What are my options for getting to and from the Sambadrome?
You have three basic options: you can take the subway, a private taxi cab, or you can book a round trip shuttle service through our website.
Can I take a bus to the Sambadrome?
You really should avoid taking busses. They will not be able to drive within walking distance of the Sambadrome.
How should I go about getting a taxi to take me to the Sambadrome?
Sure. The government has authorized two private taxi companies for transportation services to and from the Sambadrome. These companies have been granted permission to enter the area surrounding the Sambadrome, each providing services to a specific side of the Sambadrome. The Coopertramo taxi company services odd numbered sectors and can be reached at +55 21 2560-2022 OR 2560-1474. The Coopatur taxi company serves the even numbered sectors and can be reached at +55 21 3885-1000. The fare should be around US$40 for a one-way trip.
Can I hail a taxi on the street?
Yes, but during Rio Carnival you won't be the only one trying. The streets flood with people and vehicles, so timing the traffic can be a nightmare. If you do, it's useful to know that the fare should be approximately US40 for a one-way trip from your hotel to the Sambadrome. . Make sure you tell the driver which sector your seats are in, and establish the price before hopping in. During Rio Carnival price gauging is not uncommon. If you are not using one of the government-authorized companies, the driver can still get you within reasonable walking distance from the Sambadrome.
Where is the best place to find a taxi when leaving the Sambadrome?
Taxi cabs will be parked outside Sector 9 and Sector 11. These taxis will be from one of the two government-authorized companies: Coopertramo and Coopatur. These companies will have help desks set up at the Sambadrome and uniformed agents outside the gate to assist you. Let the driver know where you want to go and establish a price before getting into the car.
Can I take the subway to the Sambadrome?
Why yes you can. The subway is a convenient way to get to the Sambadrome and runs 24 hours during Rio Carnival. Trains will depart every ten minutes and will be packed with both tourists and Cariocas all throughout the night. A popular mode of transportation amongst the parade members, you'll see lot of colorful costumes. One regular days, the subway will take you within a ten minute walk to the Sambadrome, but with the crowds the walk can take up to a half hour. Where you get off the subway depends on which side of the Sambadrome your tickets are located (even or odd sectors).
At which subway station should I get off if I'm seated in an even-numbered sector?
For even-numbered sectors you'll want to get off at the "Praça Onze" subway station. When you exit the station turn right twice (right and then right again). For sector 2 you'll walk straight ahead until you reach the Sambadrome. For sector 11 and sector 12 you'll want to take Rua Carmo Neto road and walk down Av. Salvador de Sá until you see the Sambadrome.
Where should I get off the subway for odd-numbered sectors?
For odd-numbered sectors you should exit at the "Central" subway station (Estação Central do Brasil). You can follow the crowd until you reach the Sambodromo. You'll know you're heading in the right direction if you pass Samba Land and the floats of the Samba Schools.
Where are the subway stations if I am departing from Copacabana?
There are three subway stations in Copacabana:
1) Estação Cantagalo on Praça Eugenio Jardim
2) Estaçao Siqueira Campos on Rua Siqueira Campos
3) Estaçao Cardeal Arcoverde on Rua Barata Ribeiro
Where is the subway station in Ipanema?
The subway station you'll want to take in Ipanema is called Estacao General Osorio and is located on Praça General Osório.
Is it safe on the subway?
Yes. Security is very tight all around Rio during Carnival. That said, take this with a grain of salt. The subways will be packed, so while there will be Police everywhere, it's always advisable to exercise caution. Come prepared and keep your valuables out of sight.
What do they call the subway in Rio de Janeiro?
A station is called an "Estação", and the subway in general is referred to as "Rio Metro".
How much does the subway cost?
Metro Rio tickets come in two forms: Pré-Pago and Unitário. Pré-Pago is a prepaid metro card, with a minimum initial charge of R$ 10, and a minimum refill of R$ 5. These cards are available for purchase at all stations and ATM machines. Unitário metro cards are single ride fares and cost R$ 3.70. These cards are valid for up to two days after you purchase them.
Can I negotiate with my cab driver?
