". In the inauguration show, besides the "poetinha", Toquinho and Marília Medalha also took part.
- Mercês Tower, Prof. Lycio Grein de Castro Vellozo Street, corner with Jacarezinho Street – Mercês. Tu-Su 10AM-7PM. The highest point in Curitiba, allowing a 360 degree vision of the city, from a height of 95 meters. It is managed by Telepar and Curitiba City Hall, which promote video sessions and tourism guidance. Also there is the Telephone Museum.
- Rosicrucian Order, 2641 Nicarágua Street – Bacacheri. M-F 8:30AM to 12 noon, Sa 2:30PM-5PM. the Grand Lodge for Brazil of the Rosicrucian Order implemented in 1956 in Rio de Janeiro was transferred to Curitiba in 1960. The temple is part of an architectural complex of six buildings in Egyptian style, a homage to the first members who would get together in the secret chambers of the great pyramid. In the other buildings are the general administration, the Auditorium H. Spencer Lewis, a memorial with a pyramid and the Curitiba Lodge, where the library and museum are located, with reproductions of Egyptian pieces from various dynasties, including papyrus and mummies.
- São Francisco Ruins - a space surrounded by fables, at João Cândido Square. The ruins are made of stone, of what should have been the São Francisco de Paula church, never finished. In 1811 the chapel and the sacristy were finished, but in 1860 the stones that would finish the construction were used to finish the old Matriz tower, currently the Basilica Cathedral Minor of Our Lady of Light. Stories of tunnels and pirates live in the place, today filled with leisure and business spaces, stage and grandstand, forming the "Ruins' Arcades".
- German Wood, Niccolo Paganini Street, corner with Franz Schubert – Vista Alegre (Jardim Schaffer). The Wood opens daily 6AM-8PM; the Library from 9AM-5PM; Story Time Sa,Su 2PM. Has various features to celebrate and promote the German traditions. There are 38 thousand square meters of native forest, which was part of the old farm from the Schaffer family. The replica of an old wooden church, built in 1933 at the Seminário neighborhood, with neo-gothich decorative elements, shelters a concert hall called Bach's Oratorium. Other attractions are the John and Mary path, which tells the Grimm brothers tale, a children's library, the Philosophers Tower, a wooden observatory allowing a panoramic view of the city and the Ocean Ridge, and the German Poetry Square, with a reproduction of the Casa Mila façade, a German building from the beginning of the last century, originally located in the city center.
- Barigüi Park,BR-277 – Rodovia do Café, Km 0 – Bigorrilho. With an area of 1.4 million square meters, it is one of the biggest parks of the city and definitely the most visited. Not only the city residents and the tourists seek rest in the park. Guinea pigs, night herons, white herons, skunks, crown sparrows, song-thrushes and dozens of other native animals make Barigüi their home. Among the features available in the Park there are: barbeques, kiosks, cycle and model airplanes tracks, multi-sports courts, gym equipment, car park, restaurant, playground, Automobile Museum, Exhibition and Convention Center, Steam Train Station and the Environment Municipal Council headquarters.
- Barreirinha Park, 6010 Anita Garibaldi Avenue – Barreirinha. Opens daily, from 6AM-6PM. The most beautiful park of the city, one can appreciate araucarias, cinnamon, bracatingas, Paraguay tea plants and other native species. The green area, serving as an important regulator of the air quality in the region, is used by students and university teachers in practical Botanic lessons. The Municipal Forest, next to the park, has a scientific and educational role – it is responsible for the research and production of vegetable species. Among its features there are woods with over 200 thousand square meters of typical vegetation, children's library, playground, rustic cabin, snack bar, barbeques and car park.
