If you are like me you like a bit of history and find museums and ancient ruins fascinating, then Confeitaria Colombo is the place to visit. While Rio de Janeiro doesn’t have any ancient ruins it does have some very old buildings. If you walk around Central or Lapa you can see some of these buildings but they are often dilapidated, boarded up, or in some cases just the outer wall remaining. However, you do have an opportunity to see what Rio looked like at the beginning of the 1900’s.
If you are spending any time in Brazil, or follow Brazilian soap operas (which many Brazilians do), you will see a show called Lado a Lado, which takes place during the early 1900’s period of Rio de Janeiro. They start off and finish the show with pictures of Rio before it transformed into the megalopolis it is today.
Huge mirrors line the walls and a beautifully decorated stained glass ceiling is exposed from the first floor. At the entrance you will find display cases that stretch to the ceiling full of pictures and old plates and silverware. Yet, surrounding all this history you can walk up to the counter and order you pastel to go, or take a seat and enjoy a full meal where hundreds of people have been doing for over a hundred years.
I liked going to the Copacabana hotel and seeing the pictures of the hotel when it was the only thing on the beach, but these are all simply photos, or if you have deep pockets it can be an expensive night in a hotel. However, anyone is free to check out Café Colombo and enjoy a delicious Brazilian snack, drink or desert. If you are willing to pay a little more you can go to the second floor and enjoy a full meal while being entertained by a pianist. There is also a small, one room museum, upstairs, which requires you to ride an ancient looking elevator.