What you always wanted to know about Carnival in Rio

Do you have enough of cold weather and bulky sweaters? Why not flee the winter and celebrate summer in Brasil this year? It’s February and that can only mean one thing: Carnival in Rio! So pack your camera, sun screen and download CoPilot Premium Brasil:


The biggest party of the planet in numbers

Every year the 5-day Carnival in Rio de Janeiro attracts around 1 million visitors from abroad and ca. 2 million people party in the streets of Rio every day during the festivities. Around 200 so-called “samba schools” participate in the annual parades. Samba schools are clubs with 3000 or more members and responsible for creating the colourful floats and intricate costumes the carnival in Rio is famous for around the globe.




The vibrant costumes are hand-made and designed according to the theme of each samba school. Since the costumes are very pricey, participants often save money over a long period of time to be able to afford their ensemble. Of course you can purchase your own costume to party like a local.


Photo: Nicolas de Camaret  – Carnaval 2014 – Rio de Janeiro, Source:



What would the Carnival of Rio be without music? During the festivities street music can be heard from every corner of the city. Before you travel to Rio, you might want to brush up on your dance moves by attending a Samba course. But even if you don’t like dancing, don’t fear. You can still watch the parades float by from a comfy seat in a Sambadrome viewing area.




The carnival started to take shape 200-300 years ago when Portuguese immigrants imported European carnival traditions into Brazil.  Over the centuries it took its own unmistakable shape, developing into one of the biggest yearly events in the world.


Photo: Nicolas de Camaret from São Paulo, Brazil – Carnaval 2014 – Portela – Rio de Janeiro, Source:


What is the “Sambadrome”?

The Sambadrome is a purpose-built 700 m long arena which can host up to 90 000 people. It is built along both sides of the parade ground, allowing viewers to take in the floats and displays from above. It takes one samba school an entire 90 minutes to parade from one end of the Sambadrome to the other. Better take some snacks, this will be a long night.



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