Curitiba has many options of places to go and at the Old Town, one of the oldest areas in Curitiba, it would not be differente. The Old Town has museums, art galleries, cultural spaces, besides churches and old houses , mostly preserved that give a special touch to the place that is in Centro and São Francisco - two of the most attractive and visited areas of Curitiba.
The Old Town is very democratic! Plan to vist this central area. You will find a nice mixture of old and new, what makes the place more interesting.
What you will find in this article:
- Some iconic places with pictures and videos
- The famous handcraft market
- Tips of guided tours that include the Old Town
- Bars, restaurants and not-to-be-missed places in the Old Town
What to visit in Curitiba´s Old Town?
The official name is Small Basilic Catheral of Holy Mary of Lights of the Pines. It is located exactly where the first settlers built a chapel in 1668, that was enlarged as time passed by until the current building, finished 1893. The project has gothic style and was recently restored. It is worth to visit its interior to see a statue of the earlier Pope John Paul II and also a well discovered in the latest renovation and is closed today by a glass.
The legend says that the native leader Tindiquera brought the Portuguese settlers to the rergion where Tiradentes Square is located showing them as a good place to stay, as there were many pine trees there. Curitiba means "many pine trees"! Fact is that a chapel was built there and the city began to develop around the square. It was recently restored and the old pavement was found, that today can be seen in the middle of the square, protected by glass. Tiradentes Square is also our ground zero, from here distances are mesured.
It is worth to take a close look at the statues of the square. You will see Marechal Deodoro and Floriano, Brazilians two first presidents and a statue of Getulio Vargas, a popular former president / dictator. Tiradentes Square is the departure place of Linha Turismo.
Paço da Liberdade - Liberty Hall
Oped 1916, it was the city hall building and currently hosts exhibitions, events and is managed by SESC. The place used to be the city market before city hall. You will see a part of the former floor in a corner inside.
Paço da Liberdade is the only building in Curitiba under national preservation laws.
If open, it is worth to have a coffee at Café do Paço, on the ground floor. Their hot chocolate is yummy - just eat with the spoon!
Check out the video about this place:
Rua São Francisco
If you want to imagine how the streets of Curitiba used to be until the 1960s, it is interesting to walk along Rua São Francisco. It is narrow, paved with stones and had great changes in the last years. It used to be a dangerous place downtown, but nowadays several bars and restaurants opened here. There are few classic places like Restaurante são Francisco, in the same address since the 1950s and other very known ones like Nonna Giovanna, Mikado and Jockers. But please, go during the day time or evening until 9 PM. Later it can be dangerous again.
The church names the entire region of the pedestrian area of the Old Town. We normally refer to all this district as Largo da Ordem! With its simple lines, typical of the colonial time, the picturesque Igreja da Ordem is the oldest standing building in Curitiba, built 1737.
Its architecture remained almost unchanged since then. You will find in it the Museum of Sacred Arts. In front of the church you will still see the spot where the horses used to drink water - very useful in former times.
Built by slaved people in honor to the Holy Mary of Rosary, it is today one of the most beautiful constructions downtown Curitiba. During the construction times of the current cathedral, the catholic community used it to pray. The current fassade is from 1946 and replaced a simpler one, in colonial style.
Solar do Rosario
The belo casarão particular está localizado ao lado da Igreja do Rosário e foi sede do Instituto Goethe por muito tempo. Hoje você encontrará ali um espaço multi-uso: galeria de arte, restaurante com almoço e café colonial, cursos, livraria e um simpático café com mesas internas e externas.
The imponente construção amarela é a sede da Sociedade Beneficente Garibaldi, fundada pelos imigrantes italianos em 1883. A fachada é uma réplica da prefeitura de Roma.
Today, it is an event location and can be used for lunch or coffee upon booking for at least 15 persons.
Belvedere and Saint Francis Ruins
At the highest part of the old town,you will find the Saint Francis Ruins, a place surrounded by legends. It should be Saint Francis Church, that was neved finished and had its stones used to build the cathedral.
