2016 Sambadrome Parades Schedule

Time Feb 7 (Sunday) Feb 8 (Monday)



Vila Isabel


União da Ilha




São Clemente


Grande Rio






Unidos da Tijuca


Sambadrome (Sambódromo da Marquês de Sapucaí)

The Sambadrome, a 700 meters long stadium built in 1984, was designed by world famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, the same architect who designed, a.o., Brazil's capital Brasilia and the Contemporary Art Museum in Niteroi. 

In preparation of the ever-growing annual Carnaval and the 2016 Olympics, the Sambadrome has undergone renovations to expand the 60,000 person capacity to 90,000. 

The Sambadrome consists of several independent concrete structures along both sides of Marques de Sapucai Avenue. The street itself is painted white, and becomes the place to be for the official carnaval parades during 4 consecutive nights. The parades of the Grupo Especial samba schools (on Sunday & Monday night) are by far the biggest attractions. Each samba school has a preset amount of time (80 minutes) to parade from one end of the Sambadrome to the other with all its thousands of dancers, its drum section (bateria), and a number of floats. Schools are graded by a jury, and the competition is ferocious. On Ash Wednesday (quarta-feira de cinzas), grades are gathered and one school is declared the winner. A Winners Parade (Desfile de Campeões) is held the following Saturday, featuring the five winning samba schools in the Grupo Especial category.

Map of Sambadrome 2016


The Sambadrome is divided in sectors, and each sector has different kinds of seats.

Camarotes (VIP Lounges) are the most coveted positions. This is where you get to meet international stars, socialites, soccer players, politicians, diplomats, and fashion models.

Frisas (numbered seats) are numbered sets of six seats with a small coffee table. They are at street level, offering a very close view to the parade. There are only four rows of frisas in each odd sector, so the number of seats is quite limited.

Arquibancadas (grand stands) are the most reasonably priced seats. The elevated position gives you a better idea of schools as a group. Grand stands are not much more than big concrete steps and most people stand to dance while the schools pass.

Which sector to buy? This will depend on your preferences and budget!

Some guidelines when buying tickets:

Sectors 2-3: Offers descent views due to its proximity to the jury section.

Sectors 4-5: Comparable to sectors 2/3 - good option, and you have a better overview

Sectors 6-7: Central location, great views, excellent option.

Sector 8: Central location, great views, excellent option in front of Sector 9.

Sector 9: This sector is reserved for tourists. Tickets are available through travel agencies. Expect to pay as much as double. Located near the drummers niche (recuo da bateria), this sector benefits from the infectious adrenaline exchanged between the percussion players and the performers. Allocated seats.

Sector 10-11:  Located near the drummers niche (recuo da bateria), these sectors benefit from the infectious adrenaline exchanged between the percussion players and the performers. Great option and more affordable then sectors 8 & 9.

Sector 12-13: Comparable to sector 9. Numbered seats, but at the end of the Parade so less interesting views.

Rio Bay Housing offers tickets for Grand stand sectors 2 to 11 , which are the best options to enjoy the parades. Price info on request. Should you wish to reserve tickets, please note that we will need full upfront payment (through Paypal or wire transfer into bank account). Tickets will be delivered at your check in.

Samba Drome Rehearsals

Visiting Rio before the carnaval? Enjoy the unique atmosphere in the Sambadrome, watching the rehearsals from the famous samba schools for free!