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Jess215 Jan 16th, 2009 07:46 AM

So..a woman walks into a bar (Rio)....
I am trim, but silver-haired (don't ask!) Could I pass for a granny ?- G*d knows. If I want to go into a bar, have a drink, and listen to mustic, is that insane? Do I just walk up to the bar and look for a seat? Or what? I speak a little Portuguese and like to chat, but I really have no interest in "meeting" anyone. Just want to experience Rio. It's not my safety I am concerned about - just fitting in, more or less.

JeanH Jan 16th, 2009 02:31 PM

I'll be really interested to see the replies to your question. Unfortunately, I have no idea to the answer to your question.

I travel alone at times, and I really do like to go have a drink and chat with folks.

kja Jan 16th, 2009 03:22 PM

Hi, Jess215 -

Unless Rio is much different than anywhere else in the world, I think the answer is that you just do it! Yes, just walk in and look for a seat. It might help to remind yourself that this is YOUR trip and YOUR chance to do what you want to do. And as long as you aren't bothering anyone else, what they think really isn't all that important!


suze Jan 16th, 2009 04:31 PM

Well I've never been to South America but I've done it in Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Honolulu, Puerto Vallarta, La Paz, etc. Never really thought about it.

If you aren't worried about safety, what would be different in Rio than other cities of the world?

Jess215 Jan 17th, 2009 10:03 AM

I guess I don't know much about the club and bar scene anywhere because there are always alternatives for me like cafes, wine bars, hotel bars, sports bars, jazz rooms, etc.where the focus can, if you want (and I DO want) be on what I am eating, drinking and watching. All the guidebooks, etc. on Rio seem to suggest that the bar scene is IT and that the focus, when you are alone, is solely to "party" and meet someone.

suze Jan 17th, 2009 08:11 PM

I can't believe there's only one way to socialize in a city the size of Rio! Guidebooks don't know everything, and don't always get it right. They aim at the kinds of things they feel most people might want to do.

I'm sure there are cafes, hotel bars, more low-key places just like anywhere else! Enjoy!!

liltravlr Jan 17th, 2009 08:51 PM

hi Jess: you certainly don't have to "meet" someone if you go out. I'm not sure what part of town you are staying in, but Copacabana and Ipanema are full of places, you can just walk by and see what music you hear that you like. Lapa had more bars and clubs and I heard Leblon was good too though I didn't go there. Go with your instincts - ie, I walked a few blocks off the beach in Ipanema around my hotel at night but didn't feel comfortable doing that in Copacabana. The best resource will be your hotel concierge. Or, if you want a particular kind of music, ie jazz, do an Internet search "jazz Rio" and I bet you will get a ton of places and reviews. That's how I found salsa clubs in Havana, Santiago, Buenos Aires and Lima.
If you want a "show", the Plataforma was excellent when I was there in 2006. You can get a drink at any nice hotel - ie Sheraton, Marriott, Le Meridien, Sofitel - as they will undoubtedly have bars with international clientele. If you want a more local flavour, you have to ask where the locals go. Rio is full of people of all ages, shapes, sizes and colours - I wouldn't worry!

Jess215 Jan 18th, 2009 07:18 AM

Thanks, all. I am getting the flavor of the place from you as I had hoped. Last year I was in Zanzibar alone, - had a guide for a day and a half, and then I was on my own. My hotel was for the bikini crowd, but Zanzibar itself is a Muslim country. My guide had never encountered a solo traveler before- male or female. I had a great time, but it was Fodorites, and not the guidebooks, that told me all I needed to know.

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