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Rio de Janeiro Events

Rio de Janeiro Carnival

Simply the world's greatest party, the annual carnival in Rio de Janeiro is one of the wildest extravaganzas on the planet. The main carnival parade in the huge, purpose-built Sambódromo comes alive with a riot of colour, outlandish floats, throngs of gyrating dancers and pounding drummers, all shaking to intoxicating samba rhythms.

Rio's carnival starts on Saturday and ends on Ash Wednesday. Escolas de Samba ('Samba Schools') from each city neighbourhood compete to see which can parade the best, loudest, and most creatively decorated floats, carrying samba bands and accompanied by dancers and other performers. Before, during and after the main parades (held on Sunday and Monday), there are many other events across the city, including music shows, carnival balls and separate parades for the lesser samba schools.

Date: 01 March 2019 - 09 March 2019
Venue: Sambódromo, Avenida Marquês de Sapucaí, Santo Cristo.

Good Friday

The most important date in the Catholic calendar, Rio marks Holy Week with religious processions, ceremonies and masses across the city. One of the biggest ceremonies takes place at the Catedral Metropolitana, home of Rio’s patron saint, Santo Sebastião, with a commemorative liturgy celebrating the passion and death of Christ. Afterwards there is a procession accompanied by the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, bearing a fragment of the Holy Cross. The Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Copacabana (Church of Our Lady of Copacabana) also conducts a procession, with drummers and participants dressed as Roman soldiers.

Date: 19 April 2019 - 19 April 2019
Venue: Catedral Metropolitana, Avenida República do Chile 245, Centro, and throughout the city.


Dia do Indio (Indian Day)

The annual Day of the Indian is an important date celebrated throughout Brazil, but with special activities held in Rio’s superb Museu do Indio, honouring the nation’s 600,000 indigenous peoples. Events at the museum include ceremonial dances, live music performances, exhibitions and film screenings.

Date: 19 April 2019 - 19 April 2019
Venue: Museu do Indio.

Festas Junina

This is a New World twist on an old European Catholic tradition, brought to Brazil by the first Portuguese settlers. In Mediterranean countries, the Fiesta de San Juan (Saint John) falls on the summer solstice, and is celebrated with bonfires. Rio extends this June festival to include Santo Antonio (Saint Anthony) on 13 June, São João (St John), 11 days later and São Pedro (Saint Peter) on 29 June.

On three separate evenings, in private homes, in clubs, and in public places all over Rio, stalls are set out to resemble village market places and are decorated with streamers and lanterns. Against the glow of bonfires there is much dancing, eating and drinking. In mock weddings, couples follow the old tradition of leaping the flames. Many other events also take place in the weeks before and after the saints’ days, in venues all across the city.

Date: 01 June 2019 - 30 June 2019
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Rio de Janeiro.

FLIP – Paraty International Literary Festival

Launched in 2003, this book-fest in the historic little coastal town of Paraty, close to Rio, is now rated as one of the best of its kind in the world. Leading Brazilian authors are joined by major international names, with previous visitors including Margaret Atwood, Carol Ann Duffy, Nadim Gordimer, Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan and Colm Toibim. The five-day festival features readings, conferences, and round-table debates, plus a lively mix of music, food and dance.

Date: 10 July 2019 - 14 July 2019
Venue: Various venues in Paraty.

Rio International Film Festival

The 'Festival do Rio' is the city's International Film Festival. In recent years Brazilian films based in Rio, such as Central Station, City of God, and Favela Rising have received worldwide acclaim. This major festival showcases well over 500 feature films, documentaries and shorts, with screenings taking place in various venues throughout the city. Proceedings are dominated by the award of the coveted Golden Lion prize. In addition to the films, there's also an entertainment programme including live music and parties.

Date: 01 November 2019 - 10 November 2019
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Various venues in Rio.


Outdoor concerts and parties all over the city culminate in a massive fireworks display on Copacabana Beach to mark Rio’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, its second biggest bash after Carnival. Up to one million people gather on the sands, so get there early to stake your place.

Date: 31 December 2019 - 31 December 2019
Venue: Copacabana Beach and seafront.

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City Highlight: Rio de Janeiro

Vibrant, exciting and dazzling are words synonymous with Rio de Janeiro, one of the world’s favourite party cities

Featured Hotels


Rio Hostel

This hostel in an old colonial building in Santa Teresa has basic dorms as well as three- and four-bed rooms, which are ideal for families. With its hillside location, Rio Hostel offers great city views and it also has a tiny swimming pool. Facilities include laundry service, tour information, Wi-Fi connectivity and air conditioning in some rooms. The staff are friendly, some are multilingual, and they serve a decent buffet breakfast.

Copacabana Palace

This elegant establishment is almost as famous as its beachfront location. Since it was built in 1923, famous guests have included Robert De Niro, Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles and Princess Diana. The Copacabana Palace is one of the grandest classical buildings in Rio de Janeiro; its creamy pillared façade dominates Avenida Atlântica, and is protected by a preservation order. The plush interior is even more impressive with marble floors, chandeliers, grand ballroom and elegantly decorated rooms. Facilities include a rooftop tennis court, a majestic swimming pool, a well-equipped fitness suite and a business centre. The two restaurants, Cipriani and Pergula, offer fine dining.

Hotel Mama Ruisa

This tasteful boutique hotel lies in the heart of Santa Teresa in a converted late 19th-century mansion. Laidback French proprietor Jean Michel Ruiz has had each of the seven rooms individually decorated in tribute to icons of stage and screen, including Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, Carmen Miranda and Maria Callas. The spacious lounge is filled with modern designer furniture and its walls are hung with original works of art and ethnic artefacts. The private walled garden has a small pool, with a terrace and veranda where meals and cocktails are served.

Rio Design Hotel

Rio de Janeiro's first design hotel is a modern establishment one block from Copacabana Beach. Its 66 rooms, suites and apartments have been individually styled by top Brazilian artists, giving the hotel an exclusive and contemporary feel. This Rio hotel is a popular choice with visitors who are looking for something a bit chic but not prohibitively expensive. All rooms are comfortable, with flat-screen TVs and broadband internet access. Other hotel facilities include a business centre, fitness studio with spa and sauna, and a rooftop restaurant, but no pool.

Windsor Barra Hotel

Windsor Barr Hotel is a good choice for exploring Rio's western suburbs and beaches, particularly for surfers and for those planning to attend the 2016 Olympics. This modern, high-rise hotel facing Barra da Tijuca beach has 338 comfortable if not luxurious rooms with all mod-cons. It also has a restaurant, bar, two swimming pools, fitness centre, sauna, and airport shuttle bus.

Fasano Rio

Still the coolest luxury hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Fasano Rio is a place where both Brazilian and global celebrities come to see and to be seen. Overlooking Ipanema Beach, this stylish designer hotel brings a modern concept of hospitality, elegance and sophistication. The interiors are a joint venture of renowned architect Philippe Stark and the restaurateur and hotelier Rogério Fasano. The décor combines dark tropical woods with light and airy drapes and furnishings. All 79 rooms and 10 suites have a balcony and most with a sea view. Its rooftop terrace and pool gives a superb view over the beach to the Dois Irmãos mountains, stunning at sunset. The restaurant, Fasano Al Mare, is under the capable hands of three-Michelin-star chef Luca Gozzani.