Nightlife Brazilians know how to party and the Cariocas are no exception. Whether it is a post-soccer beer at a beach kiosk, an evening's entertainment at a live music venue or a cocktail at one of the growing number of trendy bars and clubs, a night out in Rio is to be savoured and enjoyed.
Beer seems to be served at all hours of the day and locals can often be seen enjoying a drink with friends at the corner bars that open out onto the streets in all parts of the city. Many bars and pubs have happy hours for people returning from work or the beach and most serve snacks and light meals. But the real action does not really start until around 2300, when the clubs open their doors for music and dancing and stay open until around 0400. Club entry fees cost around R$15 and cards are provided, onto which drink consumption is recorded – a minimum purchase of R$15 upwards is usually required. It is essential to keep hold of this card or face a forfeit charge, which can be as high as R$300 – much more than the average drinker could possibly consume. Beers are approximately R$5, while spirits or cocktails cost upwards of R$6. The minimum legal drinking age in Brazil is 18 years.
All areas have popular bars and clubs but the beach communities of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon are particularly good for a night out. Although clubs do not usually operate formal dress codes, Cariocas tend to dress up after dark and it is best to follow suit. Some venues refuse entry to people wearing shorts and T-shirts.
The O Globo newspaper publishes Rio Show, an excellent entertainment listings magazine on Friday. Entertainment information can also be found online at here. Good information and discounts for clubbing and nightlife in Rio also can be found online here.
Outdoor drinking can be enjoyed at the kiosks that line the beach promenades or around the Lagoa. For more of an indoor experience, try Bar Luiz, Rua da Carioca 39, Centro, one of the oldest bars in Rio and now popular with the business crowd. Devotees of the Girl From Ipanema song will want to visit Garota de Ipanema, Rua Vinicius de Moraes 49, Ipanema, where the composition was conceived. The sophisticated atmosphere of Melt, Rua Rita Ludolf 47, Leblon, attracts a young and trendy crowd for imported beer and cocktails, with a lounge club upstairs, open from 2300. Saturnino, Rua Saturnino de Brito 50, Jardim Botânico, is a new, smart bar popular with fashionable Cariocas. To sample some quality Brazilian fire water try Academia da Cachaça, Rua Conde Bernardotte 26, Leblon. Those hankering for a pint of ale should visit the Lord Jim Pub, Rua Paul Redfern 63, Ipanema.
Rio vies with Buenos Aires for the title of clubbing capital of South America. Everything is on offer here from cheesy pop to samba house, drum and bossa and international dance music. Most clubs are open Wednesday to Saturday from 2200 onwards. Bombar, Avenida General San Martin 1011, Leblon is a current favourite with the happening crowd in Rio. It hosts a number of different club nights, including those dedicated to electronica, funk and beats music. Bunker 94, Rua Paul Pompéia 94, Copacabana, Casa da Matriz, Rua Henrique de Novais 107, Botafogo, and Six, Rua das Marrecas 38, Lapa, remain hugely popular for Brazilain dance and electronica. Help, Avenida Atlântica 3432, Copacabana, is a huge disco that is popular with the singles crowd.
Rio has a wide choice when it comes to live music. Samba, bossa nova, chorinho, rock, MBP (Brazilian pop), classical, blues and jazz can all be enjoyed nightly. An elaborate Carnival-style samba show can be seen at Plataforma 1, Rua Adalberto Ferreira 32, Leblon, daily from 2200. Favourites for bossa nova include New Garden, Rua Visconde de Pirajá 631, Ipanema, and Vinicius, Rua Vinicius de Moraes 39, Ipanema, daily from 2300 – in the bar and road named after Vinicius de Moraes of Girl from Ipanema fame, who penned many of his songs here with Tom Jobim. Another bossa nova hotspot is Thursday to Sunday from 2230 at Bar do Tom, Rua Adalberto Ferreira 32, Leblon, named after bossa nova pioneer Tom Jobim. Esch Café, Rua do Rosario 107, Centro, and Rua Dias Ferreira 78, Leblon, holds regular jazz evenings.