Nightlife Rio de Janeiro: the nightlife of Rio de Janeiro needs no introduction. From its world-famous carnival to its unique music and lifestyle, Rio de Janerio is sure to be an attraction that won't disappoint, especially at night. Here is the guide to the best bars and clubs in Rio de Janeiro
Nightlife Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is undoubtedly the most famous city in Brazil, and is known for golden beaches and lush mountains, a vibrant nightlife and lots of entertainment, one of the most picturesque and charming cities in the world.
Rio's climate is generally hot, humid, and tropical, making the city an ideal year-round destination. It is frequented not only by Brazilians but also by foreign tourists, many of whom can be seen in bathing suits on the streets and on the beach.
There's no better place in the world to party than Rio de Janeiro . Carnival and New Year's Eve celebrations may be the city's most famous traditions, but nothing beats stress-relieving abilities like Rio de Janeiro's nightlife .
It's no wonder Rio de Janeiro has so many nightclubs and an irrepressible party spirit. If you love to party in Rio, your first stop should be Lapa, the heart of Rio's nightlife , with a wide range of musical styles from sultry samba to low-key hip-hop. Visit iconic city destinations such as Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon on an evening stroll through the highlights of the Zona Sur.
It's no secret that Rio loves to party. Rio de Janeiro Carnival is the largest carnival celebration in the world, and every spring more than two million revelers take to the streets to party and dance. Mardi Gras is an annual festival that brings the city to life with music, song, celebration and dance, and is perhaps the best way to showcase the city's festive reputation and dance to the beat of the samba during costumed parades.
The New Year's Eve celebration is the second largest festival of the year and is known for its spectacular fireworks displays on the vast waterfront, and is also a must-attend event for nighttime fun in Rio de Janeiro .
But despite its enormous glitz, Rio's nightlife is actually surprisingly informal : Dress to your mood and be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as the partying in Rio de Janeiro usually starts after midnight. The local residents of Rio de Janeiro, the Cariocas, are known to party regularly until the sun comes up.
Rio residents turn almost every social gathering into a party. Whether you're looking for a quiet bar or lounge for a few draft beers, or a big night out in Rio de Janeiro's best nightclubs , this city has it all.
A popular way to warm up on cool evenings is to sip coconut juice or cocktails at one of its many beach bars, then head late in the evening to Rio de Janeiro's trendy beach communities like Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon to explore bars and club.
Rio de Janeiro's nightclubs can be expensive , but sticking to local drinks can make your night out more affordable. Many clubs won't charge you for drinks or entry until you leave, so keep an eye on your expenses. Most clubs have a dress code, so no t-shirts or flip flops.
An alternative to partying in Rio's clubs and bars are street festivals . Lapa hosts street parties every Friday and Saturday night near the aqueduct on Mem De Sá street.
Live music and dance also play a big part in Rio de Janeiro's entertainment scene, with samba, bossa nova, rock, MBP (Brazilian pop), blues and jazz, with lots of shows taking place every night from every part in this vibrant city. You can also join a samba school practice party. There, local drummers and dancers showcase their skills to crowds of thousands in the warehouses. A great way to get into the carnival atmosphere at other times of the year.
Where to dance samba in Rio de Janeiro
If you can't help but feel the samba beats when you're in the city, here are some famous Rio nightclubs where you can enjoy the best samba:
Trapiche Gamboa is one of the more traditional samba clubs with a very local feel. Built in the mid-19th century, this beautiful colonial building has been a samba club since 2004. Here you can enjoy delicious bar food, cold beer and traditional samba. Trapiche Gamboa is located in the Gamboa district near Pedra do Sal, the place where Samba was born.
Pedra do Sal is considered the cradle of samba. It hosts a huge Samba Street Party every Monday and Friday night. The local sambistas gather around 7pm and the fun begins, with the streets filled with shops selling drinks and food. The samba lasts 3-4 hours, then the music transitions into its Brazilian funk and world hits. One of the most unique nightlife spots in Rio de Janeiro .
Where to go out at night in Rio de Janeiro
Anyone who knows the best areas in Rio de Janeiro already knows that Zona Sur is a great place to spend the day. Beautiful beaches, unique hostels, delicious food and more. But at night everything changes. Rio is known for its shocking parties, but some parts of the city are much better for nightlife than others.
Here are the best areas to go out at night in Rio de Janeiro:
The center of Rio de Janeiro's nightlife is the Lapa neighborhood , known for its myriad of bars, nightclubs and music venues for all tastes. While it's not a very safe area during the day, Lapa is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
This neighborhood in downtown Rio hosts a large street festival every weekend. In addition to the street parties, Lapa has plenty of bars, pubs and nightclubs, so there's definitely a place for everyone. While it's popular mainly with young people and students thanks to club promotions, Lapa's bars attract people of all ages and backgrounds. It's a popular tourist spot and worth a visit, but keep in mind that it's not the only place in Rio to party.
Often overlooked for nightlife, Centro is still home to some of the best open-air parties and nightlife in Rio de Janeiro . Every weekend, a live band and several drink and food stalls are set up near the Lapa Arches for casual outdoor gatherings that last until dawn. For open-air parties with live samba, Latin rhythms and underground events, Praca XV (Instituto Culture Ruinas), Arco de Teles and Rua do Ouvidor are great places to go out on a weekend night.
Botafogo is another great neighborhood for those looking for a place to have a beer or two. Botafogo's main street, Voluntarios de Patria, is filled with affordable bars and restaurants, as well as some of Rio de Janeiro's hottest nightclubs . Botafogo can be visited any day of the week, but is often crowded, especially on Thursday evenings.
Copacabana is one of the most famous and exclusive neighborhoods in Rio thanks to its famous beaches and dozens of bars to choose from, even if it sometimes seems too touristy. But just take a look behind the scenes of Copacabana's nightlife and you'll find some of the most authentic nightclubs in the city. The nightlife here isn't as loud as Lapa, but it's a good starting point for drinking and socializing.
Known as the bohemian neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Santa Teresa offers many options for a casual and fun nightlife . Bar do Mineiro and Armazém São Thiago are traditional Brazilian bars serving delicious caipirinhas and traditional local bar snacks. The Bar dos Descados at the Hotel Santa Teresa sets the stage for an evening of sumptuous drinks in understated, elegant surroundings. Parque das Ruínas hosts some cultural events and Mercado das Pulgas hosts live samba music most weekends until the wee hours of the morning.
Barra da Tijuca, Ipanema and other neighborhoods
Located southwest of Rio de Janeiro, Barra da Tijuca is less crowded but is home to some lively all-night clubs and great bars.
Ipanema and Leblon, on the other hand, don't have big nightclubs, but they do have many bars that are open until late at night. Gavea's most famous nightlife spot is Plaza Santos Dumont , known locally as Baixo Gabea. The square is lined with bars, and when it gets busy, people buy beer from the street vendors and congregate outside. A popular informal meeting place for foreigners and locals alike, it is lively every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Jardim Botanico instead hosts trendy and elegant bars perfect for a chic evening.
Clubs and discos in Rio de Janeiro
Vitrinni Lounge Beer (Av. Armando Lombardi, 421, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Thursday from 10pm to 5am, Friday and Saturday from 10pm to 6am, Sunday from 5pm to 3am.
Located in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, Vitrinni is one of the best nightclubs in Rio de Janeiro . Here DJs play various rhythms such as electronic and sertanejo (Brazilian country music), and the club is frequented by trendy young people.
Café Cultural Sacrilégio (Av. Mem de Sá, 81, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Tuesday to Friday from 7pm to 4am, Saturday from 8pm to 4am.
Known for its live samba show every day, Sacrilégio is one of the most elegant nightclubs in Rio de Janeiro . This elegant club is divided into two floors, the first dedicated to samba and the second dedicated to international hits. They also offer reasonably priced food and drinks.
Circo Voador (R. dos Arcos, Rio de Janeiro)
Cheaper than some of the larger concert halls in the city, Circo Voador is one of Rio de Janeiro's most popular nightclubs. This versatile venue in the heart of Lapa is more than just a concert hall. It regularly hosts some of the city's most popular nights, featuring trendy local bands and international visitors. Furthermore, dance and percussion workshops and night-time art exhibitions make this venue a truly unique place frequented by young people.
Febarj (Av. Mem de Sá, 37, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Wednesday from 8pm to 11.30pm, Friday and Saturday from 10pm to 5.30am.
Located in the party district of downtown Rio, on Lapa Boulevard, Febarj is one of the most popular underground nightclubs in Rio de Janeiro . This club is owned by an association that celebrates Afro-Brazilian culture, and its three floors of this former colonial mansion play to the rhythm of Brazilian and American hip-hop.
Usually the party starts around 1 in the morning and doesn't end until dawn. With free entry until midnight, it's a great place to spend an inexpensive night of partying in Rio de Janeiro .
Bar Bukowski (R. Álvaro Ramos, 270, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Thursday from 7pm to 2am, Friday and Saturday from 7pm to 5am.
This rock 'n' roll bar is also one of the most popular nightclubs in Rio de Janeiro . The club has three separate lounges and bars, as well as a stage for live music and karaoke. With several dance floors to dance the night away, Bukowski is a casual and fun spot frequented by people of all ages.
Rio Scenarium (R. do Lavradio, 20, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Wednesday from 7pm to 1am, Thursday from 7pm to 2am, Friday from 7pm to 5am, Saturday from 8pm to 5am, Sunday from 9am to 5pm.
One of Lapa's most popular and unique nightclubs, Rio Scenarium is an eclectic, multi-level bar offering live music, dancing and great food and drinks. This giant samba performance venue doubles as a warehouse for antiques and movie props, with interesting costumes, masks and other historical artifacts providing a backdrop for the dancing.
It's worth a visit to see skilled locals demonstrate how to dance the samba and to immerse yourself in Rio de Janeiro's vibrant nightlife.
Portal Club (R. do Lavradio, 163, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Friday and Saturday from 11pm to 6am.
An institution of Lapa's nightlife, Portal Club is one of the busiest nightclubs in Rio de Janeiro . The parties last until dawn and the club is frequented mainly by a young clientele.
Agyto (Av. Mem de Sá, 66, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Friday and Saturday from 11pm to 6am.
Located in the historic center and with a trendy setting and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, Agyto is another good option for a night of partying in Rio de Janeiro.
Carioca da Gema (Av. Mem de Sá, 79, Rio de Janeiro)
Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7.30pm to 3.00am.
Carioca da Gema is one of the most popular nightclubs in Rio de Janeiro with live samba music. Samba lovers of all ages flock to this downtown dance house, where lithe legs and flexible torsos shake up the dance floor. Housed in a tall and imposing colonial building, the club has balconies overlooking the busy streets of Lapa, perfect for people-watching and getting a breath of fresh air before continuing dancing.
The relaxed atmosphere and top-notch music make this venue a must for a night out in Rio de Janeiro.
Leviano Bar (Av. Mem de Sá, 47, Rio de Janeiro)
Open every day from 6pm to 4am.
Leviano Bar is a bar and music venue in a restored mansion with live samba, forro and another of its traditional Brazilian music.
Located in Old Town, this renovated colonial mansion has been colorfully transformed with illuminated artwork lining the brick walls, colorful cocktails, and an equally bright and refreshing playlist. An extensive music menu includes electro-heavy club nights, quieter jazz festivals and live samba sessions, while the downstairs dance floor buzzes most nights. The central balcony has plenty of space for drinking and chatting as long as you can hear the loud music. On select nights, there's also a live acrobatic show, with performers hanging from fabrics attached to the ceiling.
This extravagant club is the perfect place to drink and dance until dawn in Rio de Janeiro.
Comuna (R. Visc. de Maranguape, 9, Rio de Janeiro)
Open every day from 8.00 to 23.00.
Located in Botafogo, the city's emerging hipster neighborhood, Comuna is certainly one of the beating hearts of Rio de Janeiro's nightlife. Known for its amazing burgers and fries, live entertainment and DJ nights, this excellent cultural center also hosts art galleries, outdoor terraces, themed nights and a variety of DJ sets showcasing a passionately casual hipster aesthetic.
Comuna is not only an award-winning burger joint, but is often recognized by local food magazines for offering the best food in town . This is a place where cool kids come to mingle, dance and share ice cold bottles of beer.
Beco das Garrafas (Rua Duvivier, 37, Rio de Janeiro)
Open every day from 8pm to midnight.
This place is a chain of nightclubs consisting of the Bottles Bar and the Little Club nightclub. Since the late 1950s, musicians have gathered weekly to sing and drink in the crowded concert hall of this place.
While the space has changed, there is still a focus on giving new talent the opportunity to perform every day, with several shows from big names in Brazilian music highlighting the rhythms of Bossa nova.
Clube dos Democraticos (R. Riachuelo, 91, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Friday and Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00.
The Clube dos Demomos is one of the oldest live music venues in Rio hosting prestigious samba and forro bands. The slightly dilapidated but atmospheric Art Deco building is a popular spot for Rio's most traditional samba parties. The Club dos Demomos was founded more than a century ago as a carnival association bringing together musicians, dancers and others in the spirit of carnival.
The huge dance floor is regularly filled with samba sessions and the club still attracts live music lovers. This popular weekly event is the perfect place to explore the sensual style of music in northeastern Brazil. Don't worry if you can't dance - the locals are happy to teach you a step or two.
Cacique de Ramos (R. Uranos, 1326, Rio de Janeiro)
This nightclub in Rio de Janeiro offers samba evenings that are really beautiful and outside the traditional tours like Pedra do Sal and Lapa clubs. They offer a real “carioca” experience for free: you can participate in a samba roda, drinking beer and watching beautiful people dance. Although it is far from the city center and the south, it is not difficult to reach.
Arco dos Telles (Praça Quinze de Novembro, 34 A, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Thursday to Saturday from 6pm to 2am, Sunday from 4pm to midnight.
At Arco do Telles you will definitely find the best samba in the city, and it is a place where you can really hear and experience the traditional samba that is not shown in carnivals or on TV. A great place to listen to good music, drink a beer and learn about Brazilian culture.
Estudantina Musical (Prç. Tiradentes, 79, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Monday from 9.00 to 18.00, from Tuesday to Saturday from 20.00 to 3.00.
Estudantina Musical hosts the coolest forró parties in Rio de Janeiro. It's worth a stop here to listen to the forró music and watch the dancing. It's very fun and truly Brazilian! A truly unique place in Rio's nightlife.
Dancing can be a little difficult for someone who has never danced before, but the atmosphere here encourages you to learn the steps and movements to follow.
Kalabria Club (Av. Nossa Sra. de Copacabana, 1417, Rio de Janeiro)
Open every day from 10.30pm to 7.00am.
Located in the Copacabana neighborhood, Kalabria Club is another popular nightclub in Rio de Janeiro.
Tau Club (Rua Belfort Roxo, 88, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Sunday and Monday from 10pm to 4am, Tuesday to Saturday from 10pm to 5am.
Tau Club is a gay friendly nightclub in Rio de Janeiro. The place is very nice and there are excellent DJs, while the decoration and theme of the events are usually always interesting.
Pipper Club (R. Riachuelo, 97, Rio de Janeiro)
Open on Saturdays from 11pm to 7am.
A very eclectic place, Pipper Club is a fun and gay friendly nightclub that guarantees fun for everyone. They also have the best open bar in Rio de Janeiro at excellent prices by Carioca standards.
Pipper also has a terrace for smokers and for those who want to chat or rest a bit, as well as two ballrooms with different DJs and music for all tastes.
The bars and pubs of Rio de Janeiro
Bip Bip (R. Alm. Gonçalves, 50, Rio de Janeiro)
Bip Bip is a small, casual traditional Copacabana bar serving cheap beer and local-style bar food. Bip Bip is a popular place where famous local musicians start their impromptu jam sessions: depending on the night, the musicians play the famous samba, bossa nova and choro.
While not a nightclub by any means, Bip Bip is a very casual local hangout where you can hear some of the best live samba music in the world. One of the best live music venues in Rio de Janeiro.
Explorer Bar (R. Alm. Alexandrino, 399, Rio de Janeiro)
Open Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm to 11pm, Friday from 5pm to 1am, Saturday from 9am to 1am, Sunday from 9am to 10pm.
The Explorer Bar is the trendiest place in the Santa Teresa area. This bistro bar serves craft beers, creative cocktails and international cuisine. Come here for a drink or two and be amazed by the highly creative cocktail menu. There is also a wonderful terrace under the trees where you can watch the sunset.
Bar do Mineiro (Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 99, Rio de Janeiro)
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11.00 to 23.00.
A night out at this Santa Teresa institution is the perfect way to spend an authentic evening in Rio de Janeiro. The feijoada stew is a must of this place, a must try.
Bar da Cachaça (Av. Mem de Sá, Rio de Janeiro)
Open every day from 4pm to 5am.
Cachaça is Brazil's most famous alcoholic product made from sugar cane. If you want to taste a variety of cachaças at affordable prices, visit Bar da Cachaça. The bar itself is bland, with plastic tables and chairs facing the street, and on some days it can be so busy that it's hard to get a seat.
The menu is well stocked with different cachaças and every flavor imaginable. The bar is a popular hangout spot to start the night off before heading out clubbing.
Praia Skol (Av. Atlântica, s/n – Quiosque 27 28, Rio de Janeiro)
Open from Sunday to Wednesday from 9.00 to 2.00, from Thursday to Saturday from 9.00 to 4.00.
Praia Kiosk is one of the best bars on Copacabana beach . In this venue, a large roof and a central table connect its two separate bars. The Skol Kiosk on the north shore of Copacabana is a great place to meet up with friends while listening to local bands and enjoying the nightlife on a Saturday night, sipping on cheap beers.
Pestana Hotel (Av. Atlântica, 2964, Rio de Janeiro)
Located on Avenida Atlantica, this hotel enjoys a great location on Copacabana Beach. The rooftop terrace offers spectacular views of the beach and, in the evening, the deck lounge opens for happy hour and keeps the party going with drinks into the night.
A live DJ often directs the scene, creating a stirring backdrop to stunning visuals. It's open late, but it's a great place to have a cocktail by the pool, chat with friends, or just enjoy a drink before hitting the club.
Belmond Copacabana Palace (Av. Atlântica, 1702, Rio de Janeiro)
If you can afford a more luxurious experience, consider a visit to the Piano Bar at the Belmond Copacabana Palace, one of the most elegant bars in Rio de Janeiro . Enjoy the sounds of the South Atlantic and expertly crafted aperitifs among the wealthy clientele who frequent this venue. Just steps from the Copacabana Promenade, this legendary hotel offers the best views of the city and the sea.
Pavão Azul (Rua Hilário de Gouvêia, 71, Rio de Janeiro)
Open every day from 12.00 to 24.00.
Pavão Azul is one of the best bars in Rio to enjoy bar snacks, cold beer and a fun evening. Always very popular, the bar offers tasty dishes such as shrimp pastel, or juicy Bolinho de he Bacalhau, with a delicate chilli sauce called Malagueta.
Bar Urca (R. Cândido Gaffrée, Rio de Janeiro)
Open every day from 9.00 to 22.30.
Watching the sunset at Bar Urca is one of the locals' favorite things to do. You can brag about the beauty of the landscape while sipping beer and eating traditional bar food.
After a day at the beach, there's no better choice than going to Bar Urca for this experience. The upstairs restaurant also has a great view.
Eclipse Bar (Av. Nossa Sra. de Copacabana, 1309, Rio de Janeiro)
Open 24 hours a
day. Known for its hearty Brazilian and American dishes and always open, Bar Eclipse in Copacabana is the ideal place to share a snack with friends , eat late or just have a drink. Try the fried cod balls and the Barinhos de Bacalhau.
With large screen TVs showing football matches all day long, Bar Eclipse is also the perfect place to cool off and enjoy an evening watching your favorite Brazilian team.