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Curitiba: Brazilian Capital of the Craft Beer. Did you know that?

Curitiba: Brazilian Capital of the Craft Beer. Did you know that?

Before I begin this text, I must admit: I like craft beer. I spent 8 years in Germany and liked Weissen (wheat) and the regional ones that you only find in the region of Rhein-Main, where you lived. I returned to live in Curitiba in 2007 and since then I have been following a revolution in my city. We became the Capital of Handcrafted  Beer and I guarantee it was pure merit and not a title given by chance! I went to investigate what is behind this and I now bring a summary of a curious lay for you to understand better than it is all this.

I do not want to turn anyone into a brewer, but knowledge is never too much. So here are the topics of this post:

– After all, what is craft beer?

– Where does this trend come from?

– And why there are so many craft breweries in Curitiba?

– Brief description of some breweries

– Cerveja da Mata Atlântica – going a little bit further

“I’ve never had draft beer, which is better?”

– What’s the difference between chopp and beer?

– Which bars sell homemade beer in Curitiba?

– Some curiosities

After all, what is craft beer?

In English the terms are very clear: there are the homebrewers, which produce beer at home, in the pot (paneleiros around here) and the craft brewers, who are the artisan beer producers, who already have equipment on a larger scale for marketing.

Visiting an artisan brewery I questioned why they still considered themselves “handcrafted” because the production seemed great to me. The main difference is that in the production of handmade beer everything is chosen manually, very carefully. The amount produced is also much smaller. While preparing 1,500 liters at a traditional brewery in a large industry, the production is 100,000 liters at a time. The “limit” in Brazil to be considered artisanal is 360,000 liters per month. That is, quite small comparing with the great ones out there!

Beer is basically water, malt and hops, as already determined by a German law of 1516 (yes, there is a law for that! – Reinheitsgebot, ie the law of purity). Malt and hops are expensive and the mass industry mixes other things in preparation to make it cheaper. That is why many experts argue that in Brazil we drink something else, which is not beer (corn mixture, for example).

While a craft beer takes an average of 21 to 45 days to get ready (some up to 1 year!), The most common beer takes approx. 7 to 10 days. The time of “maturation” is much shorter and as the “little mixes” go, the headache is inevitable when taking too much.

Where does this trend come from?

The main point is: drink less and drink better. The influence of craft beers comes from the United States. There are more than 5,000 artisanal breweries today in USA, while in Brazil they are approx. 600 today (Apr / 18). Paraná concentrates 10% of the breweries, but it takes 20% of the prizes!

Americans have more access to craft beers, as the price difference is quite small compared to Brazil. Here artisan breweries pay much higher taxes than large ones. It’s that well-known (and unfair) game of tax breaks that gets in the way of small ones.

But before anyone comes to say, “Again, we are an American colony” and such a reflection: the fact that encouraging people to consume better and of small manufacturers is something very cool and deserves the encouragement of all. Local consumption encourages jobs, income and is sustainable. Also, drinking less and better is also good for your health.

And why there are so many craft breweries in Curitiba?

Curitiba currently has the largest number of home brewers in Brazil. And this is due to a very good reason: in 2009 the Curitiba fanatics began to organize to buy inputs together. It was not possible to buy malt and hops in small quantities. Among others, Alessandro da Way and Samuel da Bodebrown were pioneers in this movement. The idea was born of teaching other people to make beer at home and thus have more people to share the large packages that were purchased. Bodebrown, the country’s first brewery and Way, now exported even to the United States.

With the growing number of paneleiros, some have seen the hobby a business opportunity and have become businessmen, generating income, jobs and producing fantastic beers that have won medals world-wide. There are lots of beer brands around here. Check out a short video that shows the variety:

The worship of Curitiba breweries is so great that the breweries here make collaborative beers with colleagues from all over the world. You’ll find several of these brewery partnerships and the masters will be happy to explain how they happened. Globalized world in bottles of water, malt and hops!

To better understand all this movement, I visited several of these breweries to bring you a summary of each. For some of them we already have organized tours and for others, just ask to check the availability of care and include in your itinerary in Curitiba. It’s so much fun to know how beer is made, talk to the master brewer and drink straight from the tank. An experience and so much for your trip! Always remember: you will be visiting a functioning industry. Low and closed shoes are required!

To be as fair as possible, the following list is in alphabetical order. Every brewery has its characteristics and the visit is always worth it!

Bastards

Bastards members have stepped out of the corporate world to embrace their hobby. The curious name came from the perception of the group, that although they made beer, were unknown among the paneleiros of Curitiba. So they decided to make their own brand, very irreverent and with a well thought out marketing footprint. Each type of beer has its characteristic character and the labels attract a lot of attention. But the product line has expanded: coffee, beard oil, sunglasses, sweatshirts and cool t-shirts. It is also a gypsy brewery (produces for third parties) and in total there are 30 different labels. The current capacity is 40,000 liters / month and can still increase to 60,000 liters. The brand also has a very cool pub in Curitiba.

Bastards (2)

Bastards (5)

Are you a true beer lover and would like to get deeper knowledge about beer production? What about to visit two different craft brewers and end the tour in the nicest thematic pub in Curitiba? In this tour you will visit Bastards, Maniacs and We are Bastards Pub. More information and booking:

Bier Hoff

It is the oldest still-functioning brewery in the region. The owner is a legend in the middle and teaches future brewer masters. It started in 2002 at Shopping Estação and nowadays there are also bars at Palladium and Total Shopping in Curitiba. In 2005 Bier Hoff moved to Boqueirão to continue producing his beer, which also went on to be sold in supermarkets. The most awarded is Weissen, but it is also worth trying Pumpkin Ale (pumpkin) and Preto Velho (it takes one year to be manufactured). Today the production is 84,000 liters per month and the factory is being expanded to meet growing demand.

Bier Hoff (4)Bier Hoff (8)

Bodebrown

The brand is almost ubiquitous in Curitiba: it has its own bars and an entourage of fans. It is the first brewery school in Brazil and its owner, Samuel, is a charismatic figure of the brewing world. The street where Bodebrown is turned on Friday night and Saturday, when food trucks park there and beer lovers go with their growlers – special containers – to be stuffed right there. These days, its tap house, a bar with 20 different taps opens to the public. Cocoa IPA is the most requested, but the brewery has many fixed and seasonal labels. The courses to learn how to make beer continue happening and are very concurred. The production is 35,000 liters per month and the plant is currently expanding. The new plant will have a capacity of 200,000 liters per month.

Bodebrown (21)Bodebrown (19)

Gauden

Ronaldo Flor, owner of Gauden, leads a group called “Brewery Revolution” (Revolução Cervejeira ) that brings together brewers committed to making the drink more and more known among Brazilians. For this they train monthly attendants of bars, restaurants and supermarkets on the craft beers, so they can better explain to customers and thus encourage local consumption. Gauden is what is called a “gypsy brewery”. In addition to own labels, produces the various brands such as Storm, Pagan, DUM, Morada, Fucking Beer, Madalosso and Klaus Bier. There are 24 different labels: Pilsen is the best seller, but Gengibera (ginger) and DUM’s Petroleum are also worthy of mention, which led to the recording of a filmMurilo, DUM, is one of the celebrities of the brewing world and organizes DUM Day, which is almost mandatory for fans. The irreverent Fucking Beer has created a beer for the Whatafuck burger (see the fun video here). The location of Gauden is very cool, in the neighborhood of Santa Felicidade, which in itself is already one of the attractions of Curitiba.

Gauden (15)Gauden (17)

What about to visit some of Curitiba´s famous sightseeing places and learn about the production of craft beer in the famous gastronomical quarter of Santa Felicidade? In this tour you will visit Gauden. More information and booking:

Klein Brewhouse

The couple Suelen and Henrique made Klein a reality in 2009. She stands out from the crowd for her incredible restaurant and range of products, also found in large supermarkets. It’s a bit further away from Curitiba, in Campo Largo, but well worth a visit! In addition to 14 beer labels, Klein also produces cider – nothing to do with the low-budget, Klein’s cider is English-style (a delight!). The big news is the brand Amare, which is already producing Kombucha, a tasty healthy tea. The factory is still in the old address and with production at the limit (80,000 liters per month). Soon it will be next to the restaurant and its production will reach up to 400,000 liters per month – the goal is to make the brand known all over Brazil! The food in the restaurant is great and the ambience is very beautiful.

Klein (26)

What about to visit the beautiful natural sculptures of Vila Velha State Park and taste the delicious craft beer at Klein Brewhouse? More information and booking:

Maniacs

Maniacs opened in December 2017 in Curitiba, but it was born experienced. The owners have been importing beers since 2004 and have already outsourced Maniacs to other factories. The microbrewery now has capacity for 10,000 to 12,000 liters per month and is in a cozy and charming bar that seats 30 people well. The beer sommeliers help to choose between the house labels and the menu has items that take ingredients from the beers. The place may also be closed for events or groups at alternate times. The slogan “crazy about beer” brings the brand closer to the fans.

