Rio de Janeiro Nightlife

It's sometimes said that cariocas would rather expend their energy on the beach and that nighttime is strictly for recharging their batteries and de-sanding their swimsuits, but witnessing the masses swarming into Lapa at 10 pm on a Friday night make this a tricky argument to endorse. New nightclubs and bars continue to sprout up with remarkable regularity, and there are cutting-edge underground

rhythms and musical styles competing with samba, chorro, and Brazilian pop (MPB) for the locals' hearts.

A much-loved local pastime is drinking a well-chilled chopp (draft beer) and enjoying the lively atmosphere of a genuine Rio botequim(bar). Every neighborhood has its share of upmarket options (branches of Belmonte and Devassa are dotted around town), but no less enjoyable are the huge number of hole-in-the-wall spots offering ice-cold bottles of cerveja (beer) and the chance to chat with down-to-earth regulars.

Live music is nighttime Rio's raison d'être, with street corners regularly playing host to impromptu renditions. During Carnival the entire city can feel like one giant playground. The electronic-music scene is also very much alive, and the underground popularity of funk (the city's own X-rated genre, not to be confused with the James Brown version) is slowly seeping into the mainstream, down from the huge bailes or open-air parties held weekly in the city's favelas. In addition to samba and MPB, hip-hop, electronica, and rock can be heard in clubs around the city.

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Rio de Janeiro Nightlife

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  • Music Clubs

For the more serious dance-music enthusiast, Fosfobox, in the heart of Copacabana, plays the best underground tunes, as well as rock...

House of Music

  • Music Clubs

The fashionable nightclub and live-music venue attracts a young, photogenic crowd. There’s an interesting and varied program of live...

Jobi Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Authentically carioca and a fine place to experience Rio spirit, the bar at down-to-earth Jobi stays open on weekends until the last...


  • Bars/Pubs

Rio's beautiful city lake is flanked with bars and informal kiosks. Along with the usual beers and cocktails, the food—Italian, Arabian,...

Lapa Street Party

  • Gathering Places

Lapa's transformation from no-go area to must-go party district has been dramatic, and the ongoing gentrification of this formerly neglected...

Le Boy

  • Music Clubs

The focal point of Rio's gay scene, this classic club has expansive dance floors and lively DJ sets as well as outrageous stage shows.


  • Music Clubs

Among the best of the slick modern bars to crop up as part of the ongoing gentrification of Lapa, Leviano is situated at the heart of...

Mangue Seco Cachaçaria

  • Bars/Pubs

Specializing in some of Brazil's finest institutions—strong and fine-tasting cachaças (Brazilian rum), mouthwatering moquecas (stews),...


  • Music Clubs

Although Plataforma is very tourist-oriented, if you're in Rio outside of Carnival season, then seeing the shows here will give you a...

Rio Scenarium

  • Music Clubs

Despite the hordes of samba-seeking tourists, Rio Scenarium somehow manages to retain its authenticity and magic. This is partly due...