Sambódromo da Marquês de Sapucaí

Sambódromo da Marquês de Sapucaí

Sambódromo da Marquês de Sapucaí
4
Friday
6:00 PM - 6:45 AM
Top ways to experience Sambódromo da Marquês de Sapucaí
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Zona Central (Central Region)
How to get there
  • Praça Onze • 5 min walk
  • Central • 10 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • KarenM1_10
    1,084 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Have to see it to believe it
    While we were on our cruise, we were fortunate to arrive in Rio during Carnival. We purchased a tour with Do Brazil Right and had wonderful time. The event was held at the Sambadrome. It started late in the evening. You can stay for as many performances as you wish. Some fellow cruise passengers returned to the ship at 4:00 a.m. the next day. All the performers were wonderful with beautiful costumes and colorful floats. As the evening proceeded, the performances became more elaborate. We were informed that on the last day of Carnival is when the highest rated clubs perform. We were happy to be there and experience it live. If you go, take ear plugs and a have lot of patience – it is wild. You will need it to deal with crowds and waiting for your transportation to take you back to the cruise port or your hotel.
    Visited February 2023
    Written May 26, 2023
  • hbhakh
    Roanoke, Virginia2,259 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive but chaotic
    We had a tour package to the Carnaval parade at Sambodrome from our cruise ship. The parades are impressive.......the floats and huge and the costumes are elaborate. We had "lounge" seating, which was really just something to stand on to see the parade. We did not stay for the entire show as it goes until something like 4 am. The stadium is large and very crowded and loud. Getting in and out is chaotic at best. There doesn't seem to be much of a plan for traffic, pedestrians, etc. Be aware if you have difficulty with mobility or don't care for large crowds and loud music. The area around the venue did not seem very nice. I am glad that I saw this.....it is once in a lifetime.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 16, 2024
  • Jose P
    Burnaby, Canada230 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the experience .
    The parade was awesome, the costumes and floats, music - amazing. The organization from LIESA e RioTur not so much. They had a hard time to keep a clear path in the sector for people to move around, lots of unruly tourists (most of them foreigners) blocking the pathway for pictures or just to be in a better spot. Was there for the first and last time.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 2, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,398 reviews
Excellent
619
Very good
405
Average
271
Poor
75
Terrible
28

Jose P
Burnaby, Canada230 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
The parade was awesome, the costumes and floats, music - amazing. The organization from LIESA e RioTur not so much. They had a hard time to keep a clear path in the sector for people to move around, lots of unruly tourists (most of them foreigners) blocking the pathway for pictures or just to be in a better spot. Was there for the first and last time.
Written March 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matt
Kelowna, Canada606 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
No trip to Rio is complete without attending Carnaval! We booked a private section through Camarote. It included food, drinks, live music and excellent viewing of the parade.

It was an amazing time. We stayed until 5am but I believe it continued until 6am. This is an experience I will never forget.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Luca M
New York City, NY546 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Vibes. People. The true spirit of Rio and Brazil. Speechless. This is a must

Really secure. From sector 9 you can see the whole parade and you have your seat number guaranteed.

I suggest to book a shuttle to go there.
Written May 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PTRio
Rio de Janeiro114 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2013 • Friends
Most appear to be treating this category as a review of the Carnaval parades at the Sambodromo, and not the Sambadromo itself. The Sambodromo itself sits empty 51 weeks per year, it is used only during Carnaval for these parades (though I have heard it will serve the finish for the marathons in the 2016 Olympics). As far as the Escola's de Samba (Samba Schools, which are not really schools per se but more like community associations which vary as to just how "community" they are), there are five categories of these groups. This is a competition. And there is a LOT of money riding on who wins. Only the Grupo Especial (the top 12 escolas) and the "Grupo de Accesso" (Access Group) or "Serie A", parade at the Sambodromo. Each year, the winner of the Access Group moves up into the Grupo Especial, and the lowest finishing "school" from the Grupo Especial falls out and into the Access Group. The Grupo Especial is split into two nights, Sunday and Monday of Carnaval, six groups parade each night. It is from the Grupo Especial/Serie A group that the Champion is chosen, the process involves numerous categories and several judges for each category, with the results announced piecemeal on live TV on Wednesday following the parades. It is high anxiety on Wednesday leading up to the the final points and winner being announced.

Buying tickets to the Sunday and Monday parades (other than tourist sector tickets) requires having a phone with a Rio de Janeiro area code, and they are sold by phone lottery, first to call gets the tickets. Then, locals resell a lot of those tickets to travel agencies, and the markup is, well, a lot. There is only one seating sector specially reserved for tourists. It is the calm, cool and quiet sector. The rest are true Carioca insanity. Take your pick.

