The best places to enjoy carnival in Brazil in 2023


Carnival in Brazil is by far the largest and most colorful carnival in the world and one of the largest parties on the planet. Cheerful music, street parties, parades, costumes, extravagant colors and endless entertainment are part of this celebration which is a symbol of Brazilian culture.

This year, Carnival will take place from February 20 to 21. After the pandemic, the expectations for the 2023 edition are high, and many people from all over the world are excited to experience the festivities in Brazil.

Festivities usually start a week before the official carnival weekend. During that time, pretty much the entire country will be in celebration mood, and the streets will be packed with revelers.

Carnival week is the ideal opportunity to travel with friends and family and enjoy the holiday before the end of the summer. In Brazil, the year only truly kicks off after the carnival. If you’re planning a trip to Brazil during that time, make the most of the date by traveling to a few of the top carnival cities in the country.

Top Carnival Destinations in Brazil

Get ready to sparkle and shine with your costume, as we present you a list of the best Carnival destinations for partying, street blockades, and all-night dancing. Get ready for the time of your life!

São Paulo

Sao Paulo Bridge
Carnival in São Paulo takes place throughout the city with over 500 blocks.

Carnival in São Paulo takes place in different parts of the city, with most of the action taking place in the central neighborhoods and also on Paulista avenue. Thanks to a tradition of samba parades, São Paulo is one of the most popular destinations to celebrate Carnival. You can enjoy the city’s more than 500 street blocks, as well as free shows. This year, the agenda includes local music icons like Anitta, Eva Band, Leo Santana and Alok.

Samba school parade in SP

The official parade of the samba schools of São Paulo takes place at the Anhembi Sambodromo. There will be 5 days of parades, two of which are reserved for the schools of the First Division, of the Special Group, which parade on February 18 and 19. Get excited for two nights of awe-inspiring performances featuring dazzling costumes, spectacular floats, and powerful drummers. Just remember to buy your tickets early as they sell out fast.

Street Carnival Blocks in São Paulo

The blocks of São Paulo are known for diversity and inclusion. On the street, millions of people enjoy all the rhythms of the party. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of samba, pagoda, funk or other rhythms, the blocks play everything.

Blocks begin a pre-carnival bash on February 11 and 12. Then, at the end of the following week, there are all-day parties.

Some of the main blocks are the Casa Comigo, Samba do Eugênio, Nu’ Interessa, Sereianos, Meu Santo é Pop, Vou de Táxi, Minhoqueens, but the list has over 500 blocks, so there will be no shortage of options. So don your costume, invite your pals and start shaking it until you drop!

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Rio de Janeiro

Step into your most vibrant imagination and experience an unforgettable celebration in Rio.
Step into your most vibrant imagination and experience an unforgettable celebration in Rio.

Rio de Janeiro is the world capital of Carnival! It is said that a carnival in Rio de Janeiro should be experienced at least once by anyone seeking an adrenaline-packed adventure. The biggest party in Brazil is a show of music, joy and a lot of energy. This is what’s waiting for you there:

Parades of the samba schools of RJ

The famous samba school parades take place at the Marquês de Sapucaí sambódromo. The special group parades on the 24th and 25th of February. From 26 to 27 of February, the 1st Division schools take over the runway.

The energy of the sambódromo is electrifying and makes the experience worthwhile. Don’t forget to buy your ticket as soon as possible, because they run out fast!

Street blocks in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro Carnival blocks are known for their fabulous parades anyone can join. With colorful and lively costumes, and contagious music, you can just dress up and join the party. During Carnival, the city streets transform and everything becomes a dance floor.

The official calendar says the street party takes place between January 22 and February 26. But you can be sure that official parties start before that, especially during the pre-caarnival weekends.

This year, there will be over 400 parades of official blocks scattered throughout the city. The most popular blocks are Nem Muda Nem Sai de Cima (Tijuca), Blocão (Copacabana), Bloco Chora Me Liga (Copacabana), Bloco Empolga 9 (sim, começa às 9h da manhã, em Ipanema), Simpatia é quase amor (Ipanema), Bloco das Poderosas (Centro) and Bloco da Favorita (Copacabana).

Choose your costume, call your friends and get ready to dance until you can’t take it anymore. Carnival in Rio is undoubtedly a unique experience.

Celebrating Carnival in Rio is always a safe bet if you’re looking for a fun party. Remember to buy your bus tickets to Rio before they run out!

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Belo Horizonte

The capital of Minas Gerais has been gaining ground as a destination for Carnival in Brazil. Each year, the number of revelers on the streets increases – in 2020, before the pandemic, there were 4.5 million people!

As a consequence, the party has become an organized mess. Most blocks are concentrated in the city center, so it is easy to participate in several blocks in a single day, since they take place close to each other, and it is possible to do everything on foot.