Maniacs (2)Maniacs (9)

Do you fancy a different tour at evening and learn about craft beer production that makes Curitiba famous? In this tour you will visit Maniacs and We Are Bastards Pub. More information and booking:

Ol Beer

This is one of the newest breweries in the Curitiba region and has already started very well! Ol is beer in Danish and was the name chosen by the young owner for his brand. He left his legal career aside to become a master brewer. It explains the whole process in a very didactic and easy to understand. Besides you know the brewing process, you can enjoy with the whole family in the kids space. There is also a bar with choices of pub food, hamburgers, beers and souvenirs. It operates today with 26,000 liters per month.

Ol Beer (8)Ol Beer (6)Way

Alessandro da Way was one of the pioneers in Curitiba and taught a lot of people to make their own beer at home. In 2012 the hobby turned into a very ambitious brewery, which today exports even to the United States! The Way is present in both bars and supermarkets. It has its own event at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum and also promotes charity events. Saturday mornings are family daytime fans: time to fill your growlers and buy your beers at the factory store. These days there are kids space and food trucks on site. Way’s production is 50,000 liters / month and is also expanding the plant to meet demand. The labels of the brand are very characteristic: serigraphs in the bottle or with works of local artists.

craft beercraft beer

Beer of the Atlantic Forest – going a little bit further

It is not only in Curitiba that you will find artisanal breweries. In Morretes there is the Cervejaria Porto de Cima, created by Kurt (American) and Mirian (Brazilian). The brewery is a charm and the beers of the place bring notes of the Atlantic Forest, besides being in the beautiful Morretes. The visit includes explanations about the brewing process and tasting of beers. It is already part of our itinerary Serra do Mar for Booze Lovers, which can be done any day by prior appointment.

passeios diferentes em Curitiba

I’ve never had craft beer, which one is the best?

The variety of craft beers is gi-gan-tic. I suggest always ordering a local beer to start. In addition, there is an easy rule to follow: see the IBU (international bitterness unit) index, which measures the degree of beer bitterness. The larger this number, the more bitter it is. Therefore, when asking for or analyzing the labels in the market, this is a legal parameter to get started. The most common are Pilsen and IPA. But it has several other styles. There are some with sweeter flavors that remind you of hazelnut or pumpkin (personally, I love it!). Other more lupo (bitter). As time goes by, you will discover which ones you prefer. And I guarantee, anyone who starts to try artisan beers, will drink less and much better. It is a world by itself and an excellent hobby. The tip for you to record your knowledgeable progress is the Untappd application. There you record what beers you have been drinking, evaluate and you can even know where it is being served what in real time. The best themed bars have beer sommeliers (subject matter experts) who will guide you. Very cool!

What’s the difference between chopp and beer?

I, as a curious laywoman, wanted to know this difference as well. So … The chopp is cooler, needs to be refrigerated and has a shorter shelf life as the yeast continues to ferment the product. In suitable storage conditions, a chopp lasts approximately 6 months. The best life chopp is the one you will take directly from the tank, something you only get even while visiting a craft brewery.

In turn, the beers undergo a pasteurizing process to kill the yeast. The already filled bottles are heated and only then labeled. So the durability is longer, from 6 to 12 months. But attention, if the beer has more than 10% of alcohol content, the durability is infinite – almost like a good wine!

Which bars sell craft beer in Curitiba?

If you want to enjoy a good craft beer, but do not have time to visit a factory, since most are further away, here are some tips from places already consecrated. But every day new bars appear throughout the city.

– Maniacs: it is the most central brewery and is in a neighborhood near the center. 20 beer taps and delicious little foods with beer ingredients. And with a good look at the production area. Av. Munhoz da Rocha, 1049 – Cabral. Tel .: (41) 3084-9730

– We are Bastards Pub: it is in Água Verde, very close to downtown. In a beautiful mansion, with live music in the main hall and quieter covered outside area. In addition to 32 taps of chopp, extensive menu of cocktails and food, mainly with pork. Av. Iguaçu, 2300 – Água Verde. Tel .: (41) 3343-0113

– Quintal do Monge: it is in the Historic Center of Curitiba, next to the Igreja da Ordem. Friendly bar with assorted handmade chopps and good food. Indoor area and outdoor tables. Special Customer Paraná has advantages here. R. Dr. Claudino dos Santos, 24 – São Francisco. Tel .: (41) 3232-5679

– Hop n’Roll: large bar with internal and external area with a large variety of local beers and from other places in Brazil. There is also a schedule for groups to make their own beer here. R. Mateus Leme, 950 – Civic Center. Tel .: (41) 3408-4486

– Cervejaria da Vila: this was one of the first bars specializing in beer in Curitiba and still very good. It has programming with bands and varied menu. R. Mateus Leme, 2631 – Bom Retiro. Tel .: (41) 3015-4620

Some curiosities:

– Before going to the fermentation, a craft beer goes through 3 gigantic “pans”. The first time is water with ground malt that becomes starch. In the second it is filtered to produce the brewing must. In the third it is boiled to remove the bagasse.

“Did you know that the bagasse in the artisan brewing process turns out to be an excellent fertilizer and animal feed?” It is a sustainable process.

– Only after the bagasse has been withdrawn will the liquid go into the tank to start the fermentation with the hops. The total beer process takes 21 to 45 days, but some special types have a lot more time.

– Hops are the ingredient that gives beer bitterness. Some types, like Petroleum, have a huge substance of this ingredient to give the accentuated bitterness.

– Belgium has a wide variety of beers, produced by monks. The patron saint of beer is a Belgian: Saint Arnould. In times where people from contracting diseases due to contamination of the water, he was not as beer maker as not sickened and did not recommend that people did not take water, only beer

I hope you enjoyed the information! When you come to Curitiba, whether for beer or any other reason, you can count on us from Special Paraná  😀

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Bibiana Antoniacomi, tourism professional since 1995 and owner of Special Paraná Turismo Receptivo since 2007.

What you need to know about the rail tour to Morretes

What you need to know about the rail tour to Morretes

The rail tour to Morretes is the most famous and the most booked tour in Curitiba. If you are planing a trip to Curitiba, this one should be on your must-do-list – and if possible, booked before you arrive here! Get information and tips here to make the best choice and have a great experience during the tour.

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How does the rail tour to Morretes work? 

Most important things first! The train has one departure time to Morretes and one back to Curitiba. It leaves from Curitiba at 8:15 am (the deluxe train at 9:15 am in some dates – you will read about the difference later) and it leaves from „Rodoferroviária“ in Curitiba (bus and train station are in the same place). The departure place is central and has easy access by bus, cab or even walking from some hotels. The journey takes about 4 hours and 15 minutes, but there might be delays or stops in the middle of the journey. The tourist train shares the railway with cargo trains, and cargo has priority. Delays can not be predicted, but do not let them ruin your trip – just be advised that they might occurr.

Important!! The touristic train will NOT have daily departures during low and mid-season. See the tour calendary here.

Many people still referr to the rail tour as to Paranaguá. It was so in former times, but since some years, the rail tour ends in Morretes. Unfortunately the rail station in Paranaguá is in very bad shape. But we swear you will not miss any beautiful landscapes, because the most beautiful parks of the railway end in Morretes anyway!

Morretes is a nice and picturesque little town. You will find handcraft stores with local goods, beautiful old houses, historical buildings, the beautiful Nhundiaquara river and restaurants with the regional food „barreado“ – a beef stew served with cassava flour, rice, bananas, fish, praws and side dishes. Try the famous „bala de banana“ – banana candy – and the „cachaças” – sugar cane spirit.

The train departs back to Curitiba from the local rail station – central and easy to find – at 3 pm. The journey takes about 4 hours and 15 minutes and the landscapes are the same as on the way there. That´s why most people prefer to book a tour package with return by van instead of the return tickets.

An important tip: it might be tiring (or boring!) to go and return by train. The landscape is the same and you will be more than 8 hours inside the train. It is usually better to go or return by van or by bus. We will show you below some options you have so that you can compare and book the best one for you. Package tours usually include one way or another along the Graciosa Road or the BR-277, depending on the climate. Both have beautiful landscapes of the Serra do Mar mountain range.

The rail tour to Morretes along Serra do Mar is amazing! Photo: Serra Verde Express

The rail tour to Morretes along Serra do Mar is amazing! Photo: Serra Verde Express

Know the train categories

Compare here the different train categories and choose the one that fits you better:

• Tourist category: it departs from Curitiba at 8:15 am and from Morretes at 3 pm. The seats are cushioned and the windows might be opened. It has a guide in Portuguese who will inform about the tour, telling about the history, geography and landscapes. Toilet in the car. Snacks (simple crackers), one water or soda are included.

