Rio de Janeiro
Carnival Activities

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Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro Carnival Activities

Rio de Janeiro: Carnival 2023 Samba School Parade Ticket

1. Rio de Janeiro: Carnival 2023 Samba School Parade Ticket

Rio's Carnival is the most popular and the best Carnival in the world! No wonder it was named “Largest Carnival in the World” in 2004 by the Guinness Book of World Records. Carioca Carnival is a cultural event, where freedom of expression dominates in a creative and fun way, represented through samba school parades, carnival balls, and a street carnival. The official Samba School parades take place in Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome, created by the most renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer and inaugurated in 1983 with capacity for 80,000 spectators. Every year, the Samba Schools compete for the Carnival Champion Title, one school will be chosen as the best of the best. More than 30,000 people perform throughout Carnival. Each school has between 4,000 and 5,000 participants. There are 5 days of parades, divided into three categories: Access Group, Special Group, and Parade of Champions. Access Group In the Access Group, the best Samba Schools will be able to participate in the Special Group in the following year. You will see 12 schools parade with enthusiasm and beauty. This is perfect for those, who want to see the magic of carnival on a budget. Special Group  These are considered the main days of the Carnival Parade. The best 14 Samba schools in Rio de Janeiro show all their creativity and innovations. These are the true magical nights of the Sambadrome. Tickets are more expensive for these days as it is the most popular parade with major league schools. Champions Parade On that night, the top six Special Group schools, plus the Access Group Champion repeat their performances. This is an extraordinary night to see the Carnaval champions of the year.

Rio Carnival 2023: Samba Parade Tickets with Shuttle Service

2. Rio Carnival 2023: Samba Parade Tickets with Shuttle Service

Experience Rio's Carnival, the most popular and the best parade in the world. This incredible cultural event is characterized by its freedom of expression, and creative and fun atmosphere represented through samba school parades, carnival balls, and street carnival. The official parade takes place in the Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome, created by renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer with capacity for 80,000 spectators.  Start the tour with a shared shuttle transfer to the Sambodrome, from main hotels in Copacabana, Leme, Ipanema, Leblon, Lapa, Barra da Tijuca, Centro, and Rio Cruise Port. Choose to spectate the incredible event from 5 days of the parade which are divided into 3 categories: Access Group, Special Group and Parade of Champions. – February 17th, 2023 (Friday): Access Group (2nd league) – February 18th, 2023 (Saturday): Access Group (2nd league) – February 19th, 2023 (Sunday): Special Group (1st league) – February 20th, 2023 (Monday): Special Group (1st league) – February 20th, 2023 (Saturday): Champions’ Parade (“All-Star Parade” with the 6 best schools) Access Group - Friday, February 17th and Saturday, February 18th On these dates, watch as some schools compete to get access to the main league for the following year. This event is perfect for those that want to experience the magic of carnival but have a limited budget. Special Group - Sunday, February 19th and Monday, February 20th With this option, experience the main days of the Carnival Parade. Marvel at the best Samba Schools in Rio de Janeiro showing all their creativity and innovations as you enjoy a magical night in the Sambadrome. Tickets are more expensive for these days as it is the most popular parade and features the major league schools. Champions Parade - Saturday February 25th On this night, the top 6 Special Group Schools plus the Access Group champions repeat their performances. This is an extraordinary night to see the carnival champions of the year. At the end of the tour, take the return shuttle transfer back to your hotel.

Rio: Carnival Backstage Tour at Samba City with Cocktail

3. Rio: Carnival Backstage Tour at Samba City with Cocktail

Discover what goes on backstage at Rio's Carnival with this guided walking tour. Watch as preparations are made for the world's most famous parade with this attraction ticket. Wear some authentic costumes and take a Samba workshop before savoring a cocktail.  Be greeted by your guide at Samba City and begin your behind-the-scenes tour. See the carnival factory and find out how the floats and costumes are produced for the parade. Uncover the history of Samba and hear the story of Rio's carnival.  Try on some authentic carnival costumes and get some stunning glam shots. Participate in a Samba workshop with a professional dancer from a Samba school. Finish your tour by sipping on a delicious caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail.

