Pedra do Sal, Birthplace of Samba

Pedra do Sal is the best place in Rio de Janeiro for samba. No other place in the world has its pedigree of when it comes to Samba. And it’s free! Why pay for a tourists-only samba show when you can listen to the real thing. This is one of the best places to experience Rio de Janeiro nightlife and one of our favorite things to do in Rio.



Rua Argemiro Bulcão, but no one knows this street. If going by taxi or Uber ask to be dropped off at: Rua Sacadura Cabral 97.

Mondays and Fridays, 19:00 to midnight - music usually starts playing around 20:00 or 21:00. The gringo factor is higher on Mondays. Fridays have a more local feel.

Getting There

Right now we can only recommend getting there with taxi, Uber, or Premium Bus 2017. Ask to be dropped off at "Rua Sacadura Cabral, 97" in the Saúde neighborhood. Pedra do Sal is in the Argemiro Bulcão alley.

In theory you could also take Metro to Carioca station and transfer to the Light rail train, but this option is probably not too safe after 20:00 or 21:00.

You could also take the Metro to Uruguaiana station and walk, but the neighborhoods is not very safe after 19:00 or 20:00.


Pedra do Sal or "Rock of Salt" is a place of special significance for Brazilians of African descent and fans of samba and choro music. It is considered the center of the area at some point known as "Little Africa", which was full of collective houses of escaped and freed slaves. Descendants of the original tenants still live there and are part of an association.

In the XIX century, slaves mined the rock at this site to build the streets and the port of Rio de Janeiro. This is also the place where slaves used to unload the shipments of salt. Hence the name of the place. The place is recognized as national cultural heritage.

The Pedra do Sal is considered the birth place of Samba carioca. It is said that at parties in the homes of slaves and freed-slaves they played choro music with flute, cavaquino and guitar, while in the yard, rural samba was played with rudimentary instruments (pots and pans, strainers, etc.) It is from here that samba evolved.

Some of Brazil's greatest sambistas have played here.

More videos

Check out the short documentary "Samba de Lei" - Sorry only in Portuguese.

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Pedra do Sal, Birthplace of Samba

The best place in Rio de Janeiro for Samba. No other place in the world has the pedigree of Pedra do Sal when it comes to Samba. And it’s free! Details.

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