Museu Nacional

Top choice in Brasília

This landmark white dome, gleaming in the sun, was opened to the public on the 100th birthday of architect Oscar Niemeyer. The inside is softer in grays but equally spectacular, featuring a discreet mezzanine mostly held up by columns suspended from the roof. A signature curved ramp juts out from its base and runs around the outside like a ring of Saturn. Good-quality temporary art exhibitions fill the interior.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Brasília attractions

1. Biblioteca Nacional

0.15 MILES

The national library was opened in 2008 and yet still seems to be not fully realized. The arcade and grille of the handsome exterior give it a vaguely…

2. Catedral Metropolitana

0.19 MILES

The 16 curved ribs rising to the crown of the iconic exterior coupled with the light-filled circular interior, which sits under a dome of wavy stained…

3. Teatro Nacional Cláudio Santoro

0.39 MILES

The lopped-off pyramid of the Teatro Nacional looks somewhere between a waterslide and a skateboard ramp. Inside, sculptures and a garden adorn the…

4. Caixa Cultural


This bank-run cultural center has several galleries devoted to temporary exhibitions, a sculpture garden, a cafe and theater. The lobby of the main bank…

5. Museu de Valores

0.63 MILES

Numismatists will be interested in visiting this museum in the central bank HQ. A detailed history of Brazilian coins and banknotes – try keeping track of…

6. Palácio do Itamaraty

0.76 MILES

Palácio do Itamaraty is home to the Foreign Ministry and one of Brasília's most impressive buildings – a series of concrete arches towering over Burle…

7. Palácio da Justiça

0.82 MILES

Water cascades between the arches of the Palácio de Justicia into a koi fish pond. Visitors cannot access the interior.

8. Congresso Nacional

0.95 MILES

Featuring photogenic roof ‘dishes’ and twin towers, the Congresso Nacional has one of the more interesting interiors in the city. In addition to the color…