Brazil has a strong cultural heritage and Rio is the epicenter of this cultural identity. It has over 60 theaters, cultural theaters and cafes where live concerts, orchestras, plays and musicals are performed.
Theatro Municipal is a highlight of the downtown area. This is one of Brazil's most well known venues for opera, ballet, and classical music. The 1905 building is a work of art, inspired by the Paris Opera of Garnier. Statues representing Poetry and Music adorn the top of the building, created by Rodolfo Bernadelli. The interior holds about 2,365 people and imports like stained glass from France, rose-colored marble ceilings, and a 1,000 pound crystal bead chandelier set a lavish atmosphere.
Ticket prices range from R$5 (US$2.80) to R$480 (US$270) boxes. Special Sunday performances at 11am are only R$1. To purchase, get in line by 9am and prepare to wait.
Address: Praça Floriano, s/n - Cinelândia, Centro, Rio de Janeiro
Tel: +55 21 2297 4411, +55 21 2262 3935
Address: Rua Álvaro Alvim 37, Centro, 20031010 Rio de Janeiro
Tel: +55 21 2240 4469
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes
Address: Av. Rio Branco, 199 - Centro (Cinelândia), 20040008 Rio de Janeiro
Tel: +55 21 2240 0068
Teatro Maison de France
Address: Avenida Presidente Antônio Carlos, 58. Rio de Janeiro
Tel: +55 21 2544 2533
To buy theater tickets, contact theaters directly or there are many on-line vendors like www.getmein.com/city/rio-de-janeiro.
The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra performs at various venues in the city.
The Theatro Municipal actually has its own resident orchestra and is the main venue for classical concerts and operas.
There are more than 50 museums in Rio de Janeiro. From fine art to cultural studies, Rio de Janiero's cultural centers have it all.
Quinta da Boa Vista, also known as Park of the Nice View, is a public park of great historical importance. Originally part of the gardens of the São Cristóvão Palace, the residence of the Emperors of Brazil, it now houses the Zoo and National Museum.
The old palace is now the National Museum. Founded in 1818 by King John VI of Portugal, it holds collections on natural history, astronomy, ethnology and archaeology. The museum offers an excellent view of 19th century scientific perspective as much of the collection consists of what was gathered by the Emperor Pedro II. Visitors can also see a few rooms of the ancient Palace with its original painted and stucco decoration, like the Throne Room, the Embassadors' Room and the room of Empress Teresa Cristina.
Zoological Garden of Rio de Janeiro is also within the park. One of most popular attractions, it was inaugurated back in 1945. There are over 2000 animals with an especially strong collection of Brazilian monkeys and birds.
The Museum of Modern Art, or MAM, was founded in 1948 by a group of art enthusiasts headed by Raimundo Castro Maia. Brazilian and international artists are featured with some exhibits, like the sculptures by Camille Claudel, attracting up to 120,000 people.
Another attraction is the extensive film collection. There are 12,000 titles! There are occasional festivals for the general public.
Carmen Miranda is one of the most well known actresses of the 1940s and 1950s. Portuguese born, she was a Brazilian women that both brought admiration and fear of Americanization to her people. The Carmen Miranda Museum (Avenida Rui Barbosa, Phone: 21-2334-4293, email@example.com) commemorates her life and accomplishments.
The Native Museum is devoted to the original people of Brazil. It contains artifacts of native life and have recently created an Uné, a large Indian home. If you would like to take native art with you, the museum store has handicraft s.
Museu Chácara Do Céu features modern art. Brazilian artifacts dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries can be seen.
The Parque das Ruínas is attached to the museum and is a venue for musical concerts. The park also contains the house which belonged to the eiress Laurinda Santos Lobo.
The Army Historical Museum is at the Copacabana Fort. Ammunitions dating to the early 20th century are displayed here. Located at:
Army History Museum and Copacabana Fort,
Praça Coronel Eugênio Franco, 1
Copacabana, Rio De Janeiro
Tel: +55 2521 1032
One of the most iconic images of Rio is the enormous staute of Christ atop Corcovado Mountain. Christ Redeemer has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In the past, visitors had to climb 220 steps to reach the statue. Today, there are escalators and elevators to help visitors reach the statue. Trains leave daily from 8:30am to 6:30pm, with trains departing every 30 minutes.
