Enjoy Rio Carnival on a Budget
Free parades, parties and events!
If you are travelling on a budget, there are plenty of things going on in the city during the Rio Carnival which won’t break the bank.
Although Sambadrome tickets are included in Tucan Travel carnival packages, there is another way to enjoy samba school parades, for free! That’s because there are two kinds of samba schools: those which parade on the Avenida Rio Branco and those at the Sambadrome. The schools that parade on Avenida Rio Branco are considered less prestigious but are top quality and their parades are free of charge.
Free street parties called 'blocos' are held everywhere during Rio Carnival, with more than a hundred taking place in different neighbourhoods every day, at no charge. The most important blocos are "O cordão do bola preta" that parades around the historical city centre, and "Suvaco de Cristo", which takes place below the Christ the Redeemer statue. The music is composed and played by local bands and people wear special costumes and t-shirts designed especially for their particular areas. Everyone is welcome at these parties and the dancing can go on till late at night.
There is an alternative party that takes place in the Lapa district in the southern corner of Rio's city centre, where Tucan Travel hotels are based. A stage is erected in front of the famous Arcos de Lapa (the Lapa aqueduct) and bands of all styles play every night – this party is free of charge.
One of the highlights of Rio Carnival is the opportunity to go to a ball. The balls vary in style and theme and cost from around 90 Real / US$40. They are great fun and worth saving a little bit of budget for, if you can!