Instituto Moreira Salles, founded by the late Walther Moreira Salles, a banker and diplomat, houses thousands of historic photographs, books, paintings, and recordings. The auditorium hosts film screenings—a nod to his son, Walter Salles, who directed The Motorcycle Diaries. 55/(0) 21-3284-7400.
Those in search of sublime culture in an exuberant natural setting will find an ideal refuge in the Instituto Moreira Salles, a modernist residence hidden on a lane above the Gávea quarter that’s home to a cultural center. The delights on offer at this off-the-beaten-path spot—visual-arts and photography exhibits, literary salons, film series, and a stunning garden by famed landscape designer Burle Marx—are made all the more amenable by a restaurant as well as petite art– and Rio-focused bookstore. The IMS also happens to be the city’s most extensive photographic archive. If you’re looking to learn Rio history, a visit to this rare gem—nestled into the Carioca jungle—is a must.