Planning a trip to Rio de Janeiro? You're probably wondering exactly where to go to find the best party spots Brazil's most famous city offers. We've got you covered with this in-depth guide to some of the best bars, clubs, and music venues in Rio de Janeiro.
Whether you're looking for an all-night dance club pumping EDM and hip-hop till dawn or a one-of-a-kind local hangouts frequented by some of the world's best samba musicians, you'll find what you're looking for here.
What's Rio de Janeiro nightlife like?
It's no mystery that Rio loves to party. Home to the biggest Carnival celebration in the world, Rio boasts over 2 million partiers on its streets every spring during the colorful pre-Lent festival. The city also hosts a massive New Year's Eve celebration every year. The NYE Celebration is its second-largest yearly festival, known for its spectacular fireworks display above the sprawling waterfront.
But despite its larger-than-life feel, the nightlife in Rio is actually surprisingly casual. There's no need to dress up for a night out clubbing in this South American social hub, so just throw on whatever you're feeling, grab your friends, and hit the city.
Oh, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes because the party usually doesn't get going until past midnight! Cariocas, or Rio de Janeiro locals, are known to regularly party till the sun comes up.
Where's the best nightlife in Rio?
If you're in the know of the best Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods, then you already know that Zona Sul is the place to be during the day. Gorgeous beaches, unique hostels, delicious food, you name it.
But everything changes at night. And even though Rio is known for its mind-blowing parties, some parts of the city are way better for nightlife than others. If you've been doing your research, you've probably heard about some of the spots in Lapa, a neighborhood in the central district known for its countless nightclubs and music venues.
Lapa is definitely the spot, and we'll do a deep dive into that soon, but that's not the only place to find fiery nightlife in Rio. Botafogo, also in Rio's Zona Sul or South Zone, boasts some unbeatable nightlife, and even Copacabana has some must-see spots.
Keep reading to find out exactly which spots you'll want to add to your list.
The historic Lapa neighborhood is by far Rio's best-known hub for nightlife. Packed full of bars, nightclubs, and music venues, this lively and beautiful neighborhood has something for everyone.
Lapa hosts its own street party on Friday and Saturday nights, so heading to this Centro neighborhood is like gearing up for a festival. Just keep in mind that even though Lapa is a hot destination for locals and tourists alike, it's not a very safe area during the day.
That might sound a little contradictory, but the neighborhood is safer when more people are around, which is definitely at night. So, just make sure to go with your friends and have a safe plan for getting back to wherever you're staying when the night finally comes to a close.
Copacabana is one of Rio's most famous and classic neighborhoods. But because it's been on the world's radar for so long, it can sometimes feel too touristy. Dig below the surface of Copacabana's nightlife, and you'll actually find some of the most authentic hangouts in the city.
Copacabana is also one of the safest neighborhoods in Rio! If the fast pace of Lapa seems a bit too much for you, consider spending a night exploring this classic Rio neighborhood could be a night well spent.
Botafogo might not seem the most obvious choice for chasing down Rio's famous nightlife. Still, it's home to some of the hippest bars and nightclubs around. If you're down to wander off the beaten path and find out where the coolest people in Rio hang out, read on about the best spots in Botafogo.
The Best Nightlife Attractions in Rio de Janeiro
We won't lie to you: there are literally hundreds of fantastic spots in Rio that come alive at night. A short walk down some of the streets in Lapa or Copacabana and you'll know what I'm talking about.
But, luckily for you, we've narrowed it down to make it easier on you. Check out all of the best spots you should visit while you're in one of the areas.
Best spots to visit in Lapa
- Rio Scenarium – One of Lapa's most popular and unique spots, Rio Scenarium is an eclectic, multilevel bar hosting live music and dancing, plus fantastic food and drinks. Rio Scenarium features an impressively colorful décor features vintage furniture and an entire wall covered in old clocks. This place will get you some amazing photos of your night out. Instagram story, anyone?
- Carioca da Gema – A hotspot for live samba music, Carioca da Gema will serve pizza and drinks. At the same time, you'll tune in to traditional Brazilian music in a gorgeous old mansion. What more could you want? Its laidback vibe and world-class music make this venue one to not miss on a night out in Lapa.
- Leviano Bar – Part of Rio's stunning historic district, Lapa is full of gorgeous re-purposed mansions, many of which house unbeatable bars and nightclubs. Leviano Bar is no different. A bar and music venue situated inside a restored mansion, Leviano Bar hosts, live samba and forró, another traditional type of Brazilian music.
They even feature live acrobatic shows with performers dangling from fabrics anchored to the ceiling on certain nights.
- Circo Voador – More affordable than some of Rio's larger concert venues, Circo Voador (Portuguese for "flying circus") is one of the most popular clubs in the city. They feature performances from local hip bands touring acts. This spot also features community workshops, festivals, and themed parties.
A favorite community gathering place for Rio locals, Circo Voador, is not to be missed or skipped in anyone's nightlife itinerary.
Best spots to visit in Copacabana
- Bip Bip – Sadly, Copacabana used to have way more of an authentic nightlife scene before the pandemic hit. Legendary clubs like Fosfobox and TV Bar had to close their doors after much income was lost. But that all makes Bip Bip is still standing even more special. Definitely not a nightclub, Bip Bip is an ultra-casual local haunt for hearing some of the best live samba music in the world.
A popular place for famous local musicians to start up impromptu jam sessions, Bip Bip has a serve-yourself beer fridge and some world-class music. If you're a fan of either, this resilient Copacabana spot is where to be on a night out.
Best Spots in Botafogo
- Bar Bukowski – Named for the famous rebel poet Charles "Chuck" Bukowski, Rio's very own rock'n'roll bar Bar Bukowski has three separate lounges and bars, plus a stage for live music and karaoke. If you're trying to really let your hair down in Rio, head to the city's hippest neighborhood and rock out at Bar Bukowski.
- Comuna – As the city's rising hipster neighborhood, Botafogo is sometimes called "BotaSoho." Following suit, Comuna is a bar, restaurant, bookstore, and arts space that's become one of the most popular places for the hippest young people of Rio to socialize. Known for their amazing burgers and fries plus live shows and DJ nights, Comuna is definitely the place to go to tap into the pulses of Rio's hippest scene.
Is Rio de Janeiro's nightlife worth it?
Definitely! Rio de Janeiro boasts one of the best nightlife scenes in the world.
Lapa definitely has the highest concentration of bars, nightclubs, and music venues in Rio. Still, it's worth venturing into other neighborhoods, too. Botafogo is where the cool kids hang, and Copacabana is the choice spot for Rio's most notable musicians.
Remember to be safe, sort your transportation to and from wisely, and stick with your friends as you move through the city.
Plan your trip to Rio
Whether you want a laidback night spent listening to some traditional Brazilian music or a rowdy one spent dancing till sunrise, Rio has you covered. Have fun!
If you're ready to start planning your adventure to Rio, make sure to give Pilot a try!