Rio is South America’s most passionate city, with friendly locals, blaring sun, and non-stop parties. Navigating the bustling city can be quite difficult, even for Brazilians, which is why we’ve put together a quick n’ dirty cheat sheet of Rio de Janeiro nightlife. Here you can find the best nightlife venues and traditions as recommended by locals.
Best Bar: Palaphita Kitch
An Amazonian-themed bar on the shore of the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Rio’s own lake and oasis. Drink some cocktails here (and play with the parrots!) while watching the sun set over Rio’s stunning landscape.
Best Live Music Venue: Rio Scenarium
The most famous club in Rio, in the Lapa district, with three floors and decorated from floor to ceiling with antiques. Brazilian beats energize the club all night long. It attracts both locals and foreigners from Tuesdays – Saturdays.
Best Club: Castelo das Pedras
Funk is dance music born straight out of Rio’s favelas (slums) and is not for the faint of heart. Venture into the favela Rio das Pedras, enjoy an unique night of pulsating beats and gyrating bodies at Rio’s best baile funk.
Best Drunk Munchie: Brazilian Hot Dog
When you stumble out of the club at 5am, you’ll be sure to find a hot dog cart. These hot dogs are beasts compared to their North American counterparts – replete anything you can think of – corn, cheese, fried onions, potatoes, and often more than one “dog”. Chow one down before going home.
Hangover Breakfast: Pastel & Caldo de Cana
What can cure a hangover better than deep fried Brazilian food and a refreshing cup of sugar cane juice? Eat a pastel (Brazilian pastry filled with things like cheese and minced meat), drink caldo de cana, and you’ll be good as new.