The Sounds of Rio

The city that gave the world Carnaval, samba and bossa nova offers dozens of ways to spend a sleepless night among the cariocas.

Samba, the great soundtrack of Rio, plays all across town, though if you’re looking for its heart, you’ll probably find it in the bohemian neighborhood of Lapa. There addictive rhythms spill out of old-fashioned dance halls, drawing music lovers from far and wide. Samba also takes center stage during Carnaval, with those percussive beats and singsong lyrics essential to the big fest. The top samba schools welcome visitors to their parties from September until Carnaval. These popular events are always a good time.