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South America > Brazil > Southeast (Brazil) > Rio de Janeiro (state) > Grande Rio > Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro/Zona Norte

Zona Norte

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The North Zone of Rio has fewer tourist attractions than other parts of town, but it's worth at least one trip to Maracanã Stadium.

Get in[edit]

Most tourists see Zona Norte for only a moment as they past through the Galeao International Airport or the Rodoviaria Novo Rio interstate bus terminal.

  • 1 Rio de Janeiro Galeão (Galeão International Airport), Avenida 20 de Janiero (BRT TransCarioca terminated here), +55 21 3398-5050. To get in and away by plane, hundreds of international and domestic flight offered daily.
  • 2 Rodoviaria Novo Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 01- Santo Cristo, +55 21 3213-1800. Buses going all over the country leave from this busy hub. Make sure to check the prices and find out if your bus has air conditioning, especially for long trips.

Get around[edit]

Because the Zona Norte is known for being a bit rougher, taking taxis is highly recommended.

By metrô[edit]

Map of Rio de Janeiro/Zona Norte

The Zona Norte is served by both lines of the subway system. They meet at Estácio, on the border with the Centro district. Useful stops include:

Line 1[edit]

  • 1 Metro Station Estácio (L1, 2). Corresponding station
  • 2 Metro Station Alfonso Pena (L1) (Tijuca).
  • 3 Metro Station São Francisco Xavier (L1) (Tijuca).
  • 4 Metro Station Saens Peña (L1) (Tijuca). For Tijuca forest trail (way up!)

Line 2[edit]

  • Estácio - to Line 1
  • 5 Metro Station São Cristóvão (L2). For the Rio Zoo and Feira de São Cristóvão, typical market and fair with food, drinks and craft from Brazilian Northeastern culture
  • 6 Metro Station Maracanã (L2). For Maracanã football stadium
  • 7 Metro Station Triagem (L2) (Mangueira). for Mangueira, the most famous favela and samba school
  • 8 Metro Station Maria da Graça (L2).
  • 9 Metro Station Del Castilho (L2). - for the outlet clothes mall, Nova América

By bus rapid transit[edit]

  • Bus rapid transit (BRT): This is a high-capacity urban public-transit system with its own right of way and use multiple-car vehicles. Two lines operating TransOeste and TransCarioca, Planned: TransOlimpica

By cable car[edit]

  • Teleférico A is a cable car service. The line operates between Bonsucesso Station and Complexo do Alemão. Six stations. The length is 3.5km (2.2mi).

SuperVia Urban Trains[edit]

The main terminal is the 10 Central Train Station (Estação do Campo, Estação da Corte, Dom Pedro II). Five of eight Rio's suburban train lines depart from here. SuperVia Deodoro branch toward Deodoro (23km, 40min, Weekdays: 6-12min. Weekends: 15-30min., via Praça da Bandeira, São Cristóvão, Maracanã, Mangueira, São Francisco Xavier, Santa Cruz, Riachuelo, Sampaio, Engenho Novo, Méier, Olímpica de Engenho de Dentro, Piedade/Gama Filho, Quintino, Cascadura, Madureira, Oswaldo Cruz, Prefeito Bento Ribeiro, Marechal Hermes); SuperVia Santa Cruz branch (Platform 6) toward Santa Cruz (fifty five km, seventy five min, Weekdays: 10-12 min. Weekends: 15-30 min., via twenty four stops, six stops of them till Deodoro; at Campo Grande/West Shopping, Paciência, and Santa Cruz are corresponding stations to BRT TransOeste ); SuperVia Japeri branch (Platform 8) toward Japeri (sixty two km, eighty three min, via twenty stops, Madureira is a corresponding station to BRT TransCarioca, Deodoro is a corresponding station to BRT TransOlímpica, this line passing Nilópolis, Mesquita, Nova Iguaçu, Queimados and Japeri cities); SuperVia Belford Roxo branch (Platform #10) toward Belford Roxo (thirty one km, less than one hour, via eighteen stations, passing São João de Meriti and Belford Roxo cities); SuperVia Saracuruna branch (Platform #12) toward Saracuruna (sixty two km, one hour, via eighteen stops, at Bonsucesso/TIM transfer to Teleférico A cable car, the last six stop are in Duque de Caxias city); - Long distance trains: Campo Grande (Platform #2) line - Gramacho line (Platform #13).

