Glass-and-steel towers soar above domed colonial churches. Trade thrives here, especially along Avenida Rio Branco, a commercial street that resembles the Champs-Elysées. Rio’s French influence is also seen at Praça Floriano’s opera house and sidewalk cafés. The Sambódromo, at downtown’s edge, comes to life during Carnaval. Nearby, travelers fly to domestic cities from Santos Dumont Airport.