The Sambadrome

The Sunday and Monday before Fat Tuesday, over 80,000 people gather in the Sambadrome for a wildly festive tradition that’s existed since since the colonial era: the Rio Carnaval. Each night, six samba schools compete in music, costuming, and choreography as they parade down the massive, open-air aisle. The samba schools aren’t education, but are associations that provide jobs to community members to create the high-demand costumes and floats for the parade. Each school chooses a theme to demonstrate with costumes, floats, song, and dance. Fans cheer for their favorite school with the fervency of a soccer fan cheering for their team. Seating ranges from bleachers to luxury catered boxes. The Sambadrome also hosted the Olympic & Paralympic archery competitions and the end of the marathon.

The Sambadrome


R. Marquês de Sapucaí – Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20220-007, Brazil

Hours of Operation:

Parade: 9:00 am – 7:00 am, doors open at 6:00 pm


The Sambadrome

To visit the Sambadrome’s website click here

Phone: +55 21 2976-7310


The Sambadrome

Carnaval Parade

  • R$10 (bleacher seats at the end of parade route) – R$5,000 (catered luxury seats)


The Sambadrome

The Carnaval Parade

The Sambadrome is used only for the Carnaval parade and sits empty the rest of the year. If you’re passing by, you can poke your head in and relish a moment of solitude in what would otherwise be a roaring, light-dazzling, packed stadium. But if you are planning on visiting Rio, and you’re not uncomfortable with all-night revelry, try to make it during the Sunday and Monday of the parade. The Carnaval has been deemed the greatest show on earth, and just a few seconds in the midst of it all would prove it true. If you reserve seats on the grandstand bleachers, you can bring a cushion for the hard, sun-hot benches, although you’ll probably be standing most of the time, since the parade is an exciting spectacle from start to finish. There is a cheap (about R$15) populares section, but it’s far back from the action. Try to get into the Sambadrome when it opens at 6:00, since practically the entire city will be flooding in that direction, and traffic will not be fast.


The Sambadrome

What’s nearby? 

There’s plenty of food stands throughout the stadium, but going to get food means missing some of the parade. Spectators are allowed to bring their own snacks, so pack up beforehand.

You can find street parties, called blocos, pretty much anywhere in Rio in the days preceding the parade. Like a miniature Sambadrome parade, people don homemade costumes, stock up on cachaça (Brazilian rum), and dance to a myriad of instruments, from repurposed pots and pans to boom boxes. Many of the blocos are well known, especially the larger Cordao do Bola Preta and Monobloco.

For something a bit more uniform, many places in Rio host bailes, or dances. On the beach shore, The Copacabana Palace Hotel hosts the Magic Ball, with guests wearing either formal wear or very elegant costumes. For a more casual scene, along with pop and samba performances, he Museum of Modern Art hosts the Baile Glamurama, with guests required to wear costumes. Contact the venue or visit their website to purchase tickets, which range from R$100 to R$500.

The Samba Museum
Discover the history of the Carnaval in the Samba Museum in Apotheosis Square (at the end of the Sambadrome stadium). Learn about each Samba School and how they are judged, and see photos and past costumes close up. You can also buy souvenirs from the parade at the gift shop. Come by before the parade if you’ve arrived early, or if you’re in Rio during the off-period, you can still immerse yourself in the history and tradition of Carnaval.

The Sambadrome

Interested in touring Brazil and visiting the Sambadrome? We offer three different tours that explore this region.

Clink on the links below and explore the incredible country of Brazil.

Explore South America – 30 Days      Best of South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, & Ecuador– 23 Days      Best of South America – 21 Days


Title Address Description
R. Marquês de Sapucaí - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20220-007, Brazil

The Sambadrome

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