You can try. The driver probably not turn on the meter and will charge you a flat rate. If you are not fluent in Portuguese and Brazilian negotiation etiquette, with crowds of people waiting for cabs, you may not be so successful. But hey, by all means, give it a shot! Even if you're not successful it can be a unique cultural experience. Either way, make sure you establish the price before you start driving.
What is the route to the Sambadrome by road?
On Samba Parade nights, virtually all roads in Rio lead to the Sambodromo. The driver knows the way, but for your awareness, the best route from the South Zone is through Santa Bárbara tunnel. Coming from Rio's North Zone the best route is through Rua Itapiru. In both cases, you must drive over São Sebastião Viaduct, which runs parallel to the Sambodromo. Right away you'll see signs to the entrances for the various sectors.
What is the easiest way for me to get to the Sambadrome?
In terms of both cost, convenience and safety, your best bet is our roundtrip shuttle service. For less than the price of a taxi, the shuttle bus will pick you up from your hotel and take drop you off within two blocks of the entrance to your sector of the Sambadrome. When you're ready to leave, the shuttle will take you back to your hotel, with drop off points located all along the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. The shuttle buses will depart from the Sambadrome every 80 minutes after midnight, which corresponds to the end of each Samba School procession. You really can't beat it!
What is the safest way for me to get to the Sambadrome?
Again, the safest way to get to the Sambadrome is through a private shuttle transfer. The Sambadrome is located in a very poor neighborhood, so pick pockets and petty criminals lurk around as do the thousands of people who weren't able to score tickets to the event. In general, Cariocas (Rio natives) are friendly and safe people to be around, but you never know who's driving your taxi cab. Price gauging is common during Carnival, and this is a form of robbery in and of itself. And with over 90,000 people heading to the venue, the subway has its risks, too. Our roundtrip shuttle service is a worry-free way to get to the parade, picking you up outside your hotel and taking you as close as you can get to the Sambadrome. Play it safe: head straight to the Sambadrome where security is airtight. After all, the Sambodromo is considered the safest place in South America during Rio Carnival.
For which days are shuttle transfers available?
Our shuttle transfers are available on Samba Parade days: Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Champion's Saturday. So this includes the two competitive parades of the Special Group; the competition of the Access Group; and the final procession of the top six ranking schools of the Special Group in the Champion's Parade.
What if I'm taking a taxi to somewhere other than the Sambadrome?
You should identify whether the taxi you are getting into is registered. This can be done by checking the following characteristics of the vehicle: red license plates, lighted sign on the top of the vehicle, the outside of the vehicle must be painted yellow with a dark blue stripe on each side, and the taximeter must bear a seal by Ipem - RJ (the Institute of Weights and Measurements). If any of these items or characteristics is missing, the vehicle is not accredited to render transportation services.
Communication can sometimes be a problem, as most taxi drivers will only speak Portuguese. This problem is easily solved by simply writing down the address of your destination on a piece of paper and handing it to the driver. The driver will know where you want to go. The taxi drivers won't be running their meters during Rio Carnival, so be sure to establish price before you go anywhere.
How do I report a taxi driver?
Passengers are encouraged to file a formal complaint at either a Police station, or by calling the City Hall’s Central de Teleatendimento (telephone hotline), by dialing 1746.
Can you tell me a little bit about the bus system in Rio?
Sure. All public transportation is pretty safe in Rio, buses included. Rio de Janeiro has many different bus lines and options. For example, between Centro and Copacabana there are more than 30 bus lines. However, figuring out which bus to take is not a problem. There are only three main roads crossing through Copacabana and Ipanema, and the buses stick to the main streets. The route number and the destination will be displayed in large letters on the front of the bus, and then the intermediary stops will be displayed on a smaller sign in the window below and to the left of the driver. There are generally three different levels of buses and the fare is different, reflecting different levels of quality. The more expensive buses, at approximately $R6.50 are air-conditioned and have nicer seats. The standard bus lines are approximately $R2 and $2.60 respectively. The fare is one way and does not include transfers. Buses will stop at bus stops every 15 minutes, but only if someone is waiting to board. An insider tip: wave your hand to the driver if you want him or her to stop for you.
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Also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)