Frequently Asked Questions
Why book with CarnivalBookers?
1) Brazil And US Government Certified Travel Agency. Only agency licensed both in Brazil and USA.
2) Assistance over email and phone, Monday to Friday and on our Hospitality Desk during everyday of Carnival.
3) Our site is protected by the security certificate Secure Socket Layer (SSL). This technology uses the most advanced forms of cryptography, which ensures the privacy and security of your data.
What are the ways of payment?
Payment can be done by deposit, transfer and all major credit cards are accepted. Also, payment can be via Paypal.
Deposits or bank transfers will be validated only after sending the receipt and when the value is credited to our account of Bank of America. Please contact our Rio Carnival Help Desk and ask for our bank details.
What are the best tickets in the Sambodromo?
The Sambodromo was built to provide a great show for the viewers. Each type of ticket has benefits. Sectors close to the beginning give the viewer entertain all the time, because when a school finished another is already warming up.
Sectors close to the middle provide a good view of the parade formed, but the waiting time between schools is higher. Near the middle is also where is the drummers’ niche and the main presentations to the judges. The middle sectors are usually the most expensive.
The sectors at the end have a view of the samba school fully formed on the avenue, but the waiting time between schools is even greater. For more information, consult one of our experts by phone or email.
Even side or odd side?
The Sambodromo own sectors even-numbered and odd-numbered. Each side has its advantages and disadvantages.
The even side is closer to Praça Onze metro station, about 300 meters, but the access streets are narrower. It's a great side for who is coming by taxi via Túnel Rebouças, coming mostly from Barra da Tijuca, Ipanema, Leblon, Gávea, Lagoa and Humaita.
The odd side is closer to Central metro station, about 1200 meters and the access streets to the Sambodromo are broad. A better choice for who is coming to the Sambodromo by Túnel Santa Barbara and Central area, especially the neighborhoods of Copacabana, Leme, Laranjeiras, Botafogo, Catete, Flamengo, Centro, Lapa and Porto do Rio.
How to get my tickets?
Tickets for the Carnival will be available for pickup at a 3 day period before carnival in our Hospitality Desk. For pickup your ticket is necessary to schedule the time, because it speeds up the process for costumers.
It’s mandatory the presence of the card holder used to purchase, leading original identity document with photo and credit card used to purchase. There is also a delivery option during the same period and the requirements are the same. To choose to delivery, make using your user in our shopping area or contact our attendants. The cost of delivery is US$14 for one ticket or US$30 for more than one ticket.
In wich sector starts the Rio Carnival Parade?
The parade begins at sectors 2 and 3, ending in sectors 12 and 13, where the Apoteose Square are.
Students, childrens and seniors pay half price?
Unfortunately, the company organizing the carnival doesn't provide half price tickets or gratuities for foreigners, only for Brazilian citizens with specific rules that only they can sell.
How old a children can watch the parade?
In order to preserve the integrity of the children's hearing system, the Juvenile Court for Children and Adolescents of Rio de Janeiro established a minimum age of 5 years old to enter the Sambadrome. Minors under 5 years old can not enter the sambadrome, even with tickets or accompanied by those in charge. Minors of 5 years old or older must be accompanied by legal guardians and must have a ticket. Do not forget to bring a document to prove their age.
Can I choose my seat at Sambódromo?
You can’t choose your seat. Even though there are reserved places only in front boxes, allocated chairs or at the grandstands in Sector 9. There is no way to guarantee a specific location, but we always leave couples or groups together.
What is the difference between the parades of the Special Group, Acess Group or Champions?
The Special Group is the elite of the samba schools. The two days of the event is the highest point of Carnival and normally these schools have the most exciting sambas and the most excited fans, but the ticket value is the highest.
The Access Group are the schools that compete to belong to the Special Group. The event, even thought professional level doesn’t have the same technique, even having some traditional schools and a loyal public. Fun is guaranteed. The value of this ticket is usually lower.
