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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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National Fine Arts Museum (Museu Nacional de Belas Artes)

Brazilian paintings of the 19th and 20th century, works by European masters and pieces of African art make up this museum’s extensive collection.

Discover the incredible riches of Brazilian art history with a tour through the comprehensive collection at Rio’s National Fine Arts Museum (Museu Nacional de Belas Artes). Admire the works of the giants of Brazilian art such as Pedro Américo and Di Cavalcanti, as well extensive collections of European and African art. After exploring the museum, step outside and admire the architectural treasures in the surrounding historic square.

The National Fine Arts Museum building has stood on the Rio square of Cinelândia since 1908. The museum’s collection originated in 1808, when the Portuguese royal family moved from Lisbon to Rio in order to escape the advance of Napoleon’s troops. The artwork that they brought with them from the Portuguese Royal Collection served as the first pieces of the collection now in the National Fine Arts Museum’s collection.

Start out by touring the permanent collection on the museum’s second floor. Most pieces are by Brazilian artists of the 19th and 20th century. See the museum’s many works by the 19th-century painter Pedro Américo, one of Brazil’s most famous artists. See his expertly crafted portraits and his intricate, wall-sized work The Battle of Avaí, which depicts a battle of the Paraguayan War. Also, find works by Di Cavalcanti, a Brazilian modernist painter whose main goal was to paint in a way that escaped all European influences.

The museum also features works from around the world. The sculpture gallery features copies of works by French masters. Also, see the collection of European religious art from the Middle Ages, and check out the collection of African art, which features masks, carvings and textiles.

After visiting the museum, step outside and explore the impressive architecture that surrounds Rio’s central square, Cinelândia. Latin America’s largest library, the National Library, and Rio’s main opera house, the Theatro Municipal, both face this historic square.

Arrive at the National Fine Arts Museum by bus or via the metro stop in the center of Cinelândia. Parking in the area can be hard to find, since the museum is located in the center of downtown Brazil. The museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday.


Guide to Exploring around National Fine Arts Museum


Best Lodging Options Near National Fine Arts Museum

See all 2,553 Properties near National Fine Arts Museum
Hotel Atlântico Prime ¥1,883
Hotel Atlântico Prime

Hotel Atlântico Prime

Rua do Resende 87, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Lapa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Arcos da Lapa and Catedral de Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro. Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro and Municipal Theater are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cinelandia Station is 16 minutes by foot and Presidente Vargas Station is 16 minutes.

    Américas Granada Hotel ¥2,448
    Américas Granada Hotel

    Américas Granada Hotel

    Avenida Gomes Freire, 530 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Lapa, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arcos da Lapa, Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro, and Sambodrome. Flamengo Beach and Museum of Tomorrow are also within 2 mi (3 km). Carioca Station is 13 minutes by foot and Presidente Vargas Station is 13 minutes.

      Hotel Atlantico Business Centro ¥1,695
      Hotel Atlantico Business Centro

      Hotel Atlantico Business Centro

      Rua Senador Dantas, 25, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Guanabara Bay and Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo Beach and Museum of Tomorrow are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cinelandia Station is only a 4-minute walk and Carioca Station is 7 minutes.

        Hotel Atlantico Tower ¥1,958
        Hotel Atlantico Tower

        Hotel Atlantico Tower

        Rua Visconde de Inhauma, 95, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Guanabara Bay and Museum of Tomorrow. Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro and Sambodrome are also within 2 mi (3 km). Uruguaiana Station is 5 minutes by foot and Presidente Vargas Station is 10 minutes.

          ibis Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont ¥3,017
          ibis Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont

          ibis Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont

          Rua Marechal Camara 280 Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of National Library (Biblioteca Nacional) and Museum of Modern Art. Selaron Steps and Arcos da Lapa are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cinelandia Station is 9 minutes by foot and Carioca Station is 13 minutes.

            Novotel RJ Santos Dumont ¥4,147
            Novotel RJ Santos Dumont

            Novotel RJ Santos Dumont

            Avenida Rua Marechal Camara 300, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Rio de Janeiro hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of National Library (Biblioteca Nacional) and Museum of Modern Art. Arcos da Lapa and Selaron Steps are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cinelandia Station is 10 minutes by foot and Carioca Station is 13 minutes.

              Alvim 1403
              Alvim 1403

              Alvim 1403

              Rua Álvaro Alvim, 37, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Centro, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Guanabara Bay and Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo Beach and Museum of Tomorrow are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cinelandia Station is only a 2-minute walk and Carioca Station is 5 minutes.

                Lips Motel - Adults Only
                Lips Motel - Adults Only

                Lips Motel - Adults Only

                Rua Senadro Dantas, 46, Centro, Rio de Janeiro
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Centro, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Guanabara Bay and Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo Beach and Museum of Tomorrow are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cinelandia Station is only a 3-minute walk and Carioca Station is 6 minutes.