Read this page to find out everything about Samba City in Rio de Janeiro. It explains what the Samba City is like and what it offers to visitors. You will also find information about admission fees and how to get there.
Samba City is the home of the production units of all the Main Rio samba schools. It also serves as a tourist attraction to entertain plus to introduce visitors to the production activities of the samba schools.
Samba City, inaugurated in 2005, is a recent project of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Its focus is to bring the “factories” of all principal samba schools in the First League (Special Group) under one roof. Every school has its own block within the compound to produce the floats and many of the Samba Parade costumes. It offers a more civilized environment in stark contrast to the previously neglected and dilapidated factory plants spread all over Rio's most dangerous parts.
Samba City is also meant as a tourist attraction to educate visitors how samba schools prepare for their annual competition in the Samba Parade. It offers entertainment and samba shows mainly before but also during Carnival.
The compound is near Rio's port which is considered to be the cradle of samba. The lay-out of Samba City is of a geometric shape, with the factories surrounding the main central square. They are meant to symbolize the linking hands forming a large circle. The world of samba here embraces its ancestors, who arrived at this place in the 17th and 18th centuries bringing African art, dance, and music with them. They are integral parts of the culture of modern Brazil.
Each school occupies one block as a production unit. They look and are, real factory sizes, being 12m high. This allows them to build the vast Carnival floats inside. You can go and look 'behind the curtains' to gain some insight into how Rio Carnival is actually 'produced'.
Samba City is surrounded by safe fences, however it is located in a dangerous area. Best to go by taxi. Do not walk around outside the compound. It is safe and spacious inside, with lots of available parking space.
A large variety of samba music is played, including the old genre called pagode.
Carnival performances and displays include samba dancers, drummers and percussionists, masters of ceremonies (flag-bearers with their escorts), the Whirling Ladies and some celebrities of the Rio samba world.
And there is a mini-parade to close out the evening.
Admission: R$150.00 and R$75.00 for Rio residents (includes free buffet)
Box office from 19:00
Doors open at 20:00
Workshop of the Association of the Rio Samba Schools
Block 2 - Uniao da Ilha
Block 3 - Portela
Block 4 - Grande Rio
Block 5 - Vila Isabel
Block 6 - Estacio
Block 7 - Sao Clemente
Block 8 - Salgueiro
Block 9 - Association of the Rio Samba Schools
Block 10 - Mocidade
Block 11 - Beija-Flor
Block 12 - Unidos da Tijuca
Block 13 - Mangueira
Block 14 - Imperatriz
Address: Rua Rivadávia Correa 60, Gamboa
Open 10:00-17:00 Tuesdays to Saturdays
Admission: R$10.00 (Rio residents: R$5.00)
Shows for all visitors at 10:00, 12:00 and 15:30
Tel : 2213-2546 / 2213-2503