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Cidade do Samba Behind-the-Scenes Carnival Tour in Rio de Janeiro provided by Gray Line Tours

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Cidade do Samba Behind-the-Scenes Carnival Tour in Rio de Janeiro

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this experience is taking.Read more
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(Price varies by group size)
2 adults
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What you can expect during this experience
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travellers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
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Updated 26/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Cidade do Samba Behind-the-Scenes Carnival Tour in Rio de Janeiro
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
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Updated 26/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Get a behind the scenes look at Rio’s world famous carnival experience during this tour of Cidade do Samba. Visit one of the top samba schools, Acadêmicos do Grande Rio's, and see where they store the over-the-top parade floats and intricate costumes. Learn about the history of Brazil and its culture of Carnival while sipping on a traditional caipirinha and trying on a few costumes yourself.
  • You'll get picked up
    See Important Information for details
  • 1
    Cidade Do Samba
    Stop: 2 hours - Admission included
    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. Acadêmicos 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 Carnival’s 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 cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime, before taking transport back to your hotel.
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  • Discover the extravagant world of Rio’s Carnival on this 3.5-hour tour
  • Explore the warehouse of Acadêmicos do Grande Rio's and their floats
  • Learn the history of Carnival culture in Rio and Brazil from your guide
  • Sip on a traditional caipirinha as you try on a few over-the-top costumes
What to Expect
Receive complimentary pickup at your Rio hotel and ride to the neighborhood of Gamboa, where Samba originated. Visit the warehouse of Acadêmicos do Grande Rio's and see where they store their extravagant floats and beautiful costumes. As you walk through the ‘Cidade do Samba’—the city of Samba—learn about the history of Rio and Carnival culture from your guide. Find out about the preparations that go into each competition and what has to be done to put on a great show every year. Explore the racks of lavish costumes as you listen to the stories and legend of how Carnival made its way to the Portuguese colony of Brazil. End your tour with a complimentary caipirinha—the national drink—while trying on a costume or two before heading back to your hotel.
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Important Information
3h 30m
  • Professional guide
  • One caipirinha drink
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off to most South South Zone hotels in Rio
  • Guided Visit to Grande Rio’s Warehouse
  • Entry/Admission - Cidade Do Samba
  • Gratuities
  • Food
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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 travellers can participate
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travellers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Traveller rating
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Traveller type
Time of year
Daniel H wrote a review Feb 2018
Swansea, United Kingdom8 contributions4 helpful votes
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
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Date of experience: February 2018
1 Helpful vote
Response from Diogo M, Diretor de vendas at Cidade do Samba Behind-the-Scenes Carnival Tour in Rio de Janeiro
Responded 28 Feb 2018
Dear Daniel H, Thank you for your review. The issue was that we had confirmed this with the Samba School where this tour takes place, however at the last minute the carnival organization rescheduled the departure of the parade cars and we were unable to do the tour. So although we had everything in place for your tour, due to circumstances outside of our control we were forced to cancel the tour. We hope you accept our apologies. Thanks, best regards, Pedro Malta on behalf of Diogo M.
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Carl v wrote a review Dec 2017
Hoyanger, Norway3 contributions3 helpful votes
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
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Date of experience: December 2017
Response from Diogo M, Diretor de vendas at Cidade do Samba Behind-the-Scenes Carnival Tour in Rio de Janeiro
Responded 5 Dec 2017
Dear Carl V, Thank you so much for your review. We are happy you had such a great tour with us. The amount of work that happens throughout the year for just a couple of days of parade is very impressive. Each school works for several months on all the details so that they can be at their best at their parade which is just little over an hour per school. It is a whole industry that revolves around that. We are happy you had such a time experiencing a little bit of it. We hope to see you and your wife again in the near future in other tours. Thank You. best regards, Pedro Malta on behalf of Diogo M.
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About the operator

This experience only has a few reviews, but you can read what other travellers have to say about the operator.

By: Gray Line Tours
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Key Details
  • Duration: 3h 30m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Pickup offered
  • Languages Offered: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
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