The parade of Champions involves the champion of the carnival and the 5 best subsequent schools of the Special Group. The event loses some of the glamour without the pursuit of perfection, present on both days of competition of the Special Group. But still has the excitement of the public who sees the best schools and now know almost all of the samba lyrics. Normally the values of these tickets are intermediate and there are a lot of places, since the event is on Saturday following the carnival and many tourists have already left the city.
Can I include hotel, airline tickets, balls and tours at my carnival package?
Certainly! For this, you must contact our attenders by email [email protected]
Where is the Hospitality Desk during Carnival and what is the operating schedule?
The Hospitality Desk will be at the Hotel Atlantico Copacabana, located at Rua Siqueira Campos, 90, Copacabana, at the Imperial Hall. The Desk will works Tuesday, February 18th to Monday, February 24th, 2020. For those who bought tickets to the Champions parade the exchange will be made on Friday, February 28th and Saturday, February 29th. From 10am to 7pm local time.
When the costumes are available for purchase?
We depend on the samba schools and our suppliers, so normally around November we have all the costumes for sale.
The costumes must be returned after the parade?
No! The costume is yours. A great souvenir to take home.
With the costume can I watch other parades?
No. The costume only allows you to stay in the warm-up area next to your samba school and to parade along Avenida Marques de Sapucai, the Sambodromo. To watch other parades you must have a ticket.
How do I give my measures?
After purchase you will have the option to send your measures.
Where should I go with my costume to find my samba school?
There are two options. Both are at Avenida Presidente Vargas, that give access to the Sambodromo. Each of these options is on a side, the odd or even, you will be instructed on the correct side for your school after the purchase.
There is a locker to keep my clothes and belongings during the parade?
No, unfortunately there is no lockers at the parade area. We recommend that you go there wearing your costume and take few belongings. During the parade you must hide your belongings within your custome
There are professional photographers on the local?
There are professional photographers registering the parade for Brazilian magazines and newspapers.
How to get to Sambodromo wearing my costume?
The metro is the best option, many people use metro wearing their costumes.
Can I bring my camera to the parade?
We do not recommend taking a camera because during the parade it is forbidden to take photos, with risk of expulsion from the school parade.
What time should I arrive?
The parade starts at 10pm and the gates of Sambodromo open at 6pm. The show is long and goes until the morning, so if you prefer to save your energy to watch the last school, we recommend you arrive later, around 10 pm. Remember that in the entrance at 8 pm and at the exit about 5 am increased the flow of people, so if you want to avoid overcrowding, choose another time.
The Sambodromo open at 5pm until the last school enter the avenue, so you have the flexibility to decide which schools you want to watch and schedule your time. Grandstand Tickets are not marked and people tend to arrive early to get seats in the front rows, but this is not necessary, from anywhere in the grandstands you can watch the parade without problem. You can leave as much as you want your grandstands, front box, allocated chair to go to the shopping area. But after you leave the Sambodromo, you can’t return.
What clothes should I wear?
Use comfortable clothes. Because it‘s during the summer, the weather is very hot. The spotlighting and the large concentration of people leave the place even hotter. There may be rain at night, so a raincoat is recommended because umbrellas disturb the view of who are behind and it's forbidden.
What can I take to the Sambodromo?
You can take food and drinks to the Sambodromo. Just keep the limit of two 500ml plastic bottles each and two food items (chips, cookies, fruit, sandwiches, ...) per person. There selling food on local.
Is it possible to buy food and drinks at the Sambodromo?
Yes, it’s possible, but keep in mind that like any big event, the prices are higher. Credit and debit cards are accepted.
How to avoid lines and crowds?
The movement is higher around 9 pm and also at the end of the last school of samba. But it's also big during the breaks between schools. So enjoy a school that you don’t like so much to go to the bathroom, buy food, drinks or go the shopping area.
Transfer to Sambodromo
How to get and return from Sambodromo?
Transfer regular or private, metro, taxi and also by common bus.
How to go by bus to Sambodromo?
We don't recommend going by bus to the sambadrome, but if you want there are a few options. For the odd sectors there are some buses that leave you near the Apoteose Square. Are the buses that pass through the tunnel Santa Barbara out of the South Zone, but check with the drivers because during the carnival itinerary can be modified. For the even sectors, avoid taking buses leaving the South Zone, you'll have to get off the bus very far. As for the buses that pass at Avenida Presidente Vargas, avoid the most, because you will have to face a big traffic in downtown.
