On average, Curitiba receives more than 4 million visitors a year, for business or pleasure. And everyone takes advantage of the city’s excellent infrastructure and the many attractions available, including many free places.
Among the main sights of Curitiba are museums, parks, historic buildings and entire neighborhoods. I’ve already visited all these places, so if you want a more personal opinion, like whether or not it’s worth visiting a certain attraction, just ask. And here are all the tips, with photos, videos and information.
Attention! Due to the new Coronavirus pandemic, many attractions in Curitiba are closed or with new rules for visits. For more information, visit the official website of each of them.
What are the main sights of Curitiba
To help you plan your trip, I’ve selected the main sights in Curitiba, with a summary of each one. By the way, it should be said that all these attractions are included in the Curitiba Tourism Line itinerary, so it is easy and cheap to visit them, without the need to spend money on a taxi, Uber or car rental.
Map of attractions in Curitiba
This map shows the main tourist attractions in Curitiba. The tip is to save it on your Google Maps, so it will make your route much easier. Some hotels in strategic locations are also marked, in case you still don’t know where to stay in Curitiba. Below, check out more information, photos and videos of each place.
1. Praça Tiradentes
Central square that is the ground zero of Curitiba. A good place to start your tour of Curitiba’s tourist attractions. If you are staying in the region, walk and explore the attractions, such as Rua XV de Novembro, Paço Municipal and Largo da Ordem, among other attractions that will be detailed below.
2. Rua das Flores
The famous Rua das Flores is the historic stretch of Rua XV de Novembro. It was the first pedestrian street in Brazil and is surrounded by old buildings. For those who like history and architecture, without a doubt it is one of the most beautiful places in Curitiba. The tip is to visit during the day, as the place is not very safe at night.
3. Palace of Liberty
One of the most beautiful buildings in the Historic Center of Curitiba is the Paço da Liberdade, the former seat of the city hall. Today, there is a café and a SESC cultural space on the site, with free entry. I consider it one of the most interesting stops in the center. It’s worth going in for a coffee and some rest.
4. Largo da Ordem
This region concentrates important attractions in Curitiba, such as the Fonte da Memória, the Igrejas da Ordem and the Rosário and mansions that have been transformed into cultural spaces. On Sundays, there is a handicraft fair, popularly known as Market in Largo da Ordem. In this region there are two places that deserve to be visited, which are the Memorial de Curitiba and the Bar do Alemão.
5. Palace Avenue
The best known corner of Curitiba. In this building, inaugurated in 1929, Cine Avenida operated, one of the first cinemas in Curitiba. It belonged to the Bamerindus and Bradesco banks and today it is the headquarters of HSBC. But its fame really comes from the Christmas at Palácio Avenida, an event that has been held since 1991, with a children’s choir performing in its windows.
Next to it is the famous 24 Hour Street, a shopping center designed by the same architects as Jardim Botânico. In fact it worked 24 hours a day. After years of abandonment, it was revitalized and gained new bars and restaurants, but it no longer works full time.
6. Civic Center
The place is the headquarters of the Three Powers of the State of Paraná. Here are the Iguaçu Palace, the Legislative Assembly and the Court of Justice. The Curitiba City Hall building is also in the region. It is a place considered as touristic mainly by the architecture of the public buildings.
7. Oscar Niemeyer Museum (MON)
Located in the Civic Center area, the Oscar Niemeyer Museum is considered an important tourist spot in Curitiba. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, MON is one of the architect’s most famous works outside Brasília. In addition to the exterior beauty, the museum hosts different artistic and cultural exhibitions. So, check the museum’s schedule to find out what’s on display.
8. Railway Museum
The building opened in 1885, housed the Curitiba Railway Station for years. The museum that tells the history of the railroads in Paraná currently operates on the site, with a large collection that includes a sleeping car that hosted the then president Getúlio Vargas. Next to it are Shopping Estação, Teatro de Bonecos and Estação Convention Center.
9. Botanical Garden
In French style, the Botanical Garden of Curitiba was inaugurated in 1991 and soon became one of the postcards of the capital. It has a beautiful landscaping project, which combines perfectly with the large metal and glass greenhouse in the center, which houses species from the Atlantic Forest and looks more like a palace. Undoubtedly it is the best known tourist spot in Curitiba. Free entrance. Pay attention to opening hours.
10. German Forest
The Germans were the first immigrants to settle in Curitiba, starting in 1833. In this forest named after them, there are attractions such as João e Maria trail, Casa Encantada, Oratório Bach and Torre dos Filósofos, until where it is worth going to observe one of the most beautiful views of Curitiba.
