"Nested in the Majestic Mountains" Petrópolis by DSwede
Petrópolis Travel Guide: 120 reviews and 270 photos
I had been living in Niteroi for over 6 months before I had the right opportunity to come up into the mountains and visit Petropolis. Making a circuit through Teresopolis, the mountain roads and fresh air were a welcomed reprieve from the cities below.
Petropolis is a large growing city, yet has a small city vibe, which holds on to its old colonial origins. Every little branching valley in the mountain has its only little neighborhoods, doing well to slow down the city and limit its growth. It has long been a retreat for Brazil's upper families and is still following that trend. Due to its relative cost of living (lower than Rio) and its attractive quality of living, it is becoming the new dormitory city for a lot of Rio's working elite.
But if you can survive the weekend traffic to get into the city and find parking (if you opt to drive yourself), you'll be glad you came. With the exception of some of the residential areas, the majority of the city can be walked easily since it is both small and relatively flat.
While here, I walked the full city in circles a couple times. The central areas have wide open streets, lots of canals and green park spaces. The people are more relaxed and approachable than those in Rio's busy sectors.
The Museu Imperial, the grand old (1841) summer maison of Dom Pedro II, is one of the principle stops and if what I read is true, it is the most visited museum in Brazil. The São Pedro de Alcântara Cathedral is a noteworthy old Gothic cathedral, which in my opinion is better under the night lights. Similarly, the Palacio de Cristal is in my opinion more alluring at night. The small house of the eccentric inventor and Brazilian father of flight, Santos Dumont rounds out the top four popular sites.
Other noteworthy stops that one should visit if they have time are:
- Trono da Nossa Senhora do Fatima : the shrine on top of the mountain offering a nice panoramic view of the city below.
- Praca 14 Bis : a replica of Santos Dumont's original airplane of the same name.
- Av Ipiranga : a principle street of the old imperial era homes
- Rua do Imperador : main street, with tree lined canal in the center
For other thoughts on my visits here as a whole, feel free to see my Brazil page.
(for more pictures, feel free to visit my Brazil Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)
- Pros:Clean mountain air and colonial history
- Cons:Increasing traffic and cost as Rio slowly moves here
- In a nutshell:A wonderful city in the mountains, a great escape from the heat and hustle of Rio
There are plenty of horse carriages in Petropolis that cater to the tourists, offering guided tours. I lost count of how... more travel advice
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