Most large countries have three principal cities – a political capital, an economic capital and a much less official “fun” capital. In Brazil, Sao Paolo is a bustling financial metropolis; Brasilia is all policy and government, while Rio de Janeiro – with the festive lounges, clubs and restaurants that punctuate the iconic beaches along its South East coast – has the party scene on lock.
With so many nightlife and entertainment options at your fingertips, planning your evenings out in Rio can be a challenge. We’re here to break it down for you…
Ipanema remains the most widely coveted social destination in Rio de Janeiro. It’s where the young, the beautiful and the surgically enhanced (not necessarily mutually exclusive) come out to play on the beach, mingle in the streets and show off their hot-bods. As a result, it’s also one of the most expensive places to lay your head after a night of guzzling Caipirinhas along Visconde de Piraja St.
For easy access to Ipanema’s trendy nightlife without the price tag of its accommodation options, consider lodging options in nearby Copacabana, just a modest walk or a quick drive away. The Cariocas (locals) may refer to area as a tourist trap, but if your wallet is doing the talking, be prepared to do the walking.
If you’re more of an exclusive scenester that prefers to rub elbows with wealthy locals away from the tourist-types, Leblon is where you’ll want to spend your evenings. The area has some of the highest real estate values in all of Brazil (and much of South America), so it’s only appropriate that it also boast some of Rio’s finest dining and designer shopping.
Less than a half-hour drive north of Rio’s famous beach towns you’ll find Lapa, a historic area that’s become known as a bohemian neighborhood. The Carioca Aqueduct located there serves as a symbolic photo backdrop, paying homage to Brazil’s colonial days with its smooth, double-tiered Roman arches. By night, the resident music scene is best absorbed at Lapa 40o and Carioca da Gema, both of which feature some of the best live performances around.
We’re kind of obsessed with Brazil these days with our OneTravel iPhone App contest still underway. Enter now and look out for more Brazil “inside scoops,” coming soon!
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