Before I came to Rio, a carioca (Rio native) told me that there is only one club in Rio that she can tolerate. I brushed aside her comment, but turns out the nightlife in Rio is not that great. There aren’t that many clubs represented for a city population of 8 million, and the ones that exist can be mediocre or empty. I must admit that it’s possible I didn’t explore well enough.
That said, here’s a run down of the clubs I visited.
Rua do Lavradio 20, Lapa
This is a good club if you want to get an idea of what Brazilian samba is about. The music is great but the age of the crowd ranges from early twenties to late sixties. Still, some of the older women look good and it’s fun to watch them vibrate their ass while samba dancing.
Av Padre leonel Franca 240, Gavea
I walked in on a Thursday night and my first thought was, “Jesus christ what a fucking sausage fest!” It wasn’t obvious at first, but I came on semi-gay night. The few girls there were all done up in expensive cocktail dresses and not very approachable.
The venue itself is very nice, with a dim outdoor lounge and medium-sized dancefloor inside. The music was spun by a competent DJ and the service was friendly, but I wouldn’t come here unless I was in a big group. Thursday and Saturday seem to be gay nights. Drinks are tasty but pricey.
Rua Barão da Torre 354, Ipanema
Just like most clubs, the scene depends on the night. For Baroneti I went on a Thursday night. There was quite a few young but cute girls (if you don’t mind braces), but they seemed to be more concerned with hanging with their friends than hooking up.
I find the bigger the groups of girls, the less concerned they are with meeting a guy for the night. Not saying it’s impossible, but it’s harder. Ideally you want girls to be hanging in pairs or triplets. Otherwise a cockblock is possible.
The bouncers here played favorites with the velvet rope and the cover was a whopping $20+ if you weren’t on the guestlist. It was during Carnival so I’m guessing it’s cheaper during the off season.
Rua Maria Quiteria 37, Ipanema
I hate this place because it’s a drunk gringo favorite with very few Brazilian girls. If you like to see Australian guys spit sloppy game, then come here.
Rua Viconde de Piraja 112, Ipanema
Another gringo bar, but with more Brazilian girls who are open to meeting gringo guys. Not an obvious drunk fest like Emporio.
The girls here can be hit or miss, but the relaxed atmophere of the bar and the fair prices make this a solid hangout. This is a must visit for a gringo man who misses beer and traditional bar food.
Rua Paul Redfern 63
This is the smaller version of Shennanigans that has less people but a more fun atmosphere. If you can’t pick up at Shennanigans then it will be much harder to do so here. If you’re lucky it will be crowded and they’ll open the upstairs bar. There’s live music on certain days.
Casa Da Matriz
Rua Henrique de Novais 107, Botofoga
This club is in Botofoga, a working class section of town that has girls not as used to the sight of Western gringos.
The club has two main dancefloors, one with Brazilian music and the other with more of an international sound. There are gringos but tons more Brazilians, and the house party vibe of the place makes it fun to hit on girls.
I have very good luck meeting girls here, and recommend this club to all my friends going to Rio. It’s a winner.
Lapa Street Party (Weekends)
This is the party of choice for cariocas who don’t have a lot of money (i.e. you won’t find rich people here). Cans of Skol beer and sausage snacks are sold cheap from street vendors. The attractiveness of girls hanging out on the street is very low so it will be in your best interests to find a bar or club nearby to dip into. Gringos get more attention here than other places, not just from girls but thieves as well.
Praca Santos Dumont
This is a square in a nice part of town that has two popular sit-down bars. Lot of people flow into the streets giving it a Lapa without the fear of muggings. Girls are prettier and not as sloppy.
Av. Atlântica 3432, Copacabana
No write-up of Rio’s nightclub scene is complete with mention of Help, an old 70’s-era club that helps gringo men meet Brazilian prostitutes. The cover is a little steep ($15), but you’ll finds gorgeous, half-naked Brazilian girls willing to sell their body for a modest price. Drinks aren’t expensive.
From what I observed, discussion of price is not the first thing you discuss. Have small talk with a girl you are interested in first, feel her out, then ease into it.
There is no point in coming here at the beginning of your trip. Try your hand at the places listed above first, and if you strike out and are still horny then Help will be able to help.
In conclusion, the best night spots in Rio are not obvious, but with some patience you will stumble on a place that has a decent number of girls to hit on.
Because there is no guarantee you will get something at night, definitely take advantage of the girls you see in the daytime, whether on the beach or in the juice bars. Don’t be shy to talk to them because chances are they will love practicing their English on a gringo. It’s better to go out at night with a date you set up from the day then head to a club alone that could be empty.
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“The few girls there were all done up in expensive cocktail dresses and not very approachable.”
What happened to game?7 years, 9 months ago
you are like the furthest thing from a real man. you need to rename your website7 years, 5 months ago
I’m sorry but i live in Rio and your guide needs updating and is WAY OFF BUDDY lol….5 years, 10 months ago
dear lord…you don’t know rio at all, specially Lapa…seems that you just stayed at the square.. You wrote a lot of crap…5 years, 6 months ago
This website can be a walk-by for the entire info you wished about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and also you’ll undoubtedly uncover it.5 years, 6 months ago
Hey guys Pub Crawl is a place to break outside of the boundaries of your culture, meet people from all over the word, party in a totally original way and get WASTED while you crawl through the best bars and clubs that Rio has to offer.
Thursday at 10:00pm Meet at: Praça General Osório, Ipanema Rio de Janeiro
-All you can drink FREE beer AND wine during registration (22:00-23:00)
-All you can eat FREE pizza during registration (22:00-23:00)
-A free shooter in every bar! (includes 3-4 bars)
-Exclusive drink discounts 2×1
-FREE entrance and transport to one of the hottest clubs in town!
-VIP like entrance to the club, SKIPPING THE LINE
for just 50 reais!
Tonight in Rio we will be Pub Crawling through the streets!! http://www.facebook.com/TheRioDeJaneiroPubCrawl4 years, 10 months ago
Look for all you haters ripping on this guys posting. I am currently in Rio and couldn’t agree more. All game goes away when you don’t speak Portuguese. Unless you speak it don’t bother coming to Rio. You will have tons more fun anyplace else. The nightlife and party scene is horribly lacking. Definitely not the party capital of the world. Any city in America is more hopping then here. The only thing that needs updated is the fact that Help is closed.3 years, 9 months ago
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