Types of Carnival Tickets
Sambadrome seats that fits all budgets
The Sambadrome has two types of seating arrangements: grandstand seats, and numbered seats that are in open or covered boxes, and numbered chairs.
Grandstand seating for a grand occasion
The grandstand seats known as ‘arquibancadas’, are big concrete steps with no allocated seats, the only exception being Sector 9. This gives you the freedom to choose a vantage point. Sitting up higher in the grandstands presents a better view of the samba schools as a group. On the other hand, to get a closer view of the participants and their elaborate costumes, sitting on the lower levels will allow you to appreciate the finer elements of the parade. You are free to sit but most cariocas stand up and dance throughout the parade, and you won’t need an invitation to join them. You don’t have to spend too much on these seats. The secret is to arrive early and grab a good seat, unless you plan to buy tickets in Sector 9, which has numbered grandstand seating.
Carnival Sunday and Monday are the most expensive and vary significantly according to the sector. The new Sambadrome’s structure, which now reflects the original plan dating of 30 years ago, has grandstands sectors in both sides of the runway. Being one side even numbers (2,4,6,8,10,12) and the other side the odd (1,3,5,7,9,11 and 13) numbers facing each other. On the odd numbers side, sector 3 is the cheapest, while sector 7 offer the best view. Tickets for sector 9 are the most expensive grandstand tickets. Sector 5 and 11 are slightly less expensive. On the even numbers side, the majority of the judges seats close by the sector 8 like sector 7, therefore considered to have the best view as well. Sector 1 is a very popular grandstand and is the only one that do not face another grandstand. Because schools of samba warm up and align in front of this sector, it is not recommended for tourists, since they are not going to have a complete view of the parade, plus tickets in this sector are often distributed to public schools kids and the communities relatives. Indeed the best views of the parade are seeing from the middle-highest sectors numbers (except sectors 12-13 at the very end of the Sambadrome).
Sector 9 provides an excellent acoustic experience as you can feel the drums beating against your soul. You will find the area filled with tourists. Sector 9 is also the only grandstand that has assigned seats. Sector 7 is popular with the locals who infuse the stadium with incredible energy. This sector is also home to the judges so the schools are at their best here. Sector 5 is considered to have the most favorable views of the stadium. Sector 3 has the best cost benefit with great views and low ticket prices. Now all you have to do is select the grandstand sector that will work for you and enjoy the party.
The following Saturday at the Champions Parade you can pick up tickets for around US$ 300 while tickets for the other grand stand sectors average around US$ 160, the cheapest being Sector 3 at US$ 116.
Camarotes – Best seats in the house
The best seats at the Sambadrome are obviously the Camarotes or covered boxes now from Sector 2 to Sector 11, with the best views of the runway and plenty of privacy, which is why you will find celebrities, politicians, and royalty as well comfortably entrenched in these boxes. If you are in a group of 24 or more these air-conditioned boxes are an ideal place to enjoy the evening with the best of services including an open bar, buffet, drinks including caipirinhas, an attendant, and private security as well. This VIP treatment will cost you a considerate amount of money.
Carnival Sunday and Monday tickets are prized possessions for the camarotes if you are willing to spend around US$ 2,250. To watch the champions strut their stuff on the following Saturday you will need to spend around US$ 1,400 to mingle among the who’s who at the Sambadrome. If you can afford the tickets then purchase them. You will get superlative treatment and prime views of the parades. This is a unique chance to experience the most popular celebration in the world in the best possible setting.
Frisas Open boxes – A great choice with privileged seats
The open boxes offer the same privacy as the camarotes, except for the fact that they aren’t separated by partitions and don’t include the VIP services. However, for a lesser price you can get up close to the samba runway, so getting into the groove isn’t hard at all. You can feel the pulsating beats of the drummers’ right through your body. Each box has a seating capacity of 4 to 6. Boxes are arranged in four rows namely A, B, C, and D (A is the closest to floor of the Sambadrome). Sectors from 2 to 11 contain frisas where parade tickets on Carnival Sunday and Monday vary from US$ 830 in Sector 3 to US$ 556 in Sector 6. Champion Saturday is relatively less expensive with tickets ranging from around US$ 459 to US$ 593.
Cadeiras – Comfort at an affordable price
For a decent measure of comfort at an affordable price, sectors 12 and 13 have rows of plastic seats known as Cadeiras, although the view is not the best. 285 of all seating, in sector 13, are designated for persons with disabilities, and 240 for their carers. These backs stall seating arrangements are priced around US$ 298 on Carnival Sunday and Monday. For the Champions Parade on Saturday tickets are cheaper at US$ 107. This is a great option if you prefer to have your seat reserved throughout the night.
It doesn’t really matter where you manage to get tickets to the Sambadrome on any night. Chances are you won’t be seated for long if you end up celebrating in true Carioca style. They love to party and it won’t take long for you to start grooving to the samba.
* Prices are subject to change