The Rio de Janeiro Samba Schools


If you are interested in how the Rio de Janeiro schools actually work, it means that you have arrived to the right place as we will explain how you can go to a samba school night as well as share details about samba rehearsals and full info about their addresses. A samba school is an association or a social club which represents a certain neighborhood.



Address: Pracinha Wallace Paes Leme 1025 – Nilopolis

Samba nights: Thursdays 21:00

Colors: blue and white

Established: 1948


The samba school Beija-Flor (Humming Bird) was named after one of the most beloved and omnipresent bird that lives in the Rio de Janeiro area. Although the school is located outside of Rio, it is considered one of the best ranked schools at the moment. It is the only school that has a whole team of Carnival Designers (at the moment, 5), in comparison to other schools that have only one. The school became popular thanks to their powerful colors and extravagance.


Grande Rio

Address: Colegio Sao Jose, Av. Presidente Kennedy – Duque de Caxias

Samba nights: Fridays 22:00

Colors: red, green and white

Established: 1988


Although it is one of the newest schools in Rio, it is considered by many one of the most successful members of the Special Group. In the last 10 years, it came very close to winning. The school represents Caxias, which is a satellite town of Rio. Many media celebrities support them and parade with them.


Imperatriz Leopoldinense

Address: Rua Professor Lace 235 – Ramos

Samba nights: Sundays 20:00

Colors: green, white and gold

Established: 1959


The school won three times in a row (1999-2001). They three-year strike was achievable thanks to the technically excellent performance. The Carnival Designer is the famous Rosa Magalhaes, which became popular for her idiosyncratic fairy-tale like artistic creations.



Address: Rua Visconde de Niteroi 1072 – Mangueira

Samba nights: Saturdays 22:00

Colors: green and pink

Established: 1928


Thanks to its old tradition, the most successful samba hall and the fact that it has a very powerful support community, it is the most popular samba school in all Brazil. From the existing schools, this one is the oldest. They won the very first Samba Parade that was organized in the Sambodromo, and since then, they have been ranked very high.



Address: Rua Coronel Tamarindo 38 – Padre Miguel

Samba nights: Saturdays 22:00

Colors: green and white

Established: 1955


With a history of more than 50 years, it is one of the oldest samba schools in Brazil. They became popular for their futuristic creations. At the moment they rank outside the top 6 that return on Champions’ Saturday due to the fact that they fail on capitalizing their old traditions, in comparison to Mangueira.


Address: Rua Clara Nunes 81 – Madureira

Samba nights: Wednesdays 20:00; Fridays 22:00

Colors: blue and white

Established: 1923


Although they have changed their name a few times, they are one of the traditional schools in Brazil, with almost 90 years of experience. Although it isn’t the oldest school in Brazil, it is considered to be the oldest samba group. Their absolute record is winning the event for 21 times in a row.


Porto da Pedra

Address: Rua Lucio Tome Feteira 290, Vila Lage – Sao Goncalo

Samba nights: Wednesdays: 20:00

Colors: red and white

Established: 1978


This samba school was at first a part of a soccer club that was created by a teen street gang. They have been able to become a hit in a record time thanks to the fact that their sponsors are purchasing popular carnival designers from its rivals. The school is based in the Niteroi’s suburbs, across the bay from Rio de Janeiro.


These are just a few of the samba schools in Rio de Janeiro that enlighten us not only at the Carnival, but also through the entire year with their rehearsals. If you want to learn more about the Brazilian culture, this is very good place to start from.

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