Rio de Janeiro for Culture Lovers

No longer is Rio in a cultural shadow of it's smart sister Sao Paulo, the sylish city known for its artistic venues.

Spurned on by hosting major events such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the 2016 Olympic Games, the city has smartened up and a whole new raft of venues has now given it even more of a swagger. One of the most exciting new venues is the futuristic Museu do Amanha, with its interactive science exhibits. It's in the port area of the city, a neighborhood that's enjoyed a regeneration, also including the new Museo de Arte do Rio. Across the bay, Niterói Contemporary Art Museum (MAC Niterói) is another artistic gem, designed by Oscar Niemeyer.

There are plenty of ways of seeing Rio's performing arts, too. On an informal scale you can see street music and dance at temporary stages along the Feira do Rio Antigo, the monthly open-air antique fair, or classical opera and ballet at the historic Theatro Municipal. And in a former bank, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB) art exhibits are combined with a glowing repertoire of live performances.