Opening times[edit]

Opening Monday to Friday at: 04:25. - Last train Japeri: 22:52. - Last train to Santa Cruz: 22:35. - Last train Saracuruna: 21:53. - Last train to Belford: 21:28.

Landing (closing the station): 23:35,

Saturdays: 06:00 to 21: 00, Sundays: 06:00 to 21: 50, Holidays: 06:15 to 19:20

Deodoro line[edit]

Toward north

  • Central do Brasil Train Station. Deodoro line
  • 11 Praça da Bandeira Train Station. Deodoro line
  • 12 São Cristóvão Train Station.
  • 13 Maracanã Train Station.
  • 14 Mangueira Train Station.
  • 15 São Francisco Xavier Train Station. Deodoro line
  • 16 Riachuelo Train Station. Deodoro line
  • 17 Sampaio Train Station. Deodoro line
  • 18 Engenho Novo Train Station. Deodoro line
  • 19 Méier Train Station. Deodoro line
  • 20 Estação Olímpica de Engenho de Dentro Train Station, Av. Amaro Cavalcanti,. For João Havelange Olympic Stadium. - Deodoro line
  • 21 Piedade/Gama FilhoTrain Station. Deodoro line

and further Quintino, Cascadura, Madureira, Oswaldo Cruz, Prefeito Bento Ribeiro, Marechal Hermes and Deodoro stations

See[edit]

  • 1 Maracanã Stadium (Estádio do Maracanã), Av. Presidente Castelo Branco at Av. Maracanã. Once the world's highest capacity football venue, it was able to hold nearly 200,000 people. In modern times, the capacity has been reduced because of safety considerations, and the introduction of seating for all fans. Currently undergoing renovation, it will eventually hold 80,000. The matches of Rio's football clubs like Flamengo or Fluminense are usually far from full, so go along and watch a game. Maracanã Stadium on Wikipedia Estádio do Maracanã (Q155174) on Wikidata
  • 2 Tijuca National Park (Parque Nacional (Floresta) da Tijuca), Estrada da Cascatinha, 850 - Alto da Boa Vista (access from São Conrado and Tijuca). Situated just a few km north of the beach this mountainous subtropical forest is Brazil's smallest national park. It is largely hand-planted as much of the original forest was destroyed to make way for coffee plantations. Despite this it contains hundres of species, many of which are threatened with extinction. Corcovado is to the east of the park but if you really want to appreciate what the park has to offer you have to drive along some windy, hilly roads. It can be reached via Rua Boa Vista, and from São Conrado in Zona Oeste. pt:Parque Nacional da Tijuca on Wikipedia Tijuca National Park (Q1974494) on Wikidata
Musical sidewalk in Vila Isabel
  • Aerospace Museum (Museu Aeroespacial), Av. Marechal Fontenelle - Sulacap (some way out of town to the west of the city), +55 21 2108-8954. Tu-F 9AM-3PM, weekends 9:30AM-4PM. Good collection of planes, engines, etc. and a chance to see how Air Traffic Control works.
  • Engenhão Stadium (Estádio do Engenhão), Rua Arquias Cordeiro - Engenho de Dentro. Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, known by its nickname of Engenhão, is a new soccer stadium built for the Pan-American Games of 2007. A modern construction, not as big as Maracanã but still worth a visit for soccer fans. The Botafogo team plays its matches there.
  • Grajaú State Park (Parque Estadual do Grajaú), Rua Comendador Martinelli 742 - Grajaú, +55 21 2576-4296. This 55-hectare park preserves some of the original forest and serves as a refuge for a wide range of species including marmosets, bush dogs, guinea pigs, parakeets, vultures, and hawks. The park includes the Pedra do Andaraí, symbol of the area.
  • Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences (Museu de Astronomia e Ciências Afins (MAST)), Rua General Bruce 586 - São Cristovão (just northwest of Centro), +55 21 2580-7010. Tues, Thur and Fri 09.00-17.00; Thur 09.00-20.00; Sat 14.00-20.00; Sun 14.00-18.00. Also has an observatory. Free of charge.
  • Museum of the First Reign (Museu do Primeiro Reinado), Avenida Pedro II 293 - São Cristóvão, +55 21 2589-9627. A museum about the reign of Emperor Pedro I (1822-1831), but with a modest collection.
  • Musical sidewalks of Vila Isabel (calçadas musicais), Vila Isabel. The mosaic sidewalks along Boulevard 28 de Setembro between Praça Maracanã and Praça Barão de Drummond are musical staves. Written in the stones are 20 complete musical works, including tunes by Ary Barroso, Martinho da Vila, Almirante, Noel Rosa, and other famous Brazilian composers who frequented Vila Isabel back in its Bohemian heyday. If you know who these guys are, you might also be interested in checking out the famous sculpture of Noel Rosa on this street at the entrance to the bairro.
  • Rio de Janeiro Zoo, Parque Quinta da Boa Vista - São Cristóvão, +55 21 3878-4200. If you won't be making it to the Amazon or the Pantanal, this is a good place to see some of Brazil's more exotic creatures.
  • Train Museum (Museu do Trem), Rua Arquias Cordeiro 1046 - Engenho de Dentro, +55 21 2269-5545. Tu-F 10.00 to 12.00 and 13:30 to 16.00; Sat 13.00-17.00. A modest collection of 19th century engines, train cars used by emperors and presidents, and streetcars.
  • 3 Museu do Açude, Estrada do Açude, 764 - Alto da Boa Vista (in the center of the Floresta da Tijuca park). Th-Su 11AM-5PM. The former residence of one of the founders of the Modern Art Museum, this museum hosts a collection of items from the history of Portuguese rule, including furniture, kitchenware, and an array of azulejos, or Portuguese blue tiles. There are also separate collections of Oriental art and Brazilian pop art.

