Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s fun-loving cultural capital, lives up to its reputation as a fantastic party destination. And although the city’s liveliest period is during Carnival, there are still plenty of clubs, samba shows, street parties, and live music year round. Here’s how to make the most of Rio de Janeiro’s impressive nightlife.
Nightclub Tours & Pub Crawls
The city’s best after-hours spots are concentrated in the areas of Lapa and Zona Sul (South zone, which includes Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Santa Teresa). Nightlife tours and pub crawls are a great way to experience as much as possible—without having to wait in line. Take a VIP club tour or visit Rio Scenarium, one of the city’s most famous mega-clubs, where multiple stages make for a memorable night filled with music and Carioca dance. For a more relaxing evening, consider visit Urca, a residential neighborhood, where you can watch the sunset with Rio locals, cold beer in-hand.
The home of samba has a number of legendary dance schools (including Salgueiro, Mangueira, and Portela) where you can learn a few steps before heading out to a samba club to show off your moves in the wild.
Those who prefer to watch can catch a traditional samba show in downtown Rio, an experience made all the more enjoyable while feasting on a classic steak dinner and sipping caipirinhas. For a more informal setting, visit Pedra do Sal, a UNESCO heritage site and the birthplace of samba, which hosts street parties on Monday and Friday nights. Any night of the week, head to the neighborhood of Copacabana, where Bip Bip Bar, a hole-in-the-wall haunt, has hosted some of the city’s best samba, choro, and bossa nova musicians for the last 50 years.