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

Phone: (21) 2976-7310

Official Website: Sambadrome and the Rio Carnival Parades


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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Rated 4.3 out of 5

5 Star Rating “biggest carnaval in the world” so excited to be here during carnaval, nobody ,no video , no photo can describe how it feels to be in the sambodrome ,you gotta experience it by yourself

Natalia Natalia - 5 months ago

5 Star Rating This is one of the world's largest stadiums holding 70000 spectators. During Carnival, it is transformed into a magical intense parade route. Thousands of samba school dancers parade down the middle of this stadium in waves of dancers and spectacular floats during the two nights of Carnival. This is a must on anyones bucket list. To experience Carnival in Rio at the Sambadrome is amazing!

Denio Perez - 8 months ago

5 Star Rating This was one of the most spectacular performances I have seen. Get there early because seats fill up fast. We were there from 6:30pm to 6:30am. Non stop Samba dancing for 12 hours. By the end you will be tired, but very pleased

David Louis - 8 months ago

5 Star Rating We bought some tickets for Monday Carnival. It is a great place to see the parade of the different city schools showing their fantasies. Great atmosphere and much better experience than expected. I recommend to go there during presentations if you have the opportunity.

Jose Antonio Mallén - 9 months ago

5 Star Rating One of the best and most authentic experiences of the Brazilian culture. You MUST see the Sambadrome/Samba school performance during Carnival. It's about a six hour event - long, but enchanting. I was surprised to learn it starts around 9pm and goes through the morning until about 4 or 5am. Prepare for a late but well worth it evening. This venue is not easy to get in or out of, so prepare for extra time. We heard its ass-to-ass bleacher seating, so we spent a few hundred dollars for a VIP experience that included suite seating, unlimited food/drink and vendor experiences (we got our hair/make up done). Well worth it.

Carin Skowronsky - 11 months ago


Rio Carnival dancers show off their steps and more in front of more than 80,000 spectators at the Sambadrome during Carnival Days

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