Every day Carnival in
Cidade do Samba / Samba City !

Since the port area of Rio de Janeiro opened as Cidade do Samba, or
Samba City, in late 2004, visitors no longer need to wait for Rio carneval times in February / march to feel the rhythm and ecstasy of samba and the famous careoca show!

With exceptions of Tuesdays, Cidade do Samba is open to the public and tourists can get to know the making of the samba carts, samba costumes, and at the end of the evening even participate in samba shows and dance with the samba dancers to the pounding of a mini “bateria” which is composure of 50 or so drummers keeping the rhythm.


The carnival party tour is complete in Cidade do Samba!

Right after arriving the visitors are received by a "samba de roda" (a band playing samba), at a bar located right behind the ticket boots. This will be their first meeting with samba before they move on with guiding in both English and Portuguese to see the locals for instruments and carneval costumes.

Samba City has several tents with snacks and souvenirs. The design is modern and fits in with the architecture of the rest of Cidade do Samba.



The visitors learn all about each instrument and the importance of it’s role in samba music. Small lectures will also teach tourists how to play the basics on the instruments:

Visitors can learn how the percussion instruments are made, and even get to play some samba themselves.

Cidade do Samba Quote:
“It’s rare to see anyone not seize the moment to participate in a Batteria when they get the chance” Says percussionist Andre from Mangueira samba school.

After having set the samba moods with drums and instruments, tourists are taken into the sewing department for a peek into how the glorious costumes of carnival are made, and feel of the fabrics consisting the carneval carriages.

Cidade do Samba Quote:
“The foreigners are amazed at the Brazilian creativity, and want to bring memories back with them; t-shirts, masks, dolls. That’s why we set up a small souvenir shop with products made by carnival project students and other citizens of Rio. Many tourists already know about the Rio Carnival, several already visited the Avenida (Seen the carnaval parade), but they have no idea how all of it is created!” Explains Shirley Mello, responsible for the souvenir boutique.

Still in one of the “barracoes” (The sealed area occupied by one of the samba schools for constructing and rehearsals of samba) there’s a big exposition of costumes and wagons from each of the 14 samba schools. In the middle of this, the Bateria starts the samba rythms again and dancers teach the samba moves to those who wants to learn.

Cidade do Samba Quote:
“Super genious! One of the best things I have done in Rio! We all see the Brazilian carnival on television, the world’s best, but we have no idea how it all is done. The wagons are enormous, and the costumes are just gorgeous! Allot of fun!” Said the French girl Liliane Bravin, one of several visitors from Dijon who spent over an hour taking pictures and getting to know Cidade do Samba, Samba City.

“Now I’m even more excited about coming back to Rio to see a parade in the Sambodrome!” She concluded.

Some beautiful pictures taken by Gareth Jones, from his visit to Samba City. Thanks Gareth!

Cidade do Samba Opening Details and Prices:

The doors of Samba City are open every day from 9h to 17h, except for Tuesdays which is used for maintenance of the compounds, and Thursdays which have a special show.

Until the start of December, visitors will be able to appreciate the wagons for the same years carnival, for each of the samba schools.

Guiding to see instruments, costumes, carnival carts and samba mini lessons can be done at 10h, 12h and 15h30.

Prices to visit is 20 Reais (about 10 US$) per person. Inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, students and teachers of the Rio state pay half price.

Thursdays are special:, visiting hours are between mid-day (12h) and 17h. Tourists can buy tickets for 80 Reals (40 US$) to be apart of a carnival show. Starting at 21h with a pagode show (Type of music, similar to Samba, but slower). Then at 22h Cidade do Samba explodes with a mini carnival celebration. Parade with samba dancers moving, costumes and flag holders do a spectacular show, which is ended with fireworks and crowd applause!

Adress of Cidade do Samba / Samba City:
Rua Rivadavia Correa 60
Suburb Gamboa
Portuaria do Rio Zone.

To reserve or to get more information, use the following phone number:

Source for this information:

Thanks Globo.

and photos from:


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