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Museum Guide to Sao Paulo

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Sao Paulo is a city of amazing cultural variety and has museums to cater for all tastes. Here you will find internationally renowned art museums, exhibitions on everything from linguistics to football, and modern and traditional architecture that will take your breath away. This list highlights both traditional and more niche museums that will allow you to experience the fascinating culture and history both of this city and of Brazil as a whole.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker

8 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

8 Places

Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP

Art Museums

Instituto Tomie Ohtake

Art Galleries, Art Museums

Museu da Lingua Portuguesa

Speciality Museums

Museu do Som e Imagem - MIS

Speciality Museums, Art Museums, History Museums

MuBE Nova Cultural

Performances

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

Conference & Convention Centres

Museum of Immigration of the State of Sao Paulo

Speciality Museums

Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo

Art Museums

Anja H's City Tips

  • Many museums are open until late (10pm) one day a week. Check their individual websites for more details.
  • Museum entry fees are generally inexpensive, and most museums are free at least one or two days per week.
  • The Bilhete Unico smart card is the cheapest way to get around on buses and the subway in Sao Paulo.
  • Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Anja H Says:

    MASP is Sao Paulo's traditional art museum with displays by national and international masters such as Portinari, Van Gogh and Degas. The building itself is remarkable and the collection is small enough for you to see most of it in a couple of hours.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Entry is free on Tuesdays.
    • On Sundays there is an antiques market in the space below MASP.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 795 things to do in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Exceptionnal museum 19/04/2019
    • The best museum exhibition 13/04/2019
    • Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP
    Address:
    Avenida Paulista 1578
    Jardins
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01310-200
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 31495897
    Hours:
    Thu
    8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Fri - Wed
    8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Instituto Tomie Ohtake
    Art Galleries, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Anja H Says:

    This is quite an impressive piece of architecture. Parts of it remind me of the Guggenheim in New York, but in full color! (Plus, the colors of the building actually change according to the weather, so keep an eye out.) The Institute is at the forefront of modern art and also has an excellent restaurant, Santinho.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Try the popular Sunday brunch in the restaurant.
    • The museum car park is very expensive, so if you're driving, it is worth looking for parking elsewhere
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #37 of 795 things to do in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting exhibits in interesting space 20/10/2018
    • Fun, Free Sampa Art Gallery 02/09/2018
    • Instituto Tomie Ohtake
    Address:
    Avenida Faria Lima, 201
    Entrance via Rua dos Coropes
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 05426-010
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 2245 1900
    Other:
  • Museu da Lingua Portuguesa
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Anja H Says:

    This is a unique museum that takes you on a journey into the art and history of the Portuguese language. The imaginative exhibitions and interactive displays include sound recordings of Brazilian poetry and local artifacts that beautifully turn literature into art.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • In the glass elevator, notice the recordings by Brazilian writer and composer Arnaldo Antunes.
    • Go during the week if you want more space to enjoy the exhibits.
    • Saturday is free but it can get quite full.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 things to do in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Brazilian Treasure 24/05/2017
    • Very nice for those who speak and is learning Portuguese 23/06/2016
    • Museu da Lingua Portuguesa
    Address:
    Praca da Luz
    Estação da Luz
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01120-010
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 3326-0775
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Museu do Som e Imagem - MIS
    Speciality Museums, Art Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Anja H Says:

    If you are interested in audio visual arts, this museum is for you. It has some very interesting temporary exhibitions that change often. There is also an art house cinema which shows a variety of independent, art, and silent films.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Walk by MuBE (Museu Brasileiro da Escultura) and enjoy the sculptures on your way to or from MIS.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 795 things to do in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The cartoon exhibition-a very nice day and experience when visiting. 17/12/2018
    • Great expperience 10/12/2018
    • Museu do Som e Imagem - MIS
    Address:
    Avenida Europa 158
    Jd. Europa
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01449-000
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 2117-4777
    Price range:
    US$ 1 - US$ 1
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Other:
  • MuBE Nova Cultural
    Performances
    Anja H Says:

    MuBE (Museu Brasileiro da Escultura) is a small museum and theater, which hosts a variety of events, performances and concerts. Go and enjoy the beautiful sculpture garden designed by Burle Marx.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • MuBe is a very short walk from the Museum of Image and Sound.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #69 of 230 Concerts & Shows in Sao Paulo
    • Spot for Architecture lovers 25/04/2017
    • Needs maintenance 06/01/2017
    • MuBE Nova Cultural
    Address:
    Avenida Europa 218
    Jardim Europa
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01449-000
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55(11) 4301-7521
    Other:
  • Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil
    Conference & Convention Centres
    See more photos
    Anja H Says:

    CCBB is an art institute sponsored by the Banco do Brasil. It houses an art gallery with some really interesting temporary exhibitions, and it is certainly worth looking up what is on while you are in town. There is also a cinema and a cafe housed inside this beautiful art deco building.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Try to arrive early; the lines can get very long for some exhibitions.
    • The filter coffee in the cafe is exceptionally good.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 795 things to do in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Culture Downtown 30/03/2019
    • An historic building in the old city centre 03/03/2019
    • Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil
    Address:
    Rua Alvares Penteado 112
    Próximo ao metrô São Bento
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01012-000
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 3113-3651
    Hours:
    Wed - Mon
    9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    Other:
  • Museum of Immigration of the State of Sao Paulo
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Anja H Says:

    This museum explores the immigrant history of Sao Paulo. The building itself originally served as a hostel for immigrants arriving to the city, and the displays show the conditions they lived in at the time. It is an absolutely fascinating place that lets you dig deeper into the cultural history of the city.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Take a trip on the Maria Fumaça, a replica of the steam train that traditionally transported immigrants from the port in Santos to Sao Paulo.
    • The museum and the steam train are a very short walk from the Bras subway station.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #33 of 795 things to do in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Something a little different in Sao Paulo, English view 20/04/2019
    • Original items and documentaries 19/04/2019
    • Museum of Immigration of the State of Sao Paulo
    Address:
    Rua Visconde de Parnaiba 1316
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 03164-300
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 (11) 2692-1866
    Price range:
    US$ 10 - US$ 10
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Tue - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Anja H Says:

    The Pinacoteca is the oldest all-round art museum in Sao Paulo, with a focus on 19th and 20th century Brazilian painting. The beautiful building was designed by Ramos de Azevedo who is also the man behind the impressive Municipal Theater and Sala Sao Paulo.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is very near the Luz subway station and Luz park, which is also worth a visit.
    • Be vigilant with your belongings in the area around the museum.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 795 things to do in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • It seems small, but it's great. 16/04/2019
    • Day visit to musem 13/04/2019
    • Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo
    Address:
    Praca da Luz 2
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01120-010
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 3324 1000
    Price range:
    US$ 1 - US$ 1
    Hours:
    Wed - Mon
    10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Other:
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