Rio de Janeiro Nightlife, Best places to visit

On any given night of the week, you will find many ways to experience Rio de Janeiro’s electrifying nightlife: open-air bars by the beach; festive drinking spots on the colonial streets of the Centro; kiosks by the sea; elegant lounges and discos; and warm and welcoming botecos (small open-air bars) that are scattered all over the city.

If you are a lover of nightlife, visit Rio de Janeiro and find out how different it is to enjoy a beautiful night out in the wonderful city. For that to happen in the best way, we will show you some tips that can help you enjoy your nights much more in this very world-famous city. Let’s go.

Rio de Janeiro’s nightlife attracts different kinds of people

As in most places in the world, there are different cultures and different styles in Rio de Janeiro’s nightlife. 

People with more purchasing power in the South Zone tend to prefer the sophisticated bars in Gávea and Barra, while the alternative crowd heads for the bars in Botafogo or the many busy venues in Rio’s magnificent nightlife. 

The mixture of bars and dance houses in the Lapa neighborhood attracts people from all backgrounds, who may have little in common other than their love of samba and enjoying the night.

The venues can sometimes be different and the best parties are usually unique events at unique venues, so it helps if you can get the latest news from a local source. If you’re visiting Rio de Janeiro, pick up the ‘Veja Rio’ insert from Veja magazine, which comes out every Sunday. ‘Rio Show’, an entertainment insert that accompanies the Friday edition of O Globo, also features extensive listings on the top nightlife parties happening in the city.


To get to know Rio’s culture, familiarize yourself with one of the city’s great sociocultural icons: the so-called boteco. These informal, open bars are found all over the city and attract a wide cross-section of society. 

Boteco in Rio de Janeiro

The young and old, upper and middle class, men and women, and different races mingle over a delicious cold draft beer or caipirinhas (cocktails made with lemon, sugar, made with pinga or vodka, which are the most famous).

Just as most Cariocas (residents of Rio) have a favorite team, almost every local has a favorite boteco. These range from places where canned beer is handed out to beer lovers leaning over plastic tables to classic bars with wood paneling and murals on the walls, expertly prepared drinks, and a history that goes back several generations. Wherever you go in the city, you will find that the food is an important part of the experience, as Cariocas evaluate bars not only by the drinks and the atmosphere but also by the menu.

Lately, the beer scene has improved immensely thanks to the growth of the craft beer industry throughout Brazil. New bars with the best craft beers in the state and elsewhere have opened all over Rio, and because of this the nightlife in the city of Rio de Janeiro is booming, not only for locals but also for tourists.

Night Clubs

Rio has great places to party at night. DJs use the latest favorite sounds of house, drum and bass, and hip-hop, as well as uniquely Brazilian combinations like electro-samba, bossa-jazz, and the famous funk. 

Besides local DJs, Rio attracts many DJs from São Paulo, New York, and London to play at larger events. Flyers announcing big parties can be found in boutiques in Ipanema and Leblon, and the surf shops of the River Gallery on Arpoador Beach. 

Girl dancing in Rio de Janeiro Night club

You save money by getting on the guestlist by purchasing or reserving your spot at the club in advance, this usually means adding your name to the club’s event list page.

Comanda consumption is widely used in Rio de Janeiro’s nightlife

In many clubs in Rio, you will be given a so-called “commanda de consumo” upon entering the venue. Instead of paying for individual drinks, your card will be marked each time you order. 

At the end of the night, you go to the cashier and pay for the drink and food consumed on your comanda, plus the entrance fee, a much easier way to enjoy the nightlife of Rio de Janeiro. Don’t lose your comanda, as most nightclubs charge a hefty fee (over R$200.00).

The LGBT movement also loves the nightlife in Rio de Janeiro

Rio has been an important destination for LGBT tourists since the 1950s. Back then the excitement happened near the Copacabana Palace, which is still popular with a slightly older crowd. 

Today, however, the party has mostly changed, with the focus of the LGBT scene, mainly for visitors, in Ipanema. The gay beach at the end of Rua Farme de Amoedo is much visited and just look for the rainbow flag and you’ll know where the stronghold of the LGBT movement in Rio is. 

