Rio Carnival is the largest street party on earth. Hundreds of thousands of people descend upon Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the festival with songs, dances, parades and overall boisterous merrymaking.
The festival is held 40 days before Easter and one of its main highlights is the Sambadrome Parade. There are many free parties and black tie balls for you to take part in if you are looking for a budget holiday. We have come up with some simple but useful tips for revellers.
Organizing flights, carnival tickets and costumes
As Rio is the world’s largest and most famous street celebration, lots of people from all parts of the will be joining in the fun. We recommend you to book your flights well in advance for two reasons. First, you may not be able to get tickets at the last moment; and second, even if seats are available, the price of those tickets will keep increasing as the date of the carnival gets closer. The next important thing is to check for accommodation options for the duration of your stay in the city. You can either club your hotel reservations along with your flight bookings or you can choose to do them separately. However, it is important to book in advance as the chances of getting a room might be pretty slim at the last moment.
You don’t need to be anxious or afraid about losing valuables and money if you take some precautions. Try to keep your camera out of sight as much as possible. Also keep it in a cheap bag to make it seem like a cheap knockoff. In fact, if possible, buy a cheap knockoff for the occasion. Instead of carrying your backpack on your back, put it in front of you and secure it with your passive arm. It is not advisable to wear expensive jewellery in the carnival, so get some cheap plastic or metal beads. Keep your money in secret pockets or –underwear– if possible, to avoid the chance of losing the money while dancing. Also make sure to withdraw some cash well in advance as the banks are closed during the carnival and the ATMs run out of cash.
Choosing the seats and costumes
It is very important to choose your seats during the carnival as getting a seat with an obstructed view may ruin all the fun. You can get the best views of the Sambadrome Parade from the ground-level seats, known as cadeiras, the terrace seats, known as arquibancadas and box seats known as camarotes. It’s not mandatory to wear a costume but if you want authentic costumes, you may buy the same from the official website of the carnival. Most of the costumes available can be worn by men as well as women. After you’re all set for the carnival, just hit the streets and samba with the revellers. Some people also tend to exchange head gears or breastplates as a sign of goodwill.