In a ramshackle neighborhood north of downtown, Pedra do Sal is a classic slice of Rio culture. In fact, it was on this spot that many credit the birthplace of samba (back in the latter half of the 19th century). Today this open-air live music event, free and open to all, features samba musicians jamming around plastic tables, while a dance-loving crowd gathers around. Vendors selling cold cans of cerveja (beer) keep things festive. The jams happen on Monday and Friday nights, and are cancelled during heavy rains, so keep an eye on the sky. Since the surrounding area is dicey, it's best to take a taxi there.