The Best Places To Party In Rio

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As the host of the most popular carnival in the world, Rio certainly knows a thing or two about throwing a great party, and there is no doubt that for those picking their destinations for a great night life then the city should be right at the top of the list. This can begin from the great beaches where people can grab a beer and relax during the day, such as the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro through to nightclubs that keep the party going late into the night. However, for those coming to Rio to party, the Carnaval is still the biggest attraction for visitors.



The most popular area of the city for nightclubs and bars, Lapa is an historic district at the heart of Rio with some very impressive architecture, but most importantly it also has a wonderful vibrant night life. Many of the buildings that are home to these clubs have a traditional atmosphere, which may be because many are over two centuries old, but this doesn’t dull the party with a range of music styles from dance and house through to samba and choro to be heard. Those looking for live music will find some good bands at Beco do Rato and Carioca da Gema, while Cabaret Casanova and Leviano are popular dance venues and Cine Ideal draws the LGBT crowd.

Ipanema And Copacabana

The beaches of Rio are where many visitors will choose to spend the day, and with several bars along the seafront facing these beaches you do not have to go far in order to find somewhere to grab a drink and to continue the party. The strip near the Copacabana beach is probably slightly larger, and is home to the popular Fosfobox club which has dance and electro music on Fridays and a rock party vibe on Saturday nights. Ipanema has a slightly different vibe in the evenings, and Emporio is a popular rock bar, while those partying late into the night will enjoy Club 69 and the upmarket stylish scene at Baronneti.


Located to the south of Rio’s city center, the upper middle class district of Botafogo has plenty going for it in terms of nightlife, and the pleasant Botafogo beach is underrated by many people when compared with Copacabana and Ipanema. There are a series of bars located throughout the area, but it is the two large nightclubs that really draw the night time crowds. Casa da Matriz enjoys a fairly relaxed vibe located in an old colonial house with different rooms offering different music styles, while Pista 3 offers different levels with rock and electronica music on offer.

Santa Teresa

Named for a convent that was once located in this hilltop area of Rio, Santa Teresa may be outside the area where big clubs can be found, but it still has plenty going for it. The bohemian and artistic vibe of the area is one that is yet to be really discovered by visitors, and strolling between the pleasant bars on the cobbled streets is certainly different to much of the rest of Rio’s night life. Armazem Sao Thiago is home to a popular bar where the crowds often spill out into the streets, while Bar Simplesmente has a younger crowd and is a good value place to meet friends for a few drinks.

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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.