Churches[edit]

  • 4 Church Our Lady of Lurdes (Igreja Nossa Senhora de Lurdes), Boulevard 28 de Setembro, Vila Isabel (M2: Maracanã half km east, at R. Gonzaga Bastos corner).
  • 5 Church of the Holy Family (Igreja da Sagrada Família), Ribeira, Ilha do governador.
  • 6 Chapel of St. Roque (Capela São Roque), Rua Padre Juvenal, s/n - Praça de São Roque - Ilha de Paquetá (Take a boat to Paquetá from Praca XV Ferry Port).
  • 7 Church of the Good Lord Jesus of the Hill (Igreja Matriz do Senhor Bom Jesus do Monte), Praia dos Tamoios, 45 - Ilha de Paquetá (Take a boat to Paquetá from Praca XV Ferry Port), +55 21 3397-0270.
  • 8 Convent of Our Lady of Help (Convento de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda), Praça Barão de Drumond, Vila Isabel (M: Maracana).

Do[edit]

  • Rock climbing. Many climbers take on the 444-meter Pedra do Andaraí, located inside Grajaú State Park. See the See section for details.
  • 1 Ramos (Praia de Ramos/Piscinae Ramos), Ave.Brasil, Maré, Zona Norte. - a popular beach where the government built an artificial pool on the sand (piscinão). This area is not recommended for foreigners to visit.

