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National Library (Biblioteca Nacional)

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Avenida Rio Branco 219, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 20040-920, Brazil
Phone Number:
09:00 - 20:00
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Mon - Fri 09:00 - 20:00
Sat - Sun 12:00 - 17:00
Book In Advance
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and up
Rio de Janeiro Historical Architecture Sightseeing Tour
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Rio Walking Tour with More Than 15 Attractions
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Private Custom Tour: Historic Downtown

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 677 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 13
  • 19
    Very good
  • 7
  • 0
  • 2

A beautiful downtown classical building. It is open for research only not for checking out books. We had to put our bags in a locker before we could enter the main library... read more

Reviewed 10 February 2017
Charlotte, North Carolina
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677 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 41: English reviews
Paris, France
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2017 via mobile

Ok its free but you dont have any access to the beautiful rooms you expect to see... you cant even get close to a book. Totally useless to me.

Thank Cambudb
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
380 reviews
166 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2017

A beautiful downtown classical building. It is open for research only not for checking out books. We had to put our bags in a locker before we could enter the main library. Pictures are allowed without flash. The staircase with red carpet is gorgeous, I felt like royalty going up. There are areas for visitors to observe the library patrons... More 

Thank 4historyandculture
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2016

The library offers free English guided tours at 2pm every day and when Maian showed us round it ended up just being me and my fiancé which was lovely. Maian was very friendly and knew loads about the building and its contents. She was happy to answer our questions and this was a great addition to our trip. Really interesting... More 

1 Thank Rachel K
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
63 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2016

Built at the very beginning of the Twentieth Century, the Biblioteca Nacional is Brazil´s most important library. The entrance is free and that allows you to have a glimpse of the huge and beautiful inside structure.

Thank Otavio36
1 review
Reviewed 21 June 2016

Very good free guided tour in English! Beautiful inside of the historical building, inaugurated in 1910, and impressive architecture, with staircases, wide skylights in colored stained glass, elegant ornamentation and preserved rooms, beyond the works of art that decorate the spaces, as pictures, panels and sculptures. In the corridors, in the heritage rooms and in the Cultural Space Eliseu Visconti... More 

Thank Sandra D
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviewed 1 June 2016

My fiancee and I atended to the English visit, that happes everyday at 1 pm. I´m brazilian (sorry about my English) and he is american. It was really interesting to to know some details about that beautiful biulding. It´s short, less than 1 hour, but it´s for free and the tour guide was very nice. We felt like going back... More 

Thank Ana B
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
460 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2016

There is scaffolding up all over the front of the building, but don't let this put you off - it's open as usual! The lady on the tours desk only spoke Portuguese, but we managed to work out that there is an English tour at 1pm each day. There were only 3 people on our tour and it was well... More 

Thank Thelastdodo2
1 review
Reviewed 7 April 2016 via mobile

We went here with high expectations only to be met with ongoing building work obscuring its facade. Once inside the language barrier proved insurmountable as we only spoke English. After some trials we managed to store our bags in a locker before looking around. Unfortunately the areas that seemed to be open to the public were mostly very plain and... More 

Thank Banahnah1
Maui, Hawaii
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2016

If you enjoy architecture and history or just appreciate beauty you will love this library!! close by the Teatro Municipal ... in downtown Rio. Also, you can go there before or after Santa Teresa area( a MUST go if you visit Rio. Very historical buildings and great restaurant!! )

Thank EG-aloha
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
51 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2016

BEAUTIFUL architecture inside. Just the photo moment of the two sided staircase with wrought iron railings makes it worth it. They dont let you into most of the rooms but it is worth going and taking a look.

Thank KreativeKs

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Staying in Centro

Neighbourhood Profile
Downtown Rio is the place where this city was born. With modern skyscrapers sharing space with historical buildings and landmarks, this neighbourhood is living proof that the old and the new can live together harmoniously. As you would expect, downtown is where all major companies house their offices. However, the region isn’t restricted to businesses. Gems such like the “Paço Imperial,” which is a cultural centre that used to serve as a residence for governors of Brazil, can be found here. Pedra do Sal, a Monday night street party, is also in this neighbourhood. This landmark is the birthplace of samba and is famous for its “roda de sambas” (“dance circles”). Stop in for one and get closer to discovering where Brazilian happiness comes from.
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