How do I get a taxi to the Sambodromo?
There are two private taxi companies authorized to enter the Sambodromo area. To use them you must make a reservation by phone. For the odd side: Coopertramo, phones 21 2560-2022 or 2560-1474. For the even side: Coopatur, phone 21 3885-1000. The rate is per car up to 4 people and costs around R$130 to go and R$130 to return. You should contact the company to find out about the exact prices.
Can I call a taxi on the street?
Yes, but note some details. The region around the Sambodromo will be closed to vehicle traffic, except for taxis from the Coopertramo and Coopatur companies. And to use another taxi you will have to walk to the areas where the movement is allowed. Some taxi drivers refuse to go to the Sambodromo in high-traffic period. And at the end of the parades is almost impossible to get a taxi near the Sambodromo to take you to your destination. There are also taxi drivers who charge fixed prices - prohibited act by law, the charge shall be at taximeter - find out before starting the ride to avoid problems and refuse abusive prices of drivers. A taxi from the South Zone to the Sambodromo costs around R$40 (taximeter), but this value varies according to the location where you take the taxi and the destination.
Can I go by car?
There are almost no places to park near the Sambodromo and they are very expensive and often illegal. Do not park in prohibited places, there are a lot of supervision and probably your vehicle will be fined or towed. If you are in Barra da Tijuca for example, a good option is to drive to a metro station that aren’t near to the Sambodromo and park your car to go by Metro. For example, Botafogo Station, Largo do Machado Station, Gloria Station and Catete Station in the South Zone.
Can I use the metro to the Sambodromo?
Yes, it is the best option. The metro works for 24 hours at the carnival and you avoid traffic jams because of carnival parades and closed streets. Trains depart every 10 minutes and are always full of people going to the Sambodromo. You will certainly find many people using costumes for the parade and you can perhaps take some pictures. The stations are not exactly next to the Sambodromo for the odd side the best station are the Central Station and is located approximately 1.2 km from the Sambodromo. Access will be walking down the Avenida Presidente Vargas to the entrance of your sector. For the even side, the best station is the Praça Onze Station and is approximately 300 meters from the Sambodromo, but the access streets are narrower and a little confused. Always look for the sign for the entrance of your sector.
Is the metro safe?
Yes. The city is full of police and the metro has its own and numerous security guards. But you should avoid walking with cameras or money exposed and hide your belongings as well. Also, if you are walking near the metro and the place is very desert, surely you are out of the usual routes and must remain attentive. After all, Rio is a big city.
How much does the metro ticket cost?
The Rio metro tickets come in two forms: Prepaid and Unitary. The prepaid card is a rechargeable with credit, with an minimum charge of R$10 and a minimum recharge of R$5. These cards are available in all stations. The Unitary Card costs R$4,30 and is for one trip. These cards are valid for two days only.
How does it work the transfer service ?
The regular transfer has schedules and meeting places that are predefined. These points are at the main hotels in Rio. The embarking and disembarking areas are signaled and are next to the Sambodromo, where the movement of unauthorized vehicles is prohibited. Besides the convenience and security, there will be a staff willing to help and answer your questions. No need to schedule the time of return, after the first parade, at the end of each samba school, buses will leave the Sambodromo constantly directed to the various meeting point already determined.
What can I do at night in Rio de Janeiro?
During the carnival there are several options of balls. The clubs are also crowed during this period and there are several points at Rio de Janeiro: In Lapa are the samba houses, like Rio Scenarium and Lapa 40° and show houses, such as Fundição Progresso and Circo Voador. In Barra the trendy is Botequim São Nunca and nightclubs as Nuth Barra, Zero21, Taj Lounge and Barra Music. In Copacabana the hottest clubs are Mariuzinn, Nossa Sem Hora, Fosfobox Bar Club and Guimo's Pub. In Botafogo are the nightclubs that play rock as Bukowski, which have differentiated programming during Carnival. Besides this places, you can find many bars, taverns and pubs that receive large numbers of visitors every night of the Carnival.
