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National Historical Museum

A fascinating repository of artifacts, including royal carriages, weapons and a vast collection of coins, provide insights into the history of Brazil.


Journey through hundreds of years of Brazil’s past at Rio de Janeiro’s National Historical Museum (Museu Histórico Nacional). More than 300,000 artifacts detailing the country’s story are housed here, including vintage cars, religious art, weapons and one of the largest numismatic collections in the world.

The museum occupies the site of a fort complex built in 1567 and hosts both permanent and temporary exhibitions spread across two floors. There is a lot to take in and discover.

At the Colonization and Dependence gallery learn about the nation’s economic development via the growth of coffee, mining and sugarcane industries. See equipment used on coffee plantations and view objects related to the mining and molding of metals.

Visit the life-size replica of a 19th-century pharmacy. It features period furnishings and scales, bowls, cutters and other equipment involved in the making, measuring and dispensing of medicine.

Browse the collection of carriages, including the light carriage used by Emperor D. Pedro II, who ruled Brazil for more than half a century. At the Patio of Canons, find a number of Brazilian, Portuguese, English, French and Dutch canons. Look over the 1908 PROTOS automobile that belonged to Brazilian diplomat, José Paranhos, the Baron of Rio Branco.

Go to the exhibition of sacred art for its shrines, sculptures and paintings. There is more art on display in the Canada Gallery. Among the works are pictures ordered by the government to record historical events. They include the Consecration of D. Pedro II, by Manuel de Araujo Porto Alegre.

Peruse the museum’s numismatic collection. With more than 127,000 items, it lays claim to being the largest of its kind in Latin America. Admire coins from ancient Greece and Rome, colonial-era medals and stamps from the 12th to 16th centuries.

Situated in Rio de Janeiro’s Centro district, the National Historical Museum is easy to reach via public transport. Two metro stations are a short walk away. The museum is open every day except Mondays and there is an admission fee.


Guide to Exploring around National History Museum


Map

Best Lodging Options Near National History Museum

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ibis Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont ¥3,892
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 ¥7,153
    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. Selaron Steps and Arcos da Lapa are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cinelandia Station is 10 minutes by foot and Carioca Station is 13 minutes.

      Prodigy Santos Dumont ¥10,717
      Prodigy Santos Dumont

      Prodigy Santos Dumont

      Av. Almirante Silvio de Noronha, 365, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Centro, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Guanabara Bay and within 3 mi (5 km) of Flamengo Beach and Museum of Tomorrow. Sambodrome is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away. Cinelandia Station is 17 minutes by foot and Carioca Station is 21 minutes.

        Hotel Atlantico Business Centro ¥3,453
        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 1 mi (2 km) of Guanabara Bay and Flamengo Beach. Museum of Tomorrow and Sambodrome are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cinelandia Station is only a 4-minute walk and Carioca Station is 7 minutes.

          Américas Granada Hotel ¥4,494
          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 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.

            Windsor Asturias Hotel ¥6,331
            Windsor Asturias Hotel

            Windsor Asturias Hotel

            Rua Senador Dantas 14-Cinelandia, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Centro, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Guanabara Bay and Flamengo Beach. Museum of Tomorrow and Sambodrome are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cinelandia Station is only a 4-minute walk and Carioca Station is 7 minutes.

              Hotel O.K ¥5,627
              Hotel O.K

              Hotel O.K

              Senador Dantas 24, Cinelândia, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Centro, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Guanabara Bay and Flamengo Beach. Museum of Tomorrow and Sambodrome are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cinelandia Station is only a 4-minute walk and Carioca Station is 7 minutes.

                Windsor Guanabara Hotel ¥8,043
                Windsor Guanabara Hotel

                Windsor Guanabara Hotel

                Avenida Presidente Vargas 392, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Centro, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Library (Biblioteca Nacional), Catedral de Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, and Arcos da Lapa. Museum of Modern Art and Maracana Stadium are also within 6 mi (10 km). Uruguaiana Station is only a 4-minute walk and Presidente Vargas Station is 8 minutes.