The Sambadromo: History, tips and directions

Inaugurated in 1984 and conceived by the renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer,
the Marquês de Sapucaí Sambadrome is the stage for the annual parades of the Samba Schools.

Today, it also hosts large events - such as shows and festivals - outside the carnival season.
Most recently, it also hosted the archery competition during the Rio 2016 Olympics.


  • For the odd-numbered sectors, the best ways to access the Sambadrome are by taxi or subway (Estação Centra/Central Station).
  • For the even-numbered sectors, it is recommended to take the subway to the Praça Onze station.
  • It's not recommended to go by car because there's no parking in the area.
  • Municipal buses are also not recommended because they are not safe on Carnוval nights.
  • Shuttle Transfers are also available from Rio Tickets leaving from Copacabana and Ipanema.
    Reserve your transfer now and save yourself the hassle on the night of the party! Learn more by clicking here.


 Where to sit 

The stadium was built especially for this parade, which starts between sectors 2 and 3 and ends between sectors 12 and 13.
The even and odd-numbered sectors are parallel to each other and each pair has the same view and price (eg.: 3 and 4, 5 and 6, etc.).
The more central the view, the more expensive the tickets. 

Each school has 80 minutes to cross the 800 meters of the runway, with their allegorical floats with heights up to 4.5 meters and more than 3500 people parading.

Here are important information about the sectors:


There are two booths, one between sectors 3 and 5, and another between 11 and 13. Therefore, the parade can be enjoyed for a slightly longer time when sitting near the booths of the judges. You can also get a great view of the dance of the couple Porta-Bandeira and Mestre-Sala.


The moment in which the drums' section retreats and lets the rest of the paraders pass. It is possible to keep appreciating the samba while that happens, between sectors 9 and 11. 


In Sector 9 - the most costly - all seats are numbered and can be reserved individually.
Although all other sectors are considered "free seating," most people end up dancing all night rather than sitting down.


The VIP Lounges between every two sectors and beneath some of them, come with exclusive treats to enjoy the Parade in the best way.
Find out more about these luxury lounges here.


Close to the center and near the Jurors' Booth.
The sectors are situated at the beginning of the runway, where you can share the enthusiasm and anxiety of the sambistas.


Very popular seats.
Wide range of visibility, since they are right in the middle of the runway.


Some of the best seats in the party.
Sector 9 is the only one with assigned seats, but the two sectors share the same view. You can come and go without worries.

8. SECTORS 10 AND 11

Still very good, but these sectors are towards end of the parade. With the retreat of the drums' section, these sectors are particularly good to enjoy the samba music and they are close to the the last Judges booth.


Seats are at the level of the runway.
Prices are more affordable, but not the best view.


Completely obstructed view of the parade.
Rio Tickets doesn't sell tickets to these sectors because we only want the best experience for you!


At the front of each sector are the frisas (front box seats), the best way to experience the Sambadrome. They are divided in 4 lines: A, B, C and D, being A the very close seats, at the same level of the Samba Avenue.
Each box can hold up to 6 people, who are as close as possible to the parade. Important to say: the prices are per person, not for Front Box. Minimum of two people per order to reserve seating.



  • Before the show - Always leave well in advance, as the streets become crowded during Carnaval.
  • Rio Tickets offers a package with transfers and Parade tickets that include round-trip tickets to the Sambadrome.
  • Don't try to buy tickets at the last possible minute, since the box office usually closes on the nights of the Parades.
    Plan the purchase several months in advance.
  • Avoid buying tickets from scalpers, as there are various risks involved and tickets may be fake.
  • Inside the Sambadrome everything is totally safe.
  • The experience of the Parades is kid-friendly and many parents have a blast taking their little ones to the event.


If you are not sure which sector to purchase, contact one of our Carnaval specialists.

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Don't forget to add one of our extra offerings for a great price!

Transfer To/From the Show Costs $75.00 USD per customer.
How many persons?
Delivery Costs $30.00 USD per order.

Join us for a safe and comfortable way to the show with various pick up point through out the city, and several Returns from the Sambodromo during and after the show.

Important informations and Conditions:

      1. Prices are per person for the round trip. From your pick-up point to the Sambadrome and back to the pick up point.
      2. In order for us to provide the best service, reservations for the Regular Shuttle can only be accepted up to 1 month in advance.
      3. This service is not private – in order to reserve a private transfer please contact us. Remember that small cars cannot access the Sambadrome, only 15-Seat vas or bigger.
      4. Cancellations can be done up to 14 days prior to Carnaval.
      5. Pick up point – the shuttles have pick up points in all main hotels in Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Barra da Tijuca, Botafogo and Centro. When reserving the transfer shuttles remember to let us know where are you staying so we can assign you to the closest pick up point possible.
      6. Six different slots will be provided for the shuttle transfer back: each one will be 15 minutes after the end of each Samba Schools Show, from the first to the last. The representative will be waiting  at the meeting point with Red flag and direct you to the bus.
      7. It’s very important to mention which sector you have tickets for, as both sections (odd and even numbers) need different shuttles that go on different routes. Rio-Tickets is not responsible for any delay, misunderstanding, and time lost due to writing the wrong sector at the time of reservation.
      8. For those who purchased a VIP Lounge ticket the shuttle service is included.
      9. The shuttle transfer towards the show will pass by the pick up points only once. It is the clients' responsibility to not be late. Rio-Tickets is not held accountable if the client is late and no refund is possible in that case.
      10. The drop off point and pick up point will be the same. Both the odd and even-numbered sectors will be notified upon arrival where they should head to meet a staff representative when wanting to return.
      11. Please be aware – The stadium area is very hard to access during Carnaval, and the traffic jam can cause delays. Rio-Tickets is not responsible for delays occurring because of traffic. We always advise before purchasing the shuttle service to consider using the Metro, which is sometimes less comfortable, but usually a bit faster.  

For those who want a worry-free trip to enjoy Rio's carnival, we have the option of delivering the tickets straight to your hotel. That will save you the trip to come pick them up at our Visitor's Center. 

To hire the delivery service, simply add it to your cart at the time of purchase of the tickets and one of our staff members will deliver it to you.

Information and Conditions:

  1. Price is per reservation for one address.
  2. Cancelation is possible up to 30 days prior to the show.
  3. Delivery must be made in person, at your hotel or apartment.
  4. Depending on the hotel policy, we are able to deliver it to the receptionist. You would need to give us an authorization per email with your reservation number and a copy of your passport.
  5. The delivery service is an exclusive service for clients of Rio-Tickets. It's not possible to hire this service for tickets bought through means other than Rio-Tickets.
  6. If purchasing the service at a later time or separately from the purchase of the tickets, please inform us of your booking number.
  7. If you're still unsure about your accommodation in Rio, you can always change the delivery address at a later date by sending us an email with your reservation number.