The mother of all carnivals - Rio is a huge explosion of colour, samba beats and fun! First taking place as far back as 1723, the Brazilians have had plenty of time to practice putting on the greatest show on Earth. With crowds of around two million taking to the streets over five days, the highlight is the famous samba parades which incorporate marching bands or bandas playing to troupes of samba dancers in incredible costumes which have been a year in the making. Although there are hundreds of street parties taking place across the city, the main gathering takes place just outside the parade site of the Sambadrome. If there’s one carnival that you simply have to see, it’s this one!
Many of the Carnival activities are now ticketed events which take place in the huge 90,000-capacity Sambodrome in the Cidade Nova area of Rio. The main event is the samba parade which sees hundreds of samba schools compete for the top prize. You have to be quick to get a seat in one of the main grandstands, which can sell for anything from $20 to $5,000 - the official ticket outlet is here. If you’re planning to attend the carnival, fly in to Galeão International Airport, around 12 miles north of the city. From there, you’ll find plenty of taxis to take you to the celebrations.
Rio’s carnival is the equivalent in viewing terms of the American Super Bowl and the stars of the show are undoubtedly the Carnival Drum Queens. Each samba school which takes part in the parades chooses its queen, a woman who leads the troupe who has to have beauty as well as the athletic stamina to lead her drummers through the parade. The school which wins the samba competition has its queen named as the Carnival Queen. It’s a great privilege to lead out the samba troupe and of course to become Carnival Queen - an opportunity which many Brazilian schoolgirls dream of. Come to Rio to watch these Queens fulfil their dreams!
Make the most of your trip to Rio for the greatest show on Earth by staying in the very best rental accommodation for you. If you book with Eventful Stays, you can choose to stay in luxury apartments, penthouses, bed and breakfasts, studios, houses or boats…all within easy reach of all of the carnival festivities via public transport. Check out our accommodation in Rio de Janeiro.
If you’re travelling to Rio for Carnival, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do in this incredible city, including: Pedra Bonita; Corcovado Christ the Redeemer; and Sugarloaf Mountain.
To find out more information about the Carnival, please check out the carnival’s official website where you’ll be able to find out the full parade schedule, buy tickets for the carnival and find out all about the carnival including the history, dancers, masks, costumes and floats.
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