The bars and cafes in the nearby streets – Rua Teixeira de Melo and Rua Farme – attract a crowd of all styles and tastes and are a good place to explore and learn even more about the nightlife in Rio de Janeiro.

Good to know about nightlife in Rio de Janeiro

Hours of Operation

Bars From 6 pm to 2 am Monday through Friday, starting at noon on Saturdays and Sundays. Most places stay open later (usually until 4 am) on Friday and Saturday nights.

Nightclubs from 11 pm to 5 are Thursday through Saturday.

Prices for drinks and appetizers

A draft beer costs R$8.00 to R$12.00, cocktails cost R$15.00 to R$25.00, and even R$40.00 in more expensive lounges. Most bars charge a 10% service charge.

Tickets on Fridays and Saturdays are the most expensive nights, with tickets averaging R$50.00. Women sometimes pay less than men and in some places, they can enter without paying.

Entering nightclubs

The dress code in nightclubs is not strict in Rio. Shorts and stylish sneakers are good styles to wear, it all depends on how you dress and how you feel.

Go before midnight to avoid the lines.

By location

Ipanema & Leblon: Lots of bars, plus lots of lounges and nightclubs for you to enjoy the nightlife in Rio de Janeiro.

Gávea, Jardim Botânico and Lagoa: Romantic lakeside bars frequented by couples. Kiosks, bars, nightclubs, and bars in Copacabana and Praia do Leme with beautiful views.

Botafogo, Humaitá, and Urca: Several popular spots in Urca; great botecos and creative bars, and nightclubs in Botafogo for you to enjoy a lot.

Centro and Praça Mauá: Lots of bars for a chat after work, on the pedestrian sidewalks in the Centro.

Santa Teresa and Lapa: with differentiated and bohemian bars, also with more agitated places, street parties, and samba clubs.

Best bars for drinking in Rio de Janeiro’s nightlife

Explorer Bar: Amazing cocktails in a beautiful setting of Santa Teresa.

Palaphita Kitch: Cocktails with Amazonian touches and serene views of the lake.

Canastra: A friendly French neighborhood bar with good food and drinks.

Bar dos Descasados Lounge: Romantic outdoor bar with beautiful views.

Comuna: Creative meeting place with lots of art, music, and craft beers.

Winehouse: Rio’s most engaging wine bar.

For Socializing

Antônio’s: A great place to enjoy the nightlife in the streets of Lapa.

Jobi Miúdo: Beloved boteco bar in Leblon opens very late and is very well rated.

Ovelha Negra Champagne Shop: A festive meeting place for champagne lovers.

Ponto da Bossa Nova: One of the pillars of the outdoor drinking scene.

Hipódromo: Open-air drinking party that happens almost every night in Gávea.

For dancing

Palaphita Gávea: A fun space, with relaxed decoration, with a dance club that opens on weekends and always attracts a lot of fun people.

Fosfobox: Old nightclub on the lower floor in Copacabana.

Barzin: The ideal place for great nights out, especially on Tuesdays.

Bar Bukowski: Party house in Botafogo with dance floor, stage upstairs, and games room.

Leviano Bar: Open-air tables on Lapa’s busiest street and dance floor upstairs.

Botecos to visit

Pavão Azul: Cold beer and great appetizers always attract many people.

Boteco Belmonte: Quiet bar on Leme’s waterfront.

Bar do Gomes: Old charming bar in the Santa Teresa neighborhood.

Booze Bar: Taste local craft beers in the heart of Lapa.


As we can see, the nightlife in Rio de Janeiro is very exciting and fun, with endless options for all kinds of tastes, the wonderful city attracts millions of people every year.

Besides the incredible places to stay, the exuberant views and the best drinks and company, make your night perfect.

About the author

Hi! I'm Breno, a Brazilian digital nomad, and I'm super excited to show you my country. My passion is to travel and here I talk all about Brazilian places for you to go with no fear.

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