2014 Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
FAQ about Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Learn all the essentials about 2014 Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Read the Rio Carnival specialists's answers to all FAQs on this page.
Read the answers to FAQ about tickets
When is Carnival?
2014 Carnival starts on Friday, February 8th and ends on Fat Tuesday, February 12th. For other years click here.
Which Carnival is the best in Brazil?
Where should I stay in Rio?
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Olinda and Salvador all clamor for this title. The Carnival in Rio is definitely the biggest and most famous, not just in Brazil but in the whole world. It is also the most visited as well. Hence Rio is dubbed the Carnival Capital of the Globe.
Try to stay in the Southern Rio (the Zona Sul), which is not just the most beautiful and safest area, but also offers the best infrastructure. Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon are the best, most up-market and priciest options, specially the last two. Botafogo, Lapa and Flamengo are more down-market but still within 15-20 minutes from Copacabana and Ipanema by subway, which runs 24 hours during Carnival.
When should I book?
Book flights and accommodation at least 4 months in advance. Get tickets as early as possible. The best tickets sell out early and prices usually increase as time passes.
Which events should I attend?
Rio Carnival's highlight is the Samba Parade. Go to a few balls, join in as many street parties and street band processions as you can, both downtown (Centro) and in South Rio (the Zona Sul). Sample at least one samba school night rehearsal.
Which are the best street parties?
The street band of Ipanema is the most famous and flamboyant one. The parties downtown (e.g. Cordão do Bola Preta) are the biggest.
Which are the best balls?
High society attends the Magic Ball at Hotel Copacabana Palace. For fun and a great night, go to the Gay Gala Costume ball in Scala.
When and where can I buy my tickets?
You should buy your tickets in advance for the annual Samba Parade competition and the Magic Ball at Hotel Copacabana Palace. Some Scala balls sell out also quickly. See ticket details for all events.
What is a samba school?
Where can I learn to samba?
It is an association of people of the same neighborhood preparing for the Samba Parade and entertaining the community with samba nights. They are not actual samba teaching institutions as their name may suggest.
The best way to learn it just by watching others. Then have a go. You do not have to join a samba school. They do not offer courses or classes. Just go to a samba night
at a school, watch and learn.
How can I participate?
Join in the street parties and march with the street bands. For the absolute knock-out experience, parade yourself in costume in the Sambodromo!