• Cabin and Imperial category: it departs from Curitiba at 8:15 am and from Morretes at 3 pm. Only one car each! The cabin car reminds of old trains and has 7 cabins for 2 or 4 persons each (max. 26 guests), windows might be opened and there is a toilet in the car. Imperial car looks like a restaurant car from the 1930´s, very charming and inviting for only 20 guests, with tables for 2 or 4 persons – windows can be opened and there is no toilet here. Both have guide in Portuguese and English and snacks are more elaborated. Beverages are included: water, soda and beer.

Standard Litorina: the train departs at 8:15 or 9:15 (depends on the date). Litorina Standard is an old budd car with air condition (windows do no open) The guides speak Portuguese and English. The board service includes simple snacks, water, soda and beer. There is a toilet in the car.

• Deluxe category: The train departs at 8:15 or 9:15 (depends on the date). This train  category is very charming and the atmosphere is very special, with elaborated decoration and air-condition (windows do not open). Only three cars in this category, with only 23 or 40 seats each – very exclusive! The guides speak Portuguese and English and explain about the railway, history and curiosities. The board service is very attentive and includes elaborated snacks (croissant with cheese/ham and cake), sparkling wine, soda, water, tea, coffee and beer. There is a toilet in each car.

Know how much does it cost? Compare and book!

The most important now is to guarantee your seat in this unmissible rail tour to Morretes. It is often fully booked – book it ahead!

Only tickets, without further services 

In the options below you book only your train ticket in the wished category. It does not include pick-up service, lunch or any other service. 

Book Train ticket Curitiba / Morretes – tourist here. Portuguese speaking guide, simple snacks (crackers) and 1 water or soda per person. R$ 119 per person.

Book Train ticket Morretes / Curitiba – tourist here. Portuguese speaking guide, simple snacks (crackers) and 1 water or soda per person. R$ 119 per person.

Book Return train ticket Curitiba / Morretes / Curitiba here. Portuguese speaking guide, simple snacks (crackers) and 1 water or soda per person. R$ 238 per person.

Book Train ticket Curitiba / Morretes – Cabin or Imperial here. Portuguese / English speaking guide, snacks and beverages (water, soda and beer): R$ 235 per person

Book Train ticket Morretes / Curitiba – Cabin or Imperial here. Portuguese / English speaking guide, snacks and beverages (water, soda and beer): R$ 235 per person

Book Return train ticket Curitiba / Morretes / Curitiba – Cabin or Imperial here. Portuguese / English speaking guide, snacks and beverages (water, soda and beer): R$ 235 per person

Book Train ticket Curitiba / Morretes – Standard Litorina here. Portuguese / English speaking guide, air-condition, snacks and beverages (water, soda and beer): from R$ 185 to 235 per person

Book Train ticket Morretes / Curitiba – Standard Litorina here. Portuguese / English speaking guide, air-condition, snacks and beverages (water, soda and beer): R$ 185 per person

Book Return train ticket Morretes / Curitiba – Standard Litorina here. Portuguese / English speaking guide, air-condition, snacks and beverages (water, soda and beer): from ?R$ 370 to R$ 420 per person

Book Train ticket Curitiba / Morretes – Deluxe train here. Portuguese / English speaking guide, air-condition, snacks and beverages (water, soda, coffee, tea, sparkling wine): from R$ 265 to R$ 360 per person

Book Train ticket Morretes / Curitiba – Deluxe train here. Portuguese / English speaking guide, air-condition, snacks and beverages (water, soda, coffee, tea, sparkling wine): from R$ 265 per person

Book Return Train ticket Curitiba / Morretes / Curitiba – Deluxe train here. Portuguese / English speaking guide, air-condition, snacks and beverages (water, soda, coffee, tea, sparkling wine): from R$ 530 to R$ 625 per person

Complete tour packages

The options below include pick up service from central located hotel and adresses, train ticket in the chosen category, typical lunch, visit to Antonina, a lovely coastal town and return by van or mini-bus along the Graciosa road or BR-277 (according to weather conditions). All options are shared tours, what means that you will be in a small group, mainly with Brazilians. 

Book a Tourist train package here. R$ 285 per person (only Portuguese)

Book a Cabin / Imperial train package here. R$ 352 per person (Portuguese / English)

Book a Standard Litorina train package here. from R$ 315 to R$ 352 per person  (Portuguese / English)

Book a Luxury train package here: from R$ 382 to R$ 439 per person  (Portuguese / English)

 

Sunset train packages 

The options below include pick-up services from 9:00 on from central located hotels or adresses, van or mini-bus to visit Antonina and Morretes, typical lunch and train ticket from Morretes to Curitiba in the chosen category. It is important to remind you that the sunset times changes according to the season! All options are shared tours, what means that you will be in a small group, mainly with Brazilians. 

Book the Sunset train tour – Cabin or imperial here. R$ 352 per person (Portuguese / English)

Book the Sunset train tour – Standard litorina here. R$ 315 per person (Portuguese / English)

Book the Sunset train tour – Luxury here. R$ 382 per person (Portuguese / English)

 

Only transportation 

If you like to organize things by yourself, but wants to have it planned ahead, this option includes transportation by van to Morretes (driver-only) and the train ticket back to Curitiba in the tourist category. No lunch, guide nor other visits are included.

Book the Sunset tour – tourist here. R$ 165 per person (only Portuguese)

 

How to book your rail tour to Morretes?

The most comfortable way is to book only in the links of every tour above. If you have questions, you can call us at +55 41 3232 1314, send an e-mail to info@specialparana.com or a whatsapp or text message to +55 41 9 9935-7215. You will find many tours and information in our website. It is worth to take a look in the different tours and get inspired to make the most of your trip. See also the advantages to become our client! The informed prices are per person (adult). Children younger than 12 years old, students with official student cards and eldery (above 60 years old) have discounts. Inform ages and if you are student in the field “Special request” in your booking.

“If this is one of the most booked tours, should I book before?“

For sure! The sooner the better. Some categories, like the deluxe, are almost always fully booked, especially during holidays. The price is the same if you book before and you will not have any extra work when you arrive.

Important – be aware to have your passport!

All participants, including children, should take the original documents to ride the train. Children travelling without the parents should take a travel authorization, the same type used to flights. Check if you have your document with you to avoid problems.

Some information more…

“If it rains, will the rail tour be cancelled?“ NO! The train ride happens also in case of rain. The landscapes are surely prettier with sunshine, but you do not need to cancel the tour because of the weather. And you will most likely have a penalty fee in case of cancelation. The wheater here is very weird and it changes a lot along the day. The beautiful mountains and rain forest will be there anyway!

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With Sunshine or rain, the forest is very beautiful! Foto: Special Paraná

“May I choose the seats?” The seats are numbered and sold in order. We can not skip them or choose the side. If there are seats available, you may change it after tour begin.

About the regional lunch: the cuisine in Morretes attracts many people. When included, the food is typical of the region: „barreado“ – beef stew served with cassava flour, rice, bananas, fish, praws and side dishes. In case you have any food restriction, please inform in your booking request. We can not guarantee, but will try to accommodate your needs. If the meal is not included, you can choose the restaurant you prefer. Most restaurants cost from R$ 50 per person.  If you like “cachaça”, do not miss the local ones!

This is “barreado”, the regional meal! Photo: Special Paraná

This is “barreado”, the regional meal! Photo: Special Paraná

“If I live in Curitiba, do you pick me up at home?“ If you chose a tour with this servisse, the answer is YES! Inform your adress instead of hotel name in your booking request: if it is downtown or a close neighborhood, the pick-up servisse is included. If you live further away, there might be a fee. We will inform you and you will decide if you want it or not.

Pay attention to the pick up times. If your tour includes pick up service, please be at the lobby on time to avoid delays to the group. If you will go straight to the rail station, plan time ahead because of the traffic and to avoid problems.

Watch our video and other pictures with the main moments of the rail tour to Morretes and see how the tour is. You will be sure to book NOW!

The Graciosa Road is charming! Take a look at this dawn at BR-277 – simply awesome! Photos: Special Paraná

The Graciosa Road is charming! Take a look at this dawn at BR-277 – simply awesome! Photos: Special Paraná


The stop at Santuário do Cadeado is exclusive for deluxe train – a moment for great pictures facing the Marumbi mountains. Photos: Special Paraná

The stop at Santuário do Cadeado is exclusive for deluxe train – a moment for great pictures facing the Marumbi mountains. Photos: Special Paraná


passeio-de-trem-com-por-do-sol

What about a tour by sundown? Photo: Serra Verde Express.


Morretes and Antonina are lovely historical towns. Photos: Special Paraná

Morretes and Antonina are lovely historical towns. Photos: Special Paraná


Rail station in Morretes. Photo: Special Paraná

Rail station in Morretes. Photo: Special Paraná

Download the Curitiba Guide to know how to explore the city and surroundings at best – it is free and full of tips to make the most of your trip!curitiba-guide-youtube

Visit Curitiba and take home amazing pictures of you!