Samba schools[edit]

Buy[edit]

  • Norte Shopping, Avenida Dom Helder Câmara 5474 - Cachambi, +55 21 2178-4444, +55 21 33154300, +55 21 33154301, e-mail: . The largest shopping mall in the Zona Norte, with two food courts, cinemas, and a range of stores and restaurants. Fitness center BodyTech (the largest fitness club in Brazil); Striker Bowling, Kinoplex UCI cinema (with 10 rooms, 3D), Magic Games playhouse, Mega bookstore. Cafes:Kopenhagen, Mc Cafe, Viena Café; Chocolate shops: Brasil Cacau, Cacau Show, Chocomundi. Pubs.
  • Feira Nordestina, Associacao Do Feirante da Feira de São Cristóvão, +55 21 2570-53335. A great place to shop with plenty of stalls selling all sorts of food, textiles and local goods. Also a good place to get a taste of Brazilian culture from the northeast. Food, dance and music tantalize all the senses. R$1.
  • Madureira Market (Mercadão de Madureira) (just next to the Zoo). A popular market where there are cheap bars and restaurants, plus little shops selling everything you can imagine, including everything you need for Afro-Brazilian rituals (statues, candles, food and animals). Not usually visited by gringos, but still an interesting place if you want to see how normal people live and have fun outside the Zona Sul.
  • Nova América Outlet Shopping, Avenida Pastor Martin Luther King Júnior 126 - Inhaúma (Metrô Del Castilho has a direct passage to the mall), +55 21 2583-1033. One of the cheaper malls in the city.
  • Shopping boulevard, Rua Barão de São Francisco 236 - Vila Isabel, +55 21 2577-8777. Large shopping mall with 210 stores.

Eat[edit]

  • Adega Carne-de-Sol do Peixto, Rua Barão de Mesquita 616 - Tijuca, +55 21 2288-6002. As the name suggests they are best at carne-de-sol. They have a full menu of typical Brazilian food in good-sized helpings.
  • Adegão Português, Campo Do São Cristovão 212 (near São Cristovão bus station), +55 21 2580-7288. 11AM - 11PM Daily. This hole-in-the-wall joint has fantastic food that has attracted fans for over four decades. Lamb with vegetables and potatoes is a must-try.
  • Fiorino Bar e Restaurante, Avenida Heitor Beltrão 126 - Tijuca (near the west end of Rua Haddock Lobo), +55 21 2567-3386. Good-quality Italian restaurant with reasonable prices. Note that they do not accept credit cards.
  • Petisco da Vila, Av. 28 de Setembro 238 - Vila Isabel, +55 21 2576-5652. Su-Th 9AM-3AM, F-Sa 9AM-4AM. This restaurant has for decades been the haunt of famous bohemian composers and poets such as Noel Rosa and Martinho da Vila. It remains the hotspot of Vila Isabel, with daily buffets, and feijoada on Saturdays. It also holds the distinction of having the highest annual draft beer sales of any restaurant in Brazil. Accepts Visa.
  • Restaurante Quinta da Boa Vista, Av. Pedro II - São Cristóvão (in Quinta da Boa Vista Park, in front of the zoo), +55 21 2589-4279. 10AM - 6PM. Fine dining in what used to be the chapel for the Imperial Palace. The food is a fantastic display of traditional Brazilian cuisine with formal service.
  • Restaurante Salete, Rua Afonso Pena 189 - Tijuca, +55 21 2264-5163, +55 21 2214-0408. Famous for its shrimp risotto and empadinhas. Delivery available. Accepts credit cards.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Barraco #55, Rua da Assembleia #19, Nova Brasilia, Complexo do Alemão Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 21001020 (Close to Itararé station of Teleférico.). An arts and research centre and hostel at the same time in the middle of the favela Complexo do Alemão. Run by the friendly and helpful Dutch Ellen and her Brazilian partner, who will include you in the local life and culture festivals. Very authentic and enjoyable place to stay, different from the usual tourist life in Rio. dorm R$25.
  • Luxor Hotel Aeroporto, inside Galeão International Airport, 3rd floor, Sector B, +55 21 3222-9700, +1-800-282-2070. A good place to stay if you arrive late to Rio or are leaving early in the morning. Clean rooms with all the convenience of being within the airport. Rooms have no windows. R$339 single.
  • Pousada Galeão, inside Galeão International Airport, 1st floor, Arrivals Sector, +55 21 3398-3848. Only has 15 rooms for those who are stuck in the airport. Rooms have TV, telephone and air conditioning but no windows. R$150.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]


This district travel guide to Zona Norte is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.