My dad is visiting this month so I took him to the Museu Histórico Nacional located downtown in Centro, it’s a must see if you enjoy history. The museum has a wonderful collection of indigenous artifacts and colonial antiques and art. The displays are very well done and the information is in Portuguese and English.
The building housing the collection was the city’s arsenal during colonial times and there is a definite Portuguese feel to the architecture – blue and white tile accents, red tiled roof, and tiled courtyard fountain. In addition to the museum’s permanent collection there are changing temporary exhibits – currently fanciful sculptures are on display.
Since the museum is walking distance from Praça XV, it can easily be part of a day exploring Centro. Also, the museum’s restaurant, The Line, has excellent food and a great atmosphere. My husband, who works downtown, walked over and joined us for lunch.
Here is a video photo montage of our visit.