If you are spending a few days in Rio de Janeiro you should cross the Guanabara Bay and visit Niterói and a few of its landmarks!
Across the Guanabara Bay (about 13km by bus/car or 15min by ferry) you’ll find the city of Niterói.
It isn’t a big city but it has some interesting landmarks and a beautiful view of Rio!
Since the city is across the bay from Rio in the early XVI century the Portuguese decided to build a few forts to protect the entrance to Rio and the Fortaleza de Santa Cruz is one of those structures.
There is a guided tour (I’m not sure if they have it only in Portuguese or if you can find someone to guide you in English). The tours start every 15 to 30 minutes and they take you around the fort explaining all the history involved, since the 1550s to the 1980s.
It’s very easy to get there:
If you come by ferry, take the 33 bus on the terminal next to the ferry station, and you’ll get off on the last stop, Jurujuba. From there you can either walk (30min), take a cap, or sometimes you can find small buses connecting Jurububa to the Fortaleza.
If you come by bus you should also get off and take the 33 bus to Jurujuba. But, if you are taking the Rio-Charitas buses you can get off on the last stop of this bus and from there take the 33 until its last stop, about 5/10mins away.
It costs just 8 Reals to get in and, if you have a student ID, just 4! The price includes the guided visit. I’ve spent most of my life going to this fort and I still think it’s beautiful and an amazing place to visit!
pictures from lomohomes: maymosciaro and ninolbn