Rio Street Carnival

bloco bafo da onça in rio de janeiro, brazil, during 1974. headline: "olha o tamanho do bloco bafo da onça em 1974!"

What’s up friends! Excited for Carnival? We hope you are, because today we are going to talk about the Rio Street Carnival, and how we celebrate it with a lot of diverse types of parties! So, grab your Carnival costume and come with us!

What is a Bloco?

Do you know what does it really mean the Rio street carnival? Most foreigners think about Sambódromo, Samba Schools or parties when they think about Carnival in Rio. But this is not the only part of our incredible holiday! We also have an amazing part of our Carnival that is completely free of charge, and full of fun. Yes, we are talking about Blocos de Carnaval, the street party in Rio!

huge amount of people partying together during carnival in rio. headline: "os blocos de carnaval são incríveis!"

A Bloco de Carnaval can be classified as a street party that sometimes can gather a huge amount of people during Carnival. And when we say huge amount, we are talking even millions! So, the organizers of each bloco select where they are going to meet for it, ask for authorization by the government, and at the time and day, they bring music and even bands! The public start to gather slowly and soon, it’s a fun on going street party that can go on for kilometers!

But don’t kid yourself: most blocos begin as small groups reuniting to celebrate Carnival. There are blocos created by friends who shared the same interests, people from the same neighborhood, co-workers that want to celebrate together and much more! That is why you have the most different kinds of blocos de rua, for example: fans of The Beatles and their bloco which plays their band classics; fans of sci-fi and anything geek; LGBT and their supporters; blocos for families who have children from all ages; and many different other ones!

Celebrating Carnival in a bloco is about having a relaxed fun, with no obligations or need to performance. Remember, you are not parading through Sambadrome, you are there just to be yourself and have fun! In total, Rio de Janeiro has 406 blocos de rua! And every year it has a public of more or less 5 millions of people. It doesn’t matter if the bloco is well-known or small, it’s for sure one of the biggest parties on Earth!

If you really want to feel like a carioca, you need to give it a try and enjoy it like a native does. So, for you to do it, we have selected 10 Rio carnival street parties that’ll take you through the roof!

Cordão da Bola Preta

Cordão do Bola Preta is the oldest bloco in Rio and it is famous for attracting, literally, millions of people every year. The colors that represent this bloco are black and white and it’s possible to see many people there wearing clothes with these two colors. It starts at 8 a.m until 2 p.m and takes place on Avenida Rio Branco, Centro. But be careful! Pay attention to your personal belongings and to pickpockets that can appear around you due to the huge amount of revelers located in the same place. Look at our Dica about Rio de Janeiro Security Tips for more information on how to feel safe in Rio.

Where: Rua Primeiro de Março 66, Centro
When: February 10th, 2024 at 8 a.m.

Sargento Pimenta

If you are a Beatlemaniac, this is your place! Sargento Pimenta, in English Sargent Pepper, is a street party inspired by the works of The Beatles. This Bloco allows people to sing along while dancing famous hits from this band with a touch of Samba. Sargento Pimenta is located in Rua Infante Dom Henrique, Flamengo. If you want to enjoy carnival, but still listen to international music this bloco is for you!

Where: Av. Infante Dom Henrique 75, Glória.
When: February 12th, 2024 at 8 a.m.

Carmelitas

This bloco is incredibly famous for its story! People believe that a few years ago someone saw a nun escaping from the Carmelite Convent to join a group of people celebrating Carnival. Today, it’s possible to see many people in this bloco wearing nun costumes because of this story. Guaranteed fun! This year this bloco will happen twice! That’s amazing right? Check out here the dates and places to have lots of fun!

Where: Esquina da Ladeira de Santa Teresa com Rua Dias de Barros, Santa Teresa.
When: February 9th, 2024 at 1 p.m.

Where: Largo do Curvelo, Santa Teresa
When: February 13th, 2024 at 8 a.m.

Simpatia é Quase Amor

Simpatia é Quase Amor was created during Diretas Já, an important period in Brazil. Its name was inspired by a character from a Chronicle called Rua dos Artistas e Arredores. This bloco attracts almost 20.000 followers every year and it’s the perfect place to celebrate Carnival with samba and other elements of Brazilian Culture. It is one of the best blocos in Rio carnival!

Where: Praça General Osório, Ipanema.
When: February 11th, 2024 at 2 p.m.

Cordão do Boitatá

This bloco was created by a group of students and musicians in downtown,1996. It attracts millions of people per year and can last several hours. People can see lots of representations of Brazilian Culture in its beautiful decoration! It’s something that you can’t miss if you come to Rio during Carnival!

Where: Praça XV, Centro.
When: February 11th, 2024 at 11 a.m.

Céu na Terra

Céu na Terra can be classified as the most colorful bloco. Its songs are full of joy and are also highly creative! It’s possible to see people wearing diverse and colorful costumes here! Around 20.000 people go to Céu na Terra every year and make this time of the year something special! The name of this bloco means Heaven on Earth, cute right? It’s one of the most incredible parties during Rio Carnival!

Where: R. Almirante Alexandrino, Santa Teresa
When: February 10th, 2023 at 7 a.m.

Monobloco

This is one of the most popular blocos in Rio. One peculiarity of this Bloco is that the participants of this street party use traditional Samba Instruments to play Samba, Funk, Ciranda and other Brazilian Rhythms. It gathers many people every year and it’s a wonderful experience! If you come to Rio, you have to go to this Bloco!

Where: Rua Primeiro de Março, Centro.
When: February 18th, 2024 at 7 a.m.

Que Merda é Essa?!

Que Merda é Essa?! brings together various kinds of people every carnival, including a vast number of foreigners and young people. The main purpose of this bloco is to unite diverse types of musicians, such as composers, singers and amateurs. It’s an excellent place to celebrate carnival with your friends! The translation of this bloco’s name would be what the fuck is that?! So funny hahahaha!

Where: Rua Garcia D’Ávila, Ipanema.
When: February 11th, 2024 at 10 a.m.

Marcha Nerd

Do you consider yourself a nerd? Love comic books, sci-fi and anything related to the geek world? Well, this is for sure the bloco for you! Marcha Nerd means Nerd March, and it’s located in Tijuca. It’s a great place to make new friends from various interests!

Where: Alameda das Sapucaias – São Cristóvão
When: February 11th, 2024 at 12 p.m.

Banda das Quengas

This is the LGBT hotspot this year for Rio Street Carnival! Banda das Quengas is a thirty-year-old bloco that is focused on the LGBT public and their supporters! So, it’s a place for anyone, with great music, amazing vibe and incredible people! Give a chance for this one, and you won’t regret it!

Where: Rua Washington Luiz, Centro
When: February 13th, 20234at 4 p.m.

Safety Precautions

To enhance your street bloco experience, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay hydrated throughout the day to keep your energy levels up.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that can withstand hours of dancing and walking.
  • Carry a small backpack or bag with essentials like water, snacks, sunscreen, and a portable phone charger.
  • Be cautious of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings to avoid pickpocketing.
  • Follow the instructions of event organizers and respect local customs and rules.

Check out our Rio de Janeiro safety tips as well!

Now that you have a list of the Rio Street Carnival Blocos and Safety tips, you can enjoy Carnival with your friends! Is there any parties you enjoy going during Carnival just like the ones from Rio? See you in our next Dica!

Kisses and hugs from Rio.

Click in the links below to see more related Dicas
Mangueira Samba School in Rio de Janeiro
Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro
Brazil’s first samba school
What is a Samba School

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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