Modern swimming pool in the courtyard in the Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro.

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Instituto Moreira Salles

Top choice in Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

This beautiful cultural center hosts impressive exhibitions, often showcasing the works of some of Brazil's best photographers and artists. The gardens, complete with artificial lake and flowing river, were designed by Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. There's also a craft shop, and an excellent cafe that serves breakfast all day as well as lunch and afternoon tea.

On display there's usually at least one Rio-focused exhibition, which taps into the extensive archive here: the IMS has more than 80,000 photographs, many portraying the old streets of Rio as well as the urban development of other Brazilian cities over the last two centuries. Check the website to see what's on when you're town.