In case you want to make new friends or you’re travelling all by yourself, this is the place to go! The cool thing is that Clandestino is open until late hours. The crowd is young and friendly and each night has a different feel to it. I loved the nachos I ordered and they have a bunch of beer brands for you to pick and choose. The dancefloor was packed and I had such a wild night with the Brazilian guys I met and the Italian friend who was staying in my hostel.
Rua Barata Ribeiro 111, Copacabana
Club 69 is a breakthrough nightclub. The sound system and the lights there are a reference and ispiration for every other (good) nightclub in Brazil. Once you get in there you feel like you're not on earth. It’s, basically, a black box with lights on the walls and ceiling - red, green, yellow, purple, orange, blue. It’s surely a designer club! Plus the fact the the place is packed with b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l Brazilians. My recommendation is: swallow down a couple of shots, get a real fancy drink and cruise. The place is great for meeting locals!
Rua Prudente de Morais, 416 - Ipanema
A cozy wooden haven for the true beer enthusiasts! A Brazilian friend told me that the beer at Devassa was simply the best. Apparently they have their own home-made brand of beer (Blonde, Ale, Indian) I tasted them all, and could not put them aside. Devassa is located at the heart of Ipanema, close to other great spots for shopping or chilling. The place was packed with people living out the true carioca lifestyle. A place to have fun after going to the beach. Don't count with parking spots, you won't find it, but other than that, it's a great experience!
Rua Prudente de Moraes, 416 - Ipanema
After days and days of clubbin’ with my friends in small, noisy and smoky (up to the point that it got me feeling – and smelling – like an ashtray at the end of the night) clubs, it was with great relief and joy that I stumbled upon Zero Zero, this sophisticated and trendy club in Gavea neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. They have this huge open-air lounge area with lots of couches and benches and there are candlelights all around, that add a sexy, romantic vibe to it. It’s great for those moments when you want to chill, take some time-out from partying and just want to chat and have a drink. The music is great too, and so is the crowd. Lots of good-looking people. I recommend it!
Avenida Padre Leonel Franca, 240 - Gávea
55 21 2540 8041
My partner and I chose this hotel because of its location in Santa Teresa, the bohemian neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro. It's a lovely property with clean and well sized rooms, beautiful public spaces inside and out and a breathtaking view from our room and from the pool. The owners were happy to suggest places to eat and enjoy the Brazilian night life and gave us all the advice we needed for exploring the city. Highly recommended!!
Rio de Janeiro is quite an amazing place. Imagine a huge, antique house that used to be a brothel (a fancy one) in one of the cutest neighborhoods of the city. Many decades after its closure, the house now keeps the same name, Casa Rosa, from the old times, but has nothing to do with prostitution anymore.
Nowadays, its a place that offers so many attractions you wouldn't believe. During the day, it operates as a cultural centrr with awesome classes for tourists. There you can learn, as a total beginner, with few classes, the samba dance and the capoeira.
If you think you will never get the way to manage such beautiful movements, you are mistaken!
At nights the place also works as a nightclub, with Brazilian sounds mainly. At Sundays, they offer samba with feijoada, the national and lovely dish included. A must!
Rua Alice 550, laranjeiras
Hideaway is a pizzaria and lounge in Laranjeiras, Rio de Janeiro. The place successfully combines a nice thin and crispy pizza with a big and modern place, full of young and beautiful people.
They also have shows (pop, Brazilian, jazz music) and a dance floor that mixes many styles of music. A complete night!
Rua das Laranjeiras, 308, Laranjeiras
Shenanigans is an unique pub, not only because of the locality, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, but also because of the Irish-Carioca style mix.
You will find everything an authentic pub must offer: nice beers, pool and smoke together with the typical style of Rio, like nice and friendly people, great music playing and most of all, the carioca flair.
Visconde de Pirajá 112 A
Close to Praça General Osorio
In the tradition of Baixo Gavea, Botafogo is now developing a number of more upscale hangouts in the cultural hotspot of the neighborhood, the block of Voluntarios Da Patria between the Metro station and the Praia de Botafogo (the shore of the bay). In January the Drinkeria Maldita opened with a modern atmosphere for twenty-somethings and more elaborate drinks than you find at the usual restaurant or bar. And last month Odorico, with more focus on food but the same attention to interesting potations, opened almost across the street, next to the Unibanco cinema complex.
Voluntarios Da Patria between the Metro station and the Praia de Botafogo.
Drinkeria Maldita, Rua Da Patria 10, Botafogo, Rio.
