The Urca Neighborhood
Spend a Tranquil Afternoon Here!
Urca is a peaceful and safe neighborhood that makes for a lovely half day walking excursion. This quiet neighborhood is very close to Copacabana Beach. It is full of narrow tree lined streets that hug the base of the mountain and wind back to a point where the neighborhood ends at the military Forte de Sao Joao. It's a great place to take photos.
During this sightseeing walk, you will be afforded excellent views of Botafogo Bay, and beyond it the neighborhood of the same name. Looming in the distance is Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer Statue keeping watch over the city. You will also see fishing boats bobbing in calm waters, beautiful old homes, and every so often, the cable cars on their way up to Sugarloaf.
You can, easily and quickly, get to this neighborhood by Bus or taxi. In Copacabana, board any bus with the "Urca" sign that's heading up the coast on the Avenida Atlantica. In Ipanema, board the same bus on Rua Visconde de Piraja. As you near the Sugar Loaf cable car station, jump off at Praca Euzebio Oliveira and walk up Avenida Portugal back into the neighborhood. Walk along the water for awhile, and then make your way back up into the hilly streets and continue until you reach the end at the Fort. It's difficult to get lost in this neighborhood, and most travel guides will have a map outlining the sights.
Sights to see include:
- The charming Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Brasil, is a small white washed church that faces Botafogo Bay. Visit both the ground floor the sanctuary on the upper level.
- The old Casino where Carmen Miranda used to sing and entertain, sits on the small beach Praia da Urca. Renovation of the Casino started in 2008 and cannot be toured yet.
- Pass by Carmen Miranda's former residence on Avenida São Sebastião, 131. It's privately owned and can't be toured, but makes for a bit of nostalgia as you pass by.
- The tranquil bay at the entrance to the Fort Sao Joao, where small fishing boats bob in the water, and neighborhood residents sit on the sea wall talking, drinking cold chopp (beer), and nibbling on snacks provided by the waiters from Bar Urca.
End your excursion by having a chopp and pestiscos (appetizers) upstairs at Bar Urca, while gazing out into the bay. This restaurant serves excellent seafood and is well known all over Rio. See the restaurant review on our Traditional Brazilian Restaurants page.
When you are finished, you can catch a taxi or any bus marked "Copacabana" or "Ipanema" at the sea wall here.
Insider's Tip - You can make a day of it by combining a visit to this neighborhood with the cable car ride to Sugarloaf and the wonderful nature trail Pista Claudio Coutinho, at the small beach Praia Vermelha. Walk, take a taxi, or ride the bus the short distance between these places.
* See our map at bottom of page for street and sightseeing information.*
Enjoy Photos of the Neighborhood!
Christ the Redeemer Statue on Corcovado Mountain over Botafogo Bay.
Igreja Nossa Senhora do Brasil (church)
The old Casino on the beach, where Carmen Miranda performed.
Carmen Miranda's residence
Old neighborhood houses and sights
Water spout figure on a wall
The tranquil bay near the Sao Joao Military Fort
Stop at Bar Urca for a chopp (or two!)
Bolinha do Bacalhao (Codfish)& Brahma Chopps!
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