When is the Ouro Preto Carnival 2023?
The Ouro Preto Carnival is a pre-Lenten Carnival and as such it will always occur in the days prior to Ash Wednesday. The 2023 Ouro Preto Carnival will take place from February 17 to 21, 2023.
Brazil’s most unique and peculiar carnival
When you think of Carnival in Brazil, maybe you think of carnival in Rio, Salvador or even Recife and Olinda, but most people haven’t heard of one of Brazil’s best carnival celebrations – Ouro Preto Carnival!
Ouro Preto Carnival is one of Brazil’s most unique and peculiar carnivals because it is organized by university students. It is also one of the largest and most sought-after carnival celebrations in Brazil attracting people from all over the country.
University students organise carnival!
Ouro Preto is a beautiful colonial town that has a large population of fun-loving university students. All the blocos and carnival celebrations for Ouro Preto Carnival are organised by the university students!
Why is carnival organized by university students? Because who knows how to party better than university students? The university students transform this usually sleepy town into one full of wild parties.
The most common type of accommodation in Ouro Preto is the Student Republics. What is a student republic? Student Republics are University student houses that are rented out to the public during Ouro Preto Carnival.
There are around 300 student republics that exist today Each student republic will organize their own carnival celebrations. To attend carnival you must select which student republic you wish to go with and purchase a package with them.
Student Republics Packages
At Ouro Preto carnival a good time is guaranteed. Attending carnival in Ouro Preto is very different to attending other carnivals in Brazil because it requires a little bit more planning. The most common way to attend carnival is to buy a pre-package.
The packages for the Ouro Preto Carnival generally include accommodation, alcohol, themed parties, different shows, breakfast, lunch, dinner, security, nightclubs and more. You can select the republic that offers the best package for your taste as well as budget.
Student Republics accommodation is always in the university student halls. You can either select a private room, or one shared with your friends or a room mixed with random people.
Student Republics Parties
Each student republica throws its own parties that are included in the package and held on site. The republica parties are known to be pretty wild and have different themes like white parties, superhero parties or things like foam parties.
The republica will supply you with a t-shirt or a bracelet that permits you entry into your republica. You can check in advance what themes and parties the different student republicas will throw, which can help you decide what republic you want to choose.
Each day both the republica parties and the blocos will kick off after lunch but the blocos will usually finish in the early evening around 8ish generally, and the republica parties will continue until the last person leaves.
What is the best Student Republic?
This is the main question that gets asked when one contemplates attending carnival in Ouro Preto and the answer is very simple: there is no best Student Republic! This is because your carnival experience depends mainly upon who you travel with and the other people in your republica.
The student republics that are located in Rua Direita and near Praça Tiradentes are the most highly sought-after republics mainly due to their close proximity to the action.
Selecting which Student Republic is right for you
Selecting the right Republic for you is the main factor for having an unforgettable time at Ouro Preto Carnival. There are over 300 student republics at Ouro Preto so you have a lot of choices.
One top tip when trying to select which republic you want to stay in is speaking with those that have previously attended Ouro Preto Carnival for advice or to look for a republica that has been running for at least 10 years as these tend to provide an efficient carnival experience.
All the student republics located in the Ouro Preto Historical Centre are more expensive than the republics located near the UFOP campus which offer the same services but are much cheaper, purely because of their location.
The main Student Republics at Ouro Preto are
- Public Calamity Republic
- Caixotinho Republic
- Republic of Noah
- Republic Area 51
- Tabajara Republic
- Coco Dirty Republic
Is It Better to Stay In a República or Hotel?
This depends on the experience you are looking for, if wild college parties aren’t really your thing you may want to consider looking at other accommodation options. For college students and young adults looking to have a wild carnival experience then staying at a republic is a must!
Student Republics are also not the most comfortable choice and if you are looking for a little more comfort or luxury then staying in a hotel, B&B, or hostel is a better option. This is also a more expensive option but you are still able to buy a package to attend the Student Republic Parties.
Where to Stay in Ouro Preto if you don’t want to stay in a student republic?
If you don’t want to stay at a Student Republic there are plenty of great accommodation options in Ouro Preto. First you should know that Ouro Preto is stretched out over a landscape of hills, so you will want to find the right location to avoid tiring yourself out from walking up hills.
