6 Samba experiences in Rio de Janeiro

6 expériences pour découvrir la Samba à Rio de Janeiro

Discover samba do Brasil in the best place of all: Rio de Janeiro! With these 6 different experiences, you’ll be immersed in the world of the Carioca party and culture.

Brazil is a country that exudes festivity, good humor and color. All this is perfectly represented by its fabulous Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, and by its people’s love of the samba! This musical genre is also a dance straight from Brazil, with African roots. Here, samba is everywhere and is part of the national identity. It’s a rhythmic style that puts a smile on your face and makes you want to get moving.

Whether you’re in Rio during Carnival or not, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to discover samba in the city. It’s time to let yourself be carried away by the Brazilian vibe! Put aside visits to the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf for a moment and get a taste of samba fever! Whether you want to try out the dance or better understand the world around it, we suggest 6 experiences to discover samba in Rio de Janeiro.

Samba lessons and night out

Learn to samba with the locals
Cours de samba et danse en boite de nuit

Photo credit: Getyourguide

  • 📍 Ipanema
  • Duration: 4h
  • 💙 We like: putting into practice the knowledge learned in a club

In Rio de Janeiro, you’ ll hear samba music everywhere, and all you’ll want to do is try it out! But if you’ve never danced before, you may not dare take to the city’s dancefloors. But don’t panic! There’s no shortage of samba schools here. Learn the basics with a dance teacher. He or she will teach you the rhythm and the notions you need to know to sway to the beat.

After this short course, you’ll head out with your group to a typical Brazilian nightclub, where you can put into practice the moves you’ve memorized earlier. In the festive atmosphere of the bar, you’ll be able to observe the rhythms of Rio’s locals and take inspiration from them to improve. Let yourself be carried away by the music and the euphoria of the place!

A typical samba evening in Rio de Janeiro

An experience in the historic samba district
Soirée samba dans la rue à Rio de Janeiro, caipirinha

Photo credit: Viator

  • 📍 Pedra do Sal
  • Duration: 4h
  • 💙 We love: taking part in a true local Rio de Janeiro tradition

Whether you’re a samba lover or just curious to discover a site associated with its history, don’t miss this activity. You’ll spend an incredible evening at Pedro do Sal, considered by many to be the birthplace of Carioca samba. This area, once a refuge for African immigrants, is a place of celebration several times a week. Your guide will tell you a few historical facts about the Saudé district and its inhabitants.

That’s how you’ll find yourself in the middle of a roda de samba, a street party where people of all ages mingle and have fun. Samba musicians take over the passageway to set the rhythm for the whole crowd. Take advantage of this unique and joyful atmosphere to practice a few dance steps. Learn to samba with the locals, in a friendly atmosphere. There are plenty of street bars where you can buy caipirinhas at low prices. If you’re feeling peckish, you’ll also find street food stalls.

Here, you’ll spend an unforgettable evening! What’s more, the round-trip transfer to most Rio hotels means you can enjoy the evening with a clear head. It’s the perfect experience for getting to know samba like a local and feeling like an authentic carioca!

Samba and folklore show

Discover Brazil in a rhythmic performance
Show de samba et spectacle folklorique

Photo credit: Viator

  • 📍 Teatro Fashion Mall, São Conrado
  • Duration: 1h30
  • 💙 We like: the richness and diversity of Brazil shown in this show

Take in a typically Brazilian show while in Rio de Janeiro. This experience will take you to the Leblon Theater, an intimate venue where the Ginga Tropical artists perform. First of all, to start the evening with a Brazilian rhythm, you’ll learn a few samba moves with a teacher. To refresh yourself, you can order a drink from the bar. Don’t miss their delicious Caïpirinha, the country’s signature cocktail!

Then, settled back in your seats, enjoy this 1h30 show. The artists will take you on a journey through Brazilian culture, music and dance. For example, you’ll discover frevo, a typical dance of northeastern Brazil. You’ll also be impressed by the movements of capoeira, a highly acrobatic Afro-Brazilian martial art. During this performance, the festive atmosphere is guaranteed.

At the end of the show, join the cast for a samba improvisation. It’s a chance to feel like you’re at Carnival in Rio, any time of year!

