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Rio de Janeiro nightlife

Rio de Janeiro nightlife offers a world-class live music scene and thriving club circuit, even outside the festival season. Like any other city, individual spots come and go—check the daily club listings at Rio This Week or the "Rio Show" pullout in the Friday edition of O Globo (in Portuguese). If you prefer to take the night as it comes, start at one of the streetside restaurants near the beach, a botequim bar in Lapa, or in one of Santa Teresa's artists' hangouts, and it'll be hard not to make new friends.

Most clubs and many bars in Rio operate on a clever tab system, whereby you are issued a slip of paper upon entering the establishment. Bartenders and waiters mark what you've ordered, and you pay upon leaving. Once you get used to the system, you realize how civilized it is: You don't have to deal with cash (and neither, naturally, do most employees) and you can usually use a credit card. Just plan to duck out before last call, or expect a long wait when everyone tries to settle up and leave at the same time.

And while millions flock to Rio each year for its famous Carnaval, the Brazilian calendar is replete with lesser-known feiras, festivals, and saints' days, each promising its own distinctive permutation of the Brazilian party theme. Riotur's events calendar gives useful updates on current events.

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Armazém São Thiago, Santa Teresa

This quaint drinking den, also known as the Bar do Gomes, has changed little since it opened in 1919. The faded sepia photos plastering the brick walls show the...more

Editors' Pick
Centro Cultural Carioca, Centro

A campaign to push out the pickpockets, drug dealers, and prostitutes that congregate around Praça Tiradentes in Rio's Centro still has a ways to go, but a...more

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Devassa Leblon, Leblon

The art of conversation is not dead in Brazil. Large groups can sit at tables for hours upon hours, drinking beloved tap beer (served "stupidly cold," as the...more

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Gay Rio, Rio de Janeiro

For one of South America's leading gay destinations, Rio is surprisingly straight. Or rather, gay life has become so integrated into the daily fabric of the...more

Editors' Pick
Lapa, Rio de Janeiro

Located near Centro, Lapa is a neighborhood that was—and still is—pretty run down, but in pretty fantastic way. The warren of small streets and...more

Editors' Pick
Noites Cariocas, Rio de Janeiro

After several shifts in artistic direction and sponsorship, what was once a yearly dance party has reemerged as a government-funded cultural festival with...more

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Hotel Photo
Nuth, Barra da Tijuca

A classic Brazilian pickup joint. This two-story nightclub in the high-rise-condo section of Rio brings together young, moneyed Brazilians and foreigners. Other...more

Editors' Pick
Results 1-7 of 7
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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