Visit Curitiba and take home amazing pictures of you!

Travelling can also be a synomim for pictures. The good moments are kept in our memory, but with pictures we have such moments forever! It is so nice to look at pictures after a while and remember details of the trip. Today almost everybody takes pictures with the cell phone or digital cameras.

Curitiba-ensaio-fotográfico

But not everybody has the “eye” of a good photographer to capture the best angle or the result is not what you expected. Or you are travelling for the first time to that place and don´t know which places are better for pictures. Or you only take pictures of the landscape, of the other people or the famous selfies that do not show the place so well. Or even worse: you put a great effort to make nice pictures of the others, but the other person travelling with you is not a good photographer. The other alternative is to ask strangers to take pictures of you. No matter what, the result hardly is what you expect.

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In Curitiba, that might be different.

What about to book a sighseeing tour with professional photo shoot? Your guarantee of great pictures to register this moment of your life. And you will visit the city while the photo shoot – a very nice and complete tour!

Visit Curitiba + Photo Shoot! Invest in your travel experience (and it is not so expensive!). Many studies have proven that happiness is much bigger through experiences than through material things. And it makes sense! Experiences are parto f your identity and personality.

fotógrafo-curitiba-ensaios-profissionaisThe professional photo shoot can be booked according to availability. As we know that it is tiring to pose as a model, the photo shoots take about 2 hours and then the tour goes on. We reccommend to take the pictures downtown, at  old town or Centro Cívico. In these regions there is a great variety of places and backgrounds for amazing pictures. They will have urban style and the photographer has a great eye and takes pictures that look very natural according to your personality!

visit-Curitiba-photo-shootThe photographer is young and has a very good perception of the best angles and backgrounds of the city – you will have very nice pictures to take home! We have tested the service with two couples that had never made a professional photo shoot to know how the experience was:

“It was our first photo shoot and we were very curious to know how it would be, but also very shy. We did not know what to do. We wanted spontaneous pictures, and so the photographer asked us to talk and act naturally, as she was not there. We got more confidente and the pictures were amazing, just like we wanted them to be! I reccommend very much this service for people who want to register special moments with the quality of a professional photographer.” – Janaína and Anderson.

ensaio-fotográfico-curitiba-com-passeio“When I travel I like to take pictures of the moments and experiences of the trip. But when you travel as a couple, most of the pictures are selfies. With this photo shoot, the experience was different: I was impressed as the landscapes and the urban backgrounds were explored. It was the first time we had a photo shoot and the pictures where beyond our expectations. Now we have great pictures with Curitiba as background to keep, print and remember! Pictures that mix us with the city are much better than any selfie we can take.” – Caroline and Diogo.

centro-histórico-curitibaThe professional photo shoot is part of two different tours:

In this 4-hour tour, our guide will pick you up at your hotel or centrally located adress. The photographer will wait at a central point to start the photo shoot. The photo shoot will take 2 hours and after that you will visit other beautiful places of Curitiba. As it is a private tour, you can visit the places you prefer – just talk to the guide. The departure times are 9am and 2pm.

This is a more complete sightseeing tour that starts with the 2-hour photo shoot. The tour after the photo shoot is very complete and includes the Botanical Garden, the Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Pope´s Woods, the Panoramic Tower, a lunch in Santa Felicidade, Tingui Park, Tanguá Park, Wire Opera House and Unilivre. The departure time is 9am and finishes at 6pm.

Did you like the idea? Do you want nice pictures in Curitiba as well?

Contact us to book your tour with photo shoot! Be sure that you will have great pictures of you and your trip to Curitiba.

  • info@specialparana.com
  • +55 (41) 3232-1314 or 9935-7215

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Download information and tips about Curitiba – it is free!

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Photos: Karla Vizone to Special Paraná

Adventure tours: what to do in Curitiba and surroundings

Adventure tours: what to do in Curitiba and surroundings

Curitiba is considered the ecological capital in Brazil and has a lot to offer regarding nature. If you look for adventure tours in your trip, we have some suggestions to make your travel plans more interesting!

A great option is to explore the city cycling. A nice way to have fun with friends and family and get to know locals and other visitors during your tour. Several tour routes to increase your experience in Curitiba, in a very creative way: Coffee Bike Tour, Bars & Bike, Art Bike Tour, Wire Opera House, Passaúna Park… Choose your bike tour!

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Enjoy the bike tours in Curitiba!

The train tour to Morretes is almost mandatory for visitors in Curitiba. What about an adventure in the nature after a delicious typical lunch? The rafting is available usually from November to April in Antonina, a neighbor town of Morretes. The rafting is level III/IV and you will have 1,5 hours of fun in Cachoeira River. The canoe tour is easier and can be made by people of different skill levels in the beautiful Nhundiaquara River in Morretes.

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Rafting or canoe tour: adventure in the middle of the nature to enjoy with family and friends!

One of the favourite spots for mountain climbers and hikers is the Marumbi Estate Park! Enjoy the train tour in the middle of the Atlantic Rain Forest until the Marumbi station, where you will get off. From there, a hiking tour to Rochedinho or Marumbinistas Waterfall. Reccommended for people in good physical condition and used to hiking in the nature. Your guide is very experienced in the region, and the return to Curitiba will be also by train.

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The view of Marumbi Peak.

  • Visit the 6th largest canyon in the world

A tour with a very nice 5 hour hiking at Guartelá Canyon, considered the 6th largest in the world! Guided hiking in a part to the park where only 20 people have access every day. Hiking, river bath and amazing landscapes of the region called Campos Gerais. This tour is available from Wednesday to Sunday.

You can join our tour to Guartelá Canyon, that departs every Saturday. The tour is held in a small group up to 12 persons and the departures are guaranteed. There is no minimum number of participants. The guide speaks Portuguese and English and you will also have a local park ranger and will have access to a restricted area. The tour includes lunch-box and we reccommend you to wear confortable hiking shoes and take a backpack. The tour costs R$ 420,00 per person. >> More information and booking here <<

O cânion Guartelá é considerado o 6º maior do mundo!

Guartelá Canyon is considered the 6th largest in the world!

For those who like trails and nature, combine the train tour with a visit to Pau Oco Estate Park. A hiking in the middle of the Atlantic Rain Forest, with its rich bio diversity until Salto da Fortuna Waterfall, the main attraction in this protected area. Know more here.

NEW: you can book your train tour and hike along a piece of the Itupava Trail! During the train tour you will have amazing views from the centenary railroad. You will get off at Marumbi Station and from there you will begin the hiking to enjoy the nature and bath in the river. This is a piece of the ancient Itupava Trail, an ancient indigenous trail that linked the coast to the first plateau. It was also used for transportation of goods. After the trail, have a delicious typical lunch in Morretes, you will have time to visit this lovely town. The hiking lasts 2,5 hours and the difficulty level is médium. Book your tour here. Watch our vídeo about the Train Tour and Itupava Trail and know more about the tour here:

Download a complete guide about Curitiba with a lot of tips how to make the most of your time here:

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10 Museums in Curitiba

10 Museums in Curitiba

Curitiba is very rich culturally and it is easy to see it in the variety of museums spread around the city. We have prepared a list with several museums in Curitiba – some of them famous and other rather unknown for you to plan your trip to Curitiba.

  • Museu Oscar Niemeyer – art museum

One of the most visited museums in Curitba, it was founded 2002 and is considered one of the most beautiful museums in the world by the American magazine Flavorwire. The Oscar Niemeyer Museum is locally called “Eye Museum” due to its shape. Most exhibitions are dedicated to modern art, but there are also photo exhibitions, paintings by local artists of different decades and a permanente exhibition about the famous architect Oscar Niemeyer. The museum attracts locals and tourists for its interesting architecture, exhibition halls and its external area, where pets are allowed. The museum has a charming café, store and an auditorium.

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Adress: Rua Marechal Hermes, 999 | (41) 3350-4400.

  • Museu do Holocausto – Shoah Museum

The first Shoah Museum of Brazil was created in honor to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and to the people who risked their lives to help. Dedicated to the persecution suffered by jews during the World War II, its goal is to warn the new generations about the danger of hate and racism. The museum has historical documents available digitally, audio and video files, besides pictures and personal belongings of that time. Short stories about struggling for surviving make the visit very interesting. The visit must be previously booked. Guided visits are available Saturdays and Sundays. Opening days and hours are available at the museum website.

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Adress: Rua Coronel Agostinho Macedo, 248 | (41) 3093-7462.

  • Museu do Expedicionário – World War II Museum

This museum is dedicated to the participation of Brazil during World War II. Founded 1946, it has many historical material about this period: maps, books, pictures and documents. Guns and other war material used by the Brazilian Army, Navy and Air Force can also be seen. You will see a tank, a Thunderbold airplane and other things in front of the museum.

