Here at Special Paraná Turismo Receptivo we have already had clients from all over the world since we started in 2007. They travel to Curitiba for many reasons: vacation, visit family and friends, events, meetings or even for health treatment. That said, we know what each client profile look for.
We know that Curitiba has several places like Botanical Garden, Palácio Avenida Christmas show or the train tour to Morretes.The city has much more to offer,but many times people do not visit different places for lack of information or they do not know what to expect and in case of doubt, simply let nice places out of their plans. Or they have short time and only visit the "basic" places.
Our mission is to offer the best experience to our clients, with tailor-made services and attention to individual needs. So we created several informative and funny videos to show a bit more about Curitiba. So you will be able to plan your tour - with us or by yourself - and visit very cool places here, some even unknown by locals.
The character in black and white bring some wrong ideas that we heard from real tourist in these years in business. Leave your thoughts about Curitiba aside and enjoy the city. We can assure you almost 100% that you will like it!
To know more about the video serie, just play the next one:
Reason 1: Curitiba´s airport
You might not know, but the airport CWB is located actually in São José dos Pinhais, a neighbor town and is called Afonso Pena International Airport. It is only 18 km from downtown Curitiba and is today one of Brazil´s best airports. It still lacks in "interationalization", but we admit that the infra-structure is great and has flights to the main airports in Brazil.
In Curitiba itself, we have the Bacacheri Airport, that receives private jets and airplanes and hosts flight schools. This area used to be the "Colônia Argelina", founded by French people who left Argel. The legend says that one day one of them lost a cow and asked everyone if they had seen his "Baca Chérie", pronouncing wrongly "vaca", the Portuguese word for cow. So the area was calles "Bacacheri". If truth or legend, nobody knows...
Reason 2: Curitiba´s public transportation
Since 1960´s Curitiba has developed solutions for public transportation. The bus system with exclusive bus lanes (BRT) is used today in many cities and was invented here. The city receives people interested in that from all over the world. Until today the city has no subways due to the high costs and the city´s geography.
If you are interested in that, our guides will be able to explain how the public transport works during one of the private sightseeing tours.We had already many groups from different countries keen to know exactly that. In the Walking tour Curitiba we included a part in bus!
Reason 3: Curitiba´s cold weather
We are really Brazil´s coldest capital city. The mild climate in Curitiba attracts visitors and people who like to live here exactly for that. I grew up here and know quite well that the days are warmer than they used to be, but the weather remains unpredictable! So, do not pay so much attention to the weather forecast to plan your tours.
As we are located almost 1000 m above sea level and the Serra do Mar mountains are here as well, a day that starts warm can end up cold and vice-versa. Prepare yourself for all temperatures in one day! And never forget to bring coat and umbrella.
Reason 4: the Oscar Nieymeyer Museum
In 2017 our dear MON turned 15 years old. Since its opening, Curitiba was not the same anymore! The cultural scene is much richer and the Botanical Garden got a challenger regarding the position of #1 postcard in town.
Include an internal visit as well. Stay there by the end of your tour and visit the exhibitions, take a coffee at Café do MON and enjoy the atmosphere. During weekends the yard behind the museum attractus dog´s owners - the place is called informally "parcão", dog park.
Reason 5: "Carne de Onça" - appetizer
Curitibanos love a bar and "Carne de Onça" is a classic appetizer. Do not worry - unlike the name, we do not eat jaguars here (onça is jaguar in Portuguese)!
The dish, that is considered today immaterial cultural inheritance of Curitiba, is made with raw ground beef and several spices. During the tour Curitiba´s Hidden Gems we will take you taste "Carne de Onça" in one of the best places in town. The waiter prepares it before your eyes! Know what it is and how it is prepared in our video:
Reason 6: John Paul´s II Woods
I must admit: it is one of my favorite spots in Ciritba and I think you will like it too. The John Paul´s II Woods is very central and just beside Oscar Niemeyer Museum - you can combine their visit.
Here you will find original wooden houses built by immigrants from Poland in the late XIX and rebuilt here. It is an open air museum. The chapel was built where the Pople John Paul II said a mess and was later placed here.
The bike lane passes right in front. You will also make a stop at Mary Ann Apple Factory (yummy!), at Zapata (Mexican food and an open air space) and of course, try Polish specialties at Kawiarnia Krakowiak, right in front of the main entrance.
Reason 7: the market of Largo da Ordem
We still call it "little market", but the little is only in the name. Every Sunday the Historical Downtown area is full of tents selling hand-made goods and food. If you travel with children, it is worth to check the Praça João Cândido, where toys are available. It is not always, but very often you will find activities for children there, besides live music.
