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

MAC de Niterói - Contemporary Art Museum Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • 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

Official Website: MAC de Niterói - Contemporary Art Museum

MAC de Niterói - Contemporary Art Museum Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5 Star Rating

3 Star Rating it’s an interesting way to kill 20 minutes. i think the building itself is the most interesting part of this museum. the exhibits inside were all done by 3 people and pretty small so it was a bit lackluster. i enjoyed the musical presentation outside more.
Bailey Price - a month ago

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3 Star Rating As a building, it is stunning and iconic, quite unique. But get a little closer, and you start seeing the failed promise of modernist architecture. Impossible to maintain, quick to show its age, and dependent on highly qualified workers, which this project clearly lacked. Watch your step when climbing the stairs from the 2nd to the 3rd floor, there is such a height difference between them! The art collection on show is forgettable at best, and the filthy grey carpet and unbalanced lighting in the galleries are not flattering to any pieces. Best to appreciate from a distance.
Simon D - 3 months ago

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5 Star Rating A contemporary museum with beautiful architecture that frames the gorgeous features of both the city of Niteroi, the mountainous contours, the sea, and even sugarloaf mountain. I just spent hours here admiring both the artwork and the beauty of the 360 view.
Rhita Simorangkir - a month ago

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5 Star Rating The Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum is located just over the bridge from Rio and has an amazing view Rio! The Building looks a little bit like an Ufo! You can get into the Building via a Ramp.
Isabela - 2 weeks ago

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5 Star Rating As a fan of Oscar Niemeyer I visited for the architecture, but I was impressed by the gallery as well. Great art all around!
Nate Wooding - a month ago

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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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