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Adress: Praça do Expedicionário, Alto da XV | (41)3362-8231.

  • Museu Paranaense – local history museum

Located at the old town, this museum has over 400.000 itens: personal objects, guns, pictures, coins, films, paintings and documents. It was opened 1876 (the 3rd Museum in Brazil!) and had other locations before moving to the presente adress. Besides its exhibitions, the museum leads studies about archeology, antropology and history. The present adress used to house the family Garmatter and the mansion is worth a visit to see how a rich local family lived in the end of the XIX century. Pay attention to the toilett, considered very modern in past times.

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Adress: Rua Kellers, 289 | (41)3304-3300.

  • Museu da Ordem Rosa Cruz – Egyptian museum

The goal of this museum is to spread the art of ancient Egypt and it exists since more than 20 years. It is an interesting and unexpected place with pieces telling the history, drawings, guns, replicas and a mumified woman called Tothmea, who died over 2,500 years ago.

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Adress: Rua Nicarágua, 2620 | (41) 3351-3000.

  • Museu de Arte Contemporânea – contemporary art

Opened since 1970, it is located at the present adress since 1974. The museum has over 1,500 pieces by Brazilian artists. It has permanent and temporary exhibitions. The art event “Salão Paranaense” is organized by this museum to reflect about the Brazilian contemporary art.

Adress: Rua Desembargador Westphalen, 16 | (41) 3323-5328.

  • Museu de Arte Sacra – sacred art

Opened 1981, it is located at Igreja da Ordem at Largo da Ordem (old town). It gathers over 800 religious art pieces, such as clothing, fotos and paintings. The theme is the Catholic church.

Adress: Rua Claudino dos Santos, s/nº, Igreja da Ordem – Largo da Ordem | (41) 3321-3328.

  • Museu Municipal de Arte – art museum

This museum was opened 1988 to protect the art collection of the city of Curitiba and has over 3,500 art pieces, mainly from local artists such as Poty Lazzarotto, Cleusa Salomão, Bem Ami, among others. In 2000 the museum also received pieces by Geraldo Leão and Newton Goto. There is a permanent exhibition with art pieces that belong to Célia Neves Lazzarotto.

Adress: Av. República Argentina, 3430 | (41) 3229-4436.

  • Museu do Automóvel – automobile museum

Presently it is one of the most important automobile museums in Brazil with a collection of over 150 vehicles that belong to the members of a local antique mobile club. The museum has space for 80 vehicles, so that the exhibition may change and are divided into different categories: antique, vintage, milestones and classic. A great opportunity to see interesting cars of the 20th century. It is located at Barigui park, one of the most beloved parks here.

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Adress: Av. Cândido Hartmann, 2300 (Parque Barigui) | (41) 3335-1440.

  • Museu da Fotografia de Curitiba e Gibiteca – photography and comics

Considered the first museum in Brazil and the second one in Latin America dedicated to photography, this museum was opened 1998 and counts with a collection of over 3,000 images of great Brazilian contemporary photographers. The “Gibiteca”, dedicated to comics, has over 25,000 comic books for local consultation.  The place also organizes events, workshops, exhibitions and lectures about this theme. Both are located at Solar do Barão, a beautiful historical building.

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Adress: Rua Presidente Carlos Cavalcanti, 533, Solar do Barão | (41) 3321-3275.

 

*Check the opening times by phone before planing your visit.

As you like museums and cultural places, we have a tour to suggest: Curitiba´s Hidden Gems. This tour is available every Monday and lasts 7 hours. The guide speaks English and Portuguese and you will visit severy nice places. The Holocaust Museum, the Solar do Barão, Schönstatt Sanctuary, Barigui Park, stop for lunch in a pleasant and unexpensive restaurant (not included), Egyptian Museum, Capela Santa Maria (home of the antique music in Curitiba) and to round up the tour, you will try a local specialty called “Carne de Onça” in a typical pub. The tour costs R$ 230,00 per person and there are no minimum number for booking. The groups are small, with maximum 12 persons per tour. >> More information and booking here <<

Come to our city and visit its Museums in Curitiba! Find other suggestions about Curitiba in our Curitiba guide – it´s free:

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Wine tasting: learn, try and visit the Winery Araucaria

Wine tasting: learn, try and visit the Winery Araucaria

I must confess that good wines were not my specialty, but I knew that it was a matter of time to improve my taste. It would follow the same logic: as times goes by, we try different foods and are open for new things, don´t we? During a trip to Chile in 2014 I discovered myself as a wine lover!

Until then, wines were simply too dry for me! But after almost 20 days of vacation with Chilenean wines almost every day, I realized how savy and delicious they were. Back in Curitiba, I tried new wines and looked for information regarding wine production, types of grapes, differences, suggestions for harmonizations and so on. But some questions were still there: “do I really need to balance the glass before drinking?”, “how can I know more about a wine with only a sip?”, “what is the difference between grapes?” among other questions.

Wine Song, at Pablo Neruda´s house in Isla Negra, Chile. Photo: Caroline Kwasnicki

I looked for some courses, but I did not want to become a sommelier and the options were over my budget. So, in May 2015 Bibiana, director at Special Paraná, asked me to visit Vinícola Araucária, as it was our purpose to offer this tour option for tourists and locals and we test everything before! What an excellent experience it was! That day I took part at a Wine Day, offered by the winery with the sommelier Wagner Gabardo what was with the group from beginning to the end of the tour. And it was not a simple wine tasting – it was much more!

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At Wine Day, you will have an experience much more complete than a simple wine tasting! Photo: Caroline Kwasnicki

The road until we reached the winery was very beautiful, in the mountain region called Serra do Mar. The place has easy access, about one hour from Curitiba downtown. It is possible to see many Araucarias – our typical tree that also named the winery! The day was cold, very appropriate for a good wine but I do not doubt the visit is worth does not matter the weather!

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The beautiful Winery Araucaria! Photo: Bibiana Antoniacomi

To start, the sommelier Wagner told us more about the winery, how the production works, information about the climate, height and the soil, among other curiosities and challenges of raising grapes in this area and the production of good wine. The vineyard began 2007 with the French grapes Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Viognier and aso the Italian grapes Nebbiolo and Teroldego.

The building of the winery began to be built 2008 with the clear goal to show that the region has conditions to produce quality wines – and you will be sure about it after tasting them! Many questions were answered, such as harvest, maturation and how many kilos of grapes are necessary for a bottle of wine. But I will not tell more, but you can be sure to ask many things during the Wine Day!!

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The sommelier Wagner Gabardo tells about the production at Vinícola Araucaria

In the winery, Wagner explained more about the production and the technolgy used. In one of the rooms, we saw the huge steel equipments where the fermentation takes place – it is very important to keep the temperatures controlled. In other moment, we understood more about the oak barrels used to age the wine and which conditons are necessary for the wine to age “well”. It is quite interesting to know more about it before the wine tasting. These information in advance help to understand and value better what you drink. After all the information, we were eager to taste everything!

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One of the rooms of the winery where the wine is produced. You can see a beautiful pannel by Poty Lazzarotto. Photo: Caroline Kwasnicki

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Room with the oak barrels. Photo: Caroline Kwasnicki

And finally, the moment of the wine tasting has come! Wagner kept explaining and we received some handouts about how to analyse the wine completely: visual, smell and taste. We could take notes – I do reccommend to take notes or to use your cell phone for everything you find interesting to remember afterwards. During the lecture we learned a lot! We tested our taste, understood why I had the questions I mentioned in the begining of the text, what the “tears in the glass” mean, why should we smell the wine, what the salivation means and much more. And what about the taste memory? It will be completely different from person to person, depending on previous experiences the person had. What is quite interesting! During the wine tasting, there was a selection of delicious bread types on the table.

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During the lecture we learned some techniques about wine tasting, very well harmonized with handmade bread. Photo: Caroline Kwasnicki

And the experience only gets better!! To end it, a delicious lunch harmonized with the local produced wines. The day I was there, the restaurant was not ready yet and e had a phantastic lunch at the main house. More recently the Restaurant Gralha Azul was opened: a rustic and cozy space. Bibiana went there to see how it is and was pleasantly surprised with the food and wines served. During Wine Day the lunch includes starter, main dish, dessert, water and 3 glasses of wine. Take a look at the options – they are delicious!

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Gralha Azul Restaurant is a cozy and pleasant place with beautiful view to the lake. Photo: Vinícola Araucária

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Bife Ancho – grilled and served with rice with mushrooms, potatoes and green pepper sauce – and galinha à Moda Araucária – chicken with white wine sauce, cooked cassava, chicken risotto and parmesan cheese – are some of the options found on the menu. Photo: Vinícola Araucária. 

