MAM Rio (Museum of Modern Art Rio) is housed in a spectacular modernist building created by Affonso Eduardo Reidy in the late 60s. It is one of the most important art institutions in Brazil supporting young artists and projects. Sadly, in 1978 a fire broke out in the building destroying almost all the artwork including pieces by Pablo Picasso.
Website: MAM Rio
Address: Av. Infante Dom Henrique 85, Parque do Flamengo
Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR)
The Museu de Arte do Rio is one of the newest museums in the city. It opened its doors in 2013 as part of a revitalization project in the run up to the World Cup. The museum, a series of three building, is thriving and has a large permanent collection of Brazilian art work as well as rotating exhibitions. Even if art is not your thing, the building alone is worth a visit.
Website: Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR)
Address: Praça Mauá 5, Centro
The Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói is housed in what is perhaps the most iconic of buildings in Rio de Janeiro. Designed by the world-famous architect Oscar Niemeyer in the mid-90s, the sweeping 360-degree museum allows panoramic views over Niterói and Rio de Janeiro. Although the exhibitions are not as good as MAM or MAR, the building is worth the journey. Try to visit on a Saturday when the tickets are free.
Address: Mirante da Boa Viagem, Boa Viagem
Museu do Folclore
Although rarely visited, the Folclore Museum provides a fantastic introduction to Brazilian folk art. The museums sizeable collection of works including religious and Candomble costumes, ceramics and works, mainly originating from the northeast.
Website: Museu do Folclore
Address: R. do Catete 181, Catete
Museu do Índio
One of the most fascinating museums in the city, the Museu do Índio focuses on the history and culture of the indigenous tribes of Brazil, providing an insight into the lives, customs and how they fit into modern Brazil. The museums impressive collection includes thousands of publications, images, films, documents and recordings from the end of the 19th century to the present day.
Website: Museu do Índio
Address: R. das Palmeiras 55, Botafogo
Museu da República
The Museu da República is housed in Catete Palace, originally Brazil’s presidential palace until the early 60s. Inside you’ll find much to offer on Brazil’s political history, art and a theatre. The site is where President Getúlio Vargas committed suicide. Visit on Wednesdays when the entrance tickets are free.
Website: Museu da República
Address: Palácio do Catete, R. do Catete 153, Catete
Museu Historico Nacional (MHN)
The National History Museum is one of the most important museums in Brazil housing a huge archive of literally hundreds of thousands of items including the largest numismatic collection of Latin America. If you are going to visit just one museum in Rio de Janeiro, this is the one to visit. Built in 1922, the museum spans a 20,000 square metre space.
Website: Museu Historico Nacional (MHN)
Address: Praça Marechal Âncora, Centro
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