A good tip is to have lunch in the market: there are several kinds of food (check Reason 19), traditional bars like Bar do Alemão (Reason 12) , Madero or Caiçara (barreado - a beef stew). If you prefer something fancier, Durski is one of the best restaurants in town and right in front of Praça João Cândido, at Rua Jaime Reis. Another tip is the resturant Scuderia, with Italian specialties.
Reason 8: the Paranaense Museum
The mansion that hosts Paranaense Museum was built by Garmatter family and had several uses until it became home of the 3rd oldest museum in Brazil! The collection includes indigenous artifacts, historical pieces and shows a portrait of Paraná´s history. A nice and quiet place to be visited in the historical downtown area.
Reason 9: the German Woods
It is a native forest in the middle of a beautiful residential area. The German Woods are really cute! Start from the top and get down the Philosophers´ Tower and walk along the Hansel and Gretel Trail, that tells the story by the Grimm Brothers.
The "Casa do Conto" has witches telling stories everyday. In the lower part of the woods you will see the façade of a typical house of German immigrants in front of a wide lawn. A great place for a picnic or for pictures.
Reason 10: the Museum of Life
There is in Brazil a homemade serum that avoids children to die from dehidration. It was created by Dr. Zilda Arns and was widely taught in the poorest areas of Brazil by volunteers of the Children Pastoral. The organization headquarters is in Curitiba and in it you will see the Museum of Life.
It is thrilling to see the importance of the work of thousands of volunteers that donate time and knowledge to serve the poorest families. Besides that, the Museum of Life has nice activities for children. A curiorisity: the house that hosts today the museum was in the past an orphanage.
Reason 11: the Freedom Palace
The construction of 1915 is one of the most beautiful places downtown Curitiba. It was built to host the city hall where the market of the city used to be. Later it hosted the Paranaense Museum.
Hoje, é um centro cultural do SESC e tem programação de filmes, cursos e palestras, além de biblioteca e o charmoso Café do Paço. A dica ali é o chocolate quente, daqueles cremosos para comer com a colherinha!
Reason 12: the German Submarine
Schwarzwald - Bar do Alemão - is a real local institution at Largo da Ordem. Hard to find someone from Curitiba who was not here before. Draft beer is widely sond and "submarine" is a great one to order. See the video to understand. There are also appetizers and meals - typical German food. The place is very easygoing and opens daily from 11 am to 2 am, no pause!
A traditional and informal place to visit in Curitiba.
Reason 13: Unilivre
This is one of the surprises Curitiba hides. Unilivre is in the middle of woods in a former quarry.
The rooms are for courses about environmental education. If you follow the ramps, you will arrive at a balcony with vistas of the region. Close to the entrance there is a café with organic and whole food, opens at 10AM.
Reason 14: Hard Rock Café
There are quite few in Brazil! Hard Rock Café Curitiba has the style of the international ones, with memorabilia of rock stars and serves American food with Brazilian touches. It is located at Batel, a neighborhood next to downtown that concentrates many options of bars, restaurants and malls. You will see mansions - it was the favorite spot in town of the "mate tea barons".
Reason 15: the Panoramic Tower
Located in Mercês, close to downtown, the Panoramic Tower is a good option to see Curitiba from above. The only "but" is the elevator, for only 5 people each time. So, be ready to face lines. From up there you will see a 360 degrees view from Curitiba.
If you like panoramic views and do not want to stand in line, a good alternative is the Restaurante Terrazza (reserve before!) and the Confeitaria Curitiba, that divide the same place.
Reason 16: Santa Maria Chapel
This is a gorgeous place, but barely visited, right downtown. It was not a chapel anymore since decades before it became the headquarters of Camerata Antiqua de Curitiba, a place dedicated to classic and antique music. The visit is part of our tour Curitiba´s Hidden Gems.
Reason 17: Holocaust Museum
Visits can be made only by appointment and are allowed only for people over 12 years old. The security is strict, as it is in a complex that gathers synagogue, school and cultural center of the jew community.
The Holocaust Museum of Curitiba impresses. Be for the history told by survivors who moved here or by the fact that persecutions still happen in our world.
Reason 18: the Transportation Security Memorial
This one is known only by experts in Curitiba! It exists since 2016 and opens from Wednesday to Saturday. Visits must be scheduled. There are quite interesting simulators: from crashes to glasses that show how people see after they drink alcohol.
It is a great place to visit with school groups, to explain kids about traffic conciousness and safety. Traffic accidents kill many people in Brazil every year.
