Estação das Docas
In 2001, an inspired renovation transformed the 19th-century steel cargo warehouses that lined Belém’s seedy riverside port area into an airy and modern complex known as the Estação das Docas (Blvd. Castilhos França, tel. 91/3215-5525, 10 a.m.–1 a.m. Tues.–Fri., 9 a.m.–3 a.m., Fri.–Sun.). Aside from a cultural center with a theater, cinema, and galleries, the three warehouses contain boutiques and bookstores as well as a bar, a café, the famous Cairu sorveteria, and a cluster of gourmet restaurants.
Featuring large glass walls overlooking the docks and the river, the Estação das Docas has become one of Belém’s hippest hangouts. By day, it’s a lovely place to walk around (there is a scenic view of the bay from the boardwalk), quaff microbrewery beer, nibble on buffalo kebabs, and watch the sun set. At night, live music shows are often performed on a movable stage that has been fashioned out of a former loading trolley.
Tourist excursions along the river depart from Estação das Docas’s small hidroviária.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition