Make no bones about it, Trapiche Gamboa is one of the most charming, authentic samba halls in the city. Five nights a week the rickety, high-ceiling space bustles with the famous Brazilian rhythm, its dancefloor full of local music lovers paired up and dancing as if they’re on air. Gamboa is the slightly run down neighbourhood towards the port north of Centro (hence the name - Trapiche translates as pier), that also houses clubbing mecca The Week and has a fruity history thanks to the boatloads of sailors that used to dock here and do what sailors do, but the atmosphere merely adds to the authenticity.
Once inside the only thing to do is look up and gawp at the huge space and the raised bar at the rear of the club, then bring your focus back to floor level and the roda de samba or stage show going on in front. Pull up a pew and watch the footwork with a large, cold beer and a pastel, then, once under the illusion that it really is as easy as it looks, take up some space on the floor and show the locals how it is done.