30 stunning pictures of the Rio Carnival 2018 - and how you can visit next year

Laura Hampson
Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images

Bright colours, scantily clad women and some of the world’s best dancers - it must be Rio's Carnival.

Carnival is one of the biggest events on the Brazilian calendar and one of the biggest festivals in the world.

An estimated two million people line the streets of the five day long festival which is held each year before Lent.

The carnival dates back to 1723 and is a celebration of the gods and great waters. Each year, the carnival holds samba school parades, street carnivals and balls among other events.

While it may be too late to take a quick jaunt to Rio for this year’s carnival – below is your guide to planning your trip to Rio for next year.

When is Carnival?

Carnival is generally held in the first two weeks of February, just before lent. This year it started on Friday February 9 and ends on Tuesday February 13.

(AFP/Getty Images)

Which is the best Carnival to attend in Brazil?

Rio’s Carnival is the biggest and most famous – and Rio is considered the worldwide capital of the Carnival. However, if you are looking for the same experience with less crowds then the Carnivals at Olinda and Salvador are also great to visit.

Where should I stay in Rio?

According to the Rio Carnival website, the best place to stay is the South Side (the Zona Sul), which is the most beautiful and safest part of Rio. In the South Side, the areas of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon are some up-market options and Botafogo, Lapa and Flamengo are more budget-friendly.

(AFP/Getty Images)

When should I book my Rio trip?

It’s best to book about four to six months in advance as the festival is popular and accommodation and parade tickets can sell out

What are the best events to attend?

The Samba Parade is a must-see as samba schools from around Brazil showcase their wares and moves. Balls, street parties, band processions and samba classes are also a must.


Where can you buy tickets for these events?

Most tickets are available from the official Rio Carnival page. rio-carnival.net/