The three mountain towns Petropolis, Itaipava and Teresopolis all have things of interest to offer the visitor. Not only the colder climate is refreshing, there are quite few things about them that is special. They are all located in close proximity to the national park Serra dos Órgãos.
This is really easy, just go the bus station in Rio (Rodoviária Novo Rio) and buy a ticket. Buses are frequent to all these destinations. If you want to find out how to get to the bus station just click this link.
There are quite a few accommodation options available. Petrópolis and Teresópolis is affordable but in Itaipava pretty much everything is quite pricey.
Petrópolis – The Royal Summer Residence
The 300.000 inhabitants live in a historically interesting place. During Brazil’s short period as a monarchy it was the summer residence for the royal family. It was common for privileged families to escape in to the cooler mountains during the hotter months of the year (and still is). What is of interest is the architecture, largely inspired by the many German immigrants and of course the Imperial Museum in the former Royal Summer Palace. The old casino is also interesting. Good restaurants. Works as a daytrip since it’s only about one hour from Rio by bus.
Itaipava – For the Rich
Is a lot smaller than Petrópolis and actually makes part of its municipality. Itaipava is popular among the really wealthy, there is a pretty decent nightlife with bars and discotheques.
This town with a population about 150.000 not only offers great access to the big national park Serra dos Órgãos, it attracts mountaineers from all around the world. From here it’s easy to get to some really spectacular hills, the most famous probably Dedo do Deus (God´s Finger). It also can offer some really nice hiking.