Reason 19: Pierogui at the market
Curitiba received thousands of immigrants from Poland. After Chicage, we are the biggest "Polish" city outside Poland. All these people surely had a a great influence in our cuisine and the proof of that is pierogui. You wil find it in a few restaurants, but mainly in open air markets. The tip is to try it at the market in Largo da Ordem (Sunday morning) or at Praça Osório (depends on the time of the year).
It is tasty: a kind of pasta filled traditionaly with potatos and ricota cheese served with a white sauce. There are "Brazilian" variations with other fillings and sauces as well.
Reason 20: the local craft beer
If you like good and different beer sorts, Curitiba is a paradise! We have dozens of different brands that earn more and more international prizes.
You can visit a brewery, know more about the brewing process and even have a craft beer straight from the tank - impossible to drink fresher beer! Or you can taste different sorts in specialized bars.
Curitiba is Craft Beer Capital City and hast developed a whole culture around it. The idea is: drink less, but drink better!
Reason 21: Tingui Park
This place is quite cool: a linear park to protect Barigui river. You will see jogging tracks, open air gym and playground, besides the Ukranian Memorial. It is a copy of an existing chapel located in Mallet, in Paraná´s countryside.
Did you know that Curitiba welcomed thousands of immigrants from Ucraine in the late 19th century as well? We have a strong ucranian community here and many still speak the language of their ancesters, as the mess is still told in their original language.
Reason 22: Barreado - a local specialty
Barreado was created in Paraná´s coast, but you will find it in some places of Curitiba as well.
It is a beef stew prepared originaly in a clay pot and closed with a paste made of cassava flour. So the meet would cook for many hours. It is served with rice, cassava flour and bananas, other regional products. In Morretes, Antonina or Paranaguá barreado is served also with fish and prawns as side dishes.
Reason 23: the Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum was created by the Order Rose Cross, one of the oldest in the world dedicated to the study of the history and religion in Egypt.
It is located in Bacacheri and has a very beautiful structure, in- and outside. If you wish to know more about the Ordem Rose Cross, there is an specifical exhibition room about it.
Reason 24: Barigui Park
It is a classic place for locals and was built to control the floods of Barigui river. Therefore, when it rains a lot, the jogging tracks are under water. The park was built exactly for that!
Barigui is very visited by joggers and cyclists. So, pay attention where you walk to avoid problems and not be hit by a bike.
There is a beautiful lake there, an exhibition hall, a festivity room of the city hall, besides the Automobile Museum (Reason 29). In special occasions, such as Children´s Day or Curitiba´s Anniversary, events are held here.
Reason 25: the market Mercado Municipal
The most famous market hall in Curitiba is located right in front of the bus/rail station. It is crowded every Saturday and Sunday. You will find fruits, vegetables, salad and produce from all over the world. There is a food court, organic area and event venues.
Reason 26: "Solar do Barão"
The former mansion of one of Paraná´s most important business men was transformed into a cultural center and hosts today exhibitions, museum and the curious comic books library!
It is a beutiful place downtown Curitiba, close to Mueller Mall and Passeio Público (park).
Reason 27: the Railroad Museum
The former rail station is located at Estação Mall. If you walk along Rua Barão do Rio Branco, take a look at the old houses. The street used to be the main link between downtown and rail station. The first hotels - Hostel Roma and Hotel Johnscher are from this time and there until today - and houses that hosted business and appartments of important families.
The collection of the Railroad Museum has objects and pannels showing the history of the railroads in Paraná state. The link between Curitiba and the coast was made to export mate-tea, that brought much development to our area.
Reason 28: modern bike lanes
Curitiba has many kilometers of bike lanes crossing the city. Some of them link the parks and if you like cycling, you might rent a bike and discover Curitiba this way.
Reason 29: the Automobile Museum
There are 70 parking spaces, but the collection is bigger and the cars in exhibition change from times to times. It is just beside Barigui park and you will see classic cars and even Formula 1 cars. A cool place for automobile fans or just find old cars charming!
Reason 30: the Curitibanos
The cultural mix in Curitiba is unique in Brazil: Native Indigenous, Portuguese, Africans, Europeans, mainly from Poland, Ucraine, Germany and Italy, besides people from many different places. Maybe because of the mild temperatures or for the mixture, curitibanos are considered more reserved than the average Brazilian.
And because of that we are considered more serious and even unsocial. But it nos exactly like that... We may not greet strangers in the elevator or look a bit suspicious for small talk with unknown people, but Curitiba has its qualities and problemas exactly because of us. So come to Curitiba and make your own opinion about us. We might be a bit reserved, but you will be welcome!
I hope that our suggestions and our videos help you to spend awesome days in Curitiba. If you need help with tours, transfers or any special program, we will be delighted to assist you. Our team is here to make your trip nices and more interesting.