National Library of Brasil (Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil)
The library is open for public use and wows visitors with its elegant red-carpeted staircase and eclectic interior. The building makes up part of the Triangle of Culture in Cinelandia Square, together with the Municipal Theater (Theatro Municipal) and the National Fine Arts Museum (Museu de Belas Artes). All three buildings are typical stops on history-focused walking tours of downtown Rio. For a more in-depth experience, join a free guided tour offered by the library.
Things to Know Before You Go
The National Library is a must-visit for architecture and history lovers.
The library is free to enter.
Books may not be borrowed, but you can read them inside the library.
You must show photo ID to take a guided tour.
Guided tours are in English and Spanish.
The library is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The National Library is in the Centro district, in downtown Rio de Janeiro on Cinelandia square. If you’re traveling by Metro, the nearest station is Cinelandia, a minute’s walk away; use exit C - Pedro Lessa. If traveling by bus, use any line that goes through Rio Branco Avenue.
When to Get There
The National Library is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. It tends to be at its quietest early in the morning. Free guided tours take place Monday through Friday at 2pm; meet at the reception in the main hall.
A UNESCO-Recognized Collection
One of the library’s most valuable holdings is the late19th-century photography collection of Empress Theresa Christina Maria, Naples-born wife of Brazil’s second emperor, Pedro II. The collection was recognized by UNESCO for its historical significance and, after the empress’ death, was given by Pedro to the library on the condition that the collection would be named for her.
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- Rio de Janeiro National Fine Arts Museum (Museu Nacional de Belas Artes)
- Floriano Peixoto Square (Cinelandia)
- Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater (Theatro Municipal)
- Santa Teresa (Barrio Santa Teresa)
- Sao Francisco da Penitencia Church (Igreja Sao Francisco da Penitencia)
- Rio de Janeiro Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de Sao Sebastiao)
- Tiradentes Palace (Palácio Tiradentes)
- Lapa Neighborhood
- Saara Shopping District (Polo Saara)
- Praca Quinze de Novembro
- Rio Scenarium
- Flamengo Park (Aterro do Flamengo)
- Glória Marina (Marina da Glória)
- La Candelaria Church (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria)
- Bank of Brazil Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil)