National Museum of Brazil

Discover the world's largest collection of Natural History at the National Museum of Brazil

Former Imperial Palace and now National Museum at Quinta da Boa Vista
Former Imperial Palace and now National Museum at Quinta da Boa Vista cc licensed photo by marcusrg

The National Museum of Brazil was once called the Royal Museum as established by the King of Portugal Dom João VI's. The purpose of the museum was to promote scientific research in Brazil which, up until that time, was sorely missing and, as a result, very little of the fauna and flora and microbes were studied. The King realised that there was so much about their habitat that they were yet to learn about and that Brazil did not have the facilities or scientists who could make sense of all that was to be discovered.

Soon after the museum was built in 1818 it started to attract interest from European naturalists such as Maximilian zu Wied-Neuweid and Carl Friedrich Phillip von Martius. Later the King started to extend his invitation to other scientists such as botanists, biologist, chemists, geologists, anthropologists, archaeologists and palaeontologists. By inviting foreign scientists he gave them the opportunity to make discoveries of their own in Brazil as well as use the facilities at the National Museum of Brazil to conduct research.

The King was an amateur scientist himself and so he dedicated a lot of resources and energy to the quest of discovery from a scientific perspective of Brazil. He amassed quite a collection on his trips oversees, some of which can be seen at the museum.

Due to a military coup in 1889, the National Museum was moved to the Imperial Palace in Quinta da Boa Vista and is still there to this day. The site is also well worth the visit from a historical perspective. Walking from room to room we can only but imagine what things were like for those living in between those walls.

When visiting the museum today what you should expect to see is a scientific institution, this is not a museum to be compared to many other museums. That being said, for those who are interested in the research from a scientific and historical point of view you will be happy to know that it has the world's largest collection of Natural History with nearly 20 million objects. It even has an Egyptian collection which is the biggest collection in the world outside of Egypt.

While you are in the area you can also take a walk to the Zoo which is close by, if this interests you. You can easily make a day of it as there are other tourist attractions in the area.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes

Currently Closed

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Address: Quinta da Boa Vista - São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20940-040, Brazil

Phone: (21) 3938-1123

Official Website: National Museum of Brazil


Metro Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Line 2 - GreenSão Cristóvão10 Minutes

How to get to National Museum of Brazil by Metro

Take the Metro to São Cristóvão Station on Line 2. Exit and take the pedestrian ramps over to the north side of the train tracks descending down the left ramp. Cross the road into the park and continue along the path to the museum.

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Rated 4.6 out of 5National Museum of Brazil Star Rating

5 Star Rating Great place to chill and check out some amazing exhibits

Neozodiac - 4 months ago

5 Star Rating Loved this museum. From meteors, across dinosaurs, Ancient Egypt, and many other stuff, the place brings excitement through every exposition.

Dragana Dimitrijević - 6 months ago

5 Star Rating Great museum and beautfull sorroundings. Mummys, dinosaurs and brasilian history in the same place

Daniel Lima dos Santos - 8 months ago

4 Star Rating Good exposition of natural sciences. I feel that the Museum should tell me more about Pedro II, emperor of Brazil.

G. C. Albe - 1 year ago

5 Star Rating The biggest biological and natural collection in Brazil, with more than 9 million items, started by D. Pedro II and now belonged of Rio de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ). You can see dinosaurs, insects, mummies, brazilian's natives crafts and more in exhibitions. The museum is located at Quinta da Boa Vista, a gorgeous park where it's possible to play with kids, have picnics, practice sports and have good time. There are parking area inside, metro/train station and bus stop nearby. There are restaurant and snack bar inside of museum and outside, at the park. A really interesting tour.

Elisa Colepicolo - 1 year ago


Tour of some of the extensive collection on display at National Museum (UFRJ) in Rio de Janeiro

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