Curitiba City Guide
The eco-friendly capital of Parana, Curitiba is known for its welcoming residents and beautifully tended botanical gardens. It provides access to natural splendours such as Iguacu Falls, while offering a unique blend of multicultural architecture styles and influences. A good percentage of the population of Curitiba is descended from Polish, Italian, German, and Russian immigrants, giving the city a diverse atmosphere. Many destinations are named after other countries, including the tranquil gardens and tea house of "Japan Square" and the food and drink stalls of the "Italian Woods." ¶ A Curitiba city guide often mentions its excellent urban planning, which you may notice as you enjoy the orderly public transport system and abundant green spaces. There are over 50 metres of green space for each resident in parks like Tingui and Barigui. In addition to these beautiful parks, you'll find relaxed outdoor cafes and a lively arts and entertainment scene.
Things to do in Curitiba
Curitiba's main draw is its spectacular natural surroundings. You can get out and enjoy a train ride through the rainforest on the Serra Verde Express, which takes you from Curitiba to the coastal village of Morretes. One of the top things to do in Curitiba is visit the striking Oscar Niemeyer Museum, considered a must-see for fans of modern art and architecture. Another one of Curitiba's star attractions is its botanical gardens, which are designed to resemble classical French gardens. The greenhouse is an ornate metallic structure, with water fountains, walking paths, and a theatre to entertain visitors. For an unparalleled view of the city, visit the Torre Panoramica, or Panoramic Tower. It stands 109 metres in height with a peaceful observation deck.
Things to see in Curitiba
There are many memorial monuments and things to see in Curitiba, which you can admire on a leisurely walk around town. One is the Arab Memorial, which pays homage to Middle Eastern culture. The memorial is built in a Moorish style, with stained glass and a cubic shape. Another is the Curitiba Memorial, which is dedicated to the art, folklore, and culture of the city. It's designed in a clever dome shape, and is often open for special creative events. Learn more about the biodiversity of the Parana region at the Natural History Museum, with its fanciful dioramas and stuffed animals. You can also soak in more cultural events by visiting the Opera de Arame in Pedreiras Park, set amidst pristine lakes and green vegetation.
There are several ways to access Curitiba. One of the most popular is by plane. Afonso Pena International Airport is located just 17km from the city centre, in the nearby town of Sao Jose dos Pinhais. It provides flights to other destinations in Brazil as well as neighbouring countries such as Argentina and Uruguay. Many travellers choose to arrive by bus as well. Curitiba's Bus and Train Station has three large terminals serving South American destinations. Curitiba is also accessed easily by car, using highways BR-116 or BR-101. Within the city, Curitiba transport includes an orderly and efficient bus system.
Although Curitiba doesn't celebrate Carnival in the same way cities like Rio de Janeiro or Recife do, it has its own festivals throughout the year. Many Curitiba events relate to the arts, including the Theatre Festival and Music Workshop. Others events relate to the immigrants that have made up the city's population over the years, such as the Italian Grape Feast. This is a celebration of Italian culinary traditions, punctuated with wine. Japanese festivals include the "immigration festival" of Imin Matsuri, along with Hana Matsuri which celebrates the coming of spring with an abundance of fresh flowers, song, and dance.
Restaurants in Curitiba
Due to the multiple ethnic influences in Curitiba, it boasts an eclectic local dining scene. Japanese, Italian, and Polish dishes are all available, and many restaurants serve fusion cuisine. Local dishes use local pine nuts, along with ingredients such as corn, chicken, pork, beans, and a paste formed from beans and cassava flour. ¶ The Old Town of Curitiba is a good starting point to sample both regional and international cuisine. You can find a range of traditional Brazilian, Slavic, Japanese, and Italian restaurants in Curitiba. The Santa Felicidade neighbourhood is well known for its excellent Italian cuisine as well.