In Rio's financial center, colonial buildings are corporate offices. And they all overlook the ocean.

Like its financial center brethren, Centro’s dense crowds and frenzied footsteps abate over the weekend. Centro serves as Rio de Janeiro’s downtown, and its modern skyscrapers and historical colonial structures act as corporate offices. Centro boasts something special that many financial sectors can’t claim—this neighborhood’s commercial buildings provide sweeping views of Guanabara Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Beyond shaking hands and sealing deals, Centro’s streets come alive with museum-goers and public garden aficionados.

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On the Map

Centro is bordered by Saúde, Catumbi, Cidade Nova, Glória, Gamboa, Santo Cristo, Lapa, and Santa Teresa

Galeão International Airport: 26 minutes by cab without traffic
Santos Dumont Domestic Airport: 5 minutes by cab
Ipanema Beach: 21 minutes by cab or 35 minutes by metro
Sugar Loaf Cable Car: 13 minutes by cab or 40 minutes by bus
Corcovado's Train Station: 14 minutes by cab or 35 minutes by bus

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Difficult

The Center of Rio's Professional Pursuits

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Imperialism meets capitalism in Rio's financial district and city center. Statues commemorating Rio's dominant past juxtapose the buildings that ensure Rio's dominant future.

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During the week, Cariocas crowd the streets on their way to and from work. By dinner time, the Centro's offices are closed and its corridors empty.

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Rio's modern cathedral can be seen in the Centro. It's hard to miss.

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Tourists, wage-workers, businessmen, and vagabonds vie for their own little slice of the sidewalk.

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National companies, like Brazil's Petrobras, establish their headquarters in Rio's economic epicenter.

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There's something in the Centro that you won't find anywhere else in Rio: Cariocas rushing.

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Ah, now this feels more like Rio.

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Great location in downtown Rio: ample supply of transport, allowing easy and safe movement to anywhere in the city. Near Central Station Av. Presidente Vargas, Campo de Santana/ Praça da República, Sambadrome, Terreirão do Samba, National Law School (UFRJ), School of Medicine and Surgery (UNIRIO), National Archives, University Petrobras , SulAmerica Convention Center, City Hall of Rio, Rio Image Diagnostic Center, Public Library of the State of Rio de Janeiro, among others."

Barbara & Fabiana

Hosts Centro: apê funcional e silencioso

Sights In The Centro

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Historical sites, churches, museums, and sculptures skirt the edges of the Centro's main plaza.

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When you're looking to cultivate a little culture, catch the ballet at Brazil's beloved theater, the Theatro Municipal.

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Since 1920, Amarelinho has been serving customers from its humble yellow corner.

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Airplanes and trains frequent the Centro's depots and runways, adding to the neighborhood's convenient accessibility.

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Diverse Dining Options

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Confeitaria Colombo has been serving its perfected pastries since 1894. Beloved by locals and tourists alike, this sweet spot is meant for more than cake and coffee, it's meant for long conversations.

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The Centro caters to many tastes.

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Traditional restaurants and sidewalk cafes line the neighborhood.

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

Andre Joaquim

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Andre is both a dentist and photographer, living in Rio de Janeiro. He has a huge passion for Rio, and after shooting this project for Airbnb, he is certain that there is no place as beautiful as the city placed between the mountain and the sea.

Fabio Blaser

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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.

Sam Comen

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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.