Belo Horizonte’s carnival is also one of the most democratic. There are blocks playing everything: from funk to forró, samba, pagode, rock (yes, even rock!) and, of course, carnival “marchinhas”, which are the classic carnival songs.

Belo Horizonte also has a family block, where parents can hang out with the kids, experience costume contests and have a smoother experience.

Get ready for the revelry in BH by guaranteeing your ticket to the capital of Minas Gerais.


Salvador Bahia
The exciting city of Salvador offers the best of both worlds: bustling Carnival festivities and idyllic beaches to relax on.

The capital of the state of Bahia holds one of the most traditional street carnival parties in Brazil. With parades of sound trucks and crowds dancing in street parties, there are different ways to enjoy the party in Salvador.

Camarote: for those who want a more exclusive and comfortable experience, Salvador’s camarotes or cabins are a perfect choice. With an open bar structure, buffet, restrooms and exclusive attractions, it is worth opting for the cabin. But it is worth remembering that the price is steep, and does not usually drop from R$ 500 per person.

Blocos: the carnival blocks in Salvador always involve sound trucks and support cars that provide the structure for revelers to enjoy the party. The blocks are on the street, in an exclusive area demarcated by an isolation cordon. You have to be wearing the block’s official t-shirt to be allowed in.

Pipoca: if you just want to enjoy Carnival on the street without being tied to a specific place or block, or without having to pay for an abadá, you will be a “Pipoca”. It means free revelry for those who want to be among the crowd.

After experiencing the unforgettable parades, you can also sit back and relax on the beautiful beaches of Porto da Barra and Farol da Barra. They are perfect for taking a break from Carnival and getting some rest.

Salvador’s Carnival is, without a doubt, an exciting experience. Make sure you book your tickets for Bahia as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on the fun.

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Go to Recife to see the biggest carnival block in the world in charming Olinda.

Recife stands out from other carnival destinations for its intense passion for frevo – a kind of musical and dance genre that is characteristic of the region.

The city also has a wide variety of carnival blocks, with its biggest block being Galo da Madrugada, also known as the biggest carnival block in the world. Its more than 2 million revelers make it an experience that is sure to get you excited.

Another great attraction of Recife’s carnival is the city of Olinda. Its historical and colorful streets are full of revel, its music is contagious, and the smell of acarajé can be felt everywhere.

With more than two million visitors a year, the four-kilometer carnival route through the center of Recife is breathtaking.

The Carnival in Recife is not to be missed. With its unique atmosphere and music, this is a party that you won’t forget.

Make sure you book your tickets for Recife as soon as possible and be part of this amazing carnival experience!

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Fortaleza offers a unique carnival party with alternative music inspired from around the world.
Fortaleza offers a unique carnival party with alternative music inspired from around the world.

The capital of the state of Ceará has one of the best celebrations by the sea, on Iracema beach, with great maracatu beats. Fortaleza is the ideal place to celebrate Carnaval if you’re looking for musical genres that are slightly different from the predominant samba.

The city has many free blocks and you can find a large variety of music, from traditional Brazilian rhythms to electronic ones. The most famous are the blocks of Bicho da Seda, Psirico and Cavalos de Aço. You can also go to Avenida Domingos Olímpio, where you will find most of the parades and music. Get ready to hear a lot of axé, arrocha and typical regional rhythms.

In addition to the free blocks, Fortaleza also offers large and luxurious camarotes, where you can enjoy the full Carnival experience with all the comforts.

Fortaleza’s carnival is an experience that you won’t forget, with its unique atmosphere and music.

Reserve passagens baratas para Fortaleza

Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and brings together one of the most traditional carnival parties in the country.
Ouro Preto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and brings together one of the most traditional carnival parties in the country.

The Ouro Preto carnival is the most traditional in the state of Minas Gerais. The city is home to several blocks that go up the slopes of the city, leaving the central square of Tiradentes.

The Ouro Preto carnival is also the largest university carnival in the country, which makes it a great option for young people who are excited to revel in an unparalleled atmosphere.

The highlight of the Ouro Preto carnival is its diverse musical program, mixing samba, pagode, axé and other rhythms.

Enjoy Carnival with thousands of students in Ouro Preto and experience one of the most eclectic Carnival parties in Brazil.

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The city of Florianópolis is a great destination to celebrate Carnival in an open and festive atmosphere.

Until recently, the height of carnival in the city was the closed parties in clubs, but every year the street carnival in Florianópolis gets stronger and attracts ever-growing crowds. Florianópolis Carnival is one of the friendliest for LGBTQ in Brazil

The traditional Bloco dos Sujos takes place on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 18th), in the streets of the city center, around Praça XV. Expect to see thousands of people dressed up taking part in this party.