The open-air theater is a frequent place for shows on sunday mornings. In the gallery you will see antique-shops. Belvedere hosts today a café on the ground floor and is the headquarters of the literature club. It was built to be an observatory and was also a popular radio station for decades.
Paranaense Museum (local history)
With a collection of more than 400,000 itens, from personal use to guns, documents, maps, pictures, coins and other great collections, Paranaense Museum was opened 1876, and since its opening was in 6 different locations until to arrive here, at Palácio São Francisco, house of the German family Garmatter.
Currently, it holds exhibitions and develops studies in the fields of Archeology, Antropoly and History.
Watch the video to see a bit more about this museum - subtitles available in English:
Memorial de Curitiba
Located at Largo da Ordem, the Memorial is a place for several cultural activities and events. Opened 1996, it has a beautiful architectural project inspired by the local tree "Araucaria", and has exhibition rooms, a theater and an internal square for events. It is an important cultural center of Curitiba and very nice to visit.
The famous handcraft market
We call it "feirinha" - little market - but it is definitely not little at all! Each Sunday morning, from 9 AM to 1 PMhundreds of sellers are spread over the old town. The market goes from Rua São Francisco (from Barão do Serro Azul) to Rua Kellers in the highest part of the region.
You will find clothing, toys, shoes, furniture, decor, jewelry, food and much more. It is worth to try Pierogui - a kind of filled pasta made of potatoes - typical of the Polish community!A good tip is to visit the Mosquee. It opens for visitors sunday mornings.
The market has a website with the contact of the sellers..
Want to see more about the market?
Guided tours in the Old Town of Curitiba
The best way to really know a place is walking! That´s why we reccommend the “Walking tour Curitiba“The tour is perfect for those who want to know more about Curitiba´s history visiting main sightseeing points downtown. During the guided tour, you will know about history and curiosities with old pictures in a material especially prepared for this tour. Walking Tour was already shown in a popular Brazilian TV show Small Companies Great Business!
If you want to visit other nice places in Curitiba, we strongly reccommend the Full Day Sightseeing Tour. The tour starts with a short walking tour downtown and then to other beautiful places of Curitiba. Everything with comfort and safety for you to enjoy at most!
A fun and different option is Sightseeing tour with Photo essay. Take home amazing pictures made by a professional photographer!
The historic Old Town has nice backgrounds for your pictures. Curious? Read more about it here!
Where to eat and have fun?
Bar do Alemão (German Pub) - the traditional pub became a reference for the night life. It has traditional furniture. The official name is Schwarzwald - Bar do Alemão and besides the famous "submarines" - draft beer with steinhaeger - it was German food and several appetizers. Tip: our clients have advantages there! Where? Rua Claudino dos Santos, 63 | +55 (41) 3223-2585 – right beside Memorial de Curitiba
Jokers Pub - as the name suggest, it is a joker place, with varied program. It is a restaurant, bar, show place that goes from samba to rock. Jokers is located in a nice old house at Rua São Francisco. Besides the democratic program, it has some promotions and varied food options, from lunch on. Where? Rua São Francisco, 164 | +55 (41) 3324-2351.
Quintal do Monge - if you like craft beer, this is an excellent address, right beside Igreja da Ordem. You will find always several different brands of regional craft beer and from further away, appetizers and burgers. Two ambiances: inside and outside. It is worth a visit. Where? Rua Claudino dos Santos, 24 | +55 (41) 3232 5679. Right beside Igreja da Ordem
Oriente Árabe - this nice Arabian restaurant has strategic location, with view to Praça Garibaldi and Largo da Ordem. Outside tables and some inside, divided in quiet rooms. It serves delicious Arabian dishes and has promotions for lunch during the week. Tip: Special Paraná´s clients have discount there! For more information about this and other advantages to be our client, click here. Rua Kellers, 95 | +55 (41) 3224-2061.
Nonna Giovanna - very traditional address, famous for the beef or chicken parmegiana and bolognese lasagna, like home made. Where? Rua São Francisco, 134 | +55 (41) 3022-4653 or 3152-4600.
For more tips, download Guide about Curitiba. Free!
* It is strongly advised to check out the opening times and days with the places before you go - check also if reservations can be made.