Four ways to experience Carnival in Rio
Carnival in Rio is considered the best (and the biggest) in the planet. Check out these four different ways you can experience the best party in the world.
Street blocks (Blocos de Rua)
The most essential way to celebrate Rio Carnival is to party with the street blocks. There are many options, from smaller to bigger ones, such as Cordão do Bola Preta which brings together over one million people at Rio Branco Avenue, downtown Rio. Costumes of all kinds, music, and fun. Everybody is welcome!
When it comes to music, most street blocks go with new and old-school samba, but some of them explore other kinds of music. Most of them start in the afternoon, but people usually arrive at the meet up spots way early. You can spend all day going from “bloco” to “bloco”.
At night there are many parties happening around town. The most eclectic and – probably – busiest neighborhood is Lapa. There you can find many attractions such as bars, restaurants, and live concerts.
For those willing to spend a little more, other options are the attractions at the South Zone (Zona Sul) like the neighborhoods Copacabana and Ipanema.
Rio Carnival wouldn’t be the same without the samba schools’ parade. Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue (Sambódromo) becomes the most desired stage in the city.
Tickets for the Special Group, carnival´s high point, have a high demand. The 12 most traditional schools compete for the great honor of being Carnival’s champion for two days: Sunday and Monday. For those willing to spend a little less, there are also the 14 schools of Access Group A, who fight strongly for a spot with the elite at the carnival parade the following year. They work as a “preliminary” for the big spectacle. This happens on the Friday and Saturday, specifically on the 24th and 25th of February.
If you want to spend the entire Carnival doing something else than attending the parades, there is also another chance to see the show: on the first Saturday after the end of Carnival, March 4th, the six best schools of the Special Group come back to the Sambadrome for the Champion’s parade. It’s sort of a victory lap.
Copacabana Palace’s Ball
For those who like to party, there are few places like Rio Carnival. If you want glamour then there is nothing better than attending the Copacabana Palace Hotel’s gala ball.
Men in black-tie and women in elegant dresses set the tone for the event. This of course, in case you don’t want to use a costume.
You can see all kinds of costumes and celebrities around the ballrooms and on the tables, available at the hotel´s roof terrace, which offers a fantastic view of one of the most famous beaches on the planet.
The hotel is heavily decorated with Carnival themes, which are replaced every year. This event happens on Saturday, February 25th, and gets a wide press coverage, looking for flashes of the celebrities and the most extravagant costumes.
Whatever your choice is, Rio is guaranteed fun during Carnival. Let´s celebrate!