Curitiba is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Paraná. The city's population numbered approximately 1,879,355 people as of 2015, making it the eighth most populous city in the country, and the largest in Brazil's South Region.
Curitiba is an important cultural, political, and economic centre in Latin America. Curitiba's economy is based on industry and services and is the fourth largest in Brazil. It sports one of the few high Brazilian Human Development Index readings at 0.856, and in 2010 was awarded the Global Sustainable City Award, given to cities and municipalities that excel in sustainable urban development.According to US magazine Reader's Digest, Curitiba is the best "Brazilian Big City" in which to live. Curitiba crime rate is considered low by Brazilian standards and the city is considered one of the safest cities in Brazil for youth.
The city hosts the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), established in 1912.
As for the Medicine Undergraduation, it is also one of the bests of the country. There are several hospitals vinculated to the University, as Hospital do Trabalhador (HT - one of the majors trauma centres of Brazil) and Hospital das Clínicas (HC).
The interchanges as disponibles for HT and Hospital Santa Cruz, other centre of reference in Curitiba.
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Afonso Pena International Airport (CWB) is the main airport serving Curitiba, located in the adjoining municipality of São José dos Pinhais. It is operated by Infraero.
There are special buses (named Aeroporto Executivo) which operate from some bus stops of the city to the airport and vice versa.
Critiba's public transportation consists entirely of buses. It opened the world's first bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Rede Integrada de Transporte, in 1974. Some 1,100 buses make 12,500 trips every day, serving more than 1.3 million passengers, 50 times the number from 20 years ago. Eighty percent of travelers use the express or direct bus services. Curitibanos spend only about 10 percent of their income on travel, much below the national average.
Moving around in a car can be difficult in and around the city centre because of the many one-way streets and frequent traffic jams. The Trinary Road System allows quick access to the city centre for drivers. Some avenues are spacious and laid out in a grid. Apart from some points around the city centre, Munhoz da Rocha Street and Batel Avenue, traffic jams are not severe.
The city has 100 km (62 mi) of bike routes, used by around 30 thousand bikers daily. City streets carry almost one million vehicles, of which 2,253 are orange Taxis.
Attractions in the city include:
- Rua das Flores (Flowers Street) or XV de Novembro (The Day of the Proclamation of the Republic) Street is an important turistical and commercial point located in the centre of Curitiba. It is the first pedestrian only street opened in Brazil, inaugurated in 1972. Numerous cultural, political and social events happened there. Through the street, it can be found various flowerbeds and trees, that give the name to the street. It is considered the hearth of the city because of its important buildings, like the historical building of the Federal University of Parana, the Guaira Theater and the Palacio Avenida. It is also a remarkable commercial center in the city, with a lot of department stores, clothes, toys and technology. During Christmas time, its stores stay full of people trying to buy gifts. The centenarian buildings of the street also have offices and public departments. Its history is marked by socio-political protests, like the movement for free elections (known as "Diretas Já"), during the 80`s. In Christmas, Palácio Avenida host a Children´s Choir, nationally known, singing traditional songs. In the northern part of the street, known as Boca Maldita, there is a lot of political discussion, and it is full of elderly people during week days.
- Municipal Market: It isn't a normal market, there are a lot of organic products, and vegan food. The food court has a lot of Asian food, vegan food and organic too. There you will find everything and more. It is located in downtown, next to the bus station of Curitiba.
- Japan Square: Homage to Japanese immigrants who settled there to work in agriculture. Scattered around the square are 30 cherry trees sent from Japan and artificial lakes. In 1993 the Japanese Portal, the Culture House and the Tea House were built.
- Tingüi Park: Part of the biggest linear environmental park in the Country, established at the Barigüi river margins, it reminds us of original inhabitants, including a statue of Tindiqüera Chieftain. The Ukrainian Memorial is also there, a replica of the first church built in Brazil by the firsts immigrants. The original is at Mallet-PR and is exactly the same (without restoration). The park also has a big Pessank (Ukrainian egg painted) icon. The church is a museum, about the immigrants and the relation between them and the religion. Also have a store with Ukranian gifts ( T-shirt, Vinotchok, cap and more). There are dance presentations (Ukrainian folk dance) in August because the Ukrainian Independence day and the Ukrainian Immigration day and in December because the Shiatey Nicolai (Ukrainian Santa Claus).
- Oscar Niemeyer Museum: Artists from Paraná and other parts of Brazil have their work represented in the museum. Three rooms in the Eye are dedicated exclusively to photography.
- Tanguá Park: Inaugurated in 1996, the Tanguá Park was built on top of a complex of deactivated quarries. It is part of the Barigüi river preservation project joining Tingüi and Barigüi parks. It can be visited on boat or on foot (hiking). The park has a cooper and bicycle track, snack bar, belvedere and Poty Lazzaroto garden.
- Panoramic Tower: The 360-foot tall lookout tower allows travelers a 360° view of Curitiba and has a telephone museum on the ground floor.
- Botanical Garden: or Curitiba Botanical Garden Francisca Maria Garfunkel Richibieter it is a tribute to one of the town planners of Curitiba. Besides having a treasure trove of native plants, the Curitiba Botanical Garden is also known for its greenhouse, made of iron and glass and inspired in London's Crystal Palace. The city is known as City of Flowers because of this park that has such a diversity of plants and gardens.
- Tourism Line: The Linha Tourismo bus stops at key tourist attractions in the city.
- Feirinha do Largo da Ordem, an open-air market place that happens every Sunday morning, in the historical centre of the city. In the Feirinha, visitors can see or buy paintings, sculptures, craftsmanship, workmanship, typical foods. It is also possible to watch live small musical shows from local musicians or see some clowns doing humorous performances.
- Cyclist pocket square: A brief square located nearby Largo da Ordem, in the corner of the streets Sao Francisco and Presindente Farias made by the community members with little help from the government. Made with the main objective of being a hotspot for city bikers, it has many pubs and cafés. It also helps on influencing people on changing their way of transiting inside the city, bikes over cars, which good for the environment. The square also supports a new concept of green in the grey, so people can grow plants in the middle of the downtown. The square is a refuge for street art, it has plenty space in the walls and in the street Sao Francisco.
- Another interesting outdoor activity is Marumby rocks. Located an hour driving at the neighbor city of Morretes the rock is easy to climb and is a very good one day program for hiking lovers.
- Barigui Park: It is the biggest and one of the oldest parks in Curitiba and receives its name due to the Barigui lake that was dammed up to create the big lake in the park's interior. There you can find capybaras, birds and beavers, thus it is a great place to have a picnic.
- Passeio Público: It is the oldest park in the city and it is located in downtown of Curitiba. Curitiba's zoo and botanical museum was first held in the Passeio Público. There is a varieties of lakes and small island such as Ilha da Ilusão, there is also attractions for the kids since it was renaugurated a five meter playground. Passeio Público is considered a historical place that shouldn't gone unnoticed.