Catete

A casual neighborhood with a colonial past, Catete is unequivocally quaint.

Catete’s history of power is evidenced by opulent reminders—pillars, plazas, and palaces recall this neighborhood’s former role as the home base for Brazil’s head of government. Now, this near-Centro neighborhood lives less lavishly. Small shops, leafy residential streets, and colorful colonial buildings representative of a bygone era characterize Catete. Its blend of regal architecture and regular people place Catete in an esteemed class, but getting away is easy—it’s served by the subway.

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On the Map

Catete is bordered by Glória, Flamengo, Laranjeiras, and Santa Teresa

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Possible

Galeão International Airport: 29 minutes by cab without cab without traffic
Santos Dumont Domestic Airport: 11 minutes by cab without traffic
Corcovado's Train Station: 8 minutes by cab or 23 minutes by bus
Sugar Loaf Cable Car: 12 minutes by cab or 40 minutes by bus
Lapa: 10 minutes by cab or 25 minutes by bus

Faded Grandeur and Growing Popularity

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Before Brasilia was the capital of Brazil, Catete was the capital.

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Its rich historical history is reflected in the faded grandeur of its colonial architecture.

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Once Rio's richest neighborhood, Catete has relinquished its lavish lifestyle.

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Now, much of the former capital's infrastructure has been repurposed into a commercial center that lacks Catete's earlier opulence.

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Relics of a Regal Past

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From 1897 to 1960, the Palacio do Catete served as Brazil's seat of government. Practically overnight, the capital packed up and found a new seat in Brasilia, leaving its old infrastructure to find a new future.

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Many buildings were demolished, others abandoned. Cariocas had discovered the beauty of the beach and left Catete to care for itself.

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Although its dilapidated elegance lends Catete a certain esteem, its empty spaces create an eerie atmosphere at night.

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The neighborhood is very centrally located with respect to the beaches and the center of the city, where many Carnaval blocos take place. It is also much closer to the Sambodromo than Copacabana, Ipanema, or Leblon."

Catete's Convenient Center

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Catete redeveloped itself into a cadre of convenient stores.

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The neighborhood's central location makes it easy to reach daytime draws like Santa Teresa and nightlife destinations like Lapa.

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Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Fabio Blaser is a Swiss photojournalist based in Rio de Janeiro. Before moving to Brazil, he graduated from the University of Plymouth in the UK. When not behind his camera, he enjoys the beaches, waterfalls, rainforest and Brazilian way of life. He loved the opportunity to shoot the wonderful tropical city that he is privileged to call home for Airbnb.

Fabio Blaser

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Sam Comen is a 32-year-old bon-vivant and LA native who counts Esquire, Details, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal among his clients. He has been awarded national grants and honors for his long-term portrait essays. On assignment in Rio de Janeiro for 11 days with Airbnb, Sam came to love and admire the city's environment, natural splendor, and the Cariocas' easy-going attitude.

Sam Comen

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Popular Places to Stay

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