- Botanical Garden of Curitiba, Eng. Ostoja Roguski Street, s/n°. Opens from 6AM-9PM during summertime; and from 6AM-8PM during the rest of the year. Curitiba's trademark, created to resemble French gardens, rolls out its flower carpet to the visitors right at the entrance. The greenhouse, with a metallic structure, has botanic species that are national reference, and also a water fountain. The native forest is filled with paths for hiking. The Botanic Museum attracts researchers from all over the world. There is a space for exhibitions, library and a theater.
- Gutierrez Wood / Chico Mendes Memorial / Dolls Theater, Albino Raschendorfer Street, s/n°. – Vista Alegre. Opens daily, from 6AM-6PM. implemented in the wood on the 22nd of March, 1989, the Chico Mendes Memorial pays homage to the amazonian rubber extraction leader, who was killed in Xapuri, Acre. It comprises 18 thousand square meters of green area, with paths and a natural spring, supplying 1,350 liters of mineral water hourly. It is home to the Amazônica School and the Dadá Dolls Theater.
- Iguaçu Park/ Zoo, Mal. Floriano Avenue, s/n°. – Alto Boqueirão. Opens from Tu-F from 8:30AM-4PM; Sa, Su and public holidays, from 8:30AM to 5PM. The largest urban park in Brazil, with 8 million square meters. Equipped with car parks, kiosks, bar and snack bar, the park offers many attractions, divided in seven different areas: sports, nautics, fishing, natural wood, public orchards, ecologic sanctuaries and zoo. Here, over one thousand animals from 80 species can be seen: birds from all over South America, reptiles and mammals from many different origins, kept in an environment as close as possible to their natural habitat.
- Passaúna Park, Eduardo Sprada Street, s/n° – Augusta. Opens daily. almost 6.5 million square meters are within the Passaúna Basin, West of Curitiba. Almost 3.5 million square meters belong to the lake created by the reservoir of the Water Supply Station. A lot of Nature can be seen from above, from the observatory, where a panoramic view surprises with its beauty and grandiosity. Ecologic trails and the Biological Station, an old brickyard, are worth visiting.
- Pope's Wood, Wellington Oliveira Vianna Street, s/n°.- Centro Cívico. Opens daily from 6AM-8PM; Memorial Tu-Su 9AM-6:30PM. Polish immigration memorial, inaugurated on 13th of December, 1980, following the visit from Pop John Paul II to Curitiba, on the previous July. The area of 46,337 square meters was part of the dispossession involving the old Estearina candle factory. The seven log houses composing the memorial are a live rememberance of the faith and battle of the Polish immigrants, with objects such as the old cart, the sour cabbage pipe and the image of the patron saint, the Black Virgin of Czestochowa. In Curitiba, the Polish immigration started in 1871.
- Portugal Wood, Ozório Duque Estrada Street, s/n°. – Jardim Social. Opens daily. homage to the Portuguese-Brazilian bonds, this space is highlighted by a track following a small brook, where one can see drawn on tiles excerpts from famous Portuguese language poets, as well as a tribute to the great Portuguese navigators and their discoveries.
- Public Promenade, Luiz Leão Street, s/n – Center. Tu-Su, from 6AM-8PM; the aquarium works from 9AM-5PM, also from Tu-Su. used to be called Botanic Garden. The first public park in Curitiba, it was inaugurated by the president of the Paraná province, Alfredo d'Escragnolle Taunay, on the 2nd of May, 1886. It was the first big sanitation work in the city, transforming a marsh in a leisure area, with lakes, bridges and islands within the green area. Pioneer zoo in Curitiba, even today it shelters small animals. The gate is a copy of what existed at the Paris Dog Cemetery.
- Reinhard Maack Wood,70 André Ferreira Camargo Street, Vl Hauer. Opens on weekends and public holidays from 8AM to 5PM. inaugurated in 1989, the wood is a homage from the city to the German geologist and researcher based in Paraná, whose work has contributed to the preservation of the environment in the State. The Wood has an area of remanent araucaria forest, with unique species in the whole region; an adventure trail with educational and ecologic toys for children; recreational equipment; and an evironmental education house.
