Curitiba is an underrated destination in Brazil that doesn’t usually make most tourist bucket lists, but that has a lot to offer: A myriad of beautiful parks, fun attractions, bars, clubs, and diners that populate a lively nightlife.

But, arguably the greatest thing to experience in Curitiba, is its cultural scene. Curitiba is full of different museums, galleries, theaters, libraries, and bookstores, not to mention the host of many different types of festivals, fairs, and events that range from art to theater to gastronomy to craft and more!

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A guide to Curitiba’s cultural spaces

Museums

We might as well start this cultural guide with this tourist favorite: The Oscar Niemeyer Museum, aka MON, aka Museu do Olho aka Eye Museum. This contemporary art museum is the biggest in the city; Its famous gigantic eye is one of its many exposition rooms, which are always hosting temporary exhibits or permanent collections.

  • Location: Marechal Hermes Street 999, Centro Cívico
  • Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Tickets: 15 - 30 R$ Free on Wednesdays

Now, MON is not to be confused with MAC, the Paraná Contemporary Art Museum. MAC’s headquarters is a bright red 1920’s building downtown. Currently, under renovation, MAC is temporarily functioning inside of MON’s building, but its activities are all their own.

  • Location: Temporarily on MON
  • Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Tickets: 10 - 20 R$. Free on Wednesdays

The Indigenous Art Museum, MAI, is a museum fully dedicated to studying and showcasing Indigenous history and art, historical and contemporary. An underrated museum that should be on anyone’s cultural itinerary!

  • Location: Água Verde Avenue, 1143
  • Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 10 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Tickets: 12 - 24 R$

Curitiba has a long history in printmaking and is a primary hub for illustration, animation, and comic books not only in the country but in South America as a whole. It makes sense then, that the Museu da Gravura (Printmaking Museum) and Gibiteca (Comic’s Library and Museum) share a space, a two-part museum in the historical center with exhibits, libraries, and laboratories.

  • Location: President Carlos Cavalcanti Street, 533, Center
  • Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 9 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 6 PM

For the history lovers, Curitiba has a few interesting options: the Museu Paranaense is the State’s history and art museum, the Museu do Expedicionário chronicles the history of the Brazilian actions during the World Wars, the Museu Egípcio Rosa Cruz follows Egyptian history and how it’s studies developed in Brazil and the Museu de História Natural Capão da Imbuia has lovely exhibits on natural history and a haven for different animals and plants. (P.S: That's just scratching the surface).

Related: The 8 Coolest Open-Air Museums In The World

Theater and Film

Teatro Guaíra is the state’s most important theater, a beautiful modernist building with artwork by Poty Lazzarotto, always showcasing plays, musicals, concerts, dance performances for all tastes. Teatro Guaíra is among the largest concert halls in Latin America and houses the Paraná Symphonic Orchestra and the Balé Teatro Guaírda dance company, - when they’re not touring the country.

  • Location: XV of November Street, 971, Centro
  • Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 12 to 6 PM

The Cinemateca, a cinema and film library, museum, and movie theater, where off the wall and indie movies are showcased, many of them from the Cinemateca own collection.

  • Location: Carlos Cavalcanti Street, 1174
  • Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 9 AM - 12 PM, 2 PM - 6 PM

Cine Passeio is a movie theater with the objective of being an option other than cinema rooms at shopping centers. It shows pictures from obscure indie to current blockbusters, hosts open-air showings, and many different types of events. The café is delicious, too!

  • Location: Riachuelo Street, 410, São Francisco
  • Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 1 PM - 10 PM, Weekends 10 AM - 10 PM

A guide to Curitiba’s cultural events

Now, not only are all of these places great at any moment, they regularly take part in the various cultural festivals and events that take over Curitiba on a regular basis.

Fairs

Curitiba is a city that loves their streets markets, and it has two main fairs: the Feirinha do Largo da Ordem, which happens every Sunday at the town's historical center, and the Feirinhas Especiais, four seasonal fairs with the theme of Easter, Winter, Spring, and Christmas that occur at Osório Square and Santos Andrade Square. These two fairs sell a variety of products, artisanry, décor, antiquities, and lots of great food, highly popular among visitors and locals alike.

A large book fair hosted by the Federal University runs simultaneously with the SESC Literary Week events, and gastronomical fairs and festivals take over streets all around the town weekly with delicious local and national food.

Related: Rock Out: Your Guide To 2022’s Top Music Festivals

Festivals

Annually, Curitiba hosts the Olhar de Cinema International Film Festival, showing a selection of classic and new indie movies and shorts from Brazil and the world. The festival is showcased in different movie theaters across the city.

Every March the city “becomes the countries’ biggest stage” at the Curitiba Theater Festival, one of the biggest theater festivals in Brazil, bringing performers, plays, and the public from all over the country and beyond. It’s two weeks of theatrical plays and performances, happening in theater houses, cultural spaces, and even on the streets and parks of the city.

The Curitiba Biennial - officially Curitiba International Contemporary Art Biennial is the biggest art event in the South of the country and has risen as one of the most interesting art events in Latin America. Every two years, the city stages a major art gathering, including exhibits, workshops, dinners, lectures, and debates.

Always happening beside the Biennial is CUBIC - the University Circuit of the Curitiba Biennial, where young, up-and-coming artists, many still in the midst of graduation, put together an alternative Biennial, taking over the city's art schools and public spaces.

For those more inclined towards the comics and animation type of art, not to worry! Curitiba is also the host of the Curitiba Comic Biennial - formerly Curitiba ComicCon, bringing artists and fans of comics, video games, animation, and all sorts of geeky media together.

For music lovers, the Jazz Festival and the Music Fair are prime experiences to find out new sounds, sometimes promoting free and public entertainment to everyone who’d like to join.

In Carnaval, there’s also something for everyone: Gather in downtown to watch the samba schools parade, take part in some partying with a bloco - or join the famous Zombie Walk, trading gold glitter for fake blood for some grizzly alternative Carnaval fun.

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