Cosme Velho

Cosme Velho's cobblestone streets and secret gardens recall a Rio of the past.

Cosme Velho stands out at the foot of Corcovado Mountain. From its brightly colored neocolonial houses to its secret gardens, this south Rio neighborhood’s attractions rest in its pastoral vistas and old-world allure. When paint peels from Cosme Velho’s agrestic facades, the buildings look more elegantly finished than they had before. Cobblestone streets and nights quiet enough to hear the palm trees sway add to its weathered opulence—and offer a glimpse of classic Rio.

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On the Map

Cosme Velho is bordered by Rio Comprido, Humaitá, Laranjeiras, Botafogo, and Santa Teresa

Galeão International Airport: 31 minutes by cab without traffic
Santos Dumont Domestic Airport: 20 minutes by cab without traffic
Ipanema Beach: 18 minutes by cab or 50 minutes by bus
Sugar Loaf Cable Car: 17 minutes by cab or 55 minutes by bus
Lapa: 20 minutes by cab or 40 minutes by bus

  • Public transit is Possible
  • Having a car is Easy

Dilapidated Sophistication Near Corcovado Mountain

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Financial investment left Cosme Velho many years ago, but this majestically melancholy neighborhood remains rich in other ways.

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Cosme Velho's homes seem to sprout from the ground as organically as its surrounding gardens.

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Deep color saturates Cosme Velho. It's only fitting in a neighborhood that feels so deeply connected to the land it stands on.

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Cosme Velho still resonates in Rio.

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The Pineapple Chalet is one of the city's most iconic neoclassical buildings.

Just between old center and the beaches, Cosme Velho is a traditional neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. It's a high-class residential area, very charming and safe, with historical monuments and the memory of illustrious residents, great artists, writers and poets."

In Between Antiquity and Modernity

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Despite its crumbling facades, life flourishes in Cosme Velho.

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The neighborhood is a quiet mix of modern families and spry retirees.

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The neighborhood also includes the picturesque Largo do Boticário, which consists of a small square enclosed by several neocolonial style houses, built in the 1920s."

Boarding The Train To Corcovado

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Like most of Rio, Cosme Velho declines to watch the clock.

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Time is different here.

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Unless you're trying to catch the train to the top of Corcovado Mountain.

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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:

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.