NIGHTLIFE IN RIO

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Rio de Janeiro after the sun sets, experiencing Brazilian nightlife and samba are at the top of the list. As one of the music capitals of Brazil, Rio features a wide variety of nightclubs, bars and venues with incredible live samba music.

Below, you will find Rio Samba Dancer’s recommendations on the best places to go in Rio. Feel free to choose a place and night to join our group. It’s an easy way to make new friends, learn how to dance and share your samba experience with different cultures. After the dance lesson, the tour guide will take you out on the town and will give local expertise on the best ways to enjoy your time in Rio.

Normally, we take our groups to the Rio Scenarium (see below) as it is by far one of the most famous places to go. Each night, crowds of people wait in long lines just to get in. But don’t worry, Rio Samba Dancer’s got connections—we cut the line.

To learn more about the greatest of the carioca nightlife, here are the top 8 places you must visit in Rio.

Rio Scenarium, Lapa

Description

The internationally renowned Rio Scenarium features 3 floors of extravagant, antique décor with live music, food and dancing. The first floor has a live samba band, the second a nightclub and the third floor is more relaxed with sitting and smoking areas.

The Live Samba Band plays Samba, MPB (Brazilian Popular Music), Forró, Choro and Gafieira (Samba Partner) with 2 shows on the weekdays and 3 on Friday/Saturday.

If you have only one night in Rio, spend it at the Rio Scenarium—you will not be disappointed! Locals and tourists of all ages can be found dancing and having fun. From expert dancers to beginnings, it’s the perfect place to try your Samba no Pé and your Forró skills. Don’t be shy!

You also can arrive around 7:30pm to have a dinner and enjoy a live samba band. Or come for the night and try the Caipirinha (traditional Brazilian drink with cachaça, lime, sugar and Ice—you can even add your favorite fruit)

Address

Lavradio street, 20 – Lapa

Best day to go
Thursday, Friday and Saturday – Opening hours: Tues-Thu, 7pm-1:30am | Fri-Sat, 7pm-4am
Ps: Please don’t forget your ID or something with your name on it. Driver’s license is fine ;).
Price

Cover charge R$25-40

Dress code

Casual. Men cannot wear vests. They must wear a top with sleeves

Democraticos, Lapa

Description

The acoustics and vibe of the 1867 Democraticos mansion draw cariocas from all walks of life to enjoy samba, choro, gafieira and forró music. Wednesday is the best day to go, as you can see Forró and practice your moves. Feel free to dance when the locals invite you or invite someone yourself! It’s a cultural experience you’ll really enjoy.

Address

Riachuelo Street, 91 – Lapa

Best day to go

Wednesday – Opening hours: Wed-Sat, 9pm-3am

Music: samba, choro, gafeira, forró

Food: Brazilian traditional finger food.

Ps: Please don’t forget your ID or something with your name on it. Driver’s license is fine ;).

Ps: Cash only

Price

Cover charge R$25-40

Dress code

Casual

Lapa 40 Graus, Lapa

Description

With multiple levels at Lapa 40 Graus, you can lounge at tables on the first floor, play pool on the second floor or enjoy live music—pop, rock, samba and choro – on the third.

Around 6 pm, you will find local people hanging out after work for happy hour to play pool and listen to live music on the first floor.

Being a casual place, you will see some people dancing but most just enjoying the evening with friends. If you arrive early around 10pm (on Fridays and Saturdays) you can see some professional dancers. They wear special t-shirts and try to dance with all ladies in the club. After that, around 12am the DJ or live band starts and people start to throw back the drinks and start the party.

Address

Riachuelo street, 97 – Centro

Best day to go

Thursday, Friday and Saturday – Opening hours: Tues-Thu, 7pm-1:30am | Fri-Sat, 7pm-4am

Ps: Please don’t forget your ID or something with your name on it. Driver’s license is fine ;).

Music: Pop, rock, samba and choro

Price

Cover charge R$25-40

Dress code

Casual. Men cannot wear vests. They must wear a top with sleeves

Leviano, Lapa

Description

If you’re looking for a high class drinking and dance spot, Leviano Bar is the place.  They have reggae on Mondays, jazz on Tuesdays, afroreggae on Wednesdays, salsa and forró on Thursdays, a mix of just about everything—samba, pop, funk, hip hop and electric—on Fridays and Saturdays, and on Sundays, they have soccer and samba.

On Thursdays, they have salsa on the first floor and forró on the second. Or if you come on Sundays, you will see professional dancers doing a nice samba performance around 8 pm. Good drinks, decent food and a great live samba band.

Address

Avenida Mem de Sá, 47 – Lapa

Best day to go

Thursday or Sunday

Opening hours: Sun, 5pm. Mon-Wed, 9pm onwards. Thurs-Sat, 7pm onwards.

Music: Afroreggae, reggae, jazz, salsa, samba, forró, pop, hip hop

Ps: Please don’t forget your ID or something with your name on it. Driver’s license is fine ;).

Price

Cover charge: R$10-30

Dress code

Casual

Carioca da Gema, Lapa

Description

Merging two classic genres of samba and choro, Carioca da Gema features the best of Brazilian Pop Music from the North and South zone.

The place is so small but the music is so good. Enjoy the live samba band and try the pizza on the second floor—it’s delicious!

Address

Avenida Mem de Sá, 79 – Lapa

Best day to go

Sunday,Monday,Friday and Saturday

Opening hours: Mon-Thurs, 7pm-1:30am. Friday-Sun, 9pm-3:30am

Ps: Please don’t forget your ID or something with your name on it. Driver’s license is fine ;).

Price

Cover charge R$21-30

Dress code

Casual

Estudantina, Centro

Description

Description: Estudantina Musical is a traditional Brazilian club that brings together singers, composers and seasoned cariocas. Most nights you will find local Brazilian samba bands playing and sometimes even big name artists.

We recommend you visit this place on Tuesday to see all locals dancing forró with a live forró band. It’s a really nice, authentic Carioca experience.

Address

Praça Tiradentes, 79 – Centro

Best day to go

Tuesday

Opening hours: Thurs-Sat, 9pm- 3:30am

Ps: Please don’t forget your ID or something with your name on it. Driver’s license is fine ;).

Ps: Cash only

Price

Cover charge R$10-25

Dress code

Casual

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