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Rio Carnival: How much is it and what should I do to travel safely?
3 min read
Updated on Apr 01, 2024

Thinking about joining the Rio Carnival fun? Let's break down what it'll cost you and how to stay safe so you can focus on the party, not the planning..

Welcome to the heart of Brazil's culture: the Rio Carnival. This massive party turns Rio de Janeiro into a lively scene of music, dance, and celebration. Drawing millions from across the globe, this festival features spectacular samba parades, spontaneous street parties known as blocos, and extravagant costumes. It’s a playground of joy and discovery.

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We've written this guide to help you navigate the Rio Carnival, from planning your trip to making the most of the festivities. Follow along as we unpack everything you need to know to enjoy this unforgettable celebration to its fullest.

Planning your visit to Rio Carnival: Ticket prices for the events

The Rio Carnival started as a religious celebration to usher in the season of Lent. It typically kicks off on the Friday before Ash Wednesday, stretching over eight days filled with vibrant parades and street parties.

The Sambadrome is the heart of Carnival, where Rio samba schools parade on different nights. The most prominent parades occur on Sunday and Monday and showcase the top samba schools. These schools are known for their elaborate performances and are a significant draw for visitors and locals alike.

Ticket prices for the Sambadrome events vary depending on the day and the seating area. Basic grandstand seats start from around USD$50 to 100 per ticket, with prices going up based on the type of seating and the view within the venue.

You can get tickets from the Independent League of Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro website, but they tend to sell out very quickly. An alternative is to purchase tickets from reputable tour agencies in Rio, like Rio Carnaval Tickets, but this will undoubtedly be more expensive.

Aside from the ticketed events, Rio buzzes with over 400 free street parties during Carnival week. Some crowd favorites include Bloco das Carmelitas, Corda da Bola Preta, and Simpatia é Quase Amor. You can use this handy blocos website to decide which parties to attend.

Getting to Rio and navigating the city

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Unless you’re from Canada, the USA, or Australia (who are eligible for the Brazil eVisa), you’ll need to apply for your Brazil Tourist Visa at the nearest Brazilian embassy or consulate. Use our Embassies Finder to find the nearest Brazilian diplomatic mission.

When planning your trip to Rio Carnival, booking flights and accommodations well in advance is a good idea, given the influx of tourists. To secure the best deals and ensure availability, aim to book at least 6 months ahead.

Consider staying in neighborhoods like Santa Teresa or Lapa, which offer various lodging options. There are budget-friendly hostels like Casa da Cacaia e do Henrique with dorm beds starting at USD$11, to mid-range hotels such as Fluminense Hotel that charge around USD$50 per night​.

Navigating Rio during Carnival can be challenging due to the crowded and festive environment. The subway is a reliable transportation method, though buying tickets in advance is advisable since station booths may not sell them during Carnival.

Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are available but expect higher fares due to demand and street closures for block parties. For safety, familiarize yourself with your surroundings, avoid carrying valuables, and stay hydrated and protected from the sun.

What else should you know about Brazil before packing your bags? Check out our trip guide.

  • iVisa is NOT affiliated with any government agency. This site does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. None of our customer service representatives are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. We are a private, internet-based travel and immigration consultancy provider dedicated to helping individuals travel around the world. You may apply by yourself directly on the various government websites. The source of information: https://www.gov.br/pt-br/temas/immigration-public-services
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