Admission is R$36 (adults)and R$18 (children)
Estrada de Ferro Corcovado
Rua Cosme Velho, 513,
Rio de Janeiro
Tel: +55 21 2558 1329
Sugar Loaf Mountain has colonial roots, named for its resemblance to the loaves of sugar used by the Portuguese colonists. The peak is 1,299ft high (396m), with a two-stage cable car ride taking visitors to the top. From here there panoramic views of the city and Copacabana beach. Open daily from 8am to 8pm, admission is 5 (adults), or R$17.50 for children 6-12.
The Tijuca Forest is the largest urban forest in the world. Home to animals and plants of the Atlantic Forest, it has actually been replanted in the early 1900's after years of deforestation for coffee plantations. The forest covers around 3,200 hectares and has restaurants and public baths to attract tourists. Located at:
Estrada da Cascatinha, 850,
Alto da Boa Vista- Tijuca, Rio De Janeiro
Tel: +55 21 2492 2252
The Botanical Gardens were created in 1808 by the Prince Regent of Portugal. It was to be a temporary site for acclimatizing imported plants. There are now over 2,600 species of plant life. As in many places in Brazil, animal life like Toucans, Tanagers, Marmoset monkeys and butterflies add vibrance to the scenery. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 8am to 5pm. Admission is R$4.
For more tourist information, check out the Brazilian Tourism Portal, www.turismo.gov.br.
To see the museums on a discount, many museums have free entrance on Sundays. There are also discounts for presenting a student card. Children (in general under 6 or 7 years of age) enter for free.
Most museums are open from 10am to 6pm, except on Mondays when many are closed.
Carnaval is an annual celebration in the Roman Catholic tradition that allows for its followers to revel in debauchery before the sober 40 days of Lent leading into the Holy or Passion Week and Easter. Brought to Brazil by Bourbon and Austrian ancestors, Rio De Janeiro's Carnaval is now one of the largest in the world. The event originally known as Carnival has morphed and developed into Carnaval (as spelled in Portuguese) an African-Brazilian influenced festivity with drums, adorned floats, Samba, and costumed revelers. Hundreds of thousands of tourists and residents flock to the streets to embody the spirit of Carnivale. In 2010, tourism officials said almost 730,000 visitors arrived in Rio for the event- a 5 percent increase over last year. Several different parades take place to celebrate:
Cordão do Bola Preta: Parades in the center of the city. It is one of the most traditional carnavals. In 2008, 500,000 people attended in one day.
Suvaco do Cristo: Band that parades in the Botanic Garden, directly below the Redeemer statue's arm. The name, in English, translates as 'Christ's armpit', and was chosen for that reason.
Carmelitas: Band that was supposedly created by nuns, but in fact it is just a theme chosen by the band. It parades in the hills of Santa Teresa, which have very nice views.
Simpatia é Quase Amor: One of the most popular parades in Ipanema. Translates as 'Friendliness is almost love'.
Banda de Ipanema: The most traditional in Ipanema. It attracts a wide range of revelers, including families and a wide spectrum of the gay population (notably spectacular drag queens).
Festa de Iemanjá- (Festival of Iemanjá) Celebrated in Rio on January 1.
Dia do Índio- (Indian Day) April 19.
Festas Juninas- (June Festivals) Celebrated throughout in Rio state and much of the rest of the country.
Boi-Bumbá- June 28-30. Celebrated in Parintins, Amazonas.
Bumba Meu Boi- Late June to second week of August. Festival in São Luís.
Jubileu do Senhor Bom Jesus do Matosinhos- (Jubilee of the Savior of Matosinhos) September 7-14. Celebrated in Congonhas./p>
Carnatal- (Carnaval in Natal) First week of December. Natal's answer to Brazil's big celebration comes in December (Natalese simply can't wait for the other Carnaval).
New Year's - Every December 31, 2.5 million people gather at Copacabana Beach to celebrate. The crowd, dressed in white, celebrates all night at the hundreds of different shows and events along the beach as fireworks light the sky. It is the second largest celebration only next to the Carnival. It is considered good luck to shake the Champagne bottle and spray around at midnight.