- Tanguá Park, Dr. Bemben Street, s/n° - Pilarzinho. inaugurated in November 1996, it has a total area of 450 thousand square feet. Highlights of the park are two quarries linked by a 45 meters long tunnel, which could be crossed by walk, on a pathway over the water. The park also features a jogging track, cycle track, observatory, snack bar and Poty Lazzarotto Garden.
- Tingüi Park, Fredolin Wolf Avenue, s/n° / José Casagrande Street, s/n° - São João. Opens – Park – daily; Memorial – Tu-Su, 9AM to 6PM/ Crafts Shop – Tu-Su, 2:30PM to 6PM. part of the biggest linear environmental park in the Country, established at the Barigüi river margins, it reminds us of the indians who used to live there, with the statue of Tindiqüera Chieftain. The Ukrainian Memorial is also there, homage to the immigrants, in a replica of an orthodox church, originally built in inland Paraná State, hosting a pêssankas and icons exhibition.
- Tropeiros Park, Maria Lúcia Locher de Athayde Street, 10.000 – Cidade Industrial. It is open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, from 8AM to 7PM. Here the gaucho culture is preserved, brought by the cattle drivers who would pass near Curitiba, conducting the troops towards the Sorocaba Fair, which gave origin to various cities in the State. The park is equipped with installations suitable for rodeos and typical dances.
- Durival Britto e Silva - Vila Capanema: The more traditional soccer stadium of Paraná. It hosted the 1950 World Cup. Paraná Clube plays in there.
- Major Antônio Couto Pereira: Major Antônio Couto Pereira is the second biggest soccer stadium of Paraná. Coritiba Foot Ball Club plays in there.
- Joaquim Américo Guimarães - Arena da Baixada: Arena da Baixada is soccer stadium of Paraná selected to host 4 games at 2014 FIFA World Cup and is one of the most modern stadiums at Latin America. Nowadays is the biggest soccer stadium of Paraná State. Clube Atlético Paranaense plays in there.
Frost in a July morning
Many visitors from outside Brazil are not prepared to feel cold in this tropical country. This is precisely the case in Curitiba, located off from the tropic parallel, and elevated by an altitude of almost 1000 meters above the sea level. These factors mean that winters (Jun-Sep) can reach freezing temperatures specially by night, which make coats and further protections necessary. Even in the other seasons, cold nights are not something unexpected, albeit it will rarely go down to freezing levels. Summers (Dec-Mar) tend to be mild, with some hotter days of maximum through 30's C or 90's F, but occasional nights of 10's C or 50's F.
Curitiba is very well served of rain, there's no dry season, and the dwellers are not familiar with a timelapse of more than 4 or 5 days without showers. There are some metereological issues that makes long periods of a permanent light rain or drizzle, which may comprises several weeks, typically foggy and grey, barely similar to London.
Snow is very rare and the last precipitations took part in 2013. But there's lots of sites in 3h or 4h of traveltime that snows every year, specially Palmas (300km) and São Joaquim (400km). Frost, nevertheless, is very common within the city limits and produces painting-like landscapes in the urban parks, notably Barigui Park and Jardim Botanico (until 8 a.m., before the sunlight starts to melt the frost)
View from the Serra Verde Express
- The Serra Verde Express, a train to the coastal town of Morretes, makes an excellent day trip and is for many tourists the main reason to visit Curitiba. The views from the train are unforgettable. The ride departs daily at 08:15 in the morning, descends through some of last remaining Atlantic rainforest and offers some spectacular views (not to mention it is one of the few train rides in Brazil). On Sundays the train continues to Paranaguá, although the last bit between Morretes and Paranaguá is not very scenic. There are three price levels of the tickets claiming to offer different levels of luxury: round-trip tickets are R$72 for economic class (hard to come by), R$92 for touristic (R$ 58 for kids), R$ 133 for the executive class (R$ 63 for kids) and R$290 for luxury class (R$ 205 for kids). Buy the cheapest ticket you can get since there really is not much difference between the cars. The return ticket is about 30% cheaper. In addition to the regular train, there's a special tourist train, the litorina, which only runs on weekends. One-way fare for the litorina is R$126.