Tel : 00 55 21 2527 2456 matrizonline.oi.com.br/drinkeriamaldita/
If you're in Rio and it's not carnival time, you can still find some of that carnival atmosphere and authentic samba. Head to the weekly "ensaio", or rehearsal, of Salgueiro, one of Rio's top samba schools. Don't worry you don't have to dress up or know how to dance. It's basically a big party to familiarise people with the school's music, while also helping to raise money for costumes and floats.
All samba schools run ensaios, usually on the weekends, but Salgueiro is one of the more conveniently located. Just hop in a taxi and ask for "a quadra do Salgueiro".
Rua Silva Teles 104, Andarai Tel. 021-2288 3065
The Lord Jim Pub was founded by the late Jim Phillips and his wife, Annie, in 1974. It was once a favourite haunt of Ronnie Biggs and today is one of Rio's most popular nightspots with both expats and a young Carioca crowd. If you're looking for somewhere to watch the English Premier League, Series A, La Liga or the Champions' League, The Lord Jim shows two, sometimes three, premiership matches a week and four Champions' League games every round on its big screen. And following our long-awaited Ashes triumph, cricket junkies will be able watch live coverage of England's winter tour to Pakistan.
The pub has a selection of imported draught beers including Guinness, Heineken and Old Speckled Hen, and, if you feel like a taste of home, the pub grub menu includes full English breakfast, fish and chips and a selection of pies, steaks and curries. If you're staying at the Copacabana Palace, Annie Phillips is still around, working as hospitality manager.
The Lord Jim Pub is at Rua Paul Redfern 63, Ipanema, a block and a half back from the beach, near the Jardim de Alah, between Rua Prudente de Moraes and Rua Visconde de Pirajá. You can't miss it. There's a working red London 'phone box outside. Tel. 2259 3047, www.lordjimpub.com.br
We had a terrific night at this converted colonial mansion. It's littered with antiques, trinkets and other remnants of Rio past, and hosts samba, choro and various fusion bands. The music was great but the atmosphere was made by the mixed crowd - young and old, locals and tourists - all of whom manage to strut their stuff in the relaxed environment.
Bunker club between Ipanema and Copacabana is popular with local kids and students. It's dark, spacious and a good place to avoid the 'filhas de programa'; in other words, it's somewhere to meet girls who aren't after your cash.
Nova Geracao Jiu Jitsu is a great club in which to learn the grappling style that's changed the martial arts' world. Guys from all over Leblon train together and it's very open to beginners.
Bunker - big square between Ipanema and Copacabana. The club is on the south side, on the main bus route. NGJJ is off Viconde de Piraha in Leblon. Popular local club, near beach.
Someone recommended the street party in Lapa on a Friday night. I would agree with this as it's an amazing night out, but I would warn people to keep their wits about them. I've been twice now on separate trips a year apart and the second time (August 2005) it seemed a lot more crowded and definitely more shifty.
This maybe something to do with the fact that it's now in the trusty Lonely Planet as a 'Rio essential' so there are far more tourists now, which inevitably attracts more unsavory characters. I'm not saying this to be a travel snob - when we were there guns were fired at the top of the famous steps which resulted in a stampede and a nasty crush at the bottom. It's still a great night - just stay away from the top of the steps (the farther up you go the more shady it gets) and go in a big group if possible. Oh, and stay away from the brightly coloured shots in the plastic tubes - they're lethal and taste revolting - have a caipirinha!
Lapa - near Cinelandia metro.
Lapa - a tiny, funky little neighborhood once known as the Montmartre of the Tropics - has in recent years developed a very active nightlife scene that i recommend. One of the most unusual but brilliant nights out I've had. It's basically a little neighbourhood where you can come and go from various houses to watch and dance to live samba bands. People fill the surrounding streets selling all sorts of shots wrapped in plastic, like little alcoholic water balloons. When we went on a Friday night, it seemed like all of Rio was there. It seemed pretty safe. Despite lots of staring at my white legs, i never felt threatened.
Lapa is dead easy to find. It's centered at the Largo da Lapa at the foot an old and very picturesque aqueduct known as the Arcos da Lapa. In addition to those two sights, Lapa offers some lovely old colonial buildings.
A traditional "gafieira" where locals go to dance and hear great Brazilian popular music. Cheap and cheerful, with plain dusty floorboards, but the atmosphere is wonderful, especially at weekends, and the live bands are excellent. Sit back and watch expert dancers in their element, or take to the floor if you dare!
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