Located smack in the center of Petrópolis—the regal mountain town about an hour north of central Rio de Janeiro—the Imperial Museum offers fascinating insight to the lives of Brazilian royalty. Constructed in the middle of the 19th century as a summer home for Pedro I, the Imperial Museum still has the feel of a royal Brazilian palace. Walk past large, tapestry-adorned walls and through hallways of antique furniture, and let your jaw drop at the collection of crown jewels—where over 600 diamonds and 77 pearls adorn the imperial crown.
In addition to the well-preserved building itself, there are thousands of artifacts inside the museum that outline the history of Brazil. Some of the documents date back to the days of Portuguese exploration, and there’s even the famous golden quill that was used by Princess Izabel, when she inked her name on the Lei Áurea bill to liberate Brazilian slaves.
The Imperial Museum is located one hour north of downtown Rio de Janeiro. Opening hours are from 10am-6pm, Tuesday-Sunday, and admission is approximately $3.50. No cameras are allowed inside the museum, although you are free to take photos in the surrounding gardens that ring the royal palace.