Only 13 kilometers (8 miles) separate Niterói from Rio de Janeiro, the Marvelous City. A visit would be required just to admire the beautiful views you get of the main tourist attractions of Rio de Janeiro. However, Niterói has much more. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), the Niemeyer Way, the Forts Complex, the well-known Fish Market, the Fashion Polo, diversified commerce and exceptional gastronomy makes the city an important tourist destination nationwide.
There are a few things that make Niterói one of the best cities to live in Brazil. It is the most educated city in the country, according to INEP’s data (Ministry of Education, 2000), as well as the Third Human Development Index (HDI) in the country, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Niterói adopted public policies for urban development combined with an extensive and planned process of social inclusion, prioritizing the areas of health, education, economic development, culture, and sanitation.
Niterói’s population have reasons to be proud. The city that had been considered a "dormitory town" for years is now a reference in services and quality of life, showing that it is possible to grow in a unified way, generating jobs, income, and investments.
In recent years, Niterói emerged as a support point for oil producing cities in the country. The shipping industry recovery and the investment in qualified manpower fueled development. Today, Niterói is among the 100 best Brazilian cities for business. According to the Brazilian Institute of Oil and Gas (IBP), in the oil sector alone, the region accounts for 70% of the facilities in the state, going from offshore companies to shipyards.
Due to the focus on economic strategies, Niterói has not only recovered its traditional shipbuilding industry, but also boosted businesses in technological and scientific research areas, construction, trade, tourism, and services.
What can one do in Niterói?
Start your visit with the Caminho Niemeyer, an architectural complex that when finished will have 11 buildings designed by the famous architect Oscar Niemeyer. The Museu de Arte Contemporânea, the Teatro Popular de Niterói, Praça JK, the Terminal de Barcas Charitas, and the Memorial Roberto Silveira are wonderful sights.
After the circuit, make a visit to the city’s beaches. Those on Baía de Guanabara – Icaraí, Boa Viagem, Adão e Eva, São Francisco and Charitas – are great for playing sports and going for a walk. Those around the Região Oceânica (Ocean Region) - Itacoatiara, Camboinhas, Piratininga, Itaipu, among others – delight with their clear waters, dense vegetation, waves, in addition to bars and restaurants. For the ecotourism adept, it is worth visiting the Parque Estadual da Serra da Tiririca, a region with 2,400 hectares of green area. There are three trails available for the visitor: Costão de Itacoatiara, which has a 180º view of the sea; Enseada do Bananal, whose trail and climb leads to a 412m high peak and Pedra do Elefante, surrounded by a beautiful cove and vegetation from the Atlantic Forest.
The city’s forts, the largest complex of its kind in the country, deserve a separate itinerary. Start with Gragoatá, with an ample view of the bay and continue on to the forts of Imbuí and Barão do Rio Branco, on Praia de Fora. Then to the forts of Pico or São Luís, situated at 230m high, and finish at the Fortaleza de Santa Cruz da Barra, with imposing architecture. Niterói is a charming city and full of options. Discover Niterói and have a blast!