This page provides information about Samba Parade tickets for the 2018 Rio Carnival Parade in the Sambodromo.
The Rio Carnival Parade or Samba Parade is undoubtedly Rio Carnival's highlight, a totally unique event in the world. It is something everybody has to experience at least once in a lifetime.
The Samba Parade isn't, however, a street style party, where people just move about as they like but rather a highly orchestrated show of vast proportions. Thus it is not free. However Samba Parade tickets are definitely worth the money. You will experience (and probably dance to) such a spectacular show that you certainly have never seen before. The Samba Parade is often referred to as 'The biggest Show on Earth'.
Children under 5 are not allowed admission to the Samba Parade.
Which Samba Parade?
Rio Samba Parade tickets are valid for one night only and are for a specific sector. You should decide for the day, seat type (Grandstand, Boxes, Covered Boxes, Chairs, lounge or the Luxury Suites) and the sector.
You can buy tickets for any of the 5 Samba Parade nights separately.
The Preliminary Parades are on Friday and Saturday with samba schools parading which have not made it into the First League.
The most important nights are Carnival Sunday and Monday with the Main Parades. These two nights are similar in terms of set-up. 6 of the best samba schools in the First League (the Special Group) march on both days.
On Champion´s Saturday, the 6 best samba schools of the year parade once again. It is significantly quieter than the Main Parade days and tickets for it are much cheaper.
Parade in which style?
The Grandstands are for people who don't mind the crowd and are flexible with where they will find a place to stand and occasionally sit down. Be prepared to watch the Parade only from high above and to loose your finally secured place, too.
The Boxes offer the security to have your guaranteed seats and a closer view. Apart from this, the Covered Grand Tier Boxes also offer shelter in case of summer showers and more comfortable lounge type seats, more space and comfort.
For the ultimate treat and a show over supper, the Luxury Suites are your natural choice.
The private chairs are for the extremely budget-conscious. They are also called back stalls and are cheap as they are located at the very end of the Parading Avenue and the show.
The Party Lounge is, as its name suggests, most subtable for the party minded. It is a mixture of a club, a lounge and a beauty salon.
Paying just a little bit more makes a big difference when it comes not only to the view and angle from which to watch and see but also the comfort, privacy and treatment you will enjoy. Plan well The night of a lifetime!
When to arrive
Doors open at 17.00. Some without allocated seats queue up already to get the best seats in the bleachers, which are considered to be the ones at the front, just above the Boxes and the Luxury Suites.
There is a little welcome show at 20:00, with King Momo opening the night passing through the Sambodromo.
An average person generally watches 3-5 samba schools. Arriving around 22:00-23:00 could be a good idea, considering that this is the time when the atmosphere starts to peak.
If you hold a grandstand ticket with no assignment and are determined to sit through the 12-hour marathon, arrive early and sit as you please.
On a tight budget
Mix with the crowd, watch the Brazilians having a real blow. Go for the Grandstands where most will sing all the songs by heart (and heart-felt). Wonder at how quickly they change into the next samba school shirt. Most people stand up, cheer and dance. Here, being so close to and together with thousands of Brazilians, you will really experience what Carnival actually means to them.
1. Main Parades
The Special Group:
Samba Schools in the First League
Sunday, February 26th
Monday, February 27th
This is "THE" Parade, the highlight of Rio Carnival. The must-see show which has made Rio de Janeiro the Carnival capital of the world. The whole big world of Carnival revolves around those two nights.
The schools in this group are especially magnificent and sumptuous.
The two nights are similar in terms of set-up. 6 of the best 12 samba schools parade on both Sunday and Monday. As different schools march on these two days, the show is different.
See the 2018 Parading Order & Schedule
2. Champions' Parade
Saturday, March 3rd
See the time-table
The 6 best samba schools in the First League parade in all their splendor once more with fireworks.
3. Preliminary Parades
Samba Schools in the Second League
Friday, February 24th and
Saturday, February 25th
See the time-table
There are 14 samba schools in this group, following the best 12 schools in the First League (the Main Parade). The winner of these parades ascends to the First League (the main Parade) the following year.
4. Children`s Samba Schools
Fat Tuesday, February 28th, 19:00 (doors open at 17:00)
Free admission in the grandstands
These are branches of the big samba schools, formed by children of each community.
Their parade follows the pattern of the big schools. Entrance to this parade is free (except the Front Boxes and Luxury Suites).