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Niteroi Overview

Because of the famous Museu de Arte Contemporanea, Niteroi has become a major excursion for travelers to Rio. Situated on the other side of Guanabara Bay, Niteroi is a busy center for commerce and tourism and is also the gateway to several beautiful beaches and colonial forts. Its close proximity to Rio makes it a popular day trip complete with breathtaking views of the bay and architectural wonders.

Highlights
A short walk south along the bay will take you to Boa Viagem, an island with the old remnants of a fort and the Igreja Boa Viagem church, both dating back to the 17th century. Also popular are the nearby beaches of Itaipu and Pitatininga that lie on the rocky side of the Atlantic Coast near the Fortaleza de Santa Cruz.

Close by the church is the Museu de Arte Contemporanea, which was designed by the world- renowned architect, Oscar Niemeyer. The building resembles a spaceship and has a 360-degree view of Guanabara Bay. Aside from its unique design it also houses Dr. Joao Satamini's collection, which is one of the most important examples of contemporary Brazilian art.

History
Niteroi was founded in 1573 and remained the capital of the state of Guanabara until 1975. Like many colonial strongholds, the Portuguese fortified the area with several forts, and after fighting France over the area the land remained in the hands of Brazil in the 19th century.

Getting There
To reach Niteroi from Rio you need to catch the ferry from Praca XV Novembro. The ferry takes about twenty minutes. Another option is to travel by car on the Ponte Costa e Silva and cross the Rio-Niteroi toll bridge.

Lodging
For beachside luxury, the Tower Hotel at Icarai offers apartments with private saunas, Jacuzzis, and swimming pools. Tio Sam Hotel and Fitness is located at Camboinhas beach and has a unique blend of advocating health and wellness in its tranquil setting.


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