Behind-the-scenes tour of Carnival at Rio de Janeiro’s Cidade do Samba

Samba in the atmosphere of Rio Carnival
Visite des coulisses du Carnaval à la Cidade do Samba de Rio de Janeiro

Photo credit: Viator

  • 📍 Cidade do Samba
  • Duration: 1h30
  • 💙 We love: discovering the floats and costumes of the world’s most beautiful carnival

Visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue is all well and good, but do you fancy a bit of fun to get a taste of the very essence of Rio de Janeiro? Then take part in the Carnival experience with this fun and original activity!

You’ll explore one of the schools in the city of samba: Cidade do Samba. You’ll find yourself behind the scenes of the most famous of all carnivals. This is where the magnificent costumes and incredible floats that parade through the city every February or March are made. Your guide will tell you all about how they are made, and thehistory of samba and carnival in Brazil.

After that, it’s time for fittings. You’ll have the opportunity to don the costumes provided. This is your chance to play the Carnival game and take some original photos. This festive moment ends with a samba class to keep with the theme, and a cocktail tasting. With a Caïpirinha, of course!

Rio de Janeiro’s samba spirit on a tour

Follow in the footsteps of Brazilian dance with a guide
L’esprit de la samba de Rio de Janeiro dans un tour

Photo credit: Viator

  • 📍 Praça Cardeal Arcoverde, Copacabana
  • Duration: 4 to 5 hours
  • 💙 We love: discovering the history of samba

Why not take advantage of your stay in Rio to broaden your knowledge of samba? On this guided walking tour, you’ll explore some of the city’s most emblematic samba venues. As well as dancing, your guide will tell you all about the history of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, and share anecdotes about the neighborhoods you’ll be visiting. You’ll use public transport to get to the various sites.

On this tour, you’ll take a stroll through Cinelândia, home to superb buildings such as the municipal theater and the national library. Your guide will explain the importance of Plaza Maua for samba, thanks to its proximity to the port. You’ll then head to Pedro do Sal, nicknamed « Little Africa », a must-see site. After all, this is the birthplace of samba in Carioca!

Your guide will then take you to the Graffiti Mural. Home to 5 huge frescoes, representing 5 faces from 5 continents. Created by world-renowned Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, you’ll be fascinated by their beauty.

Finally, you’ll visit the headquarters of the samba schools. The tour also includes a visit to the Cidade do Samba . You’ll discover the work of the artists who create the floats and costumes for Carnival. A perfect way to round off your discovery of the world of samba!

Samba and Afro-Brazilian history of Rio de Janeiro

Learn more about Brazil’s past
Samba et histoire afro-brésilienne de Rio de Janeiro

Photo credit: Viator

  • 📍 Downtown
  • Duration: 4h
  • 💙 We like: discovering a face different from what we know of Rio

Get off the beaten track with this guided walking tour of Rio de Janeiro’s Afro-Brazilian culture and traditions. Once you’ve seen the statue of Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana beach or the Maracaña stadium, you may be tempted to discover another facet of Rio de Janeiro. In small groups, a guide will tell you all about the history of Brazil and the culture brought by its inhabitants of African origin. You’ll also learn more about samba and its origins.

During this tour, the guide will take you to the Olympic Boulevard, the amazing Museum of Tomorrow and the district where samba was born: Pedro do Sal. A visit to the Maravilha port will give you the opportunity to learn more about the history of slavery in Brazil and the struggle for its abolition. You’ll then head off to admire the world’s largest work of urban art: Etnias. Designed by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra for the 2016 Olympic Games, it represents the diversity of ethnic groups present on 5 continents.

Finally, this tour takes you to Cidade do samba, home to the city’s samba schools. Here, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at Rio’s fantastic Carnival, as you get up close to the floats and costumes that are made for the occasion.

Do you feel like dancing the samba? Which of these experiences would you like to try?

Your successful stay in Rio de Janeiro

To discover Rio de Janeiro and Brazilian samba with complete peace of mind, consult our articles and tools to help you prepare your trip.

How do I get to Rio de Janeiro?

✈️ Find the best flight with Ulysses

Where to stay for these experiences?

🗺️Dans Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro?

🛎️ Compare the best hotel deals in Rio de Janeiro

🏠 F ind the best Airbnb rentals in Rio de Janeiro

Where to go out in Rio de Janeiro?

🍴 Attend a samba show and dine at the « Plataforma ».

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