One fun day trip is to leave the train in Morretes, and hitch a ride upstream by taxi or farmer's cart along the Nhundiaquara river. There is a bridge a few miles upstream (Porto de Cima) where you can rent an innertube (boiacross in Portuguese), and get a ride a few miles upstream on dirt roads. A fun float down the river through the tropical jungle is spectacular, refreshing, and you won't find a cleaner place in Brazil. An unforgettable day, especially if it is not a holiday time or weekend when it may be more crowded. Look for the bottle-hotel near the tube take-out point - that would be a memorable place to stay if it is open (seasonally).
- Feira do Largo da Ordem  (Largo da Ordem's Street Fair) it is an open market , happens on all Sunday mornings , there you can find craftmanship , paintings , sculptures , typical foods , street artists , ecological pencils (Natural de Curitiba), old car exhibition and a lot more.
- Feira da praça da Espanha (Spain Square's Fair) it is a trade of antiquities, placed at the Spain square.
Best places to go shopping in Curitiba, just like any place else in Brazil, are the Shoppping Malls. There are many shopping malls in Curitiba, them biggest are Curitiba: Mueller (www.shoppingmueller.com.br), Estação (www.shoppingestacao.com.br), Curitiba (www.shoppingcuritiba.com.br), Crystal (www.shoppingcrystal.com.br), Park Barigüi (www.parkshoppingbarigui.com.br, Shopping Palladium (www.shoppingpalladium.com.br)and the recently opened Patio Batel (www.patiobatel.com.br); Patio Batel is the luxury mall where you can find all the big Western brands.
If you like to walk outside, there are some nice places in Batel. Walk along Carlos de Carvalho street and its crossing streets. If you are looking for something from well-known international brands like Prada, Dior, Armani, D&G and Diesel, you might like "Maison Capoani" a boutique located at end of Comendador Araújo Street on Batel, near to Crystal Shopping Center.
Curitiba has a good variety of restaurants, ranging from modest to upscale restaurants.
Note that the downtown (centro) area caters mainly to the business lunch crowd, and is very quiet at night with many restaurants closed. On Sundays nearly all bars and restaurants are closed downtown.
- Montesquieu Bar, Corner of Westphalen and Silva Jardim St. (downtown). These are probably the biggest sandwiches in Brazil - "x-montanha" (cheese mountain) is a sandwich with someone can customize with layers of bread and meat, and it's very inexpensive (around US$3).
- Spich Restaurant, in front of Osorio Square (downtown). Inexpensive downtown restaurant, very simple, but will supply the daily needs of calories. A variety of food complements combined with two options of meat - R$ 5,50 (US$3).
- Santa Felicidade is a neighborhood where you can find Italian food restaurants.
- Taco El Pancho, Rua Bispo Dom José ,2295 Bairro: Batel . Good Mexican restaurant.
- Piola Pizzeria, Rua Dom Pedro II, 105 +55 (41) 3225-7725, . Very nice pizza, pasta and drinks.
- Churrascaria Curitibana, Avenida Iguaçu, 1315, Rebouças, +554132335287. Good meat!
- Famiglia Originale, Avenida Munhoz da Rocha, 665, Cabral, +554130190909. Excelent Italian Food, the best Strognoff Pizza!
- Tropilha Grill, Rua Emiliano Perneta, 700, Centro, +554130855444, Excellent churrascaria with great meat, quality salad bar and service. Around $R70pp for rodizio, with a couple's special some nights where the lady eats for half price! . This is also one of the few decent restaurants open in the downtown area at night.
- Durski, . Slavic cuisine (Ukranian, Polish and Russian) in the Old Town.