Before leaving, a short stop at the winery shop! We received a participation certificate and had time to take a look at the wines and choose the ones we wanted to take home. As we had already tasted all them, it was easy to find the ones we preferred. At the store you will find the sparkling wine Poty Brut, Poty Demi Sec, Angustifolia Cabernet Sauvignon, Angustifolia Merlot, Angustifolia Chardonnay and Gralha Azul Merlot. The bottles and labels are very elegant and remind of our region, as the artist Poty Lazzarotto, the gralha azul (bird) and araucária tree (angustifólia). It does not matter if you are from Curitiba or from anywhere else, it is a surely a good souvenir. The store also sells some gifts and accessories.

Take part at a Wine Day with winetasting

Yes, you can take part at a Wine Day at Vinícola Araucária. We tested and approved the program before and now it is your turn! You can schedule a tour very easily by e-mail info@specialparana.com or by phone +55 41 3232 1314. You can also make a booking request at our website: Wine Day Vinícola Araucária. The sommelier speaks Portuguese, Spanish and English. The complete tour will be in the language you choose.

Wine Day is available for groups between 6 and 20 persons from Tuesday to Sunday and you must schedule it in advance. Share this experience with your friends and put together a small group! I am sure that you will learn a lot. To know a bit more about wines will make you life easier when visiting a restaurant, choose a wine for dinner with friends or family or even to prepare a romantic evening.

Após a visitação, a aula com degustação e o almoço harmonizado, você terá um tempinho para olhar a loja da Vinícola Araucária e levar alguns vinhos para casa! Foto: Caroline Kwasnicki

After lunch you will have time to take a look at the store and take some wine bottles home! Photo: Caroline Kwasnicki

Only a visit to Vinícola Araucária? It is also possible!  

Private tour – An option for smaller parties, for couples or just for you is a guided visit at Vinícola Araucária, without the lecture and lunch. It is necessary to book in advance and it is available daily in different departure times: 8:30, 10:30, 12:00 and 13:00. In this tour you will have a guided visit (about 1h30) and time to enjoy the beautiful location of the property or to have lunch if the restaurant is open (lunch is optional and not included in the tour price). Book your tour to visit Vinícola Araucária here.

Enjoy the view! Photo: Bibiana Antoniacomi

Enjoy the view! Photo: Bibiana Antoniacomi

Visit to Vinícola Araucária and then head to the airport

An option for those who have a short stay in Curitiba or have a free morning before leaving to the airport is to book the tour that includes the transfer to the airport after the visit! The winery is located about 30 minutes away from the airport. For more details and booking, see our Visit to Vinícola Araucária with transfer to the Airport.

Plan your trip ahead and book now!

Contact:

  • info@specialparana.com
  • +55 (41) 3232-1314
  • skype: specialparanacwb
Ver formação do Wagner.

Wagner Gabardo is a professional sommerlier graduated at Centro Argentino de Vinos y Espirituosas (CAVE), in Buenos Aires. Sommelier at Vinícola Araucária, teacher at Centro Europeu in Curitiba and at WineSenses. Responsible for the organization of wine tasting at Paladar Cozinha do Brasil in 2012 and 2013, of the nationwide newspaper O Estado de São Paulo.

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Photos and text: Caroline Kwasnicki, Marketing assistent at Special Paraná since 2012. Graduated in Institutional Communication at UTFPR and post-graduated in Marketing at Universidade Positivo in Curitiba. Photographer in her spare time, believes that traveling and visiting new places is the best way to grow and understand the world – but always comes back to Curitiba!

Curitiba’s Old Town: the unexpected beautiful historical downtown

Curitiba’s Old Town: the unexpected beautiful historical downtown

Curitiba has many places to visit at Centro Histórico (Old Town) or Largo da Ordem, as popularly the old town is called. The area has museums, art galleries, cultural locations, churches, mansions and well preserved houses, spread around the neighborhood São Francisco – what makes it one of most attractive places in Curitiba. The Curitiba’s Old Town is very democratic – you will find people from different backgrounds. Include a visit to this central area in your travel plans! The scenery is composed by a harmonic mixture of antique and modern. There are bars, restaurants and cultural spaces spread around.

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The “Cavalo Babão” as background: it is a famous point of this area!

For those who visit Curitiba, a stop at the old town should be mandatory. Besides the traditional events that happen here – Feira do Largo da Ordem (Market every Sunday from 9 a.m to 2 p.m), Festival de Curitiba (Theater Festival) and Pre-Karnival – we have gathered some special tips for tourists and locals enjoy the best of the area.

Good to know: the Feira do Largo da Ordem is a huge market and a very beloved attraction! If you are in Curitiba Sunday morning, do not miss it. See some images in a video: 

What to see at “Centro Histórico”?

Cathedral – located where the first Portuguese settlers built a chapel 1668, it was enlarged and improved as times went by until to reach que present construction, that dates from 1893. The project has gothic style and is dedicated to the Holy Mary of the Light of Pinhais. It was recently restored. It is worth to visit the beautiful interior as well and see a statue of the former Pope John Paul II and also a well that was found in the last restoration and today is closed by glass.

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Cathedral inside. Photo: Special Paraná

Praça Tiradentes – according to the legend, the Indian chief Tindiquera braught the first Portuguese settlers to this place to show a good place to begin their village. Fact is that the chapel was built here and the city grew around it. It was recently restored and the ancient pavement was found – it can be seen under the glass in the middle of the square.

Paço da Liberdade – opened 1916, it was the adress of the former city hall and presently it hosts exhibitions, cultural events and the famouns Café do Paço, a charming place for a stop.

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“Paço da Liberdade” has an interesting architecture! Photo: Special Paraná

Rua São Francisco – if you want to imagine how Curitiba´s streets were until 1960, it is interesting to walk along Rua São Francisco. Narrow, stone paved, it goes through a huge change at this moment. Until recent times, it was considered a dangerous spot in town. After a complete restoration, several new bars and restaurants settled here. You will find classic places such as Restaurante São Francisco (here since the decade of 1950) and other very beloved ones like Nonna Giovanna and Jokers. We reccommend to stay here until 9 pm (tops!) because the it got safer, but can still be risky later at night.

Igreja da Ordem – with its simple colonial architectural lines, this church is the oldest preserved construction in Curitiba, dating from 1737. Its architecture is almost the same since the beginning. The church names the complete area, popularly called Largo da Ordem. You can also visit the Sacred Art Museum just next door.

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The oldest preserved construction in Curitiba. Photo: Special Paraná

Igreja do Rosário – built for the slaves in honor of the Holy Mary of Rosario, it is one of the most beautiful constructions at the old town. Curiously, it became the official church during the construction of the present cathedral. The present façade was built 1946 to replace the simpler one of colonial style.

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Rosário’s Church as background.

Solar do Rosário –  the beautiful private building is located just beside Igreja do Rosário. In this place you will find several things: art gallery, restaurant for lunch and for “café colonial”, workshops and courses, book store and a nice café with tables inside and outside.

Sociedade Garibaldi – the imposing yellow construction hosts an Italian association, founded by immigrants 1883 to support newcomers in difficulties. The place hosts events and can be booked for breakfast, lunch or afternoon coffee for groups of at least 15 persons (book in advance). Contact us for booking!

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The view of Palácio Garibaldi to the Largo da Ordem. Photo: Special Paraná.

Belvedere and Ruínas de São Francisco – at the highest place in the old town you will see the Ruínas de São Francisco (ruins), a place full of legends. The open-air theater usually hosts local bands Sunday mornings. In the gallery you will find some antique stores. The Belvedere is currently under restoration and should be open as a café shortly (April 2016).

Museu Paranaense – with a collection of over 400.000 itens, among them personal belongings, maps, documents, guns, films, coins, etc.  The museum tells the  local history and was opened 1876 (the 3rd Museum in Brazil). Since then, it had 6 different locations before the presente one. The Palace São Francisco is a beautiful mansion. The museum hosts exhibitions and develops studies on archeolgy, anthropology and history.

Memorial de Curitiba – the Memorial hosts several cultural activities and events. It has an impressing architecture and a beautiful panel on the ground floor. Upstairs there is an auditorium and exhibitions space.

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Mural painting inside the Memorial. Photo: Special Paraná

Praça do Gaúcho – this place is very popular for its skating area and also for the ice-cream parlor “do Gaúcho”. Families, skaters and friends like to meet here. Officially called “Praça do Redentor”, it is located next to the cementery and is a good option for ice-cream or for a cold beer in one of the bars there. Located between Rua Nilo Peçanha and Trajano Reis streets.

Tours in Curitiba’s Old Town:

Walking Tour in Curitiba: a perfect tour for whose who want to know more about the history and culture. During the tour our guide will tell about the places and will show pictures how these places used to be decades ago! The tour was a theme of a Nationwide TV show about small businesses.

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Are you curious to know where this picture was taken? Book your tour now and discover!

City Tour Parks and Historical Downtown includes a short walk in this area of Curitiba.

Curitiba Sighteseeing with Picnic: the tour ends in this part of the city and you might want to stay longer and enjoy the vibe of the area and have a beer or a coffee.

