The Street Art of Olympic Boulevard in Rio de Janeiro
Last updated on December 26, 2019.
I’ve always been a lover of art, especially when I travel. But since I started blogging about my travels, I’ve grown an even bigger appreciation for street art. (Shoutout to #StreetArtChat!) Now I aim to find the best street art everywhere I go. And no, I don’t mean graffiti. There’s a big difference! Street art is meant to showcase artwork and enhance the aesthetics of cities. Now I’ve seen street art around the world, but never have I been as blown away as I was along Olympic Boulevard in Rio de Janeiro.
Home to the Summer 2016 Olympics, Rio underwent a lot of structural and artistic enhancements to better host the worldwide event. Among the projects was a 3,000 square meter mural, painted by the renowned Eduardo Kobra. Kobra’s art has become famous on social media, and he is one of my favorites to follow. His mural, with the help of several spraypainters, now hold’s the world record for the ‘largest spray-paint mural by a team.’
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World Record Setting Street Art
According to Guinness World Records, Kobra and his team used “180 buckets of acrylic paint, 2,800 cans of spray paint, and 7 hydraulic lifts” to create the masterpiece. Located in a formerly rundown neighborhood of Rio, the mural stretches 190 meters long and 15.5 meters high. It features the faces of indigenous people from the five main continents, replicating the symbol of the five olympic rings. It truly is a sight to behold.
But That’s Not All…
While Kobra’s mural stretches along one side of Olympic Boulevard, the buildings across the street are also canvases for a collection of street art by various artists. Ranging form abstract to hyper-realistic, the artwork just keeps going. Stretching from the Museu do Amanha (Museum of Tomorrow) and the street food vendors at one end to the AquaRio aquarium at the far end, artwork surrounds you! Plenty of spots for photo ops and cultural immersion along the way.
Olympic Boulevard is more than just street art
As amazing as the street art is, Olympic Boulevard does have more to offer. At the end closer to the city, you’ll find Museu do Amanha. If you walk around the pier at sunset, you’ll get some beautiful views of the modern architecture silhouetted in the sun’s glow. It’s stunning!
At the other end of the boulevard (behind the churro stand), is the aquarium of Rio de Janeiro, cleverly named AquaRio. It just so happens that this is the largest marine aquarium in all of Brazil! Definitely worth a visit, but you can get through it fairly quickly. Still not my favorite aquarium that I’ve been to… (I’m looking at you, Atlanta!)
Stay tuned for more travel advice about visiting Rio de Janeiro and my favorite street art in Sao Paulo!
These are amazing art! I’m so glad you have an appreciation for these and thank you for sharing to the world. This will open my eyes to pay attention to these kind of art in my future travels!
Thank you! If only I were talented enough to paint them!
I just love this! I often travel for art, including gorgeous street art. I still have to make to Rio though. My favourite ones in your post are the faces of the indigenous people of the five continents. Just spell-binding.
Yes! Those are the star of the street!
Wow amazing street are in Rio ! Looks like a fun tour around the city!
Street art is so impressive!! I can’t properly draw a stick figure, but there are people out there who can create giant masterpieces on walls – amazing! Thank you for sharing about this awesome mural!
Ha! I feel the same way!
I went to Rio 12 years ago and can only imagine how it has changed in that time. The Olympic boulevard looks like such a great place to explore. I LOVE that the street art depicts the indigenous cultures from all five continents and I am now following Kobra art. The sunset from the area looks magical as well! I hope to go back and visit soon!
I’ve heard that it’s changed so much, but I’ve only been the one time. Glad I created a new fan of Kobra!
oh my gosh, I love street art, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like this before! They belong in a museum! So cool!
Right?! I love them!
How does Rio have so many gorgeous pieces of street art along Olympic Boulevard? I love that they’re all so linked and coherent in terms of style as well.
Because Rio is amazing 😉
The Olympic Boulevard in Rio de Janeiro seems like a treat for art lovers.The street art seems so amazing and also the symbolic Olympic rings theme makes it even more worthy of admiration.
This is so cool. I love exploring street areand city graffiti. There’s so much substance and feelings into each of it. I feel the artist tried to explain the city with the paints. It looks so beautiful. Lovely read.