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National History Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Praca Marechal Ancora, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 20021-200, Brazil
Phone Number:
+55 21 3299 0311
14:00 - 18:00
Closed now
See all hours
Tue - Fri 10:00 - 17:30
Sat - Sun 14:00 - 18:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

Originally a fort and ammunition depot, the National History Museum today...

Originally a fort and ammunition depot, the National History Museum today houses permanent and temporary exhibitions marking the social and economic history of Brazil. Highlights include an extensive numismatic collection, a sacred art exhibit of shrines and paintings, and an exhibit devoted to carriages and transportation.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 730 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 38
  • 26
    Very good
  • 8
  • 2
  • 2
Very nice place to visit, especially for children

Nice natural history museum, not as much advanced as best European ones, but still very worth visiting. Especially interesting collection of artifacts of different South America's... read more

Reviewed 18 January 2017
Ivan S
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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730 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 76: English reviews
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 18 January 2017

Nice natural history museum, not as much advanced as best European ones, but still very worth visiting. Especially interesting collection of artifacts of different South America's cultures and of local butterflies.

Thank Ivan S
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
354 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,043 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2017

They do a decent job of presenting some aspects of the life and challenges of early life in Brazil for the Portuguese. Some interesting exhibits. We only explored the museum because there was a temporary art exhibit which we were interested in seeing. I would not make this a mandatory visit, but if you are in the area, stop by.... More 

Thank Knownews
Cidália R, Gerente de relações públicas at National History Museum, responded to this review

Prezad Lord   On behalf of the Direction and the staff of the National History Museum, we thank you for your kind words, which greatly encourage us to continue our mission of preserving and disseminating this immense heritage of all Brazilians! Waiting for you to return to the Museum for other visits!   Regards, Cidália Ribeiro Assessoria da comunicação Museu... More 

Level Contributor
302 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2016

Really good exhibits and artifacts, with English translations of signage. The building itself is a neat old fort as well. Spend a couple of hours and read everything, gives an excellent intro to Brazil's history without whitewashing slavery and other issues.

Thank Ken A
Level Contributor
109 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2016 via mobile

This museum is well-organized and large. 10R with English translations on all the signs. I made the same mistake I usually do where I'm super interested and detailed at the beginning, then 3 hours later I've lost my attention span and get bored. There's a lot of ground to cover so look at what you think is cool and move... More 

Thank Sarah G
Dusseldorf, Germany
Level Contributor
87 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2016 via mobile

Not only on rainy days, or to avoid too much sun - the visit to this museum has as main reason to learn about history of Brazil. And the presentation shows very well the development from the first traces of human beings on the continent, over the colonial period and the independent kingdom to the democratic republic. Worth to walk... More 

2 Thank fijomo
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 13 October 2016 via mobile

The museum is a mixture of Brazilian and international history. We concentrated on the Brazilian side. Covering 30,000 years of evidenced human occupation of Brazil the historical objects are set alongside contemporary objects. Laid out in a timeline narrative, the history of all the peoples of Brazil are frankly represented. Time taken depends on your level of interest. Most labels... More 

Thank newfoodsandflipflops
North Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
153 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2016

This is definitely undervalued. Perhaps the Museum staff should do more PR. Besides the permanent exhibition, there are also several other temporary exhibitions such as carriages, modern art, popular art, the Dialogues in the Dark experience as if a blind person, etc. One can easily spend 2 to 3 hours in this museum. Moreover, it has a nice restaurant offering... More 

Thank Capisce
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
54 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2016

It would be expected to find information and objects from the Portuguese Explorations of the world (1415-1822) to the founding of the National State of Brazil (1822-1889) and the historical travails of its citizens (1889-now) in a magnificent building in newsly revealed center/port area of Rio de Janeiro. But if you want a most unusual experience and happen to be... More 

1 Thank Leona F
Hellerup, Denmark
Level Contributor
136 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2016 via mobile

This is a quite large museum which tells a detailed story about the history of Brasil. The exhibits include numerous very interesting artifacts, both small, big and very large - among others some huge paintings about the war of Independence. The exhibits cover the whole range from indigneous people until the present day. There are signs in English throughout. If... More 

Thank JLC-1972
Waterford, Michigan
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2016

My travel guide book recommended allocating around 3 hours for the visit. I spent 90 min and I covered almost everything related to the permanent exhibition. I simply expected more from the National Museum. I visited the museum on Wednesday at 10:30 -ish; I was a single visitor in the entire museum. Not sure why is the attendance is so... More 

2 Thank VladMI

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Staying in Centro

Neighbourhood Profile
Downtown Rio is the place where this city was born. With modern skyscrapers sharing space with historical buildings and landmarks, this neighbourhood is living proof that the old and the new can live together harmoniously. As you would expect, downtown is where all major companies house their offices. However, the region isn’t restricted to businesses. Gems such like the “Paço Imperial,” which is a cultural centre that used to serve as a residence for governors of Brazil, can be found here. Pedra do Sal, a Monday night street party, is also in this neighbourhood. This landmark is the birthplace of samba and is famous for its “roda de sambas” (“dance circles”). Stop in for one and get closer to discovering where Brazilian happiness comes from.
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