• Fair of Sao Cristovao - a peek into the culture and food of North-East Brazil
  • Great place!
  • Nice place!
  • Ok place.

Sao Cristovao Fair

Female opinion

My mom visited Sao Cristovao fair at the end of her 10-day trip to Brazil. Before visiting Sao Cristovao she always believed that Rio de Janeiro was far more similar to Europe than to the rest of Latin America. On her return from the fair she exclaimed; “Now I can finally see the real Brazil”. Well, she is kind of right. The Market represents a small part of Northeastern Brazil within the realms of Rio. You are able to see the culture of the Nordeste in all its forms: typical food, traditional crafts, live music with 6 bands playing on different stages non-stop. Brazilian festas at their best.

Male opinion

You will either love it or hate it, but you should go either way. It is a memorable experience that takes you out of the chilled and relaxed life rhythm of Rio. Suddenly you are part of something intense, noisy and quite crazy. Enjoy the Northeastern food, people, music, crafts, sweets, dancing and drinking. I loved it the first time, I liked it the second time, the noise made me crazy the third time…

Feira de São Cristóvão (Sao Cristovao fair) is a huge open-air pavilion, located in Sao Cristovao neighborhood. This district became home to Northeastern traditions in 1945, when many immigrants from Northeast Brazil moved to Rio to work in civil construction, settling in the Sao Cristovao region. Since then, unofficial parties with traditional music and typical food were held at the pavilion. In 2003 it was renovated and Feira de Sao Cristovao became an official event. The venue Centro Municipal Luiz Gonzaga de Tradições Nordestinas was named after one of the most influential Brazilian singers of the 20th century Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento.

Within the fair you will find numerous restaurants and bars, several stages and dance floors, hundreds of stalls and even a few beauty salons and karaoke clubs. You can try any kind of Northeastern food, drinks and sweets. In the shops you can buy clothes and footwear, craft and decoration products, CDs and DVDs etc.

The music you will hear will include all the possible Northeastern rhythms like forró, xote, baião, xaxado, repente, embolada, martelo, arrasta-pé, maracatu and many more. Look for repente singers in the middle of the pavilion. Repente is a special kind of musical folklore where musicians make up the lyrics while singing, and if you catch their attention, you might be the next character of their song. Enjoy your five minutes of fame :)

Tips for Feira de Sao Cristovao

  • It is a good place to buy local sweets. There is a wide selection and prices are cheap.
  • You will be one of the few tourists there, if not the only one. And the people are very different form Ipanema and Copacabana. Do not be starteled. 
  • There are dozens of restaurants, offering barbecue and drinks. Vegetarian and vegan food is hard to find.
  • On weekends go around 22:00 if you prefer fewer crowds. The later it gets the more people arrive.
  • On weekends the fair is open straight from Friday 10:00 am to Sunday 21:00.
  • When returning home at night, take a cab in front of the entrance. There are usually some waiting.

Sao Cristovao fair safety

The metro station is not far, but it's advisable to take a taxi, especially if you go in the evening. Do not test your luck, Sao Cristovao is a dangerous neighborhood. The area inside the fair pavilion is safe though. Security guards search down everyone at the entrance, do not bring your knives or guns :).

Song related to Feira de Sao Cristovao

Quick facts

Type: market
Touristic: no
Getting there: easy
Minimal transport: metro + taxi
Cost: free or cheap
Website: www.feiradesaocristovao.org.br
Other names: Feira de São Cristóvão, Feira de Sao Cristovao, Sao Cristovao fair
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How to get there

Address: Campo de São Cristóvão

Hood: São Cristóvão 

GPS: 22°59'24.4"S 43°13'39.9"W

From Ipanema, General Osorio: 
1. Take metro to São Cristóvão station (daytime) or Cinelandia station (night time).
2. Take a taxi to the fair.

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