petropolis - the imperial city

THE HIDDEN GEM OF RIO DE JANEIRO

Although not internationally famous, it is unlikely that there is a Brazilian who at least has not heard of Petropolis. Its intrinsic relationship with the Imperial Family, serving as a refuge from the implacable politics of Rio de Janeiro, gives it a unique status in the region.

Although most people immediately remember the Imperial Museum, formerly the Imperial Palace in Petrópolis, the city is also home to the first national brewery, Bohemia, a reflection of its Germanic heritage, so present in the local cuisine. Or maybe they don’t know that Santos Dumont, one of the most important Brazilian inventors, lived there in his own designed house.

As one of the safest cities in the State of Rio de Janeiro, its historic center allows us to explore it on foot and check the imperial time houses while discovering through well-marked signs about the original occupants of each one of them.

Another lesser-known point in the more recent history of Petrópolis is that the city was also the site of the then-largest hotel-casino in South America: the Quitandinha Palace. In addition to being an architectural and interior design spectacle, it was also where the treaty of mutual protection of the American countries in the Second World War was signed.

Whether for its history, architecture, or good beer, Petrópolis is a destination that cannot be missing from your travel plan!

Places Visited:

  • Quitandinha Palace
  • Imperial Museum
  • Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Casa de Petropolis (House of 7 Errors)
  • Crystal Palace
  • Bohemia Brewery
  • Stefan Zweig House
  • Santos Dumont House
  • Optional visit to ‘Castelo de Itaipava’ (Itaipava Castle). Due to its distance from Petropolis main area, you might not be able to visit all the listed attractions in case you want to go there.

Duration: 8 Hours

Flexible Starting Time; we recommend 9:00

We do not operate this tour on Mondays because all the attractions are closed.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Imperial Museum is only partially open. We will update this information as it changes.

Inside visit to the House of 7 Errors is not available on Tuesdays, we will visit only the outside on those days.

Are you staying in Petropolis and want to do this tour with us? No problem! We will pick you up in the Imperial City hotels.

Price: US$ 320.00 per private group (up to 4 people)

What is included

  • Private Car with Driver
  • Tour Guide
  • Tickets to the Attractions
  • Pickup and Drop-off within Rio de Janeiro and Petropolis (you say where!)
  • Complimentary Bottled Water

What is not included

  • Food and Drinks

Questions? Check this tour’s FAQ and/or contact us by email or Whatsapp

What to Expect

Following pickup (you say where!), we will travel in a private vehicle through Serra dos Órgãos National Park to the Imperial City. There we will visit the glorious Quitandinha Palace, a former hotel-casino built in the 1930s, with stunning architecture and beautiful decoration. We will see where the Royal Family used to spend their summers visiting the Imperial Museum, their former summerhouse, and check the ‘curious’ and asymmetrical architecture of the Casa de Petropolis, known as the House of 7 Errors. The inside is just gorgeous!

A stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral, an optional walk by the charming streets of the city, and a glance at the Crystal Palace are all part of this tour. As it is the visit to the Bohemia Brewery, the first one in Brazil. A good place for lunch and, of course, some beer tasting.

We will also visit the Santos Dumont house, where the Brazilian inventor lived for part of his life. He is considered one of the ‘fathers’ of aviation and you will learn why. And last, but not least, we can stop and taste some delicious chocolate at one of the local factories/shops.

A scenic drive back to Rio and drop-off (you say where!) ends this unforgettable day.

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Payment Policies:

  • Prepayment of 20% when booking (Credit cards, Apple Pay)
  • Payment of 80% on the tour day by cash (US$ or BRL) or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express).

    Cancellation Policies:

    • Full refund of the prepayment if cancelled at least 48 hours before the tour date.
    • No refund if cancelled 48 hours or less before the tour date.

    frequently asked questions

    What are the preventive measures against covid-19 adopted on the tours? If I'm already vaccinated, do I need to follow them?

    The measures are those recommended by WHO and OMT, which guarantee us the ‘Safe Travels’ and ‘Responsible Tourism’ stamps: mandatory use of masks during the tour (including inside vehicles), hygiene of hands and surfaces, social distance whenever possible. People who have already been vaccinated must comply with the measures in the same way as those who have not yet been vaccinated. These are measures aimed at protecting the team and customers. Failure to comply will result in immediate suspension of the tour without the right to reimbursement.

    What are the things to do in Petropolis?

    The main attractions are the Quitandinha Palace, a former hotel-casino built in the 1930s, and the Imperial Museum, the former summer residence of the Imperial family. But the Metropolitan Cathedral, the House of 7 Errors, the Crystal Palace (former winter garden), Santos Dumont House, and a stop in Bohemia, the first brewery in Brazil, are well worth a visit. There are several chocolate shops and many tourists like to buy clothes on ‘Rua Teresa’. Oh, and walking by the city streets, of course. But there is much more to do there. In the end, Petropolis itself is the biggest attraction.

    What about the 'Castelo de Itaipava' (Itaipava Castle)?

    It was built in 1920 by Baron J. Smith de Vasconcellos and is famous for being a replica of a Renaissance castle. It is an option for visiting and lunch, preferably on weekdays as it gets very crowded on the weekends. It is far away from the main Petropolis area so if you want to go there you might not be able to visit all the places listed in the itinerary.

    I don't know if I want to visit the places listed on the tour. Can I change itinerary?

    Definitely! This is perhaps the main advantage of private tours, especially ours: flexibility. And these changes can be made even during the tour!

    Is lunch in Bohemia mandatory? Can I choose another place?

    Nothing is mandatory in our tours. We give you suggestions and you choose what you want to do. You can also include places that are not listed at all. This, of course, includes the place for lunch. We can go to other restaurants in town. There are many options, trust me.

    Is Serra dos Órgãos, on the way to Petropolis, very winding? How long is the trip? I'm afraid of getting motion sickness.

    It’s not very winding, we never had cases of motion sickness on the tours to the Imperial City. Although the average drive time to Petropolis is near 1:30h, the ‘Serra dos Orgaos’ part takes about 30 minutes only. If you often feel nauseous, we recommend that you take the steps you normally take to avoid it.

    After all, is it really worth visiting Petropolis?

    It’s VERY worth it. The city has a totally different atmosphere from Rio, much more peaceful and welcoming. For those who like history, it is Paradise. The buildings from the Imperial times are extremely well preserved and walking by the city streets is a real journey back in time. And it’s extremely safe.

    I am staying in Petropolis. Can I do the tour with you?

    Yes, you can. Just let us know where in Petropolis you are staying and we will pick you up there!

    Will the tour be cancelled in case of bad weather?

    We do not usually cancel tours due to bad weather. What we do is to adapt the itinerary or, if possible, change the date. If you cancel the tour less than 48 hours in advance, except in extreme cases, there will be no refund, as per our cancellation policies.

    Can you explain the 'per private group of up to 4 people' prices?

    This is how it works: the prices listed entitle up to 4 people, from your group only, to participate in the tours. Those are final prices, not ‘per person’ prices.

    My group has more than 4 people. How can I book?

    You can either book 2 (or more, according to your group size) tours for the same date or contact us for a special quote.

    I am not sure if I feel safe booking on your website. How can I be sure that it's not a fraud?

    We have a TripAdvisor profile and we are registered in the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism. But we understand your concern. There is a lot of scams on the Internet so if you don’t feel safe and/or comfortable booking directly on our website, we strongly recommend that you do on TripAdvisor. You can follow this link or search for ‘be free rio’ on their website. No matter the source of your booking we guarantee that you will have an unforgettable experience!

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