Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro
Our most festive occasion of the year has been a tradition since the colonial era. There are reports of royal children misbehaving in the Entrudo... Celebrating Carnaval in Rio since a tender age is not an exception. It is the norm. Street celebrations were influenced by all diversity you find in the city, including our African roots. These days, there are over 600 street events in a season!
Costume Balls apparently were introduced by the husband of an Italian opera singer who owned a hotel in Centro. In the golden era fabulous balls at Theatro Municipal and Copacabana Palace attracted international celebrations and the glitteratti. Now balls come in all concepts, formats and themes. Off-Carnaval parties feature the best DJ's from around the world.
The Carnaval Samba Parade is considered by many people the greatest show on earth. We do not disagree. Big-leaguers parade on Carnaval Sunday and Monday at Sambódromo. Six Samba Schools perform themes to an audience of over 80k live spectators each night. We know the scene inside out, and we love to share information with our visitors!Rio Carnaval History & Trivia
Rio Carnaval Samba Parade
Before the Sambódromo was launched in 1984, the Samba Parade happened in the street. Now the iconic structure accommodates over 80k spectators a night. They are distributed in luxury catered boxes, runway boxes and seats, bleachers, and popular sectors. There are tickets in all price ranges. On Fiday and Saturday Access Groups Samba Scholls take over the Samba Runway. Special Group big-leaguers parade on Carnaval Sunday and Monday. How you participate in this equation is your choice. You can join in and march with a Samba School.
We do not sell tickets or costumes. We give you the elements to get the best deals. We have two decades of professional experience with Carnaval in Rio, and a lifetime as Cariocas. We have marched with a number of schools, and watched the parade from all available seats and sectors. Understand better how the parade concept works. You will enjoy a much more interesting experience, and impress your friends!
Official prices of tickets are published by Liesa every year. Leftover tickets are available until a few days before Carnaval. Always compare what brokers are offering, and consider the mark-up and benefits. Luxury catered boxes are produced by professional companies, and individual tickets are only available through their producers. Tickets may be non-transferable.Carnaval Parade & Sambódromo
Bandas & Blocos - Street Carnaval
Street Carnaval festivities happen all over town, and events are free. You are welcome to join in and participate. There are all sizes and formats of blocos. The oldest is Cordão do Bola Preta, almost turning 100. The first blocos start two weeks ahead of the official date, the season lasts about a month.
The best blocos are always the ones where your friends are. We pick out our favorite blocos, and publish them as featured suggestions. Events have to be authorized by the city. Every year they put together this giant puzzle with over 500 blocos. The largest ones happen in Centro. Santa Teresa, Laranjeiras, Flamengo, Copacabana, Leme, Leblon and Ipanema also have great blocos!
Some blocos are stationary, most have a concentration spot and a route to follow. The percussion band is usually on street level, many blocos have sound trucks for vocalists. In addition to just Carnaval, there are blocos with special themes - nuns, geeks, the Beatles... Try to learn a little about the event to dress accordingly. And enjoy like there's no tomorrow.Street Carnaval in Rio
Carnaval Season Specials
Counting down, Pre-Carnaval Weekend 2 starts two weeks ahead. Hotels are charging regular rates. Among the attractions, Banda de Ipanema, Spanta Neném, rehearsals at the Sambadrome and at big clubs.
Pre-Carnaval Weekend 1 features Simpatia é Quase Amor, Suvaco de Cristo, Escravos de Mauá, and even huge Banda da Preta. Samba school rehearsals at Quadras and clubs, the town is starting to pack up. Hotel rates are still fair!
The main event, Carnaval 2024 in Rio happens from February 10th (Saturday) through 13th (Tuesday). Hotel rates are higher, yet you can get good deals by booking ahead. Post Carnaval Weekend is on February 17-18, featuring the Champions' Parade, and Monobloco.
Carnaval Samba Parade
What many consider the greatest show on earth, Rio de Janeiro's Carnaval Samba Parade is amazing in each and every way. It happens on Carnaval Sunday and Monday. Each night a selection of six Special Group Samba Schools perform to an audience of about 80 thousand spectators. Each school chooses a theme, and illustrates it with a song, incredible floats, colorful sections of people wearing the same costumes. As many as 20 k people perform a night, including the percussion bands. Millions watch the live broadcast.
Understand how the Samba Parade works, and which are the sections to keep an eye for! We do not sell tickets, so we can give you fair advice on how to get them at face value. Explore our photo albums and videos to get an idea of the magic of the season!
Bandas & Blocos
Street Carnaval festivities have blossomed in a beautiful way. Each season there are over 500 events. The larger ones are in Centro, but they also happen in public parks and residential neighborhoods. Staying in a happening area makes a lot of sense when you choose a place to stay. Of course we have our favorite blocos, and we are happy to share with you some great suggestions. And helpful safety tips, of course.
Photos & Videos
We never miss favorite blocos, and we have an amazing collection of photos and videos for you to explore. Banda de Ipanema, Simpatia é Quase Amor, Bloco Volta, Alice and Empolga às Nove are among the ones we follow. The best blocos are always where your friends are, and these are great occasions to make new friends. Consider wearing some fun accessory or costume to get into the right mood.
Night life in Rio is particularty happening during the high season. Which in Carnaval terms translates to about a full month. Clubbing is a major highlight. Local label parties invite international DJ's, promote theme parties, and offer more options than anyone could handle, really. Rio Nightlife Carioca is updated daily with our hand-picked suggestions. Keep connected!
The LGBTQ party scene is another highlight - as most of the events are straight-friendly you can join the fun, too. We publish the parties and specials at www.riogayguide.com, with links to all e-flyers.
Street Carnaval Etiquette
Carnaval is something we celebrate in Rio since we are children. Sometimes we see two or three generations partying together. Neighborhood blocos keep this spirit of a family. They are mostly populated by groups of friends, and visitors are welcome!
The largest blocos happen in Centro. But there are also events in public parks and spaces, including residential neighborhoods. Each bloco must request a permit from the city government to avoid a complete chaos.
The city takes care of diverting traffic, provide security, and install public restrooms or chemical toilets. There are fines for littering, and for peeing in public. Please respect the areas that host bandas and blocos. Blocos are private enterprises, and earnings with rehearsal parties and the sale of T-shirts help cover the costs of the event. As there are themed blocos, dress accordingly and enjoy!