The city is filled with lots of really great Pousadas (inns) which are plentiful and spread out all over the city including in the central historic area. If you would prefer to stay at a hotel then we recommend the Grande Hotel de Ouro Preto, which was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and is the perfect option and is only a two minute walk from Praça Tiradentes.
If you don’t mind walking, then you will find cheaper prices a little further away from Praça Tiradentes. But if you want the convenience of being in the centre and close to all the cultural and historic attractions, definitly stay closer.
Ouro Preto Carnival Student Blocos
Ouro Preto is also renowned for throwing amazing street parties known as blocos. While the street parties at Ouro Preto may be smaller than Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, they offer a totally different and authentic Brazilian experience that have very few tourists.
The blocos are thrown in large squares or streets that are set up to have live shows. The blocos are attended by thousands of people from all different republics.
Your republic package will provide you entry to the blocos depending on how many you paid for. Blocos will feature samba, pagoda and even funk singers as well as DJs who put on amazing live shows, hyping up the crowd while drinking, dancing and having a good time.
What is the best student block in Ouro Preto?
It is common knowledge that the best blocos are:
- Coffin Block – Carnival Saturday (this is the most sought after blocos)
- Cabrobró Block – Carnival Sunday
- Beach Block – Carnival Monday
- Block Chapado – Carnival Tuesday
What else is on besides the Student Parties?
There are two types of blocos thrown during Ouro Preto Carnival. The first is organized by the student republics and the second by the citizens.
However, the free street parties thrown by local citizens during Ouro Preto Carnival tend to be pretty family-friendly and usually finish early in the evening, whereas the republicas parties can last until sunrise.
Samba Schools of Ouro Preto Carnival
The Ouro Preto Samba School Parades is one of the highlights of the Ouro Preto Carnival. There are six different samba schools in Ouro Preto and while this Samba Show is not on the scale you will see at Rio Carnival, it is still a vibrant, creative and amazing samba show.
The Samba Parades are similar to Rio in that the samba schools are also competing for title of Best Samba School. The Samba Schools play an important social function in their communities and the entire community is involved in creating the show.
No one throws a better party than then university students which is why Ouro Preto Carnival is one of the best and most wild places to celebrate carnival in Brazil!
How to get to Ouro Preto?
There is no airport in Ouro Preto so you will have to fly to Confins airport in Belo Horizonte and then use ground transportation to Ouro Preto. A taxi from the airport direct to Ouro Preto will cost around R$300-$500.
Alternatively you could take a transit bus for about R$12 to the central bus station in Belo Horizonte and then take another bus to Ouro Preto. The Confins-Belo Horizonte bus departs every 15 minutes depending on the time of day.
So when you reach Belo Horizonte Central Bus station you can purchase a ticket to Ouro Preto for about R$34 which leaves every hour. It is a comfortable two hour bus ride. When you arrive in Ouro Preto the bus station is situated on the edge of town, so you can either take another local bus for about R$2.70, catch a taxi or arrange for your accommodation to collect you.
How to get around Ouro Preto?
The best way to get around Ouro Preto is on foot! Because of the steep hills and small size, walking is the most convenient way of getting around the city center. But ensure you wear good shoes and be prepared to be a bit breathless because the streets are cobbled and you will spend a lot of time walking up and down steep hills.
Please note that travelers with impaired mobility may have a difficult time getting around the city. City buses also run to neighborhoods that are located outside of the city center as well as to nearby towns. And of course you can catch a taxi around.
What to do and see in Ouro Preto?
Ouro Preto is a city that is not so common with foreign tourists but it is one of Brazil’s top tourist destination for Brazilians. Ouro Preto has a rich history and is an important place for Brazilians. Ouro Preto is a must-city city and is a great place to visit if you want to get off the beaten track and experience a different kind of Brazilian experience.
Ouro Preto has a rich history, colonial traditions and an abundance of natural beauty. In fact the city of Ouro Preto has been declared an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. This colonial town is famous for its baroque architecture including squares, fountains, bridges, cobbled streets and is filled with beautiful churches and chapels all over town.
Ouro Preto has an abundance of natural beauty! People come from all over to hike the trails, wander through the national parks and climb the peaks and see some spectacular views. Nature is easily accessible. You can explore the Serra Gandarela National park or hike to the top of Pico Itacolomi. Besides hiking you can also visit waterfalls or go rock climbing.