Carnival starts officially in March this year, but this is Brazil — and every good carioca knows that Carnaval really starts one month before, with the rehearsals for the blocos, the parties and much more. February breathes samba all over the city and Gringo-Rio is bringing you a list with the best events in Rio de Janeiro. And there’s also something for people who don’t dig Carnaval that much — but let’s be honest, how could you not like Carnaval in Rio?
Zouk is a Brazilian partner dance, descendant of lambada and Caribbean Zouk. Even though it’s not as known as samba, zouk has its lovers in Rio de Janeiro. The best place to dance zouk all night long is Clube Israelita Brasileiro (CIB), which hosts zouk nights every week. Price: R$25. Time: 10pm – 5am. Address: Rua Barata Ribeiro, 489 – Copacabana.
- Jazz at The Maze
If you like jazz music, The Maze is always the right choice for you. The Maze brings you the most traditional Jazz night in Rio de Janeiro every first Friday of the month. Real Indian snacks on the rooftop. Friday, February 1st, starting at 10pm. Tickets: R$50 at the door. Address: Rua Tavares Bastos, 414/66 map. For more information, check their website.
The hike to Pedra da Gávea, located in the middle of Tijuca Forest, is one of the most popular ones in Rio de Janeiro. Going up the 833 meter high mountain is a challenge, but those who succeed receive a reward with maybe the most spectacular view of the city. Caminhos Tours in promoting incredible tours every Saturday of the month for only R$95.
Circuito Interno Bhering is like a big fair with everything you can think of. Fashion brands, shops, food, drinks and music — tons of attractions spread over six floors of this amazing old building. The venue for this is the old Bhering Factory, in Santo Cristo neighborhood, near Centro (Rua Orestes, 28 map). A good choice to spend a relaxed Saturday afternoon. From 2pm to 9pm. Free entrance.
- Samba do Teles
A popular roda de samba in Rio de Janeiro, Samba do Teles is a street party in Centro, 100% free of charge and full of fun! Local cariocas love this event and it’s a great opportunity to mingle with people, make friends, dance and listen to good samba music. Starting at 7pm at Travessa do Comércio, 18 – Centro map.
Baile da Gaiola is the most famous carioca funk party nowadays. Originated in the neighborhood of Penha, tickets are selling fast and everyone wants to join. It’s getting so popular and so big that the venue for the event this time is the Macaranã Stadium. As mentioned before, tickets are selling fast and prices going up. You can buy yours here with prices ranging from R$50 to R$390.
From 12pm until midnight, you can try lots of delicious vegan food at Vegan Fair in Lapa. But that’s not all. The fair also promises to bring workshops, natural products, pet adoption and much more to Rio de Janeiro. Venue: Las Vegans – Rua Riachuelo, 109 map.
Famous ‘bloco de Carnaval’ Sargento Pimenta is having open rehearsals at Fundição Progresso map in Lapa. Sargento Pimenta is famous to put Beatle’s songs into samba rhythm. Rehearsals will be held on February 3rd and February 17th, from 4pm to 7pm. But wait, that’s not all. Get there early that other famous blocos will be there as well. The party starts at 11am with Céu na Terra and Grande Bloco Místico. You will absolutely love it! Entrance: R$15 at the door.
- Salsa Cubana and Rueda de Casino
Free classes of Salsa Cubana and Rueda de Casino at Urca. If you like Cuban music, this event will be great for you. The event is free and outdoors at Praia Vermelha map. Starts at 5pm.
Great music in a great place. Enjoy some good samba music at Parque das Ruínas in Santa Teresa, a historic place in Rio de Janeiro. R$40 at the door or R$30 buying tickets online here. Time: starting at 6pm. If it rains, the event will be postponed.
One of Rio de Janeiro’s best-kept secrets is the island of Paquetá, off the coast in the bay of Guanabara. A small place where cars are not allowed, and where bicycles rule. With this tour, you’ll hop on a bike in Ipanema to set off in the direction of Paquetá, an old refuge for bohemian Cariocas. Price: R$95.
A true carioca event, Carioquíssima reunites the best of food, fashion, art, décor and photography in Rio. This edition will take place in Museu da República for two days, February 9th and February 10th, from 12pm to 9pm. Address: Rua do Catete, 153 map.