Where is the gay area during Carnaval?
Everywhere. Specially the carnival parades that pass by Rua Farme de Amoedo in Ipanema. Besides the Scala Gay Ball, there are nightclubs options for men, "Le Boy" and women, "Le Girl". Another gay club in Rio is "The Week".
What to eat in Rio de Janeiro?
Feijoada is the main Rio’s dish, made with beans and meat, is usually served with rice, farofa, kale, a piece of orange and a cup of cachaça, a brazilian rum. Other dishes are the steak Oswaldo Aranha, Picadinho (Beef Stew), Churrasco Misto (Mixed Barbecue) and others. Be sure to try the empadinhas and caldinho de feijão (Bean Soup) as great entries. In many restaurants in Rio, there is the option of Pratos Executivos (Executives Dishes), or PF's that are usually cheaper than à La Carte. Restaurants self-service are also quite popular and great options if you don’t want to spend so much.
What to snack in Rio?
Snack options are plenty: Snack bars, coffee shop and also bars offer a variety of delicious snacks and some are very common in Rio. In snack bars you will find snacks as Joelho, Coxinha, Croquette, Kibe, Esfiha, Pão-de-queijo, Empada, Biscoito Globo and Pastel. To drink, soft drinks like Guarana Natural, Passion Fruit, Caju, Mate, Mate with lemon. There is also the açai, almost a meal. Enjoy and try a dessert. In Rio, brownie and petit gateau are on many menus, but if you want something more traditional opts for the banana with cinnamon and ice cream.
What to drink in Rio de Janeiro?
Rio is full of natural juices bars. There are many fruits, including some mixed between them. Other options are Mate, Mate with lemon and guarana natural. Also, the most famous soft drinks brands as Guarana Antarctica, Coke, Pepsi, Soda, etc.
What about alcoholic drinks in Rio?
The national drink is Caipirinha, a cocktail made of cachaça (sugar-cane rum), sugar, lemon and ice. However, it’s common to find its variables, such as kiwi caipirinha, strawberry or pineapple. Even generic versions of our drink with vodka or sake known as Caipivodka and Caipisaquê. The most popular beers in Rio are Antarctica and Brahma, but there are several options as Skol, Itaipava, Devassa, Budweiser, Stella Artois, Heinikein, Original Antarctica and Brahma Extra, and also various imported.
Where to eat a Barbecue?
Some great Steak Houses in Rio are: Carretão, Porcão, Estrela do Sul, Fogo de Chão, Copacabana Palace, Pampa Grill.
What kind of restaurants I’ll find in Rio?
There are all kinds of restaurant in Rio. Even bars and juice bars can serve meals, there are plenty of options. Steakhouses and family bars serve good food and are everywhere, with varied prices. Good suggestions for those who want to spend little are the kilo restaurants (self-service) and executive dishes served in most restaurants. For those who like seafood and are not concerned with money, Rio has great options too.
How is the service in Rio’s restaurants?
The service can be good or sometimes very slow and it maybe that’s what you are used to in your city. Knowing this, be patient and remember, you are on vacation, do not stress. Usually the locals treat waiters very well, sometimes calling them by name, friend or boss. Whistling or call waiter might be rude. There are also several restaurants in self service style (kilo), where the customer serves himself and usually, these restaurants don’t pay tip.
Is it mandatory to tip the waiter?
Tipping is not mandatory but commonly is paid and sometimes the bill comes with 10% of service included. It is considered rude not to pay, especially if you were well served by the waiter/waitress. You don’t need to pay anything beyond these 10% to the waiter be grateful, but certainly any higher value will leave him much happier.
How much is usually a meal in Rio?
There are lots of restaurants and price variations are very high. In the South Zone you can go to a self-service restaurant and eat for R$ 15 or eat a executive dish for the same amount. There are also restaurants with higher prices, reaching R$100 per person and others who come to R$300
The restaurants accept credit card?
Most restaurants accept credit card. Visa and Mastercard are the most accepted and a few accept American Express.