- Le Rechaud, . Very good swiss restaurant good for couples, with a very reserved atmosphere.
- Ippon Japanese An all-you-can-eat option is offered for R$ 43.90, very worthy though. (this value refers to 2008 and it's likely to be around 60 R$ in late 2011)
- Taisho The best and most traditional japanese in Curitiba. For around R$ 60, US$ 40, one can eat almost every speciality of this cuisine.
- Flor da Favela Rua Buenos Aires, 80 - Batel, Curitiba. Phone: +55(41) 3232-5380. A local bar inspired by Brazil's slums. Colorful decoration with graffiti, the bar attracts couples and students who get together for a glass of beer and nice food. Try the "Bolinho de Aipim", a cassava mini cake with cheese.
- Cat's ClubAl. Dr. Muricy, 949 - Downtown. Phone +55(41) 3224 5912 .One of the most traditional clubs in Curitiba, if not the most, the customers are a mix and it is the best place if you want to have fun, Paola Full Drag queen and Security will be in the door warning the people for what is coming inside, the public is of all styles gays, lesbians, bisexuals and a large number of straights.
- James Bar Av. Vicente Machado, 894 - Downtown. Phone: +55(41) 3222-1426. If you want to more "alternative" club, James is a good option. Wednesday night rock parties and Saturdays (Indie/Electronica) are highly recommended. Gay friendly.
- Wonka Bar Rua Trajano Reis , 326 - São Francisco. Phone:+55(41) 3026 6272. Classic club in old downtown. Some of the best local bands play here. A plenty of good looking girls (boys) in the weekends :)
- Sheridan's Irish Pub  Rua Bispo Dom José , 2315 - Batel. Phone:+55(41)3343-7779. Good place to get a pint. Don´t miss the local artesanal beers.
- Soviet Vodka Bar  Rua Bispo Dom José , 2277 - Batel. Phone:+55(41)3022-2042. Vodkas from all over world.
- 5th Ave Manhattan Lounge  Rua Angelo Sampaio 1785 - Batel. Phone: +55(41)3082-2464. New York style Lounge / Bar
- Hop'n Roll, Rua Mateus Leme 950, ☎ 41 3408 4486, . opens at 17:30. Maybe one of the best spots in Brazil for beer lovers. The Pub has a microbrewery and a beer lab attached and always offers a varying selection of 12 different beers on the tap. Since Curitiba is trying to become the center of artisanal beer brewing in Brazil the pub also offers workshops on the art of brewing. Brazilian and International food is served at reasonable prizes. Sometimes live rock music.
- O Torto Bar, R. Paula Gomes, 354 - Downtown (Very close to 'Largo da Ordem' and 1 block away from Wonka Bar), ☎ 41 3027-6458, . 19:00 - 01:00. One of the most authentic bars of the city. A very small place where most people hang out outside of the bar, on the street. Relatively cheap beer (R$4 for a 600 ml Sol or 5,50 for equally sized Heineken). Best place to start the night before heading to Wonka / Blues Velvet / Empório São Francisco / Peppers
- Formule 1 Curitiba, Rua Mariano Torres, 927 - Centro (walking distance from the central bus/train station), ☎ +55 41 3218-3838 ([email protected], fax: +55 41 3218-3839), . checkin: 12.00; checkout: 12.00. Formule 1 is the McDonald's or Ryanair of hotels, with spotless professionalism and good quality, although without charm. The rooms can accomodate 3 people but the price is the same regardless of how many are staying there. Breakfast costs extra. Triple R$ 65.
- YHI Hostel Roma, Rua Barão do Rio Branco 805 (In walking distance from the Rodoferroviaria, next to the old railway station.), ☎ 41 224-2117, . A simple, clean and quiet hostel near the city centre. The breakfast is a great buffet. dorm R$22 for YHI members incl. breakfast.
