Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Rio de Janeiro’s most incredible spots for Beers, Bars and Nightlife

Rio de Janeiro is a hub of culture, sights, and things to do. The city has everything you could want, from its sprawling beaches to incredible views and hiking trails. There is always something going on. 

Now, if there is one thing Cariocas (this means people from Rio) know how to do, it’s how to enjoy themselves. The nightlife in Rio de Janeiro is spectacular. There are so many cool spots to have a beer and parties to attend. 

There is something to do every night in the city. They say New York is the city that never sleeps. Rio takes this to a whole new level. Some parties here finish at 6 am, and I’ve personally attended a Bloco (a street party) going well into midday from the night before. Let’s dive in and take a look at what Rio’s nightlife has to offer.  


When exploring Rio, it’s impossible to escape the lively rhythms of samba. Below, I’ve compiled a list of renowned nightlife spots where you can fully immerse yourself in the enchanting world of this musical genre. That’s why, to start with, I’ve gone with an entire section dedicated to samba!

Trapiche Gamboa

Nestled in the Gamboa neighbourhood, Trapiche Gamboa stands out as one of the most traditional samba clubs. Housed in a beautiful colonial building dating back to the mid-19th century, it has been a dedicated samba venue since 2004. Offering a distinctly local atmosphere, the club serves quality bar food and ice-cold beer while treating patrons to the sounds of traditional sambas. It’s conveniently located near Pedra do Sal and is hailed as the birthplace of samba.

Pedra do Sal

Recognized as the birthplace of samba, Pedra do Sal hosts a vibrant samba street party every Monday and Friday night. Local sambistas gather around 7 pm, initiating hours of musical revelry. The lively streets feature vendors selling drinks and food. After 3-4 hours of samba, the tunes transition to Brazilian funk or international hits, making this one of Rio de Janeiro’s most unique nightlife experiences.


Situated in the heart of Lapa, Sacrilégio is a stylish bar celebrated for its daily live samba shows. The beautifully adorned venue spans two floors, with the first dedicated to samba and the second to international hits. Reasonably priced food and drinks enhance the experience. Additionally, joining the Lapa Pub Crawl Rio de Janeiro provides an opportunity to visit Sacrilégio, with the entrance fee (typically around R$30,00) included in the Pub Crawl price.

Bip Bip

Located in Copacabana, Bip Bip is a modest yet traditional bar offering inexpensive beer and local-style bar food. The main attraction is the musicians, who skillfully play famous sambas, bossa novas, or choros on different nights. The emphasis here is entirely on the music, so maintaining a respectful volume and giving full attention to the band is critical to enjoying the experience.

Rua Nelson Mandela, Botafogo.

If you like watching Sports Rua, Nelson Mandela is a great little spot. Bars are open until around 2 am, and they have huge big-screen T.Vs in most of the bars on this street. The entire street is dedicated to bars and restaurants, and there are many great options. 

Most notably, Cafofo bar is a blend between a Hard Rock Cafe and a traditional sports bar. They play Premier League, Champions League and La Liga games here and all the Brasil Seria A matches. 

Another excellent spot on this street is Dow Jones Bar; this craft ale house operates its services like the traditional stock market, so the beer prices change on the popularity of the beverages sold at the time. They also have a beer menu at set prices if you just want to relax and not worry about fluctuating beer prices. The food here is alright, too!

Barra da Tijuca

In Barra da Tijuca, the bars and clubs have earned a reputation as havens for the affluent and glamorous elite, and places like Nuth certainly live up to that image.

Yet, beyond the high-energy dance floors of Barra da Tijuca’s nightclubs and bars in Rio de Janeiro, there are also more laid-back options for nightlife. Whether trying your hand at bowling, catching a blockbuster at the New York City Center entertainment and shopping complex, or immersing yourself in culture at the Teatro dos Grandes Atores, there’s something for everyone. I enjoy the nightlife, although I only come here on special occasions.

Parque das Rosas offers a relaxed atmosphere for a casual evening of drinks and dining. Suppose you’re in the mood for low-key options. In that case, Sao Nunca Botequim and Bar Civil are informal bar restaurants providing a more easygoing experience. And for those seeking a touch of sophistication, consider impressing a date at the aptly named Taste Me. Barra da Tijuca is very much a pay-to-play location, so keep that in mind when visiting. It can get expensive. 

Rua Dias Ferreira, Leblon

This cool street in the heart of the trendy Leblon neighbourhood is famous. It’s known as the high society’s place to eat and drink, and the bars and restaurants live up to that, as do the prices. Don’t let that put you off, though. The vibe here is something that needs to be experienced. My favourite spot is Esch Cafe; you can order a bottle of whiskey for the table and keep it there until you’ve had your fill. You pay by the dosage as it is poured, and they have a measure of the doubt you’ve had when you’ve finished. Be careful with this! Esch Cafe also has a dedicated Cigar Shop, which is pretty awesome, and they have a wide selection. You can go all out and be a total baller and get some crazy expensive cigars, or if you like me, shop at the lower end of the price point. 

I hope that this little guide has inspired you on places to visit in Rio de Janeiro at night. The only other thing I can suggest for you to do now is just give it a go!