Cidade Do Samba Behind-the-Scenes Carnival Tour In Rio De Janeiro

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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Hotel pickup Available
  • Duration: 3 Hrs 30 Mins
  • Language:
  • Departure Time :
    2:00 PM
  • Departure Details :
    Traveler pickup is offered
    * Roundtrip transfer to/from most hotels located in Sao Conrado, Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon
    * Please wait for your guide in the hotel lobby of your selected hotel... read more
  • Return Details :
    Returns to original departure point
  • Cancellation Policy :
    This activity is non-refundable Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.


Psst over here. Get a good peek into Rio's Carnival on this half-day tour behind the scenes of the behemoth celebration. Travel to Cidade do samba, where the best samba schools build and store their grandiose floats, sparkling costumes and feathered headdresses. Take a guided tour of the warehouse of Acadmicos do Grande Rio, a highly ranked samba school, and then try on some of those snazzy costumes. Youll gain in-depth insight into Carnival culture, and toast your inside-access visit with a caipirinha, Brazils signature cocktail.


  • All entrance fees included
  • Excellent value for money
  • Free drinks included
  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide

Know More about this tour

After hotel pickup, travel to the mandala-shaped Cidade do samba, a warehouse complex in Gamboa, the birthplace of Rio de janeiro's samba. More than 80 samba schools with 100,000 dancers participate in Carnival, but each year only the top 12 to 14 samba schools form the Special Group, aka the First League, which build and store their magnificent floats and costumes at Cidade do samba. As you explore the complex with your guide, learn about the history of samba as well as the Carnival parade and competition in the Sambadrome.

Although Carnival explodes into action only once a year, backstage preparations continue on a daily basis. Want to know more? Head inside the warehouse of G.R.E.S. Acadmicos do Grande Rio, a local-favorite samba school established in 1988.

With your guide leading the way, meander through the warehouse and marvel at the floats in progress. Eye the rows of racks bursting with eye-popping costumes. Learn about the allegories and stories underlying the pageantry, as your guide explains Carnivals pagan origins that began in ancient Greece and continued into the Middles Ages in Europe before arriving in Brazil through Portuguese colonization.

Wondering how those costumes would look on you? Try them on and find out! Slip on some outrageous ensembles and snap memorable pics to upload on your social media accounts.

Finally, toast your visit with a caipirinha, a cocktail made with cachaa (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime, before taking transport back to your hotel.


Professional guide

One caipirinha drink

Hotel pickup and drop-off to most South South Zone hotels in Rio

Guided Visit to Grande Rios Warehouse

Entry/Admission - Cidade Do Samba




Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

It is recommended that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes

Minimum age to drink alcohol is 18 years

Not wheelchair accessible

Most travelers can participate

This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If its canceled because the minimum isnt met, youll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund

This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers

Face masks required for travelers in public areas

Face masks required for guides in public areas

Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff

Social distancing enforced throughout experience

Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas

Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized

Guides required to regularly wash hands

Regular temperature checks for staff

Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms

Additional measures might be added to our list of procedures as we receive guidance from the local health and safety authorities and as more information becomes available. And some of these restrictions might be lifted at some point in the future if we are authorized to do so by local authorities

Traveler Reviews

  • 04-Mar-2020

    We enjoyed the experience and the girls had a lot of fun dancing, and trying on the costume. We did have some problems with pick-up on time and the bus broke down delaying our return. Our guide was friendly, energetic and knowledgeable. I would have liked to look at the floats a little more though.

  • 17-Jun-2019

    Gostamos muito! A visita é comprada pela internet e é feita com data e agora agendadas. É possível conhecer uma breve história da Cidade do Samba e visitar os bastidores de uma Escola de Samba, a Grande Rio. O trabalho é feito através de um projeto com crianças e adolescentes e isso já valeria o passeio! Além de conhecer todo o processo, a montagem dos carros alegóricos, costureiras, etc. uma verdadeira fábrica! ainda é possível aprender sobre a história do samba e vestir fantasias e sambar um pouquinho. O passeio termina na lojinha com uma caipirinha super bem feita! Recomendo.

  • 16-Feb-2018

    This was a shambles company, we booked and we're told that we needed to go at a different time to what we originally booked because CARNIVAL WAS ON THIS WEEK. We understood after all our whole trip was because of carnival. We booked this and also needed to change a few things with our holiday provider which caused a huge headache just so we could go on this excursion. We had 2 nights in the middle of a jungle before this and had no access to e-mail. And we had an e-mail the night before this excursion that it was cancelled because "CARNIVAL WAS ON THIS WEEK." Now usually I would understand but the company knew carnival was on even when we booked. I have a suggestion for this company. Just give up because you obviously have no idea how to treat your customers. I would probably understand a little more if they allowed us to book and then cancelled as they realised it was carnival but no it wasn't untill the night before that they sent an e-mail. Let me just add that prior to our trip to Rio we were 2 nights in the jungle with no access to e-mail. It was quite short notice too if you ask me. I was curious and will never use the company "VIATAR" EVER AGAIN. Please to avoid any disappointment on your holidays stay well away from this company.

  • 02-Dec-2017

    Today my wife and me (I am from Sweden) went for this tour with a perfect English speaking guide named Dandara. She was very sympathetic, as well as the other staff, and told many interesting things, some which even was unknown to my Carioca wife. It was also impressive to see the tremendous amounts of work that is done by each samba school for their parade - about 200 persons working for months to create all the costumes and building the big fantasy floats! The tour is definately recommended if you want to know more about the history and backstage work of the Rio Carnival. Carl

  • 30-Nov-2017

    Excellent! Insightful. Fun. Great guide!