Rio de Janeiro may not be famous for museums; however, with the opening of the MAR (Museo de Arte do Rio) in 2013, the city has gained a top attraction for art lovers! It’s a great place to check out when it rains and beach or hikes are not an option.
How to get to the MAR (Museo de Arte do Rio)
Located in the city center, the museum is fairly esay to reach and offers a curious architecture that combines the Dom João VI Mansion, a beautiful colonial building, with a modern extension. Both of them are joined by a hallway in the air. In this sense, the MAR is a true representation of the impressive clash of modern skyscrapers and historical buildings in the city center.
|Address: Praça Mauá 5
By Bus: 123 from Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana. Get off at Avenida Branco 33 and walk the rest (continue up Avenida Branco, after 3 minutes you’ll reach Praça Mauá and see the MAR)
Entrance fee: 8 BRL (reduced fee 4 BRL)
Opening hours: Tuesdays – Sundays 10am -5pm, Tuesdays FREE
Medium size bags are allowed inside of the MAR (35cm x 35cm), bigger ones have to be left at the wardrobe (free). No drinks or food permitted. Taking pictures is permitted, but NO flash.
The MAR has four floors with changing exhibitions. Usually each floor hosts a different exhibition that lasts for three to six months. As the name Museo de Arte do Rio (Mueseum of Rio’s Art) suggests, all exhibitions deal with Rio de Janeiro in one way or another. There used to be a permanent exhibition on the top floor which showed how the beaches and different quarters of Rio de Janeiro used to look like. It also featured all kind of souvenirs that have been produced for Rio de Janeiro throughout the past centuries. Unfortunately, this exhibition is no longer on display. However, the standard of the temporary exhibitions at the MAR is very high and there will always be something to surprise you.
On the outside of the museum there’s a permanent exhibition of Projecto Morrinho, a mini favela built of bricks and inhabited by small lego dolls. It’s a real gem for the eye as there are many details to discover in the miniature streets of this favela. This is a great example of how the MAR promotes and stimulates art in Rio de Janeiro. If you like this exhibition, you’ll love the original project. Learn more in our post on Projecto Morrinho.
Another attraction of the Museo de Arte do Rio is the restaurant on the top floor. When entering the museum, you have to take the elevator to the top floor. There you’ll be stunned by the view over the harbour area of Rio de Janeiro. Even though there’s a lot of construction work going on, it’s very fascinating to look at. You can also see Guanabara Bay and Niteroi. You can also go to the top floor and enjoy the view (and the restaurant) without having to buy the ticket for the museum.
There’s also a nice coffee shop and a souvenir shop in the entrance area of the MAR. In the souvenir shop you’ll find lots of gorgeous design articles that might be a great gift for yourself or friends. If you’re looking for souvenirs or gifts, remember to check out our Souvenir or Market Category!