The Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí (Passarela Professor Darcy Ribeiro or Sambódromo in Portuguese) or simply Sambadrome is a purpose-built parade area in downtown Rio de Janeiro, where samba schools parade competitively each year during the Carnival. The Venue attracts 90 thousand Brazilians and foreign tourists each night of the Special Group Carnival Parade.
The Sambadrome was designed by the Greatest Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer and built in 1984. It consists of a 700m stretches of the Marquês de Sapucaí Street converted into a permanent parade ground with bleachers built on either side and Its capacity is for 90,000 spectators. The complex includes an area located at the end of the parade route, the Praça da Apoteose (Apotheosis Square), where the bleachers are set further back (Sectors 12 and 13) from the parade area, creating a square where revelers gather as they end their parade. Both Sectors 12 and 13 are also called the Popular Sectors, and tickets are sold for less than US$10.
Outside the Carnival season, Apotheosis Square is occasionally used as a major concert venue in Rio de Janeiro. Artists who have performed in Apotheosis Square of the Sambadrome include Eric Clapton, Supertramp, the Black Eyed Peas, Pearl Jam, Elton John, Coldplay, Whitney Houston, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Iron Maiden, Radiohead, the Jonas Brothers, Nirvana, Janet Jackson, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, and the Rolling Stones.
Starting in December, the samba schools begin holding technical rehearsals at the Sambadrome, leading up to Carnival. These rehearsals are open and no entrance fees are charged to the public.
In preparations for the Olympics, a nearby Brahma Beer old factory was demolished and extra bleachers were built on the Even Sectors (New Sectors 2, 4, 6, and 8), increasing spectator capacity by around 18,000 seats, in accordance with Niemeyer’s original project of having the Sambadrome complex with a symmetrical design. The reopening occurred on February 7, 2012, and architect Oscar Niemeyer attended to the ceremony.
For the 2016 Summer Olympics, the venue hosted archery and the athletics marathon event, and for the 2016 Summer Paralympics, the venue will host archery.
Grandstands – Concrete Steps Bleachers located throughout the Sambadrome that offers gorgeous panoramic views of the Parade.
Frisas (Front Boxes) – These seats are located on the ground level, right in front of the Grandstands, and it consists of separate boxes those seats 6 people. Frisas are divided into 4 Rows, A, B, C, and D. There is no panoramic view from the Frisas but you will feel like you are inside the parade, especially from Row A.
Allocated Chairs – These are affordable numbered chairs located by the end of the parade, in Sectors 12 and 13.
Camarotes (Skyboxes) – Located from Sectors 2 to 11, these Private suites offer all-inclusive services from Private Transfers to catering, with an open bar and dinner included. Click here to see the difference between the Front Boxes and Camarotes
|Open Front Boxes||Grandstands|
|Best Assigned seats in the entire Venue, especially on Row A where there won´t be anyone seated in front of you.||Most affordable tickets to watch the Parade. Spaces are not Assigned, except for Sector 9|
|Located on the Parade Runaway Level where you will be able to see every little detail of the performances, floaters, costumes, expressions, and the intensity of the Drummers.||Beautiful Panoramic Views & Pictures of the Parade.|
Best Sectors – 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 & 13
We included Sector 13 as they are the least expensive boxes and a great opportunity to save, especially on Row A.
Best Sectors 6,7, 8, 9 & 11
Sector 3 – Located at the beginning of the parade route and across the first Drummers Playing Area, sector 3 has a shorter waiting time between groups and you get to enjoy the warm-up, extra 15 minutes of party and drums while the rest of the Sambadrome is seated and waiting.
Sectors 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11 – Favorite Sectors among Brazilians.
Sector 11 – Best Drummers Experience from all Sectors as the 2nd Drummers Playing area is located right next to Sector 11. You will have the drummers playing close to you for half of every parade!
Sector 13 – Amazing Value for Row A, and since you´ll be at the ground parade level without a Panoramic View, you will see the same exact parade as if you were on Sector 7 or 9, but saving a lot!
Tips on Grandstand Sectors
Sectors 3, 8, and 10 – Have the best views and acoustic of the Drummers Playing Areas.
Sectors 6 and 7 – Located in the middle of the Parade. Most beautiful panoramic pictures are taken from these Sectors.
Sector 9 – The only Grandstand Sector with assigned spaces. It´s Expensive but there is no need to arrive early at all (the greatest advantage).
Sector 11 – If you arrive very early not later than 7pm in order to seat right by the edge, overlooking the Drummers, Sector 11 is a great option, otherwise, Sectors 8 and 10 will be much better options, and you’ll be right across the Drummers with no need to arrive that early.
Drummers Playing Areas
There are 2 Drummers Playing Areas in the Sambadrome.
The first one is located right next to Sector 2. Drummers enter the first playing area 15 minutes before each parade starts (warm-up) and keep playing there until approximately 30 minutes of each parade, when they leave towards the Second Paying area, between Sectors 9 and 11. Each Group has 75 minutes to parade.
For the Grandstands, being across the Drummers Area is much better acoustically speaking than being next to them. Therefore, Sectors 3, 8, and 10 will offer you a better Drummers Experience of the parade than any other Sector.
For the Front Boxes, being next to the Drummers is much better acoustically speaking than being across from them. Therefore, Sector 11 will offer you a better Drummers Experience of the parade than any other Sector.
The picture below was taken from the Grandstand in Sector 10. You can see clearly how close it is to the Drummers Playing Area and how the Governor´s SkyBox completely blocks the view from Sector 9.
This Second Picture below was taken from the Grandstand in Sector 8 and shows the Drummers Playing Area between the Governor´s box and Sector 11.
How to get to the Sambadrome
Round Trip Shuttle from the Hotel and from the Port – R$359 per person (click here to purchase) – Sambadrome Shuttle Transfers are available for all Sectors, except “Grandstand” Sectors 12 and 13. Sectors 12 and 13 Front Boxes Transfers are available, Return Buses leave the Sambadrome all night long at the end of each Group Parade, from the Tourist Buses Parking Lot located inside the venue. Get a R$59 discount per person by purchasing your Parade Tickets with us! (Coupon Code – SHUTTLE)
Grandstand spectators remember to arrive early in order to get a good spot. Since 2015, Parade is starting at 9:30pm and if you can arrive by 8pm, not later than 8:30pm will definitely make a big difference.
What should be taken to the Sambadrome
Picture and Video Cameras of any type and do not worry about the flash!
Foods and Drinks are definitely allowed, although drinks should all be replaced in Plastic Bottles.
Even though you will not be seated for most of the time, a little cushion is definitely a plus!
Glass bottles and firecrackers are not permitted in the venue.
A good quality raincoat is also a huge plus, just in case.
There are food courts in the venue selling burgers, pizzas, snacks, and all sorts of drinks.