Carnaval: Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Simply put, Carnival in Rio is legendary. International tourists and Brazilians alike know it is the place to be to experience holiday, and celebrating Carnival in Rio is on many people’s bucket lists. The city and its residents go all out to host and organize the event at one of Brazil’s most exciting and beautiful beachside cities.

Hit the blocos

People party in and take over the streets during Carnival in Rio. While it might seem like there is no organization to the joyous chaos, the street parties (called blocos) are in fact strategized events, and hundreds taking place every Carnival season. Neighborhoods or cultural organizations put them on, and you’ll get live music, dancing, a moving party and a fun crowd, because most people use them as an excuse to congregate in one spot and party. Find a blocos schedule online (such as here), or just follow the music.

Don a costume

Halloween is not the holiday it is in the U.S. elsewhere around the world. Instead, Carnival is when many people break out their impressive, absurd and entertaining costumes. Have fun with what you wear when you head out during the day, because a lot of other people will be, too.

See the Sambadrómo shows

The biggest, most exciting events of Carnival are the Rio Carnival Samba Parades, and there really is no grander show in the world. Samba schools spend all year preparing for the events, practicing the music and moves and creating their detailed, larger-than-life floats and costumes. The combination competition-shows take place in Rio’s Sambadrómo. Grab your tickets as early as possible, because they sell out quickly.

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About this author

Miranda Noland,

Miranda Noland is the Senior Photo Editor for She handles all the photo needs for the site and occasionally writes a thing or two. Growing up in a small town in Missouri, she collected (and hoarded) magazines and dreamed of working at one someday. She studied art and design at Drury University and moved to New York City after graduating. She loves being an aunt to her two nephews and has recently moved to be closer to them. She's a pop culture junkie who watches way too much television, and she still hoards magazines.