Even if you do not speak Portuguese you are right in thinking that 'banco' means 'bank'. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janeiro is translated into English as 'Bank of Brazil Cultural Center' and, although it is not a bank now but in fact a natural history and art museum, the reason for the name is that it once was a bank.
The building, which was the design of Francisco Joaquim Bethencourt da Silva, has been done in an art-deco style and is the largest of the CCBB institutions. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil started in 1986 but officially opened its doors at the current location in 1989. The former bank has been immaculately restored to its original glory giving you a real appreciation of the beautiful architecture. It has made it into the ranks of the top one hundred art museums in the world based on the number of visitors.
Inside the building you will find multiple art galleries, three theatres, a cinema, a library, a book store, coffee shops and a restaurant. Due to the fact that this was previously a bank the building has ample space to accommodate all of the exhibitions and cultural activities that take place inside. It is in fact the largest of the three CCBB institutions, the other two are the branches in Brasilia and São Paulo, the smallest of the two being the branch in Brasilia.
The changing exhibitions are done in a variety of themes which could include the use of paintings, video footage and actors to play out certain parts. This makes each exhibition interesting and unique. Even if you have already been there before, you will always find something new.
Entry into the art museum is free and this is truly a gift as you get to see some fine art pieces and really get a sense of Rio's history. You will also find that fees for other shows or exhibitions are really well priced.
Located in Rue Primeiro De Marco 66, which used to be the old financial district of Rio de Janeiro, the museum is in the centre of down town Rio so it is easy to get to. Over the weekends however, when the streets are quieter, taking a taxi as a safety precaution is recommended as deserted streets can put one at unnecessary risk.
All in all, it's a wonderful way to experience some more of Brazil's historic culture.
Facts For Your Visit
Currently ClosedHours This Week:
- Monday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Tuesday: Closed
- Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Thursday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Friday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Saturday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Sunday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Address: R. Primeiro de Março, 66 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20010-000, Brazil
Phone: (21) 3808-2020
Official Website: CCBB RJ - Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre
|Metro Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Line 1 -Orange||Uruguaiana||6 Minutes|
How to get to CCBB RJ - Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre by Metro
Exit Metro Line 1 at Uruguaniana Station and walk straight east along Av. Presidente Vargas past Candelária Church. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil is just past the church on your right.
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Ratedout of 5
The free museum was very interesting (albeit probably because I work in a historical bank myself in the US and had a native Brazilian to translate for me). Even though it isn't presented in English, I would definitely recommend going through to see some beautiful spaces in the giant marble bank.
Christopher Erickson - 1 month ago
Museum, theaters, cinemas, art gallery, temporary exhibitions, gourmet cafe and bookstore all in one place managed by the Bank of Brazil. Besides permanent exhibitions and temporary ones which are usually free of charge it's a great stopover to drink some water and use clean bathrooms. Also, grab a snack if necessary. Their money gallery is amazing and tells a lot about the history of Brazilian Real (and much more). The Colombo bakery I prefer the one on Rua Goncalves Dias which is a classic and holds a lot of historical value. The Bank of Brazil permanent exhibition is a must see. If you're in Rio, I'm a local guide here. Feel free to get in touch with me through any social media: @DEBOMZAI
Débora Anzai - 1 month ago
Great place for art lovers. They have many expositions that varies from paintings to sculptures and also the history of money in Brazil. If you are around this area, it's a great pitstop for clean bathrooms and water fountains as well. If you are in Rio de Janeiro, I'm a local guide here, feel free to get in touch with me on any social media @VINIBOMZ
Vinicius BomZ - 1 month ago
An under appreciated attraction in the city of Rio de Janeiro. With rotating art exhibits, the Centro cultural do Branco do Brasil is a wonderful venue to visit. It isn’t near any of the beaches or major attractions, although it close enough to the metro where it isn’t a hassle to get to. It also provides a great reprieve from the sun beating down on you outdoors.
Karol Gawrych - 2 months ago