Rio’s Museu do Amanhã is a fairly new museum, opened in 2015 and located on Praça Mauá. I had wanted to go here for a while, and I finally did this week. It combines art and science to highlight the beauty of our planet as well as the dangers to said beauty. Every Tuesday, the entrance to the museum is free, on other days the normal entry fee is R$20, half-entrance for students, childrens and Rio citizens is R$10. If you decide to go on Tuesday, make sure to arrive early to avoid long lines. On any other day, you can buy the tickets online in advance.
The main exhibition starts with a short planetarium presentation. I recommend you do not take one of the seats, but rather, lie on the floor in the front of the planetarium. I loved the visuals and it sets the tone for your visit. You cannot use your phone, but I strongly suggest you go and see it for yourself!
The next cubicle focuses on different ecosystems, within ourselves and in our environment. The coolest thing is that everything is interactive. Touch-powered screens will give you informations on different species living in Guanabará Bay (they have dolphins here!!) and you can get lots of insights into the nature of Rio.
The museum characterizes our environment as an interplay of four oceans; light, air, water and land. The third cubicle displays this constant movement of oceans. You can see a floating fabric, powered only by air and making beautiful shapes as it dances along.
As the exhibition progresses, you move into a room focused on humans. Beliefs, Cultures, Homes, Cities, Innovation, all displayed in what is best described as post card towers. I really enjoyed this room a lot, however, I was unable to focus on everything. I found the visual stimulation a little overbearing, especially because the room as dark and there is so much going on.
After you see just how beautiful the world is and how capable we are of creating amazing things, Museu do Amanhã gets real with us. In a sobering enclosure, it counts up the deaths of people that day, the deforestation in the current year, the trillions of tons of water we use with every passing day. It continues with different scenarios for the Brazilian natural environment and lets you calculate your sustainability score. Just before the end, there is a personality quiz you can take, determining your style of approaching our tomorrow.
Finally, as a way to lift your spirits again, you walk through a beautiful installation of illuminated wooden figures. In the middle, there is a stone with the inscription “It is dawning somewhere now. Each dawn is always a new chance”. (This is most likely not the full inscription, I could not remember it well). The end of the museum opens up towards the bridge of Niterói, giving you a beauty to believe in.
I highly recommend a visit to Museu do Amanhã. It is a great experienece, your inner child will be very happy with the interactive elements but it is also serious and inspiring.