Brazil’s more than 3,000 museums, available in all states of the country, offer visitors unique op-portunities to learn much about both Brazilian and international history. Recently, the quality of the varied collections available to the public helped Brazil place sixth in a ranking of the most visited exhibitions in the world organized in 2017 by The Art Newspaper.

Check out below some info on the country’s most sought-after museums:

National Museum of Fine Arts (Rio de Janeiro)

Created officially in 1937 by a decree issued by President Getúlio Vargas, the National Museum of Fine Arts is located in the historical center of Rio de Janeiro. The building that houses its collection was originally designed in 1908 by architect Adolfo Morales de los Rios to host the National School of Fine Arts, the successor institution to the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. Today the museum occupies an area of 17,000 m2 and offers a vast collection that recounts the history of fine arts in Brazil from its early beginnings to present day. www.mnba.gov.br

Niterói Museum of Contemporary Art – MAC (Rio de Janeiro)

Housed in a breath-taking building overlooking the Guanabara Bay designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Niterói is one of the sym-bols of the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. Art-works on display include the João Sattamini collection, which features about 1,300 works ranging from the 1950s to present day, as well as the museum’s own collection, built from donations. www.culturaniteroi.com.br

Assis Chateaubriand Art Museum of São Paulo – MASP (São Paulo)

The São Paulo Art Museum, a private non-profit institution founded in 1947 by famous entrepreneur Assis Chateaubriand (1892-1968), is considered the first modern art museum in the country. In addition to the constantly-evolving permanent exhibit in the museum’s main gallery, the MASP also features collective and individual exhibits throughout the year that are articulated around thematic areas. www.masp.org.br

São Paulo Museum of Fine Arts (São Paulo)

Created in 2007, the São Paulo Museum of Fine Arts (MUBA) has as its main goal to document the development of arts, communication, architecture and design through exhibits focused on contemporary art. The institution also conducts historical and cultural research. Featured items including design, painting, sculpture and drawing collections. www.muba.com.br

Bahia Museum of Modern Art – MAM (Bahia)

The MAM is located in a 16th-century building bathed by the Bay of All

Saints, offering one of the most spectacular sunset views in Salvador. Today it is considered the epicentre of contemporary art in Bahia, with five exhibit rooms that often receive works by established national and international artists. The museum features an open-air gallery (Sculpture Park) and a cinema, as well as the Rubem Valentim Room. Artistic-cultural events of many perspectives and educational and artistic initiatives are all a common staple in the MAM’s schedule. www.jamnomam.com.br

Pampulha Museum of Art (Minas Gerais)

The building that currently houses the Pampulha Museum of Art (MAP) was the first designed by Oscar Niemeyer for the Pampulha Modern Ensemble in Belo Horizonte (state capital of Minas Gerais). Overlooking the Pampulha Lagoon, the museum has a collection of about 1,500 works that are periodically displayed to the general public in exhibits produced by cultural spaces of Belo Horizonte and other cities in the state. The MAP also constantly offers guided, technical and mediated tours, including workshops, activities and practical exercises, as well as meetings and debates with artists and guests. www.facebook.com/map.fmc/

Inhotim Institute (Minas Gerais)

Located about 60 km away from state capital Belo Horizonte, the Inhotim Institute is the largest open-air contemporary arts centre in the world. Its assets include a botanical collection with rare species from all continents, in addition to 22 pavilions and galleries featuring works by more than 100 artists from 30 countries. The installations, sculptures, drawings, photos and videos on display often amaze, delight and excite visitors from around the world. www.inhotim.org.br

Imperial Museum (Rio de Janeiro)

The Imperial Museum holds the country’s largest collection of items connected to the Brazilian empire (especially the so-called Second Reign, when Brazil was ruled by Dom Pedro II), comprising approximately 300,000 museological, archival and bibliographical pieces made available to researchers and others interested in learning more about the subject. The museum also hosts a full agenda of events, exhibits and educational projects on the premises. www.museuimperial.gov.br

Source: www.brazil.gov.br