There are also other blocks in other parts of the city during Carnival week, such as Berbigão Do Boca – which opens up the festivities, Sou Mais Eu, Bloquete Calma Beth, Bloco do Vexame and many others.

Those who prefer parties in clubs will also find options of all types and prices. From the posh parties in Jurerê to the wild ones in the Center, there are plenty of options to enjoy Carnival in Florianopolis.

And, of course, the city also has numerous options for those who just want to enjoy nature, go to the beach and rest.

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Angra dos Reis

Angrados Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Angra do Reis is the ideal destination to enjoy parties with an outdoor DJ and celebrations by the sea.

Go to Angra dos Reis to enjoy the biggest street carnival in the south of Rio de Janeiro or to enjoy the party at a lighter pace. With over 60 parties across the city, you’re sure to find something to enjoy your way.

Don’t miss the busy program at the Santa Luzia pier, where more than 100,000 people are expected to participate in the revelry.

Angra dos Reis is a great place to find excited crowds to celebrate Carnival, with plenty of options for partying and relaxing.

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Why travel by bus during carnival

Carnival is synonymous with movement – both in street parties and on roads and airports. To escape the stress and high prices of flights to the largest Brazilian cities, the best way to travel during Carnival is by bus.

In addition to being much more affordable, traveling by bus means letting someone else drive while you relax and enjoy the view from the comfort of your seat. You can even enjoy Carnival one day in Recife and another in Salvador, taking advantage of the trip to cure your hangover. Or see the parade of Samba schools in São Paulo and the next day dance your way into Sapucaí, in Rio de Janeiro.

With Busbud, you can easily search and book a cheap bus ticket that fits in with your carnival plans. So it’s easy to enjoy the best of the revelry.

Easily and secure payment options

Seats tend to sell out very quickly before Carnaval, so we recommend booking your bus tickets in advance with Busbud to secure your spot on the bus!

With Busbud, you can easily and securely pay your bus ticket to travel around Brazil. If you need help with your booking, our 24/7 online customer support team will be happy to help!

Tips to make the most of the carnival holiday

Now that you know where to celebrate Carnival across the country, find the best tips to make the most of your holiday.

Be careful with your belongings

Carnival made fanny packs a thing in Brazil again. They are an excellent way to keep your money and phone safe while dancing at a samba school or block. If you’re not a fan of the fashion trend, make sure to keep your wallet and other valuables safe in a secure place.

Remember never to put your phone, wallet or cash in open pockets. It’s best to keep them inside a small pouch on your body or in a hidden pocket.

Drink water

With high temperatures, a lot of perspiration and alcohol consumption, staying hydrated is the key to enjoying Carnival in good health. Drink water during the revelry to ensure that you will arrive at the end of the party in one piece and ready for the next one.

Wear sunscreen and sneakers

Can you imagine missing a day of party due to sunburn? Our friendly advice is: apply sunscreen before leaving the house, and if possible, apply it again during the day.

As for footwear, sneakers will always be the best choice. In addition to being the most comfortable option for dancing and standing all day, they will also prevent injuries if someone steps on your foot – which has a high chance of happening in the middle of the crowds.

Travel by bus

Traveling by bus at Carnaval will reduce your travel costs and also ensure that you are able to rest until you reach your destination. And believe me, after a few days of revelry, those hours of sleep during the trip can be valuable.

Take the bus to be safe, save money and avoid worrying about queues and delays at the airport, high gas prices or car rental and parking.

4 tips for traveling by bus in Brazil

As choosing to travel by bus is one of the smartest options during the carnival season, here are some tips to make your trip as smooth as possible.

1 – Arrive early

Carnival means that large amounts of people will be traveling around the country. Generally, arriving 30 minutes before your bus departs is sufficient. However, we recommend arriving around 45 minutes before your departure to be able to find your boarding without problems, especially in huge cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

2 – Carry a valid photo ID

Don’t forget to bring your photo ID. You need to present your ID and your bus ticket to board the bus.

Remember that some companies ask passengers to exchange the online ticket voucher for the ticket printed at the company’s counter before boarding, so be aware of the requirements of each company.

3 – Book your bus ticket online with Busbud

As the Carnival season is very busy, the bus stations will be very crowded. Save yourself the hassle by booking your round-trip bus tickets online with Busbud, where you’ll find all the cheapest bus ticket options. This way, you can skip the queues at the bus station and ensure your trip is as smooth as possible.

5 – Keep an eye out

Always keep your belongings and suitcases close to you. If you’re going to take Uber, ask for the app and avoid suspicious rides. Avoid walking in isolated places. It doesn’t hurt to protect yourself, right?