Although São Paulo’s Carnaval is not as spectacular or glamorous as its carioca sister, neither is it low-key. São Paulo has its own enthusiastically supported samba schools, which spend all year preparing for the festival and collectively form the union of paulistano samba schools, UESP (t 11/3171-3713, w www.uesp.com.br). As in Rio, the samba competition takes the form of a massive parade, held in the Oscar Niemeyer–designed sambódromo, a 530m-long stadium that can accommodate around 26,000 and is part of the huge Parque Anhembi leisure complex, near the Tietê bus terminal north of the city centre. Ticket prices are cheaper than their Rio counterparts, starting at around R$15 for a bench seat up in the gods – where you’ll get a flavour of the event but won’t see very much – and rising to around R$1000 for a seat in a VIP box. In general, the closer you are to the ground, the better the view and the more you pay. Many local travel agents sell tickets (see Around São Paulo); alternatively, try Ticketmaster (w www.ticketmaster.com.br) or the city tourist office in Anhembi (t 11/6226-0400). In the weeks leading up to Carnaval, you can sometimes attend rehearsals at the city’s samba schools – one of the best to visit is Rosas de Ouro in Barra Funda (t 11/3931-4555).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Brazil features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Amazing new aerial images show uncontacted tribe in Brazil

Amazing new aerial images show uncontacted tribe in Brazil

Incredible aerial images of one of the Amazon rainforest's uncontacted tribes have been released by Survival International. The pictures, taken by photographer …

18 Nov 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
A sex-themed amusement park is set to open in Brazil

A sex-themed amusement park is set to open in Brazil

Forget about virtual-reality roller coasters, the future of theme parks just got a whole lot raunchier. Developers in Brazil are planning to build an adults…

13 May 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
23 brilliant pictures of Brazil

23 brilliant pictures of Brazil

This year sees the Olympics and Paralympics take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. If you're heading to Brazil to catch any of the sporting action, here are a fe…

04 Mar 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month