MAC de Niterói - Contemporary Art Museum

The Building That Speaks For Itself : Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum

Graceful lines of the MAC de Niteroi
Graceful lines of the MAC de Niteroi cc licensed photo by Rodrigo Soldon

If you are coming to Niteroi for the first time you will be forgiven for thinking that the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum (Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói— MAC) is in actual fact a UFO perched above the beach on a hill. This unique architecture was designed by Oscar Neimeyer who is a very famous Brazilian modernist architect and in fact one of the leaders of the Brazilian modernist movement. The building was completed in 1996 and is one of Brazil's more famous landmarks.

The structure is like a 'flying saucer' with windows that wrap around its circumference. The building is 16 metres high and its cupola, which is 50 metres, has three floors. At the base of the structure you will find a pool known as the reflecting pool that surrounds the base like a moat. The pool covers 817 square metres and completely surrounds the museum, making the structure look like it is rising from the water. The entrance of the building is a winding, wide ramp which snakes up to the front entrance keeping to the theme of curves in the design. The overall look is very fluid and pleasing to the eye.

Once inside the big windows that wrap around the building allow a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf Mountain, the beaches and large sections of Rio de Janeiro.

The design of the building allows uninterrupted views of the inside of the museum and its contemporary art pieces. Some feel that there is a lack of diversity in the art work, but that is a matter of opinion.

We suggest checking the official website above to see which exhibitions are on display at the museum to help decide when you would like to go, however, it is well worth the journey just to see the striking architecture and beautiful setting of this spectacular landmark.

Admission is free to everyone on Wednesdays and to children 6 and under everyday.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes, Free on Wednesdays

Open Now: No

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: Mirante da Boa Viagem, s/nº - Boa Viagem, Niterói - RJ, 24210-390, Brazil

Phone: (21) 2620-2400

Official Website: MAC de Niterói - Contemporary Art Museum


Metro, Ferry and Bus Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Line 1 - OrangeCarioca Station11 Minutes + Ferry and Bus

How to get to MAC de Niterói - Contemporary Art Museum by Metro, Ferry and Bus

Make your way by Metro to Carioca Station. Exit and walk across the plaza towards the east and cross over to Rua San Jose. Follow it east as far as it goes passing beneath the express way into the plaza at the Praca XV ferry wharf. This is about a 10 minute walk. Purchase a ticket for the ARARIBOIA SQUARE ferry and take it across to Niteroi. Take bus 47B southbound at Araribóia Square. (This will require an additional fare). You can also walk from the Ferry Terminal in a southerly direction via Av. Visconde do Rio Ranco; left Av. Badger da Silverira; continue Rua Sao Sebastiao; Continue Rua Dr. Paul Alves; left Praia Joao Caetano (about 25 minutes).

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Rated 4.6 out of 5

5 Star Rating Beautiful. A fine visit for family with an interactive exhibit for small children. A delightful space with marvelous views of Rio. Take the ferry. Enjoy the Bistro for a charming lunch.

Brian Skellie - 23 days ago

5 Star Rating An architecturally stunning gallery on the most beautiful promontory. The site itself is worth the visit, but the exhibition space and restaurant must be experienced!!

O'Neil Lawrence - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Oscar Niemeyer iconic museum in Niterói, where you can go by ferry, car or bus. A must visit place. No need to pre buy tickets. It also has a bar, and the characteristic magic of being there. Private collections exposing also, changing every 30 days or 60 days I don't remember very well this last detail.

Nicolás Simon - 2 months ago

2 Star Rating As a Niemeyer fan, I loved the building and the views. However the exposition is scant, at best. The only reason I gave I two stars was because it was free on Wednesday when we went. I'd be annoyed if I had to pay for the few pieces in there. If you're coming from anywhere in Rio it is not worth the trip unless you want to see the building itself or the panoramic views.

Thomas Martucci - 3 months ago

5 Star Rating Beautifully designed building. Amazing concept. Easy to get to and can see Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer from this place

Raj Radia - 4 months ago


Video tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Niterói

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