Time Out Rio de Janeiro

Pedra do Sal

The history-laden birthplace of samba and the city's best place for a weekly dose of the infectious rhythm

Pedra do Sal

FREE

Largo João da Baiana
Rua Argemiro Bulcão, Centro

Nearby Stations
Metrô Uruguiana

At the centre of a region known during the colonial era as Little Africa, the huge, smooth rock descending down to Largo João da Baiana is known as Pedra do Sal, or Rock of Salt. The square was a slave market as well as a cultural focal point for the thousands working on or coming off the slave ships at the nearby port, becoming a home to the sounds of chorinho and samba as the slaves sang songs about home.

Today the rock is more likely to be filled with tottering dancers trying not to fall foul of the slope (further enhanced by spilled drinks) in a weekly celebration of music courtesy of local sambistas and Rio's drinking classes. Every Monday and Friday a roda de samba sets up around a table to sing classics to the assembled throng, giving way to one of the most traditional and authentic nights out in Rio de janeiro. Bars are to be found dotted around the square, but the street vendors are out in force making for a cheap night of fine music and strong caipirinhas.

7 Mar 2013.

Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors
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