Each year during Carnaval the Sambodromo becomes a madhouse of spectators, costumed participants, traffic, and logistical nightmares. Arriving at the Sambodromo early is key as the majority of seats are first come first sit (the tourist section is an exception, it is numbered and has assigned seating), but not too early as the majority of the seating is cement bleacher style seats (bring a cushion!!) and the afternoon sun can heat these bleacher seats to a level sufficient to fry eggs. Or, you can pay a small fortune for "frisa" seating, which has actual chairs and a sectioned off area with better access to food and beer service. Best of all, be a celebrity and get an invitation to the catered party rooms sponsored by beer companies and other large businesses.

I have attended the Sambodromo parades three of the past five years, and sat in three different areas, once in the "populares", or cheap seats (US$5), which are so far back from the parade street you need binoculars to see anything, once in Sector 5, and this year sat in one of the new sectors, Sector 8. The new and the old sectors are basically the same, but on opposite sides of the street. Odd is old, even is new. . Each have a fast food outlet serving a few basic items, and have restroom facilities.

Each time I have been to the Sambodromo for Carnaval I swear it will be my last. It takes about 9 months for the negative aspects of the experience to wear off and be forgotten. The positive then outweigh my distant memories. On the negative side, getting there is most definitely NOT half the fun. It can be exhausting. There are charter busses, which may well be the best option though I have never tried that. The Metro is another method, but take care to know which station to exit, choose the wrong one and you will have to walk a mile to reach your seating sector. A taxi, but make sure the meter is running. A bus, but expect to share it with costumed participants and double then number of riders as there are seats. No matter which way you choose, there are going to be delays and frustrations, count on that and again, go early but not too early.
There is also free seating outside the Sambodromo where you can watch the large "floats" get in line to enter the Sambodromo, and the parade participants get organized. For those on a budget that is a decent way to get the feel for what the Sambodromo experience is about.

The parades are always scheduled to begin around 9 pm, which means they actually start around 9:30. By the time the last "school" has finished (six per night) it is usually around 7 or 8 am. The Tourist Seating sector, which I believe is Sector 5 or 7, is usually near empty by then. The rest of the Sambodromo remains full until the last "school" has finished.

Carnaval in Rio is an extraordinary experience and the Sambodromo parades are truly the glamorous highlight. But, be ready for it.
Written March 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Suzi M
Brisbane, Australia84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Solo
Wow. And that’s not an understatement. Where else can you go to watch nearly 10 hours of insane parade, the most vibrant costumes, hundreds upon thousands of highly costumed people dancing and singing and playing instruments like mad over nearly a kilometre stretch.

The parades go over many days, but I chose Monday night which is supposed to the the highlight - the most magnificent and sumptious. The venue is the Sambadrome which is essentially a massive stadium - and as one writer points out seems to be a venue for an experience rather than a place to visit in itself. The seats I choose were amongst the most expensive at ground level - right down the front in the middle facing the judging panel (which is sector 7) where the dancers give it their all and musicians play their hardest to impress. This sector opposite is sector 9, and I chose C/D - one up (about 1.5 meters) - from the very front row which is at street level. Even though they call sector 9 the tourist sector I was lucky enough to be with a local family of 4 and surrounded on either side by cariocas (locals) who really got into it. They sang loudly, danced furiously and even bought their own musical percussion instruments to get into the spirit. Even though my Portuguese was next to non-existent, the language of having fun at carnival transcended any language barrier and we looked on with awe and laughed and danced together from 9pm until well after 6am in the morning. These people are crazy into it - they look forward to it all year. While many of the the other boxes full of tourists started leaving well before midnight - the locals kept going with just as much energy until the very last samba school had danced their last step.

There were six “samba schools” competing on the night I went. Some of the schools took to the street with what seemed to be well over a couple of thousand dancers - highly costumed people of all ages - who dance in front and behind intricate floats. The whole thing tells a story of national identity which is encapsulated in their song which they belt out on loop for the whole 1.5 hours. The schools start at one end of the road and sing their song and dance their hearts out for the whole 700 meter stretch of road. The heat, even at night, was extreme, the humidity oppressive and many of the dancers are not young. We were close to an exit gate near the television stand and if you looked carefully you could see a number of people being led off the parade ground with heat exhaustion - but there are just so many people that you don’t notice it unless you are looking for it. Each person who left quickly had their costume taken off and it was passed around by eager carnival goers looking for the ideal photo opp. What is truly insane is how so many people, packed in tight, sing and dance in the oppressive heat for 700 meters over 1.5 hours. We was exhausting enough just watching from the stands :)

I booked it the one of the most expensive ways (so I found out in hindsight), but it was trustworthy site and smooth sailing. I booked on rio-carnival.net - and apparently the locally run websites (if you can work out the genuine from the scams and can read Portuguese) are much cheaper.

