Learn all the essentials about Sambadrome tickets and The Rio Carnival Samba Parade nights here. Read all frequently asked questions answered, get advice and recommendations from experts and true Rio Carnival veterans.
Read also our detailed description of the Rio Sambadrome and the Sambadrome tickets to understand how they work.
For which day should I buy my tickets?
The best and most important parading nights are Carnival Sunday and Monday,when the biggest and best samba schools parade. The two days are similar in terms of set-up. 6-7 of the best 12 samba schools (the Special Group) march on both days. Choose the one which best fits into your schedule.
Saturday's parade is not a main Rio Carnival event. It is not comparable to the principal parades. Only small schools march on this day which have not qualified for the special nights. It is not much in demand, only buy tickets for this night if you really can't afford to see the highlight of Rio Carnival.
Is it the same show on Sunday and Monday?
Different schools march on the Carnival Sunday and Monday, which are the two main parading days. Thus the show is different. See the 2014 Parading Order & Schedule to decide for the day, depending on which schools you want to watch. Otherwise opt for the day which best fits into your schedule and plans.
Which are the best sectors?
Sectors in the middle or slightly towards the end of the runway are excellent, such as sector 5 - 11. Paying just a little bit more for a ticket makes a big difference when it comes to the view.
Sector 7 is probably the best, indicated by the fact that most judges are located at this height of the Avenue. Go for the front boxes if you can afford it for more comfortable and allocated seating, space and close-up views.
Why are the even-numbered sectors 2-10 pricier than the odd-numbered ones?
Even-numbered sectors 2-10 are slightly dearer at the moment than the corresponding odd-numbered ones. Although they offer the same views, they are newly built right now and will offer newer facilities.
As a tourist, am I obliged to buy tickets for sector 9?
Although some agencies only offer tickets for this sector, feel free to choose from any of the available tickets on our dedicated Samba Parade ticket page.
Which tickets are the best value for money?
Sector 10 and 11, being seated near the drummers’ niche. Here you will enjoy full view of the drummers who will stop, play and perform right in front of your eyes with some truly compelling atmosphere. Then come other grandstands.
Which allocated seats offer good value?
The numbered, allocated chairs in sector 12 and 13. You will have your own private chair and can come and go whenever you like without anyone else taking your seat. The chairs are situated on reclining steps to assure unrestricted, views. Bear in mind though that you will be at the far end of the Avenue and see the Parade only at its finish.
Do any sectors have restricted view?
After Sambodromo's recent reconstruction, only GrandStands in sectors 12 and 13 have a partly restricted view, due to the fact that they are at the very end of the parade. However the allocated chairs in sector 12 and 13 have slightly better views than the GrandStands.
Which are the very best tickets?
The Luxury Suites are considered to offer the best seats in the Sambodromo. The suites are covered boxes with the best views, air conditioning, VIP treatment, buffet supper with butler and drinks the whole night through. You will be among the "A" crowd.
Then follow the front boxes in front of sector 9, then come the front boxes of sector 7.
What should I buy if I am on a tight budget?
Go for sector 3 or 11. If you want to have allocated seats however and don't mind the location, the private chairs in sector 12 and 13 offer the best value.
Which tickets are still available?
All tickets available appear on our dedicated Samba Parade ticket page. That page is linked to our computer system and is constantly up-to-date.
How much are the tickets?
See prices on the dedicated Samba Parade ticket page.
Are there any child or student discounts?
Children under 5 are not allowed to attend the Samba Parade in the Sambodromo. Anyone over 5 years of age has to pay the full price.
There is no student concession.
How do I change the name or e-mail on file?
Accounts should have your name exactly as it appears in your passport. It cannot be changed. To change your registered e-mail address, send us an e-mail request from the address already registered.
Are the tickets refundable?
Tickets are refundable up to 80% of its final value paid (including the administration fee), cancelling before December 1st, 2012. After that, tickets are non refundable. Only the person who made the purchase is elegible to refunds.
What to do if I cannot pay with my card?
If you get a "payment unauthorized" message when trying to pay, you have not succeeded with your attempt. It means that your payment could not be processed, no money has been taken from your account and you have not acquired the desired products. You could try with another card in a while.
For security reasons, we only accept cards issued by banks which work with the latest and safest technology of on-line payment authentication. A small number of cardholders might therefore experience difficulties. Opt for a card issued by a big bank which is more likely to have adopted this system.
If you do not possess an acceptable card for payment you could also wire us the total value of the products you wish to acquire.
How do I know if my tickets are booked?
Straight upon the completion of your purchase, you see your latest items among all the other ones you already hold for Rio Carnival on your own Rio Carnival Page. It is always kept up-to-date.
After your payment, you will also receive our written confirmation with all your purchase details.
Who and how can receive my items?
Only the account holder, who is the legal owner, can receive his items. Purchases are confirmed stating in which name the items have been registered, which will be the account-holder's name. The owner has to present valid passport bearing exactly the same name, and sign for the receipt. Make sure you register your account in the name exactly as it appears in the passport which will be used for identification.
Can you send the tickets to my home address abroad?
Tickets are in the form of vouchers until the very last week before Carnival, for security reasons and to avoid fraud. The actual magnetic cards are issued only at that time. Thus we cannot send you the actual magnetic cards you will need to enter the Sambodromo, any earlier. You will receive all your items after your arrival in Rio de Janeiro. You can choose whether you want to pick them up from our Hospitality Desk or to have them delivered to your address in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Can I have my items delivered?
Yes, of course.
We deliver to any address within the boundary of the city of Rio de Janeiro for a fee per delivery and account. The same account owner only has to pay the delivery fee once, even for multiple orders (all his items will be delivered together). Please pay it on our site in advance. You will be able to choose the day and time which suites you better on your own Rio Carnival Page. For safety reasons, we do not deliver tickets to ships or hotel reception desks. Please be advised that we do not deliver costumes.
When should I give my delivery address?
You will be able to enter the address and make modifications if required on your own Rio Carnival Page until February, 2014.
Can my tickets be delivered to and left with someone else?
The only person that has the right to receive your items at the specified time is the person who made the purchase, through passport (identification with photo). The exception is given by power of attorney expressly authorizing the person to receive the items. The attorney must follow the template available on the following link: authorization-form. The person authorized to receive the items must comply with the above template and present a valid document with photo and leave a copy of these documents with the courier service.
Is it safe in the Sambadrome?
It is considered to be the safest place in South America. There is a very high concentration of international celebrities, politicians and royalties among the crowd. It is surrounded by huge perimeter fencing which no-one can pass without being checked for both, safety, security and commercial reasons. All sectors are equally safe. To get there, you should consider the Rio Carnival shuttle service, to safeguard your valuables.
When does the show start?
The parades start at 21:00. See the 2014 Parading Schedule.
When is the best time to arrive for the Parade?
An average person generally watches 3-5 samba schools. Arriving around 22:00-23:00 could be a good idea, considering that this is the time when the atmosphere starts to peak.
If you hold a grandstand ticket with no assignment and are determined to sit through the 12-hour marathon, you can arrive early and try to sit as you please. The doors of the Sambadrome open at 17:00, however lots of people queue up already at that time to "fight" for the best seats. Best to take it easy.
How do I get there and return home?
The best way is by the frequent Rio Carnival shuttle service. It has been especially set up to facilitate ticket holders' transfer to and from the Sambodromo on Carnival days when roads around the Sambodromo are closed and traffic comes to a standstill. It is designed to give you direct, quick and safe access to the Sambodromo.
You can also consider taking the subway (metro) or hailing a taxi. Avoid taking busses as they cannot arrive within walking distance.
Should I book the Sambadrome shuttle service?
If you like the confort, and don't want to worry about how to get inside Sambadrome in safety, than our Shuttle service is the best option. You can book it together with your tickets, or here: http://www.rio-carnival.net/sambodromo/sambodromo-shuttle-transfer.php.