11. Tanguá Park
Pride of Curitibans, it is on the banks of the Birigüi River. Its charm is this large portico in European style, built on the stone wall of an old quarry. From there, you can see the lake in the middle of the forest and the reflecting pool at the entrance to the park. One of the most visited parks in Curitiba and highly recommended for a tourist itinerary in the capital.
12. Free University of the Environment
One of the most interesting places I visited in Curitiba. The place where one of the largest quarries in the city operated, today houses the Free University of the Environment, an NGO that aims at environmental preservation. The large green area, with a lake, native forest and a lookout built with eucalyptus logs is called Bosque Zaninelli. I consider it an essential tourist spot to visit in Curitiba.
13. Panoramic Tower
At 109 meters high, the Torra Panorâmica de Curitiba provides one of the best views of the capital. Go at the end of the trip, so you will have already visited several other tourist spots and be able to identify them from above. The signs in the lookout help to identify what the vision reaches. The view is even more beautiful at the end of the day, but it is better to visit at less popular times, as it has a single small elevator, which leads to long queues to go up or down. Admission costs BRL 6 and children under 5 years old are free.
14. Tingüi Park and Ukrainian Memorial
Another beautiful park in Curitiba, with a large green area, lakes and a place for walks. The surprise was to find capybaras grazing at the edge of the water. In addition to the park itself, another on-site attraction is the Ukrainian Memorialbuilt in honor of the arrival of the first immigrants from Ukraine in Curitiba.
15. Barigui Park
It was built to help contain the floods of the Bariqui River and soon became an important park in Curitiba. Here are attractions like the Automobile MuseumThe House of Reading and the Outdoor Gym. “Barigui”, a word of indigenous origin, means “river of the thorny fruit”, a reference to the araucaria pine, a native tree abundant in the region. In the park’s lake, there lives a broad-snouted alligator.
16. Ópera de Arame e Pedreira Paulo Leminski
More than a theater, Ópera de Arame is a cultural and architectural landmark in Curitiba. The name is due to the construction structure, with great use of metallic tubes. It opened in 1992 and has a capacity for 1,572 spectators and an intense schedule of shows, making it a great place to visit at night in Curitiba on show days.
It is located in the area of Pedreira Paulo Leminski. More information about the complex can be found on the Parque das Pedreiras website, which also shows the Ópera de Arame program.
17. Municipal Market
The Municipal Market of Curitiba has cafes, restaurants, fruit stands, sweets and different types of stores. Although not as historic as the Sao Paulo Market, as traditional as Belo Horizonte’s Central Market, it is worth visiting the Curitiba correspondent. Go hungry and try the Linguiça Pastel from Blumenau and other typical foods at the snack bars.
18. Pope’s Grove and Polish Immigration Memorial
In 1980 Pope John Paul II, who was Polish, traveled to Curitiba. Shortly after his visit, this memorial was inaugurated in honor of immigrants from Poland. The memorial is an open-air museum, where houses were built in the architectural style of immigrants. Throughout the year, traditional Polish festivals are held on site.
19. Holy Happiness
Italian immigrants from the regions of Veneto and Trentino arrived in Curitiba around 1878 and settled in the western region of the capital. Then there was no other: the place became the main gastronomic center of Curitiba, with several restaurants specialized in typical Italian foods. Among them is the Madalossocreated in 1963 and considered the largest restaurant in Latin America, even registered in the Guinness Book, the Book of Records.
20. Japan Square
Curitiba is home to the second largest Japanese colony in Brazil, with more than 30,000 Japanese and descendants living in the capital today. In 1962 they won this square in their honor, located in the Batel neighborhood. In addition to Japanese-style lakes and cherry trees sent by the government of Japan, the square has a sculpture of the Buddha and the House of Japanese Culture, among other references and gifts received from Japan.
21. Graciosa Road
The first paved highway in Paraná, Estrada da Graciosa forms part of the connection between Curitiba and the coast of Paraná, leading to the tourist cities of Morretes and Antonina. Fully Serra do Mar, it cuts through the most preserved stretch of the Atlantic Forest. Coastal sense, the Portal da Graciosa it is the first attraction along the way. One of the main tours to do while in Curitiba.
Next to Estrada da Graciosa, there are the tracks of the famous train ride, which connects Curitiba to Morretes, Paranaguá and Antonina. See the train route and other tips for taking this tour around Curitiba.
Keep planning your trip to Curitiba
Here on the blog there are many other tips and information for your trip to Curitiba. In addition to knowing what the main tourist attractions are, it is important to plan other details of your trip, including the itinerary, different places to visit and accommodation. To complete your planning, see also:
Photo credits: in addition to self-authored images, here are photos of tourist spots in Curitiba that are part of free image banks. If any of them belong to you and are erroneously credited, request their removal or correction.