10 Best Things to Do in Cosme Velho (Rio de Janeiro)

parque lage

Cosme Velho is a historical neighbourhood, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is known for its lush greenery and charming colonial-style houses. 

It is a popular destination for both tourists and locals, with plenty of activities to enjoy. 

Here are the top 10 things to do in Cosme Velho and around:

1. Walk around Cosme Velho

largo boticario
Largo Boticario by Fulviusbsas/Public domain

Cosme Velho is a great neighbourhood to explore by foot or bike. 

With its charming streets and beautiful colonial houses, it is one of the must-visit areas in the city. 

You just need to be careful because Cosme Velho is not completely safe. 

Don’t wear too expensive belongings and try to look like a local resident. Never walk around after dark. 

2. Go to Jardim Botânico

jardim botânico
Jardim Botânico by Ana Feliciano/Pixabay

Take a stroll through the Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden). 

This peaceful garden is home to over 6,500 species of plants, including exotic flowers and trees. 

The garden itself is situated in a neighbourhood, called Jardim Botânico, which is located on the other side of Corcovado, not far from Cosme Velho.

3. Visit the Parque Lage

parque lage
Parque Lage by Fwellisch/Wikimedia

Visit the Parque Lage, a historic mansion turned into a public park. 

It offers beautiful gardens, a lake, and a café, and is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. 

The park is safe and very well-maintained so it is one of the most recommended places to visit while in Rio.

4. Morro da Dona Marta

morro da dona marta
Morro da Dona Marta by Brian Snelson/Flickr

Morro da Dona Marta is a hill located in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

It falls within the limits of the neighbourhood of Flamengo, in the south zone of the city, but is actually right next to the south of Cosme Velho. 

The hill is known for its panoramic views of the city and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals. There are several ways to get to the top of Morro da Dona Marta. 

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One of the options is to take a taxi or ride-sharing service to the base of the hill and then walk up the winding road to the top. 

The best and safest way, however, is to take a tour that includes a visit to the hill. From the top of Morro da Dona Marta, you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the city, including landmarks such as Sugarloaf Mountain, Guanabara Bay, and Christ the Redeemer. 

Keep in mind that it is always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to stay safe when visiting any unfamiliar place. 

The favela Dona Marta, which is located at the foot of the hill, is famous for being one of the locations, where part of Michael Jackson’s music video of “They don’t care about us” was filmed.

5. Enjoy a meal in Cosme Velho

tábua de carnes
Tábua de carnes by Christiane Aguiar/Pixabay

Enjoy a meal at one of the neighbourhood’s many restaurants. Cosme Velho has a range of dining options, from traditional Brazilian cuisine to international flavours and tastes. 

Some of the dishes on your list should include:

  • Feijoada: a traditional Brazilian dish made with black beans and a variety of meats, such as pork, beef, and sausages;
  • Churrasco: a type of barbecue featuring grilled meat, usually served in restaurants called churrascarias;
  • Moqueca: a seafood stew made with fish or shellfish, tomatoes, onions, and coconut milk, traditionally cooked in a clay pot;
  • Acarajé: a popular street food made with mashed beans, onions, and spices, shaped into a ball and deep-fried, and often served with a spicy shrimp sauce;
  • Coxinha: a snack made with shredded chicken and a dough made from mashed potatoes, shaped into a ball and deep-fried, and often served with a dipping sauce;
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6. Corcovado railway station

corcovado railway station
Corcovado Railway Station by Fulviusbsas/Public domain

The Corcovado railway station is one of the tourist attractions in Cosme Velho. 

It is the terminus of the Corcovado Rack Railway, which is a popular tourist attraction that takes passengers up to the top of Corcovado Mountain, where the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer is located. 

The station has a ticket office, restrooms, and a small gift shop, and is a convenient starting point for visitors who want to take the train up to the top of Corcovado Mountain.  

7. Visit Christ the Redeemer

christ the redeemer
Christ the Redeemer by Jose Guertzenstein/Pixabay

One of the places you should visit while in Cosme Velho is the Corcovado Mountain and see the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. 

This symbol of Rio de Janeiro is situated atop Corcovado Mountain and offers breathtaking views of the city. 

The large Art Deco statue, considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, is located approximately 700 metres (2,300-foot) above sea level in the Tijuca Forest National Park.

8. Casa Roberto Marinho

casa roberto marinho
Casa Roberto Marinho by Facebook

Casa Roberto Marinho is a cultural centre and event space located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

The centre, which is named after the late Brazilian media mogul Roberto Marinho, is housed in a modernist building that was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. 

Casa Roberto Marinho is home to a variety of cultural and educational programs, including exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and concerts. 

The centre also hosts events and functions, such as conferences, corporate events, and weddings. In addition to the event spaces, the centre also has a café and a gift shop. 

Casa Roberto Marinho is open to the public and is a popular destination for those interested in culture and the arts.  

9. Tijuca National Park

tijuca national park
Tijuca National Park by marcosreisjornalismo/Pixabay

Go hiking in the Tijuca National Park. This massive urban rainforest is home to a variety of wildlife, and it features a lot of trails for hikers of all levels. 

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It is generally considered safe to explore the Tijuca Forest National Park in Rio de Janeiro, but as with any urban park or natural area, it’s always a good idea to be cautious. 

The good news is that the park is patrolled by park rangers and security personnel, and crime rates are generally low in the area. 

However, it is recommended to avoid walking alone or at night, and to keep valuables out of sight to reduce the risk of theft. 

It is also a good idea to stay on marked trails and to follow any posted safety guidelines or instructions from park staff.

10. Solar dos Abacaxis 

solar dos abacaxis
Solar dos Abacaxis by Fulviusbsas/Public domain

Solar dos Abacaxis is a historical house, located in the Cosme Velho neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

It is a beautiful example of colonial-style architecture and is known for its ornate details and colourful facade. 

The house was built in the late 19th century and has been used for a variety of purposes over the years, including as a private residence, a school, and a cultural centre. 

It is now a popular tourist attraction and is open to the public for guided tours. Visitors can learn about the history of the house and the Cosme Velho neighbourhood, and they can also see some of the beautifully preserved rooms and gardens.

There is no shortage of things to do in Cosme Velho, and these are just a few of the many attractions this charming district has to offer. 

Whether you want to relax in the park, shop at the mall, or take in the sights and sounds of the city, Cosme Velho has something for everyone.