The Best Theatres And Concert Venues in Rio de Janeiro

CCBB | © Leandro Ciuffo / WikiCommons
Sarah Brown

Behind the glitz and the glam of Rio’s beaches and sun-kissed locals is a selection of incredible theatres and concert venues that play host to some unforgettable shows and performances. Immerse yourself in Rio’s cultural side by watching an international ballet, seeing a local play, or catching a soul-shaking music show at one of the city’s best theatres and concert venues.

1. Cidade das Artes

Concert Hall

Cidade das Artes Rio de Janeiro
© Osmar Carioca / WikiCommons
Located in the beachside region of Barra da Tijuca, Cidade das Artes is a cultural venue that opened in 2013 with the show, Rock in Rio. It is the largest modern concert hall in South America, with a seating capacity of 1,780 people. It is Rio’s main hub for music and also the home of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. The complex showcases three theatres, a chamber music hall, a terrace with far-reaching views over Barra, and 12 rehearsal spaces.

2. The HSBC Arena (Jeunesse)

Music Venue, Concert Hall, Sports Center

With an internal capacity of 18,000 people, this huge music and concert venue is the second largest music venue in Brazil and the largest multi-purpose hall in the whole of Latin America. Sponsored by HSBC and owned by the city’s council, the arena has played host to some of Brazil’s and the world’s largest names in music, including Ozzy Osbourne, Sir Paul McCartney, and Bruno Mars. It opened in 2007 and was built specifically to host the 2007 Pan American Games.

3. Citibank Hall (Metropolitan)

Music Venue, Concert Hall

The Citibank Hall, inaugurated in 1994 and owned by Time for Fun and runs on sponsorship from Citibank, is one of the largest concert venues in Rio de Janeiro with an internal capacity of 8,500 people. It is mostly used for local musicians and international artists, with past performers including Taylor Swift, Linkin Park, and B.B. King.

5. City of Rock Olympic Park

Sports Center, Building

The result of a collaboration between the Rock in Rio creator Roberto Medina and the city council of Rio, the City of Rock Olympic Park was completed in 2011 to host Rock in Rio, a large and famous festival in the city that brings together dozens of musicians and rock bands. It also serves to host large international concerts such as Madonna, One Direction, Lady Gaga, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was also the venue of some of the 2016 Olympic Games.

6. Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil

Cinema, Theater

Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil |© Alexandre Macieira|Riotur/Flickr
© Alexandre Macieira|Riotur/Flickr

Set inside a 1906 neoclassical building in Rio’s city centre, Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil (CCBB) is a large cultural complex that is financially supported and managed by the Bank of Brazil. In addition to both temporary and permanent art exhibitions, the venue also hosts music performances and plays in its theatre.

CCBB, R. Primeiro de Março, 66 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 (21) 3808 2020

CCBB | © Leandro Ciuffo / WikiCommons

7. Caixa Cultural

The bank of Caixa sponsors this cultural complex, located in Centro, and hosts several art and culture events and activities. The three internal art galleries exhibit both temporary and permanent art collections from local and international artists, and the two movie theatres show indie films, documentaries, and provide space for small theatrical performances. Workshops and debates also take place sporadically here.

Caixa Cultural, Av. Alm. Barroso, 25 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 (21) 3980 3815

8. Centro Cultural Justiça Federal

Building, Concert Hall, Architectural Landmark

With its eclectic architecture, the Centro Cultural Justiça Federal provides an impressive space for a variety of cultural events. Known for its art exhibitions and well-stocked library, the venue also regularly hosts both Brazilian and international plays and several music concerts.
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