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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Academia da Cachaça

  • Bars/Pubs

Not merely the place in Rio to try caipirinhas (made here with a variety of tropical fruits), Academia da Cachaça is a veritable temple...

Assis Garrafaria

  • Wine Bars–Nightlife

Just a few minutes’ stroll from the station for the funicular railway that whisks tourists up to the Christ statue, this welcoming...

Bar do Gomez

  • Bars/Pubs

Officially Armazem São Thiago, this neighborhood institution is universally referred to by its nickname, Bar do Gomez, in honor of the...

Bar do Mineiro

  • Bars/Pubs

The liveliest of Santa Teresa's many drinking dens and the hub of much social activity, this enduringly popular boteco anchors one...

Bip Bip

  • Bars/Pubs

Here the roda de samba —where musicians sit and play instruments around a central table (in fact the only table in this tiny bar)—is...


  • Bars/Pubs

A trip to Bracarense after a hard day on the beach is what Rio is all about. Crowds spill onto the streets while parked cars double as...

Carioca da Gema

  • Music Clubs

A favorite among local sambistas (samba musicians) and a great spot to listen to live samba in a comfortable environment, Carioca da...

Casa Rosa

  • Music Clubs

A former brothel in a bright-pink mansion on the Laranjeiras hillside is now a hipster hot spot for live music and dancing. A young,...

Casa da Matriz

  • Music Clubs

With its multiroom layout, old-school arcade games, and small junk shop, this shabby-chic venue has the look and feel of a house party.

Circo Voador

  • Music Clubs

A great venue in an excellent location right by the Lapa arches, Circo Voador hosts club nights during the week, but it's the varied...


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