Said to host one of the finest art collections in the Southern Hemisphere, Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) is where to go in Brazil if you want to get your fill of Boschs and Bellinis, Van Goghs and Gauguins. There are over 8,000 works in total, and, unusually, the rooms housing the permanent collection are arranged by theme rather than in chronological order.
As you make your way round the large museum, you'll see dozens of Degas sculptures and works by some of Spain’s most famous painters including Picasso and Velazquez. Representing the Latin American front, familiar names donning the walls include Diego Rivera, Candido Portinari, Torres Garcia, and Anita Malfatti.
Built in 1968 and designed by the modernist architect Lina Bo, MASP is a flash of red and grey in the heart of Paulista Avenue — Sao Paulo's main boulevard of gleaming skyscrapers and banking headquarters, and the museum is almost as famous for the iconic concrete and glass building it sits in as it is its art.
MASP is mainly dedicated to international art rather than Brazilian offerings, but there is a permanent collection showing the best of the country's modern artworks, prints, and drawings. Housing a collection of over 40,000 publications in all, the museum is also home to one of Brazil’s largest art libraries. There's also a museum restaurant, Prêt no MAM, just to the left of the museum entrance.
Closed Mondays, MASP is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11am-5pm (and until 8pm on Thursdays). Entrance to MASP costs R$15. Lunch is served until 5pm Tuesdays to Fridays, and until 4pm Saturdays and Sundays.