Cidade do Samba, popularly known as the City of Samba or the Samba City, is located in the port area of RIo de Janeiro. Spread on a sprawling area of 93,000 square meters, the city offers tourists the charm and excitement of carnival, giving you the feel of the celebrations at world’s party capital, Rio de Janeiro.
City of Samba in Rio can be visited all year round, but the best time to be there to catch up the carnival excitement is from November till right before the Carnival starts. The Samba City is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Tuesdays.
The samba city has 14 factories dedicated to producing costumes, floats and other paraphernalia related to the carnival. You can see people constructing floats and preparing costumes, masks and other carnival stuff. There are workshops where you can learn the samba music, percussion and samba dance form. The samba schools in the samba city conduct dance shows and allow visitors to wear costumes and join the dancing troops. There are many dance table galleries and Brazil carnival fest, where visitors can get involved. The City of Samba reverberates with samba music all day long and you just can’t resist grooving to the percussions.
The city houses several factories and blocks dedicated to samba schools. There are 14 blocks in the city which are numbered for easy access. Guides are available to take you around the samba schools, factories and dance galleries. Given below is the name of samba schools and the blocks that they are located in.
Block 1: Workshop of the Association of the Rio Samba Schools, Block 2: Viradouro, Block 3: Portela, Block 4: Grande Rio, Block 5: Vila Isabel, Block 6: Porto da Pedra, Block 7: Imperio Serrano, Block 8: Salgueiro, Block 9: Association of Rio Samba Schools, Block 10: Mocidade, Block 11: Beija-Flor, Block 12: Unidos da Tijuca, Block 13: Mangueira and Block 14: Imperatiz.
For those of you who want to make it early to the Rio Carnival can catch up the Forcas da Natureza or The Powers of Nature, a spectacular samba show in the Samba City. The theme of this show is preserving the environment and reflecting the need and concern for the environment. How practical, political or serious the theme is but it is all presented with samba rhythm. Carlinhos de Jesus is the art director, Milton Cunha is the scene director and Jorge Cardoso is the music director. The cast comprises of ‘sambistas’, 70 dancers from Escolas de Samba do Grupo Especial. The show will feature samba songs depicting the natural beauty of Brazil. Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque, Ary Barroso and Jorge Ben Jor's popular music will be played. This show will surely get you into the Carnival mood. The costumes and settings which will be used in the show will be all those prepared by participants and members of samba school workshops. The show encouraged by the Federal Law of Rouanet of the private support of culture is a result of combined efforts of LIESA and Rio city hall.
The show Forças da Natureza is currently cancelled due to a fire that took place in early 2011 destroying three warehouses for Portela, Uniao da Ilha and Grande Rio Samba Schools. These schools managed to parade with what they could put together just 30 days before the show. The Samba schools league and local communities worked very hard to help these three schools to be in the runaway at the big day. At the end, what one could see was an emotional parade, a show of generosity, love and compassion.
Samba City is located at Rua Rivadavia Correa 60, Gamboa, Rio de Janeiro. Ticket counters open at 7 pm; however we recommend that you book your tickets in advance. There's an entrance fee and that includes a buffer dinner and souvenir from Samba City.