Everyone knows that the biggest carnival party in the world happens in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Rio de Janeiro is a city that never sleeps as is but that just gets taken to a whole other level during carnival season. From the day block parties called “blocos” to the extravagant carnival parade, you will find yourself dancing nonstop. If you are lucky enough to find yourself there this year, here are a few tips on how to make the most out of carnival. If you are not there this year I hope the following serves as motivation to start planning for next year!
Blocos are really big block parties that happen throughout the entire city. Smaller blocos begin before actual carnival week starts and can carry out until the end of the month of February. The bigger block parties though take place during the main carnival week, this year happening from February 9th to February 14th. Some blocos have themes which people dress up for and others have huge Brazilian music headliners in which artists sing from the top of a trio electrico, a moving bus stage. Visit Diario do Rio to see a complete list of 2018 blocos. Recommended: Banda de Ipanema, Cordão do Bola Preta, and Monobloco o Bip-Bip.
What other place in the world has a stadium built for carnival parade? Just Rio de Janeiro! The Sambadrome was built in 1984 by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. This is the place where Rio’s samba schools compete for the title of best samba school in the city. The official carnival parades last four nights straight from 8pm until sunrise. Each school has a theme which is displayed by their jaw dropping parade floats, costumes, and of course music and choreography. Experiencing this one night is a must! You can buy tickets here.
Of course you cannot go to Rio without visiting its amazing beaches. The beach is a lively place to be at year round and carnival time is even better! Locals and tourists enjoy the sun with drinks, music, and delicious food. Do arrive early to get a good spot though because everyone wants to be at the beach if they are not at a bloco. So prepare those bikinis, tanning oil, and positive vibes because you are bound to make new friends on the beach!
Lastly, have fun but be safe. Don’t take any valuables you would not like to lose. Theft does tend to rise during carnival because of the huge crowds so stay alert of your surroundings.