Afro Brazil Museum

Afro Brazil Museum, Sao Paulo: Hours, Address, Afro Brazil Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Afro Brazil Museum
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Packed with more than 3,000 artifacts from Brazil's five-century history, the Museu Afro Brasil relates how Brazil's history is inextricably tied to the experience of African slaves and their descendants through culture and traditions that have come to define the country. In fact, there are so many statues, photographs, illustrations, masks, dolls, clothes, documents, paintings, furniture, pieces of plantation equipment, installations and mementos, it's almost impossible to take in the whole place in one go. The printed information is almost exclusively in Portuguese, but the museum provides English-speaking guides, and the back stories behind every single object are at once harrowing and hopeful. Hands down, one of the best museums in Latin America.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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The area
Neighborhood: Ibirapuera
Ibirapuera Park, the highlight of this neighborhood, is a family-friendly area to have a picnic, relax, play sports, exercise or appreciate art. It gets crowded during the weekends and is a popular leisure destination for residents. Its 1,584 square kilometers holds three lakes, two museums and several other cultural spaces. The park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as free music concerts and a water and light show celebrating the holidays at the end of the year. There are two important monuments to visit, the Obelisk and the Flag Monument. Ibirapuera is a perfect escape!
Popular mentions

1,225 reviews
Very good

Kathleen M
Swan Lake29 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
It's the middle of a warm humid day in Sao Paulo and attendance lines to all the museums are long and visitors are testy. All of the museums except this one, where I am one of a dozen or so travelers. Why? I don't understand... the building itself offers a cool respite from the summer heat; its tall ceilings and design offering a flow of air and easy viewing of an extensive collection of Afro Brasilian artifacts and art. The collection is an approachable history to the story of Brazil from colonization slavery to modern day - through artifacts, art and photography one can follow vibrant, and in the case of the Amazonian natives, endangered cultures.
There is a necessary story to understand Brazil... So why aren't you here?
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ronald A
Queretaro City, Mexico119 contributions
May 2017 • Friends
It is incredible! No doubt the best museum on Afro history in the Americas?
Surprising! Breath taking!
A must while visiting São Paulo.
Besides, the Ibirapuera Park where it is located is another must see.
Two great place in one, visit.
Written May 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brisbane219 contributions
Mar 2015 • Couples
Unfortunately we don´t understand Portuguese... I think we would have gotten so much more from this museum if we did. I believe there is an English audio guide but you need a smartphone to take advantage of this. We did buy the English book guide but it didn´t help us navigate the museum.. you could just buy the English guide on the way out as it does a good job of summing up the museum rather than providing a guide you can navigate the museum with. That said the museum was jam packed with beautiful exhibits and was well worth visiting but you might find it a little frustrating that you can see the exhibits but not really read much info about them. If you can read Portuguese Im sure you could spend hours and hours in there :-)
Written March 31, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Maria G
Miami, FL146 contributions
Sep 2016
Since I like to explore the culture and history of the countries I visit, I decided to go to the Afro Brasil Museum. Initially, I was delighted to see how ample the collection seemed, with historical artifacts, paintings, photography, videos and even costumes. However, on more closer inspection, I was disappointed to find that the context provided for each item was minimum to null, making it impossible to garner the significance of the item being seen.

It would help immensely to have small summaries of historical contexts and/or explanations of what one is seeing, otherwise, the museum loses value and the visitor loses interest. There are areas, for example, close to the map of Africa, that are full of wordy explanations on the different tribes in Africa, and then hardly anything in the rest of the museum on how that related to their descendants in Brazil. I saw things that I was curious about, but alas, I guess I'll never know their significance.

I can read Portuguese, but I also ran into a woman from Nigeria who was frustrated that she could not read anything anyway because it is all in Portuguese and no other language. Perhaps a few signs in English would be useful for international visitors, but then again, what they have in Portuguese scant. I found myself watching a video on what looked like capoeria but there was no explanation, context or summary. The same for what looked like celebrations and parades of some sort. Are we supposed to know what we're seeing? The museum should do a better job of this, as guided tours are not available that often.

If they had this I would have given this museum 5 stars, but as it stands, it falls way short of its potential.
Written September 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Fabio Marques
Sao Paulo, SP150 contributions
Sep 2019
The building by itself is a masterpiece of Modernist Architecture. Inside you will the latest in African-Brazilian art expression.
Written August 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK260 contributions
Jul 2014 • Friends
A truly world class museum, with some quite stunning sections, telling the history of and the story of the huge impact of African peoples and cultures - the Portuguese brought millions of slaves to early Brazil - on the development of modern Brazil and its culture, sport and art.

Two exhibits in particular are remarkable poignant and moving - firstly the frame of a actual/genuine slave ship, in a darkened section in the middle of the main exhibit surrounded by images and items and audio-visual stimuli about the horrific conditions on these ships

And secondly the room on the bottom floor that is full of wooden and metal objects: initially these items seem quite mundane, until you realise each is a item relating to a common activity of physical labour that slaves had to work in. A remarkable and most poignant exhibit, and in no way graphic or overstating the case: the items speak for themselves. (See my photos).

Some very interesting sections too about the Chistianisation of African and indigenous populations by the Portuguese, and the fascinating merger of Christian and traditional religious and cultural practices that has developed in Brazil as a consequence.

One important bit of advice - all the signage and wording etc in the exhibit is in Portuguese, so if you don't speak it you will need to buy the English guide from the bookshop/store. It only costs R2, and considering the museum is free that is very good value!

The temporary exhibition - that is still on I believe - on African influences and contributions to Brazilian football, was also very nice and ever so colourful and visually appealing.

The only criticism is that there is little obvious flow between sections of the permanent exhibitions/museum, with no obvious way of walking around (even with the guide in your hand!). So you have to wonder around, in an order that makes sense to you. But there is so much to see in here that this is only a minor frustration.

Staff were wonderfully helpful too.

In summary this is a must-see, especially as admission is free : take a whole morning/afternoon or a whole day at the Ibirapuera Park, enjoy a lovely walk and this and other excellent museums/galleries on the park.
Written August 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andreas K
Stockholm, Sweden513 contributions
Mar 2020 • Solo
This museum is well worth to visit. It’s pretty big with many parts of the Afro Brazilian history. It’s located in the nice Ibirapuera park.
Written May 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seany J
Charleston, SC275 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
Very informative of the history of the occurrence of slavery in Brazil and the impact it made on the country . Heart breaking to say the least at some of the photos and exhibitions showing the journeys and challenges the Africans had during that horrible time. Everyone needs to see this who has any ignorance for it should open closed minds.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Luciana R
8 contributions
Dec 2019
Very interesting, especially the exhibition on the second floor. The museum covers many aspects: religion, history, personalities etc.. You can spend many hours inside. Roughly a 5-minute walk to gate number 10 of the Ibirapuera Park.
Written December 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Midwest271 contributions
Sep 2019
Very little labeling in English. Impactful collection. Lockers available. Has some days with no charge.
Written November 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Afro Brazil Museum

Afro Brazil Museum is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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