Welcome to the home of the greatest show on earth! Designed by Oscar Neimeyer and built in 1984, this massive concrete stadium-like structure was built along both sides of Avenida Marques de Sapucai, designed to create a runway for the schools to parade down until they reach the Apotheosis Square at the end where they manifest the magnifiscent magic of Carnival, and dare the awestruck onlookers to deem any show on earth worthy of comparison.
The Sombodromo is separated into various sections. Read here to determine the place for you. To make your life easier follow this link for a printable map of the Sambodrome: www.carnaval.com/cityguides/brazil/rio/rio_sambodromo_low_k.htm
Types of Seats
Tickets for the arquibancada, or bleachers are the most economical. Here you enjoy a birds-eye-view of each samba school in its entirety. Some sectors offer numbered seats (i.e. guaranteed location) and others offer unnumbered seats (i.e. first-come, first-served). Below it is noted which sectors have numbered seats. Tickets range between US$200.00 and US$400.00.
Each sector has a separate area for rows of frisas. These are open boxes with chairs and a table able to accomodate 6-8 people located as close to the runway as is physically possible. If you like to be in the midst of the action, this is your place... some feel this is simply too close for comfort.
The cadeiras de pista are located between the frisas and the arquibancadas. These are sets of tables for four people priced at approximately US$500.00 - US$700.00.
Finally, the camarotes are the place to be. If you purchase a ticket plan on spending as much as US$1000. This is the VIP area designated for the who’s who of Rio and beyond. Here you will enjoy excellent catering and delicious eye-candy. The media feeds hungrily on the camarotes every year, eating up every naughty episode of the high-profile crowd.
Sector 1: Not a great option. Offers a good view of the schools only as they are entering the Sambodrome.
Sector 2: For those who can afford to do it in style and comfort, this is the long three-level section of VIP boxes with an average capacity for 12 people. Boxes can be reserved together...for a fee of course. 2 A is the ground level, 2B the second level, 2C the top level.
Sector 3: Not a bad option. Lower priced than other odd-numbered sectors, while still offering very descent views due to its proximity to the jury section.
Sector 4: Sector 2 blocks the view from this sector. Avoid this sector unless you can get tickets for the frisas.
Sector 5: Comparable to sector 3
Sector 6: Further yet behind sectors 2 and 4. Here you see the schools only as they are leaving.
Sector 7: Central location, great views, excellent option.
Sector 8: If you are offered tickets for this sector, do not purchase them. The sector does not exist.
Sector 9: This sector is reserved for tourists. Tickets are available through travel agencies. Expect to pay as much as double. Located near the recuo da bateria, or the drummers niche, this sector benefits from the infectious adrenaline exchanged between the percussion players and the performers. Numbered seats.
Sector 10: Please do not purchase tickets for this sector. See Sector 8.
Sector 11: comparable to sector 9. Numbered seats.
Sector 12: Please do not purchase tickets for this sector. See sector 8 and 10.
Sector 13: This should be your last resort. This sector only offers a view of the schools as they are leaving the runway. The LIESA ( the League of Samba Schools) often offers tickets for this sector to members of the community otherwise unable to afford tickets to the parade.
Important Ticket Information: The division one samba schools parade on Sunday and Monday night. Friday and Saturday night the second division samba schools parade. The divison two champion moves up to division one the following year, and the loser from division one moves back to division two. I am sure you will agree, you did not travel all the way to Rio for second best. For the show of a lifetime, be sure purchase tickets for Sunday and Monday.
More Important Ticket Information: Read the following to protect yourself from fraudulent ticket sales!
Purchase your tickets through a reliable source. (travel agents and hotels)
Tickets consist of two parts, a magnetic card and a paper slip. Double check that you recieve both parts. If you buy tickets for the tables or frisas, you also should receive a plastic card to wear around your neck.
Do not purchase tickets from scalpers at the gates.
Do not plan on discounted rates or free admission after the parade has started.
Do not buy used tickets in hopes that they will get you past the guards.