City Tour with Photo Shoot: this new tour includes 2 hour photo shoot with a professional photographer. The old town has some amazing places for pictures. Read more about it here.

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Where to eat, drink and have fun?

Bar do Alemão – very traditional pub in the old town. Wooden furniture and darker atmosphere remind of a German pub. The official name is Schwarzwald Bar do Alemão and besides the famous “Submarino” (draft beer with Steinhäger), it has several food options and snacks. Tip: our clients have a special advantage there! Get more information about the advantages and discounts that only our clients have here. Rua Claudino dos Santos, 63 | (41) 3223-2585.

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Jokers Pub – since more than 10 years this bar and restaurant presents music and different performances. It is located in an older building from the beginning of the 20th century. There are also options for lunch. Rua São Francisco, 164 | (41) 3324-2351.

Teatro Lala Schneider – if you speak Portuguese and like Comedy, you will like this theater. There are always good plays with local actors. Take a look in their website for further details. Rua Treze de Maio, 629 | (41) 3232 4499.

Quintal do Monge – for those who like craft beer, this is an excellent place, right beside Igreja de Ordem. There are different kinds of local beer brands, snacks and sandwiches. There are tables inside and outside. Tip: our clients have a special advantage there! Get more information about the advantages and discounts that only our clients have here. Rua Claudino dos Santos, 24 | (41) 3232 5679.

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Bossa Nova – considered a piece of Rio de Janeiro in Curitiba, the bar hosts music shows with samba-rock, a nice combination! It is a place for dancing and to have fun with local Brazilian music. Rua Senador Xavier da Silva, 120 | (41) 3528-6467.

The Peppers Bar – popular among younger people. It has cover bands of rock bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, besides Brazilian rock and electro indie rock. There are snacks and some promotions. Rua Inácio Lustosa, 496 | (41) 3044-1726.

Café Catedral – located on the side of the Cathedral, it is perfect for stop for a coffee or a fast meal. There are different coffee sorts, local beer, pastries, cakes and some dishes. Decoration is very nice and the service is good. Tip: our clients have a special advantage there! Get more information about the advantages and discounts that only our clients have here. Rua Barão do Serro Azul, 81 | (41) 3022-1443.

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O Torto Bar – the small pub is meeting point for many young people in the area of São Francisco neighborhood. The pub is honors a former soccer idol: Garrincha. It has beer and snacks, such as the famous “bolinho de carne”, a recipe kept in secret by the owner. Rua Paula Gomes, 354 | (41) 3027-6458.

Brooklyn Coffee Shop – it is a nice café with specialties from USA in the menu. A good option to meet friends, chat, study, work or simply relax, drink and eat something. Rua Trajano Reis, 389 | (41) 3618-0388.

Oriente Árabe – this nice Arab restaurant is in a strategical location, with view to Praça Garibaldi. There are few tables on the terrace and other in the inner rooms.  It serves delicious Arab food and there are some unexpensive combos for lunch during the week. Tip: our clients have a special advantage there! Get more information about the advantages and discounts that only our clients have here. Rua Kellers, 95 | (41) 3224-2061.

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Nonna Giovanna – traditional restaurant famous for its “Bife à parmegiana”. Very good for budget travelers and very beloved by locals! Rua São Francisco, 134 | (41) 3022-4653 ou 3152-4600.

Madero Burger & Grill – present in different locations  in Curitiba and a very famous restaurant, there is one at Largo da Ordem. The menu has delicious burgers, steaks and pasta. Pleasant athmosphere. Rua Kellers, 63 | (41) 3151-0101. 

Find more information about Curitiba in our guide – download it for free now!

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* All information and phone numbers are subject to change without further notice. Please call before to confirm opening times before going.

Kur Yt Yba: many “pinhões” – pine seeds!

Kur Yt Yba: many “pinhões” – pine seeds!

With the arrival of the autumn in Curitiba, you will find “pinhões” almost everywhere! The “pinhão” is the seed of the Araucária tree and is a typical food here. It is part of Curitiba´s history. According to the professor Aryon Dall´gna Rodrigues, an expert on indigenous languages that has developed an studay about the origin of the name Curitiba, it comes from the tupi-guarani language Kur’ yt’ yba (kur – pinhão, yt – tree and yba – big), what means land of many pine trees.

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Araucária at Tiradentes Square

The pinhão is the seed of Araucária, a native tree of the region, that grows vertically and can reach 30m height. The “pinha” grows in the tree limbs and inside it you will find many pinhões. It is mature every April and May and from then until August you might eat this delicious kind of nut that locals and  tourists like. Do not miss it!

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Open “Pinha” and inside it, “pinhões”.

The pinhão can be boiled, roasted or prepared in a fireplace. You might also use it as a flour to produce bread, pies and cakes. You might use it also for salads, stews or soups.

How to prepare “pinhões” in the pressure cooker

  •  1 kg pinhão nut
  •  1 liter water
  •  1/4 cup of salt 

How to prepare it

  1. Wash the “pinhões” in much running water. Put the “pinhões” with water and salt inside the pressure cooker. Close the cooker and let it cook.
  2. As soon as it begins to boil, let it cook for 40 minutes further. Turn down the stove and let is cool down naturally. A tip: after cooking, let it cool down and then cook it again for some minutes. It will be easier to open your “pinhões”.

Besides of being in the name of Curitiba and having a great historical, environmental, cultural and economical meaning for our region, the Araucária tree has some legends. One of them tells that since ancient times the “pinhão” was already a sign of fortune and prosperity. Another sign is in case you see a “pinha” falling down naturally, it means that you will have great peace and happiness. But watch out your head! The Araucária and the “pinhão” can be seen in many places in Curitiba, such as on our sidewalks or even in Special Paraná’s brand.

Unfortunately due to its good wood, the Araucária is an endangered species, so that is under strict nature protection. It is not allowed to cut any Araucária tree without a special authorization of the environmental departments. So what about to learn how to plant an Araucária tree? It is easier if you find a tree seeding, but in case you have a “pinhão”, it might succeed as well. Plant a “pinhão” with the thinner part towards the land. It is advisable to plant it in the middle of other species, so that it might develop better.

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Pinhão at Mercado Municipal of Curitiba – Photo: Caroline Kwasnicki

For those who already tried “pinhão” and like it, it is worthwhile to eat it at the traditional “Feiras de Inverno” – Winter markets – that take place at Osório and Santos Andrade Square. You will find “pinhão”, “quentão” – hot wine with seasonings and other Brazilian and international specialities. You can also buy “pinhão” there or at Mercado Municipal de Curitiba (Av. Sete de Setembro, 1865), a pleasant market with many delicious things.

“Sapecada de Pinhão”

This is one of the most traditional ways to prepare pinhão, like people used to do in the country side! With the dry twigs of the Araucária tree found on the ground, you make a camp fire and put the “pinhões” in it. The twigs burn quickly and the “pinhões” are rosted immediately. You will need a hammer to open them. It is very curious and it is delicious. Watch the vídeo to see how it looks like:

The images are by Vinícola Araucária – a beautiful winery close to Curitiba! Pinhão and a great wine fit perfectly in the colder days.

“Pinhão”, wine and good talk! Photo: Vinícola Araucária

You will find many other nice tips about Curitiba in our guide! Download for free now!

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8 good reasons to make a romantic trip to Curitiba

8 good reasons to make a romantic trip to Curitiba

Do you wish to leave the daily routine behind and make a nice romantic trip? We are specialists in Curitiba and have a list of excellent reasons to include our beautiful city in your travel plans and make a romantic trip to Curitiba!

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Enjoy your romantic trip in Curitiba!

1. Curitiba is the coldest capital city in Brazil and the lower temperatures create welcoming and elegant ambiances, perfect to enjoy as a couple.

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Botanical Garden in Curitiba.

2. It is easy to arrive in Curitiba! By plane, bus or car, the city welcomes couples from all over the world every year. The airport is modern and considered one of the best in Brazil and our infrastructure is recognized worldwide.

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Curitiba: a nice city to discover in a romantic trip!

3. The city has many peaceful parks and green areas. There are very famous places like the Botanical Garden and hidden spots like the German Woods or the Pope´s Woods. A good chat during a walk in a beautiful park is surely something special. Come and enjoy memorable moments with your partner in Brazil´s Ecological Capital.

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Curitiba has many beautiful parks!

4. There are good hotels for all tastes and budgets! The number of hotels in Curitiba increases every year and the cost-effectiviness is awesome. Nice and well located hotels with affordable rates for your romantic trip.

5. The city has a diversified cultural life. Theaters, shows, exhibitions, museums like the beautiful Oscar Niemeyer and many events will make your stay in Curitiba one to remember. Get information before your trip and plan it. A moment with cultural touch is to be remembered forever. You can also visit our famous artesanal fair, the “Feirinha do Largo da Ordem“, every Sunday.

