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Carnival in Rio in the Sambadrome ( Sambódromo )

Star architect Oscar Niemeyer designed Sambodromo street specially for the Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro. The best samba schools of Brazil compete for the honor of winning. Preparations for this top event are going on throughout the whole year and represent for many participants their purpose in life. Each samba school participates with around 4’000 members at this competition including 200 to 400 drummers. Even though many regard Carnival in Rio as very touristy - and it certainly is very different from the more traditional Carnival in the North of Brazil – you should by no means miss this unforgettable experience.

Competitions take place Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays throughout the Carnival week. The competition starts with children and teenage samba groups on Friday. On Saturday it’s the turn of samba groups category A. Tickets are a lot cheaper for these groups but the show is absolautely recommendable. The top samba groups are performing on Sunday and Monday at far higher ticket rates. Performances staart around 8:00 pm and end around 6:00 am on Monday or Tuesday morning.

Good seats are important and worth their price. Being close to the show stands for unforgettable impressions. Upon request we will be pleased to arrange tickets and give advice for seat selection. Tickets for Sunday or Monday should be purchased well in advance as they are often completely sold out days before the event.

If you are ready to take risks you may go around 11:30 pm instead of 8:00 pm. Low-budget tickets are offered on the black market by this time. Be aware that there are many cheaters around. Don’t take this option into account if neither you nor any of your company is speaking Portuguese.

Parade in front of the Frisa A seats
Parade in front of the Frisa A seats.

Watch out on your way to Sambodromo. Don’t take the bus. Better go by underground which runs around the clock at top Carnaval days.

In case you find the tickets for Carnival on Sunday and Monday are too expensive we recommend to participate in the event on Saturday after Carnival. This is the day when the winners parade takes place with a defile of the samba groups ranked top five. On this evening you don’t share the competition but the event is by no means less spectacular and the tickets are far cheaper.

Carnival in Rio 2020:
Saturday 22. february to tuesday 25. february 
Winners Parade: Saturday 29. february 

Carnival in Rio 2021:
Saturday 13. february to tuesday 16. february 
Winners Parade: Saturday 20. february 




Carnival in Rio in the Sambadrome ( Sambódromo )

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