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Selarón’s Steps

Climb this urban staircase to experience one of Rio’s largest and most useful public art projects, a series of mosaics created singlehandedly by a much-loved Rio personality.

Rio is rich in public art, but none is as loved and used as Selarón Steps (Escadaria Selarón). During the 1990s, local artist Jorge Selarón transformed this once average urban utility into a technicolor stairway of brightly colored tile mosaics. Walk up the flights of steps, admiring tiles from throughout the world and appreciate the monumental scale of this eccentric artists life’s work.

The Chilean-born Selarón moved to Rio in 1983 after a life of travel. In 1990, he decided to decorate the unsightly staircase outside of his house. Using stray pieces of ceramic tile, he turned the whole 250 stairs into a huge mosaic. As he worked, his art gained popularity, eventually achieving world fame in music videos by music stars like Snoop Dogg. Until the day of his death in 2013, Selarón could still be found working on the steps wearing his signature red hat.

Selarón Steps are an intricate masterwork. Start from the bottom of the steps and walk up. On the front of each step is a unique mosaic consisting mostly of blue and yellow tiles. On either side of the staircase, Selarón has arranged a wide array of bright-red tiles. Climb all the way to the top of the steps to see a mosaic of the Brazilian flag.

Throughout his mosaics, Selarón has placed original artworks and tiles donated by visitors from throughout the world. See which tiles you can recognize; Diana, Princess of Wales, Barack Obama and the state of Georgia are just a few of the commemorative tiles featured on the steps. More than 2,000 tiles from over 60 countries can be found on Selarón Steps. Study Selarón’s paintings, which often feature his signature subject, a pregnant woman.

Selarón Steps straddle the neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa, both of which are situated in the southeastern part of downtown Rio de Janeiro. Parking in the area can be difficult, so it is best to reach the stairs by public transportation. Bus stops surround the area and the metro stop at Cinelândia lies just to the north.


Guide to Exploring around Selaron Steps


Best Lodging Options Near Selaron Steps

See all 2,630 Properties near Selaron Steps
Hotel Atlântico Prime ¥1,839
Hotel Atlântico Prime

Hotel Atlântico Prime

Rua do Resende 87, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Lapa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Arcos da Lapa and Catedral de Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro. Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro and Municipal Theater are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cinelandia Station is 16 minutes by foot and Presidente Vargas Station is 16 minutes.

    Américas Granada Hotel ¥3,166
    Américas Granada Hotel

    Américas Granada Hotel

    Avenida Gomes Freire, 530 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Lapa, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arcos da Lapa, Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro, and Sambodrome. Flamengo Beach and Museum of Tomorrow are also within 2 mi (3 km). Carioca Station is 13 minutes by foot and Presidente Vargas Station is 13 minutes.

      Hotel Atlantico Business Centro ¥1,781
      Hotel Atlantico Business Centro

      Hotel Atlantico Business Centro

      Rua Senador Dantas, 25, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Guanabara Bay and Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo Beach and Museum of Tomorrow are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cinelandia Station is only a 4-minute walk and Carioca Station is 7 minutes.

        Casa Nova Hotel ¥2,612
        Casa Nova Hotel

        Casa Nova Hotel

        Rua do Riachuelo,105, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Santa Teresa, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Guanabara Bay and Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo Beach and Sambodrome are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cinelandia Station is 14 minutes by foot and Gloria Station is 16 minutes.

          Vila Galé Rio de Janeiro ¥5,598
          Vila Galé Rio de Janeiro

          Vila Galé Rio de Janeiro

          Rua do Riachuelo,124, Centro do Rio de Janeiro - Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Lapa, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Arcos da Lapa and 1.9 mi (3 km) from AquaRio. Maracana Stadium is 3.6 mi (5.8 km) away. Cinelandia Station is 15 minutes by foot and Gloria Station is 17 minutes.

            Selina Lapa Rio de Janeiro ¥3,333
            Selina Lapa Rio de Janeiro

            Selina Lapa Rio de Janeiro

            Rua Visc. de Maranguape, 9 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Lapa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Guanabara Bay and Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo Beach and Sambodrome are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cinelandia Station is 8 minutes by foot and Gloria Station is 9 minutes.

              Hotel Americano ¥1,499
              Hotel Americano

              Hotel Americano

              Rua Joaquim Silva 69, Lapa, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Lapa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Guanabara Bay and Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo Beach and Sambodrome are also within 2 mi (3 km). Gloria Station is 8 minutes by foot and Cinelandia Station is 9 minutes.

                Selahost
                Selahost

                Selahost

                24 Rua Manuel Carneiro, 24, Rio de Janeiro
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Santa Teresa, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Guanabara Bay and Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo Beach and Sambodrome are also within 2 mi (3 km). Gloria Station is 9 minutes by foot and Cinelandia Station is 9 minutes.