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Theatres, museums, fairs! There are many cultural attractions here.

6. There are many tour options in Curitiba and surroundings. You can choose a 4-hour sightseeing tour or a full-day tour to visit the citys´s most enchanting places, a guided bike tour, the famous train tour to Morretes (there is also a deluxe version – very romantic!), the paradise-like Ilha do Mel, the impressive stone formations of Vila Velha, the charming historical Lapa, the Dutch settlements, excellent wineries, the beautiful Guartelá Canyon and much more. There are plenty of options in Curitiba to have unfortgettable time together.

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Train tour to Morretes, the paradise of Ilha do Mel and Araucária Winerie

7. The food in Curitiba is awesome! There are hundreds of quiet restuants with an intimate atmosphere for a couple. It does not matter what kind of food you prefer, there are many options: Italian, French, German, Arab, fondue, Brazilian, Indian, Steak houses… The choice is very wide.

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Bistrot do David, Chateau de Gazon and Zea Maïs, some romantic restaurants in the city.

8. The local bars are also very inviting. There are perfect locations for cold beer, a good glass of wine, some snacks, to listen to live music or to go dancing – there are many places to go.

Did you like the idea of leaving the stressful allday behind and come to a romantic trip to Curitiba? We have many options and can also organize tailor-made arrangements for you. Your guarantee for a trip worth to remember.

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Download our Curitiba Guide below to know more about the city. It’s free!

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Why become our client?

Why become our client?

Get more information about the advantages and discounts that only our clients have.

You want to enjoy your trip with tranquility and are looking for a serious tour company in Curitiba. Read what our clients say about us and about our staff – it will make your choice easier.

5 Reasons to book your tours with us!

  • Have specialists by your side
  • We only sell Curitiba and region. We are true specialists in what we do and can assist you in the best possible way. And we have been doing it since 2007. People from all over the world have already experienced our service. 
  • 100% satisfaction

We are specialized in Curitiba and region. You will not have any unpleasant surprises and will enjoy your time here at most. We are so confident that you will like our service that we guarantee 100% satisfaction in our private tours! If you are unhappy with the service, call us and give us 15 minutes to fix it or we will give your money back. A 100% guarantee because our clients simply love our service. Read the comments and reviews about our service:

>> Read our clients´ comments and what is written about us in the press <<

  • Discounts and advantages

You will have exclusive discounts and advantages in nice bars and restaurants. A couple can save abour R$ 100,00. Read more about the places and advantages below.

  • You deserve personal service

Count on our team by phone, whatsapp, e-mail and personally in our office. We speak English, Spanish, German and French and can organize a tour according to your preferences.

  • Discounts in the private tours

Book until 5 days ahead and have discounts in the private tours: 5% for 2 tours and 10% for 3 our more tours.

Book your services with us and get coupons that will give you exclusive advantages! We selected places we love and reccommend without any restriction. Considering a couple for example, you can save about R$ 100,00 using the coupons. Know who are our partners to plan your trip right now: – See more at:

  • Schwarzwald – Bar do Alemão

Pay for the regular draft beer (chopp) and get one “submarino” (a small jug with Steinhaeger inside the beer glass). You can take the little jug as a souvenir. Non-cumulative promotion.

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Very traditional place, almost mandatory for visitors in Curitiba and highly reccommended by locals. Cold draft beer and German cuisine in the heart of the Centro Histórico (old town). Opens daily from 11am until the last client.

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  • Oriente Árabe

15% off in your total bill! Non-cumulative promotion.

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Very pleasant restaurant in the old town, especialized in Arabian food. Located in an old, well-maintained corner house. Tables are divided into several rooms. Opens for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday and on Sunday only for lunch.

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  • Café Catedral

1 or 2 persons: 15% off. 3 or 4 persons: 25% off. 5 or more people: 35% off. The discounts are not valid for soft drinks, beer and souvenir. Non-cumulative promotion.

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Very central located café, just beside the cathedral. It serves special coffees, snacks and fast meals in a pleasant environment with great service. Opens from noon to 9 pm from Monday to Saturday.

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  • Lellis Trattoria

Free for two persons: ½ sangria jar / Free for 4 people: 1 sangria jar. Non-cumulative promotion.

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Italian food in a comfy ambiance located in Batel, just few meters from Patio Batel Mall. Easygoing ambiance and great food. Opens daily for lunch and dinner.

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  • Tartine restaurant

After your lunch at Tartine, the dessert table is free with this voucher. Valid for one person. Non-cumulative promotion.

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The Tartine is a restaurant of contemporary cuisine, with buffet of salads and hot dishes, besides the grilled meats and pasta cooked to order. A sophisticated space near the Spain Square (Praça da Espanha). Opening hours: Monday to Friday from noon to 3 p.m; weekends and holidays from noon to 4 p.m.

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  • Quintal do Monge

10% off in the total bill. Enjoy the snacks and craft beers of the pub! The pub doesn’t charge service fee. Non-cumulative promotion.

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A nice bar to enjoy snacks, appetizers and good beer. Located at Largo da Ordem, one of the most popular tourist points of Curitiba. Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 5 p.m; Saturdays from noon and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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  • Nelbe Restaurant

10% off in the total bill. Non-cumulative promotion.

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Great choice for lunch in Curitiba downtown, with several options of salads, traditional Brazilian food and excellents pasta and meat. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, from 11:15 a.m to 2:30 p.m.

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  • Devons Steak House

5% off in the executive menu (Monday to Friday) and 10% off in the regular menu (daily). Non-cumulative promotion.

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Sophisticated restaurant option for your lunch in Curitiba. With a modern space and selected dishes, this steakhouse is expert in the best Black Angus cuts. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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restaurante-devons-steak-house-em-curitiba (3)Are not convinced yet? Watch also some news about Special Paraná in a nationally broadcasted TV show about small business (only in Portuguese).

If you have any further doubts, just contact us. Our phone is 41 3232 1314 and our mobile for emergencies is 41 9 9935 7215 (whatsapp). You can also e-mail us at info@specialparana.com.

Be our client and enjoy the quality of our personal, tailo-made services and the advantages we offer.

Curitiba Brazil: 10 most visited places in Curitiba

Curitiba Brazil: 10 most visited places in Curitiba

Curitiba Brazil has many attractions for locals and visitors. For you to focus on the most visited places, we listed the 10 most visited places in Curitiba. They are all must-see for visitors to get to know the city better. Check-out our list and download our Guide to Curitiba with special tips to enjoy the city at most!

guide-curitiba-brazil1. Botanical Garden – Jardim Botânico

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Jardim Botânico / Botanical Garden

2. Wire Operahouse – Ópera de Arame

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Ópera de Arame / Wire Operahouse

3. Tanguá Park – Parque Tanguá

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Tanguá´s Belvedere

4. Tiradentes Square – Praça Tiradentes

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Praça Tiradentes / Tiradentes Square

5. Tingui Park – Parque Tingui

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Tingui Park – Ukranian Memorial

6. Barigui Park – Parque Barigui

Parque Barigui / Barigui Park

Parque Barigui

7. Panoramic Tower – Torre Panorâmica

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Panoramic tower in Curitiba

8. Oscar Niemeyer Museum – Museu Oscar Niemeyer

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MON, also known as “Eye Museum”

9. German Woods / Bosque Alemão

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German Woods with its famous Hansel and Gretel trail.

10. Unilivre

Unilivre / Free environmental University

Unilivre / Free environmental University

Read more about these places here.

Do you want to visit Curitiba? Check-out some suggestions:

A tip for your visit in Curitiba: a good way to visit all these places in a more interactive way is to book the Curitiba Intensive Full Day Tour! This private tour (9 hours) is perfect for people who want to visit the city´s main attractions in one day and enjoy private, personal service. We have guides in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Arab.

If you prefer to join a small group for a tour, we reccomend the Curitiba Sightseeing Tour with Picnic. It departs every Thursday and will take you to 11 nice places of Curitiba, with stops for pictures and a nice picnic in one of Curitiba´s parks. The groups are small – max. 12 people – and the guide speaks Portuguese and English. The tour lasts about 7 hours costs R$ 235 per person. >> More information and booking here <<

The most visited places are cool, but you also like rather less visted ones? Check out our Curitiba´s Hidden Gems tour. It departs every Monday and will take you to places such as Holocaust Museum, Egyptian Museum, Schönstatt Sanctuary, Barigui Park, Solar do Barão, Capela Santa Maria and the end will be in a typical pub tasting a local specialty. The tour lasts about 7 hours and costs R$ 230 per person. >> More information and booking here. <<

Do not miss the famous train tour to Morretes! It is one of the most booked tours in Paraná State and thousands of people enjoy the landscapes in the middle of the rain forest every year!

Have you not booked your hotel in Curitiba yet? See several options in our website!

Watch our video about the most visited places in Curitiba: