If you are ever in Rio and want to know where to go at night, the choices are endless. You literally can walk down the street and find something going on, even if it is just a little corner restaurant or bar, that only opens after the sun goes down. And it’s amazing because these types of places will simply put out tables and chairs on the sidewalk, crank up some music or turn on a soccer match, and they will have 30 – 40 people sitting or standing out there singing, dancing or whatever.
I would say that on average, Brazilians tend to have a better outlook on life compared to many other cultures around the world. They do not really take a lot of stuff seriously and although many of them do not have a lot in life, they do not seem to let that bring them down for too long. And those types of attitudes make for a great party atmosphere I can assure you.
So here are some of my favorite options for nightlife in Rio. I have divided them up into live music, traditional club type environments and bars and pubs. You are guaranteed to have a good time at any of them.
Live Music in Rio
Fundição Progresso –(Lapa)
Address: Rua dos Arcos 24 (21) 2220-5070
Entrance Fee: R$80
If live Brazilian music is your thing, this is the place to go because it tends to be percussionists type bands with a lot of samba inspired music. It really gets going at 11 PM, but there is plenty to do and see in Lapa if you want to go early.
Carioca da Gema (Lapa)
Av. Mem de Sá 79
More samba and live music featuring percussionists and members of the band Zeca Pagodinho. Bands usually take to the stage around 10 PM.
Leviano Bar (Lapa)
Address: Mem de Sá 47 (21) 2507-5779
Entrance Fee: R$15
A two floor bar featuring live bands and DJs. Local band R4 Life performs every Monday night at 9PM.
Lapa 40º (Lapa)
Address: Rua do Riachuelo 97 (21) 3147-9005
Entrance Fee: R$30 for men, R$20 for women
Live Brazilian music featuring local bands such as Mangueira and Batuque na Cozinha usually take the stage around 11:30 PM.
Pedra do Sal (Gamboa in Centro)
Address: Rua Argemiro Bulcão 38
Classic samba with an emphasis on the music’s African roots. One of the best places in the city on Monday night for live music with a samba and African theme. The fun typically starts around 6 PM.
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Lapa in Rio
Clubs in Rio
Rio Boat Club (Glória Marina)
Address: Avenida Infante Dom Henrique
Entrance Fee: R$60
The weekly club is located in a double decker boat sitting in the marina in Gloria. The club features all types of music with DJs, has a capacity of up to 150 passengers and literally transforms into a floating nightclub equipped with a full bar, bathrooms, sound system and dance floor lighting. Every Monday, boarding starts at 11PM with happy hour (free drinks) continuing until midnight, then the boat departs at 12:30 AM and travels around Guanabara Bay for amazing nighttime views of the bar and city. Great scenery on and off the boat.
Prainha Lounge (Lagoa)
Av. Borges de Medeiros 1426
Entrance: R$40 for men, R$30 for women
Live music featuring dance and Brazilian traditional music in a dance club atmosphere. Fun starts at 10 PM
Av. Epitácio Pessoa 1484
Entrance: Starts at R$30
Located in beautiful Lagoa with amazing views of the lake and mountains beyond, this is a great place to take a lady or meet one. Features DJs and dance music. Things really start hopping at 11 PM and beyond.
Old is Black (Gávea)
Address: Av. Padre Leonel Franca 240
Entrance Fee: R$40 for men, R$30 for women
DJs spin the vinyl (and CD) at midnight. Lots of girls with a large dance floor inside and outside the club. Also serves food. venue serves food and drinks. The fun really begins at midnight.
La Paz Club (Centro)
Rua do Rezende 82
Entrance: Free if you call ahead and put your name on the guest list
Two floors of a rocking good time, featuring live music, including dance and pop hits, depending on the night. One of the more popular local bands is “Hit Me!” is a recurring favorite. Fun gets cranked up around 11 PM.
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Pubs and Bars in Rio
These are open during the day beginning around noon if you want to grab a beer, but you can hang out into the night if you like.
Address: Avenida Epitácio Pessoa
Entrance Fee: Free
This outdoor pub located in Lagoa on Rodrigo de Freitas Street and has beautiful scenery around it and lots of beers and mixed drinks on the menu. Opens at 11 AM. The beer specials and dinner starts after 6 PM.
Lapa Irish Pub (Lapa)
Address: Rua Evaristo da Veiga 147
Entrance Fee: R$20
Typical Irish bar décor and offers many types of beers. There are usually a lot of gringos hanging around this one so if you went to Brazil to see new people, you might want to skip this one. Opens at 5 PM
Shenanigan’s Live Music (Ipanema)
Address: Rua Visconde de Pirajá 122A
Entrance Fee: R$10 after 8PM
Shenanigan’s is another Irish theme pub located in the heart of Ipanema. It features live music and pub games. On Monday nights, steaks are half off until 9 PM. Lots of gringos and Brazilian women.
The Clover (Copacabana)
Address: Av. Atlântica 3.056 Loja. B
This is more of an upscale pub located in the heart of Copacabana on the main road by the beach. They have lots of imported beers and a more upscale environment. Happy Hour 2 for 1 Budweiser’s starts at midnight. Opens nightly at 7 PM.
Gringo Cafe (Ipanema)
Rua Barão da Torre 240 Loja A
The Gringo Café is owned by guess what? An American. It is more of a café/bar so it does not really fall into any of the other categories but I wanted to list it so that if you are looking for a more low key setting one night. The café features traditional type American food such as pancakes, salads, sandwiches and a lot more, including beer. It is open at 11 AM every day and is great place to go to get your American food craving satisfied. It gets live at night like a little neighborhood bar
So now you have a great list of places to go in Rio at night. You really cannot go wrong with any of them, it just depends on the type of setting you are looking for on a particular night. Also, if you stay in a hotel, the front desk will also have suggestions if you simply tell them what you are looking for.
Now that you have the information you need to have a good time in Rio de Janeiro. All you need now is a passport, a visa, airfare and hotel, some good travel luggage and the desire to go somewhere different. You will not regret it.
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