The city with the German-Italian influence
Find out more about the student city with a lot of European history Curitiba.
“You just handed the man your cell phone.” – “Oh, right.” As soon as we leave the airport in Curitiba we immediately feel the differences. It’s much colder, there are hardly any people on the road and there doesn’t seem to be any suspicious people, so we give the nice man our mobile phone to explain something to us. The ordered Uber takes 30 minutes into the city. Our hostel Matilda is located directly at the edge of the old town. Since today is Sunday, most shops are closed. Even so, everything looks pretty empty, whether we have made the right decision to travel here?! The closer we get to our hostel the more crowded the streets get. Suddenly we only see young people strolling from bar to bar with wine bottles and beer cups in their hands or dancing on the street to live music. We hadn’t expected that anymore.
CSD and Samba in Curitiba
So we take our things off, greet the other roommates at the hostel bar and go straight out onto the crowded streets. The old town centre is rather small and most of the houses didn’t seem to be inhabited, but are mostly occupied by bars or restaurants. We follow the loud drums and trumpets and end up in a place where people are bouncing around to the instruments. Small trolleys are loaded with beer and water, some also offer a fresh caipi. So we continue to pass all the live musicians, enjoy a delicious Itaipava for 10 reais and listen to the reggae singer. Due to the many young people, we first think Curitiba must be a student city where same-sex couples have something to celebrate today. Later we learned that the celebration was organized similar to a CSD against Homphobia, an important statement about the current political circumstances. A nice Brazilian woman gives us the tip to a bar where a well-known Samba band is playing tonight. As we arrive there we are directly carried away by the dancing crowd, we really like the music and so we stay a few more hours. La Gente is mainly from Brazil, but still some Brazilians look like us and so we are always considered as locals. Pretty cool, it makes you feel even more welcome.
The way home is not completely comfortable for us, in Rio we might have had to give away our mobile phone for such a behavior. We change the street side once, in order to avoid running into the arms of the man who is standing in the diffuse light under the street lamp, and we are back at home …well tipsy.
The next days we cooked a lot and bought groceries at a good price to keep the costs at a minimum. Unfortunately, the hostel seems to be relatively empty, mainly the employees sit with us for dinner or have a chat. It rains at least once a day, we have always been lucky and have always just missed it, the weather is around 20-25 degrees. Quite pleasant for us cold-blooded creatures. At the next street corner there is a laundry, which charge you by kilo, in addition, drying and folding is also included in the price, how comfortable.
What to do?
During the day there are not too many sightseeing opportunities, we liked those classics:
The Opera de Arame which is beautifully situated at a waterfall and the resulting small pool. Those who understand Portuguese should definitely organize some tickets here and spend a brilliant evening. As a tourist, you can only look at the stage from the outside, if you are nearby, a small fast peak is worthwhile.
The Botanical Garden, which has just been renovated is significantly smaller than it appears in the photos. It is really tiny, yet very beautifully arranged. Here you can jog, watch butterflies or take a walk in the park.
The Municipal market hall offers delicacies from all over the world and many fresh fruit and vegetable stalls lure with offers. There is also a large aquarium section with interesting fish. At some stalls you can eat, but the restaurants are somewhat separate from the stalls. So don’t imagine it like a market hall in Spain.
The cathedral “Catedral Basílica de Curitiba” and surroundings.
We can recommend the Pao de Queso chain for a delicious freshly squeezed orange juice from the green Laranjas and warm Pao de Quejos (fried bread cheese balls).
In Brazil BlaBlaCar is also used, so we teamed up with a man who took us to Florianópolis for 100 reais. The BlaBla was very important to him and so we talked in Spanish about travelling, politics and food for 4 hours.