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.
Cidade das Artes
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.
The HSBC Arena (Jeunesse)
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.
Citibank Hall (Metropolitan)
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.
Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro
With its striking green and white architecture, the Municipal Theatre is impressive for both its visual appearance and the quality and diversity of its shows. Located in Cinelandia in Rio’s downtown, it was built at the very beginning of the 20th century and is celebrated as one of the most important cultural venues in Brazil. The Parisian opera inspired the concept, and the venue plays host to several operas, famous ballets, orchestras, and concerts.
Teatro Municipal, Praça Floriano, S/N – Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 (21) 2332 9191
City of Rock Olympic Park
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.
Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil
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
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
Centro Cultural Justiça Federal
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.