Huge event at Marina da Glória. lots of live attractions, such as Maiara & Maraisa, Raça Negra, Vitor Kley, Salgueiro Samba School, Bloco Chora Me Liga, Roda do Spanta and more. Start to enjoy Carnival season with this incredible event — you will love it. 12 hours of party and 2 stages with artists playing simultaneously. Price: starting at R$110. Tickets can be bought here. Venue: Marina da Glória map. Time: starting at 4pm.
- Sailing Trip to Cagarras Islands
Sail around Guanabara bay and enjoy its marvelous views. Continue through the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema to the Cagarras islands where we will spend the day swimming and snorkeling. This is a full day trip, leaving Urca at 11am and returning at 7pm. This trip repeats every Saturday, so you can just check when it’s best for you. Price: R$295 (drinks and snacks included). For more information and booking, contact Maria (WhatsApp or phone call to +55 21 98061-1879). She speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Bloco Escangalha is doing its pre-Carnival in Tijuca. It’s a free event from 7pm until 10pm at Food Park Carioca map. Put some glitters on and a costume if you feel like it and join the party!
- Delícia de Verão at Canastra
Everyone knows Canastra Bar is the right place to go on Tuesday evenings to enjoy good vibe and mix with lots of people in the middle of the week. But this week, be prepared to enjoy the evening on a Wednesday as well. This event is called Delícia de Verão with live music and DJs to cheer your night up. Free event. Venue: Canastra Bar – Rua Jangadeiros, 42 – Ipanema map.
- Pré-Carnaval da Ladeira
Carnival is almost here, but in the meanwhile, enjoy all pre-Carnival parties in the city. This one promises to be big! Charanga Talismã, Bloco 442 and DJ Mito are going to make your night full of fun! Put your costume on and a big smile on your face while joining them. Tickets available here for R$20.
This is a traditional party in Centro, in the parking lot of CCBB museum. The place will be packed with Cariocas having fun! If you want to mix up with the locals, this is the place for you. Lots of attraction, including the drums section of Mangueira samba school. From 10pm until 4am. Starting on February 4th, you can buy tickets online here.
This famous ‘bloco de carnaval’ has superheroes as their theme, so go ahead and put some costumes on to join the party. Starting at 9am, people will be packing up the streets at Praça Santos Dumont in Gávea map. Music starts at 10am. It’s a street party as most of blocos, so it’s free. Get there early to find a nice spot to stay, as this is going to be full of people.
Rio de Janeiro is famous for its nature, and Tijuca Forest is one of the best places to visit to see the rich nature the city has to offer. From great hikes to refreshing waterfalls to awesome views, it is all there in one of the biggest urban forests in the world. Price: R$95.
Another Carnaval street party. Every party in Centro in a good choice, because it’s easy for everyone to get there. So hop on the subway and have fun!
Very popular ‘bloco de Carnaval’ in Laranjieras. From 9am until 12pm. Wake up early to enjoy the party. Free event! Meeting point: Rua Alice, 34 – Laranjeiras map.
This party has become one of the famous parties in Rio. It’s the right place for a fun afternoon with lots of beautiful people. This time, Tardezinha decided to do a boat party, so tickets will be limited to 140 people. Take your sunglasses and bikinis and enjoy this “very carioca” party! It’s open bar and open food for R$200. Tickets available here. Venue: Meet at Marina da Glória map, the boat will sail through lots of different places in Rio de Janeiro. Starting at 4pm.
Charme party at Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR Museum) in Centro map. Black and funk music reunited in a big party. Price: R$10 at the door.
A Caipirinha event hosted by Caminhos Language Centre. This is an informal party on the sidewalks, where they offer really good caipirinha for only R$5 and you can meet other foreigners in Brazil, as well as local friends who stop by. The atmosphere is always great, with free snacks available and Brazilian music playing. Starts at 5pm but people usually start to arrive around 6:30pm. Rua Farme de Amoedo, 135 – Ipanema.
if you like ‘blocos de Carnaval’, you will love Chora, Me Liga. They turn Sertanejo music into samba and usually reunite lots of people in the streets of Rio de Janeiro for their parade. Venue: Rua 1º de Março – Centro map. Free event from 8am until 2pm.
Situated across the bay of Guanabara, you’ll find the city of Niterói. Starting from Ipanema this bike tour will take you to Copacabana beach, Botafogo and downtown Rio – with several stops on the way. In Rio’s Center, you’ll take a ferry, while bringing your bike on board as well, and will go to Niterói, where you’ll visit lots of beautiful spots. Price: R$95.
For more events in Rio de Janeiro during the month of February, check Gringo Rio’s Online Calendar.