Rio de Janeiro 1-Hour Samba Lesson

4. Rio de Janeiro 1-Hour Samba Lesson

Want to Samba but have no dance experience? Learn basic Samba moves that you can use in all types of dance in a 1 hour dance crash course! This Samba lesson in Rio is a fun and entertaining time, and lets you experience the true culture of Rio. The student chooses the kind of dance – Samba no pé (solo Samba), or Samba de Gafiera (partner Samba) – that he or she wants to learn, and participates in one or more private lessons of the chosen style. The private Samba lessons are divided into about 90% practical and 10% theoretical. The Samba Lesson is lots of fun and you'll find yourself dancing away after the first class. The teacher will explain how this type of dance fits into Brazil’s cultural history as well as Rio’s current night life. Enjoy a 60-minute dance crash course, and you'll be sure to feel the energy of Samba. After that, you'll be able to go out and practice your new moves in the city's bustling dance clubs.

Ginga Tropical: Brazilian Roots Shows with Optional Dinner

5. Ginga Tropical: Brazilian Roots Shows with Optional Dinner

Ginga Tropical: Brazilian roots will bring you a multicultural show with lots of joy and energy, gathering on stage various cultures of this tropical country. For about 3 hours, you are going to enjoy every Brazilian dance style. After your hotel pick-up, if you choose the show with dinner option, you will arrive at a traditional Barbecue Dinner, all you can eat style. Brazilian Churrascarias (barbecue places) offer a wide variety of sides and alternative options. In case you decide to stick with a vegetarian option, you will still leave delighted. For those who preferred the show only option, they will be picked up at their hotels before heading to the show by bus.  You will get to know every Brazilian region through dance performance and clothing. Ginga Tropical: Brazilian roots combines diversity and culture with The Journal of Theatre, the Northeast, the Amazon and the Pampas with its Folklore, Bahia with their mystical rituals and Rio de Janeiro with its incomparable bohemian Lapa, their dance halls and their legendary Tricksters. A breathtaking show, with fantastic drummers and beautiful Mulatas dressed in outstanding carnival costumes. Even when you think that the show is close to the end, you may be surprised with interactive dancers. It’s time to shake your hips, so don’t be shy because the show must go on!

Rio de Janeiro: Downtown City Tour and Samba School Visit

6. Rio de Janeiro: Downtown City Tour and Samba School Visit

Get picked up from your hotel and go on a journey through the historic center of Rio de Janeiro.  The long history of this city makes it almost an open-air museum. The unusual mixture of nearly five centuries of kings, emperors, slaves, artists, clerics, pompous buildings and major libraries can be seen in several corners of Rio de Janeiro.  Explore the most important sights and monuments of the city. See XV Square, which was the main place for arrivals in Rio during the time of the Empire. Admire the many historical buildings there.  Visit the Olympic Boulevard in the seaport region, which has been completely revitalized for the 2016 Olympic Games. Marvel at the world-famous Ethnicities Mural made by the Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra.  Pass by Maracanã, one of the biggest soccer stadiums in Brazil. See the Candelária Church, an important Roman Catholic church in Rio de Janeiro. Go and see also the Lapa Aqueduct and the famous Seláron Stairs, which received tiles from all over the world to compose its art. At the end of the tour head to Samba City and get a glimpse of the backstage area of the Carnival in Rio: the handmade costumes, the floats that cross the avenue on wheels, and other details of this beautiful and iconic party.

Frequently asked questions about Rio de Janeiro Carnival Activities

What are other things to do than Carnival Activities that are worth visiting in Rio de Janeiro?

The other unmissable things to do in Rio de Janeiro are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Rio de Janeiro

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 6 reviews

An absolute must to discover one of the core cultural and social events of Rio: I had an absolutely great time on this tour! It was very impressive to discover the organization, the creativity, the engineering and the strong sense of community that make a Samba school, especially one of the best! Prepare to be dazzled by the gigantic floats, the shiny costumes and the intricate dances. This experience also offers a rich insight into the afro-brazilian history and it’s great contributions to the country’s culture. I’m really glad I did this tour, and our guide Cynthia, as well as the organizer Amanda, were just perfect hosts at every step of the way.

A super fun, interactive and memorable experience! You are engaged the entire time and get a glimpse of the mind-blowing float designs, production and costumes that are involved in a Carnaval parade. Our favourite parts were trying on the costumes, seeing the floats, getting a quick Samba lesson by a professional and the delicious caprinha that you get to try at the end. Highly recommend this to anyone visiting Rio!

Woow so complete and fun. This tour is a look inside the magic that is created at carnaval. With authentic story-telling and direct contact with those that make the magic happen. Absolutely incredible experience, highly recommend for anyone looking to learn about the history of samba and experience the joy of carnaval.

It was incredible! So eye opening seeing all the incredible floats we definitely want to return now to see Carnival! Absolutely amazing! Our guide was fantastic so informative her energy was fantastic! We loved the colours the costumes & the surprise of the dancer was magical !

It well worth it ! Fantastic experience our guide was so informative.