Sambadrome and the Rio Carnival Parades

The famous Sambadrone in Rio comes to life every year during Carnival Days

Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro
Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro cc licensed photo by Ben Tavener

The Sambadrome is a special parade route constructed along both sides of Marquês de Sapucaí street in Rio de Janeiro's old city centre. It consists of permanent spectator stands, viewing boxes, and event lights running for 700 metres along both sides of the street.

The unique design of the Sambadrome allows up to 90,000 spectators to view the parade within along a much shorter route that would normally be required. Built in 1984 the Sambadrome was designed by the well known Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.

The Sambadrome is primarily used for the official Rio Carnival Parade events in which samba schools compete with one another, each getting exactly 90 minutes to complete their vivacious routines which consist of thousands of dancers in vibrant colorful costumes along with a section of drums and several lavish floats. They take this competition very seriously and are judged on a wide range of aspects.

At the end of the parade the parade participants gather together in Apotheosis Square. This square has spectator stands that are set farther back. This space has been used for many big name concerts over the years.

During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio the Sambadrome served as a venue for the archery and athletic marathon events.

Even if you aren't attending an event at the Sambadrome you may want to swing by and take a look at it, to give you a better idea of the atmosphere when you watch one of the famous carnival parades on TV.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes - for events and parades

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

Official Website: Sambadrome and the Rio Carnival Parades

Sambadrome and the Rio Carnival Parades Reviews

Rated 4.5 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating Omg, the winners parade was incredible and exceeded our expectations. Vibrant, crazy, colourful, and a must if coming to Rio! You need some stamina as it starts at 10pm and finishes around 7am the next day. Photos and videos just don't do it justice....here's just a tiny taste!
Cathy Wheatley - a week ago

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5 Star Rating Incredible show, however it was hard for us to find our entrance, i would recommend better instructions. One way or another this is the absolute must on carnaval. Front box seats highly recommended.
Karolina Elsner - a week ago

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5 Star Rating The Sambadrome in Rio is a must-see attraction for anyone who loves music, dance, and culture. It is a magnificent structure that showcases the best of Brazilian architecture and design, created by the legendary Oscar Niemeyer. The Sambadrome is the place where the magic of carnival happens every year, as thousands of samba dancers and musicians parade along the 700-meter-long avenue, dazzling the spectators with their colorful costumes and infectious rhythms. The Sambadrome is not only a venue, but a symbol of the spirit and joy of Rio de Janeiro. I highly recommend visiting the Sambadrome during carnival time, or any time of the year, to experience the essence of Brazilian culture and have an unforgettable time. If you want to enjoy the best view of the parade, I suggest you choose the middle sections of the Sambadrome, where you can see the whole spectacle from a comfortable distance. The top level of the stands also offers a better view than the ground floor, as you can avoid the crowds and have a panoramic perspective of the show. Trust me, you won't regret it! To watch my YouTube videos of Rio de Janeiro, head over to my channel @AdiyaAmar.
Amar Adiya - 2 weeks ago

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5 Star Rating Go here for the carnival, it is a one lifetime experience; feed your soul being witness of a show full of wonderful samba, colors, lights, dance, beautiful thematics that schools decide to take as performance and a lovely vibe for the carnival itself. For sure coming back.
Daniel Rodriguez Boldu - a week ago

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4 Star Rating Seeing the parades is an amazing life experience, but if you're on the fence about the Sambodromo, you can probably skip it. I personally enjoyed it and the tickets are not expensive at all. If you do go, I recommend you go on the day of Carnaval, as the best schools perform then. It's also worth getting there early to get a spot at the railing. Just expect people to try to squeeze in next to you or hover over you for most of the night. Rio is incredible, and as great as this place is, it was not the highlight of our vacation. Going around the city is the real treat! You can even see the parades line up near the port early in the day if you want to see the floats without going to the Sambodromo.
Rob Snyder - a week ago

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Directions

Metro Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Line 1 - OrangePraça Onze4 Minutes

How to get to Sambadrome and the Rio Carnival Parades by Metro

Exit the metro at Praça Onze and walk north to Rua Bendito Hipolito and go right (east). The Sambadrome is just one block east of the station.

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