- Nacional Inn Torres, (near the central bus station), . Modern hotel.
- Four Points by Sheraton Curitiba, Av. Sete de Setembro 4211, Agua Verde, . US$236 - US$1,451.
- Hotel Deville Curitiba, Rua Comendador Araújo 99 - Batel 80420-000 Curitiba (PR), ☎ +55 41 3883 4777 ([email protected], fax: +55 41 3883 4776), .
- Pestana Curitiba Hotel, Rua Comendador Araújo 499 - Batel 80420-000 Curitiba (PR), ☎ +55 41 3017-9900 ([email protected], fax: +55 41 3017-9901), .
Despite Brazil's high perception of crime by locals and foreigners, common sense can avoid most risk of violence. Among Brazilians, Curitiba is considered a relatively safe city. There are some precautions that tourists can take to ensure a safe visit. Don't walk in city center after 8pm, especially near Largo da Ordem. Do not show your valuables in public. The city center is very safe during the daytime. In general taxis are safe in Curitiba, but use common sense when using them, and do not accept strange offers. In general, the buses are safe. Do not under any circumstances go to poor neighbourhoods, such as tatuquara, cic, boqueirao, sitio cercado.
As any big city, pedestrians must watch out the surroundings when walking on the streets, even by daylight. Stay away, or move yourself fast and cautiously, from streets where there are few or no people in the sidewalks, especially in the areas near the Historical Center, anytime. Both residents and tourists should avoid rambling long distances after dusk. In spite of the fact that Curitibans are more reserved people compared to the average Brazilian, the lack of people in the streets at night reflects a general fear of thefts and assaults, as most people prefers to get around by car.
Crime involving tourists is generally non-violent and related to thefts and pick-pocketing. In general, neighborhoods are relatively safe, however caution should be exerted in the following (particularly, but not exclusively, at night):
- Surroundings of the Main Bus Terminal (Rodoferroviária); if you arrive late, take a taxi even if your hotel is close
- Downtown squares - during the day are fairly safe, nonetheless, after 8PM, are generally hideaway to drug dealers and thefts - give preference to the streets on the edge of the squares instead of passing through them.
- Historical Center
- Batel neighborhood - always exercise common sense
- Rebouças and Prado Velho, neighborhoods within a distance of 2km from the city center (southbound)
The neighborhoods on the south side of the city (Sitio Cercado, Fazendinha, Pinheiriho, Cidade Industrial, Tatuquara), are the poorest areas and so far the most dangerous places, albeit there is not anything attractive to the regular tourist. Home of roughly 1/3 of the population, these places also host the majority of the city's shantytowns. More avoidable neighborhoods: Parolin (south side), Cajuru and Uberaba (east) and Campo Comprido and São Braz (west).
At night it is best to get around by taxi. The public transport are almost entirely off after midnight.
In general, a common-sense approach to personal safety is advised. Curitiba is a big city, and with it come the usual problems (poverty, homelessness, drugs, prostitution, etc.). Be cautious with your personal belongings, and avoid walking around empty areas by night.
Care must be taken as a pedestrian as well as most drivers in Curitiba do not respect the pedestrian crosses and in some cases red lights.
Update for february 2013: All the above advice is still entirely effective, in spite of the recent actions of the police aiming to control crime activities. From this date, however, it is fair to notice about the problems ongoing in São Francisco neighborhood (surroundings of the Historic Center), which is located next to downtown and cover streets known for a somewhat alternative and middle-class night life. Drug dealers and customers are a current plague there, and there's a sense of danger during the night since robbery and assaults frequently occur, and are almost entirely related to drugs. Crack users can be seen nearly every single street of the neighborhood. Avoid, with all the means possible, the quieter streets. This report is related specially to the period after dusk, but even under the daylight one should exercise attention there. This is definitely the most problematic area of the town these days, which means: avoid walking ramdomly there, and take a taxi to get in or get out São Francisco
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!