If the MAR is a harbinger of things to come, the future is looking very bright for Rio’s downtown port district where a major revitalization project is under way. The next few years will see the inauguration of a Calatrava designed science museum, a streetcar, bike lanes, and the teardown of the major overhead freeway that currently blocks views and access to the waterfront. Inaugurated in 2013, the MAR literally bridges the old and the new, consisting of two interconnected buildings: a beautifully restored 19th-century palace and a newly constructed sleek modern building. Together these house a wonderful collection of Rio memorabilia, a lovely rooftop café, and a high-quality art shop on the ground floor. Start your visit on the top floor (sneak a view at all the construction going on at the waterfront) and then work your way down through several floors of contemporary photo exhibits, old posters and video installations of Rio culture, historic paintings of Rio landmarks, and a fabulous collection of vintage souvenirs and knickknacks. Give yourself at least two hours.