You're in Rio de Janeiro, one of the world's most vibrant cities - as well as the center of Brazil's thriving arts community. Home to renowned painters and artisans, the city abounds in fantastic art galleries, museums, and shops just waiting to be explored.
Yet, with limited time in port, how can you be sure you're visiting the best? Travel Insights asked our friends at Novica.com, a world-arts website associated with National Geographic, for their expert advice. Editor Catherine Gallegos and Art Buyer in Brazil Fabio Nercessian provided us with the following itinerary for an art-filled adventure in Rio:  From the port, take in the outstanding panorama on your way to downtown and the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (approximately 15 minutes by foot, five by taxi). This wonderful space is dedicated to advancing Brazilian arts from film to photography, with a museum, spaces for local artists, and a library with archives (Rua Primeiro de Marco 66; (21) 3808.2020; open Tues. - Sun.)  Next stop: the Musea de Arte Moderna, or MAM. With one of the most important collections in the country, this open, airy museum also claims a lovely garden created by famous "Paisagista" architect Robert Burle Marx with a stirring monument dedicated to those who suffered during WWII. (Av. Infante Dom Henrique 85; (21) 2240-4870; open Tues. - Sun.)  From MAM, take a taxi to the Shopping Cassino Atlantico (about 15 minutes), soaking in the fabulous views of Sugar Loaf, Guanabara Bay, and Copacabana along the way. This is not so much a shopping mall as a center for art collectors and aficionados, with 11 fashionable galleries exhibiting paintings, antiques, bronze sculpture, and jewelry. (Av. Atlantica, 420 ssl 129; open Mon.- Sat.)  The Cassino Atlantico is in an ideal location, right on the border between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, so just stroll over to Ipanema (about 10 minutes) and spend some time browsing its many modern and contemporary art galleries. Top three picks: Galeria de Arte Ipanema(Rua Anibal de Mendonca 27; (21) 2512.8832 open Mon. - Sat.) Galeria Laura Marsiaj(Rua Teixeira de Melo 31c; (21) 2513.2074; open Mon. - Sat.) Atualidade Galeria de Arte (Rua Visconde de Piraja, 303 2a Slj. Lj. 310/312; (21) 2267.2442; Mon. - Fri.) And if you're lucky enough to be in Rio on a Sunday, you simply must make time for the Ipanema Art Fair. Situated at the corner of Teixeira de Melo and Viconde de Piraja, you'll find some 400 painters and artisans, including Ney Cardoso. Cardoso's paintings hang in some of the word's finest galleries, yet he's attended the Ipanema fair every Sunday for the past 20 years - relaxing beside his easel, soaking up the sun, and sharing a laugh with locals and tourists alike. Other acclaimed art fair regulars included Antonio Messias, Pablo Matania, "Perla," and Paul Melo.  If you're still up for more, then grab a cab and head to the Barra district (20-minute cab ride), one of Rio's loveliest neighborhoods. Her you'll find the Ero s Galeria de Arte and, like its namesake god of love, owner Bruno Romanelli is passionate not just about display art, but the art of living as well. It's a joy to spend time with him. (Av. das Americas, 500 Bl. 13 Lj. 119; (21) 3982.2220; open Mon. - Sat.) Afterward, you way want to stroll along Barra's charming streets before taking a cab back to the pier. Insider Tip: Before buying artworks, inquire about your ship's baggage restrictions. Textiles and unframed paintings make ideal purchases, weighing little and requiring minimal space. If you decide to ship your art treasures, find a well-established shipping agent in port - it costs less and is more reliable than shipping direct from the gallery. To view various works by Ney Cardoso and other Brazilian painters and artisans, visit Novica.com.