R. Marquês de Sapucaí - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil
Home to the most famous carnival parade in the world, the purpose-built Sambódromo was designed by Brazil's most famous architect, the modernist Oscar Nieymeyer, in 1984. This is where the hordes gather for the four days of Carnival to see the samba schools' innovative, colourful and ever-more spectacular parades, as the schools battle it out in the city's most hotly-contested Carnival competition. The explosion of colour, sound and samba drums make this a spectacular place to be during the festivities, but the Sambódromo is much quieter outside Carnival season. However, the Apotheosis square here holds some of the largest open-air concerts in Rio, while a Carnival museum, open-year round, showcases images, costumes and artefacts from Carnivals past.