By Pedro Souza
August 8, 2017

Rio de Janeiro is known worldwide for its scenic beauty, warm beaches and vibrant carnival. These are all worth a visit, but the “cidade maravilhosa” has a lot more to offer. Rio’s cultural life, for example, is rich and diverse. To help you in delving into this less known side of Rio, we have made a compilation of 4 of the best museums to visit.

1. Museu de Arte do Rio (Rio’s Art Museum): In march 2013, the Museu de Arte do Rio was inaugurated in the neighborhood of Porto Maravilha in celebration of the city’s 448th anniversary. With an area of 15 km2 divided into 8 different galleries, the museum is dedicated to the visual arts. Walking through its galleries, one can appreciate exhibitions featuring the works of artists such as Tarsila do Amaral, Kurt Klagsbrunn, Rossini Perez and much more. Apart from the exhibitions, the museum is also a space for workshops, courses, seminars and other activities. Tickets can be bought for R$8, but the museum is open for free visits on Tuesdays.

2. Museu Histórico Nacional (National Historical Museum): If you are a history enthusiast, visiting this museum is a must for you. Inaugurated in 1922, the Museu Histórico Nacional has a collection of more than 300,000 items, which include the largest numismatic collection in Latin America. In an area of 20 km2, the museum holds more than 25 permanent and non-permanent exhibitions, where one can take a walk through the corridors of time and explore the rich history of Brazil. On the ground floor, one can also relax eating a snack or drinking a coffee or visit the stores. To look at the museum’s schedule and check when the exhibits are taking place, go to their official website (

3. Museu Aeroespacial (Aerospatial Museum): If you are interested in aeronautics, then this is the museum for you. Inaugurated in 1976 inside the UNIPA’s (Air Force University) campus, this museum is dedicated to the preservation and divulsion of activities related to the history of Brazilian aeronautics. Every year, 60,000 people visit the museum to take a tour through the history of Brazilian aeronautics and to study the museum’s bibliographical records which contain more than 5,000 works, as well as a historical archive with written documents, photos, videos and much more. The museum is open from Tuesdays to Fridays from 9:00 to 15:00, and on weekends and holidays from 9:30 am to 16:00.

4. Museu Casa do Pontal (Pontal House Museum): Founded in 1986 by French painter Jacques Van de Beuque, the Museu Casa do Pontal is the most important museum of popular art in the country. In an area of 1.5 km2, the museum holds permanent exhibitions composed from a collection of more than 8,000 art pieces from over 200 different Brazilian artists, as well as temporary exhibitions. Divided according to themes, these exhibitions display depictions of many aspects of rural and urban life such as festivities, daily activities and religious and cultural manifestations. Besides having one of the most fascinating art collections in the country, the museum itself has a beautiful space, with luxurious gardens where one can relax and appreciate nature. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 17:00, with tickets at the maximum price of R$10 for permanent exhibitions and R$4 for temporary exhibitions.

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