For ease and safety, at the same time as booking the ticket to the parade itself, I booked a round transfer bus which picks you up and delivers you back to your hotel. Especially as you come out at the end of the parade, the congestion is fierce and we were able to get onto a bus relatively quickly, while many others waited hours and hours before finding transport home. It was a little pricey but safe and way less hassle than any of the other options I looked into.

I loved, loved, loved the experience. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for this little Australian.
Written March 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Boldfish
Apex, NC328 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
This was a once in a lifetime show. The samba schools are awesome and each is about seventy minutes long. We had no problems with violence or aggression.
Written March 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oldjack
Greater Melbourne, Australia27,926 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
The Sambodrome is 700 meters of stands and seats designed for the Carnival and used for other entainment and frnkly outside of these times it is fairly drab and not very interesting.Apparently is was also designed to inluide numerous class rooms below the seating.
Written November 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shirley A
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Solo
The Sambadrome of the Marquês de Sapucaí, also known as Sambódromo of Rio de Janeiro and officially named the catwalk Professor Darcy Ribeiro is located at Avenida Marquês de Sapucaí, in the central part of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The predominant climate in the region is tropical altitude with a few warm, rainy summers and cold and dry winters. The Sambódromo was inaugurated in 1984, the scene of the most popular Brazilian festival, the parade of samba schools in Rio of January. January, which is held annually during the carnival holiday.
Incredible and gigantic place with capacity for 75,518 spectators. I had a chance to meet him in the summer of 2018, along with my mother and my aunt. We went to the rehearsal of samba schools and had the privilege of attending the rehearsals of Mangueira, which is my favorite samba school. There you can watch what is open to the public and can see up close the famous people who participate, but in the parades, during the carnival, it is necessary to buy tickets, because the parade is restricted. Although it is a wonderful place and with safety, you should be aware that there are many people in the place, and on the outside some take advantage to commit robberies.
I recommend everyone to visit the Sambódromo, if you want to enjoy Rio's samba and the local people, they are very receptive, not to mention the exuberant beauty that the place has.
Written May 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Danuza
Cambridge, MA950 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Family
It is such a shame that this is one of the most spectacular parades in the world with stunning colors and happiness, but terribly disorganized and structured. The parade is gorgeous and full of creativity, beautiful cars loaded with happy Brazilians dressed with fancy designed costumes, dancing and showing our culture, but...soooooo sad surroundings! I am Brazilian and I was surprised at how much misinformation I got regarding price and how to buy tickets, never mind how to get there! People tried to sell me a ticket with prices that would range from 60 reais to 1000 reais in the same area. Depending on who you asked, you would get a different information. I tried to Google official web sites and could not clearly identify one in Portuguese or English. Some people buy it online through Liesa, but at the time I did not find low price tickets through their site. I asked Brazilians and they told me to go to the sambodromo to buy. I did that because I did not want to pay more than necessary. It was a nightmare trying to find a taxi that would take us there to buy tickets. Then another nightmare to stand in line for hours and then realize some things at the end, such as that I could not buy a half ticket for my son simply because he did not have a CPF (which is social security for Brazilians). Not even with his Brazilian passport. Then bought normal tickets at high price for chair on section 12 which is only good if you are right in front, because it is too low and when people stand-up you can not see anything. At least it was not as crowded on Saturday- the winners parade (desfile de campeas), so we got to see something through the "spaces" between. Section 12 is also at the end of the parade and some dancers had already stopped dancing by then, which is kind of sad (particularly if they are on top of cars- destaque). To get to this place on the night of Carnaval was another misfortune. It took about 30 min to find a taxi that would agree to take us there and of course, just to three streets away from the side streets leading to sambodromo. It is very confusing how to get to either side and we basically had to walk around the entire thing to find our section. The narrow corridors in shaky areas around the even side were scary even for me (used to favelas in Brazil). Super dirty and terrible smell all around it. Once we get to the entrance then things were better organized and clean, but I hope they figure out how to create a different structure because this is not inviting to any tourist at all. The taxis that will take you inside the Sambodromo charge 300 reais to get there or out and even if you are willing to pay, you could never find one. At the end of this otherwise fantastic parade that took our breath away at times when we could "see it", we had to take the train to get away from the sambodromo and then try to find a taxi to get to our hotel. As a Brazilian I was very sad to see that we have such fantastic and stunning "parade" to show the world but the infrastructure is terrible enough that most people will never see it or will only come once and never be back. Anyone with good vision and experience of international structures for high volume touristic places would be able to plan a solution for this without having to demolish houses or business around the sambodromo, but instead, create a safe and beautiful structure for tourists to arrive at (by car, taxi or train) and then walk through beautiful corridors of thematic restaurants or stores to get to each section.
Written February 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SIBARITA0305
Caracas, Venezuela748 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Our tour took us to this famous place where the Squadras do Samba make their dancing parade during Carnaval do Río. We could imagine the excitement here during Carnaval.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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