Having a free day in Rio de Janeiro you can easily go for a 1 day trip to a nice neighbor city Niterói.
Niteroi is a municipality in Brazil with a population of around 488 thousands of residents and is famous for Niteroi shopping. You will see not only museums traditionally included in any tourist program, but marvelous wild beaches, parks and a mountain with a great view.
To see it all it’s better to leave RJ early. You can take a bus from the center of the city, near the metro station “Cinelandia” or to take a boat (that actually looks like a ship). I personally prefer to go by boat just to make the trip more fascinating, cuz it’s so common to take buses!
In Praça Quinze de Novembro you can buy a boat ticket to Niteroi in this kind of cash-desk (exactly this one is in Niteroi and you’ll need it to come back).
They don’t accept cards, be sure you have cash with you. The boat from this place arrives to the center of Niteroi and the ticket costs only 5 BRL. But if you want to start your trip from the end of the city, there are these cash-desks inside of the boat terminal, where the ticket costs 13.90 BRL.
We chose the cheaper variant and in fact it has some pros. And of course, you’ll see both cities from the water side and an impressive Rio – Niteroi bridge!
As soon as you go out to the Niteroi city, there’s an information boxes where you can take a touristic map of the city and ask for the necessary info. The guides speak English, so you won’t have this trying-to-explain-and-understand gesticulation problem.
The city has 6 info boxes, 4 museums, 3 parks and an endless number of beaches. To see all in one day is quite impossible, cuz transportation takes time, but you can enjoy the best of it.
- Start from Caminho Niemeyer. From the arrival station go to the left till you see a bus terminal. Turn left again and you’ll see a yellow building of an unusual shape. This it it. Till 2 p.m. you can enter only with a guide, but it’s totally free that’s absolutely awesome!
Enter this building and wait around 15 minutes till a group gathers. Here you can find all the necessary tourist booklets about the city and Rio de Janeiro, bathrooms and interactive video information. The excursion will take around 25-30 minutes. If you’re lucky, a guide will speak English. We were 🙂
Go back to the bus terminal and take a bus №38 to Itaipú. After an hour you’ll arrive to the ocean and the nicest calm beach with a picturesque mountain.
After a refreshing chill, take a bus to Parque da Cidade, where Morro da Viração hike mountain is waiting for you. From here you can see an amazing view to the ocean, Niteroi and Rio de Janeiro.
If you feel you have enough time, make it for Complexo Dos Fortes: Forte São Luis and Forte do Pico. This Complex was built in 1555 and has a charming views of the Atlantic ocean, Niteroi city, Guanabara bay and RJ.
Coming back to the center of the city, from where you have to take a bout back to Rio, make a stop at Icaraí beach, that people say is awesome.
Quite near the first information box there’s a Contemporary Art Museum, that’s currently closed, but looks like a space ship from the outside and is worth to see.
The last boat leaves at 11.30 p.m. Be early enough to buy your ticket, cuz the boarding process takes only few minutes.
Being a day-tripper is cool, and I really hope you’ll have an incredible one-day tour to Niteroi city! Enjoy your time in Brazil and have more one-day trips!