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Rio Carnival Nightlife


During Rio carnival there are many street and indoor parties all around the city, but there is one area that is always booming with great parties and amazing Brazilian music, rua da Lapa.

During Rio carnival as well as throughout the year, the Lapa area is teaming with funky hidden bars and rocking samba clubs. We suggest you head to the crossroads of Avenida Mem de Sá & Rua do Lavradio (right near to the Lapa Arches) and you will definitely find a place to party. Many bars and clubs will charge a cover to get in, but the bars generally overspill onto the streets, so you can enjoy the atmosphere without even being inside the bar. Most of the bars also serve great Brazilian food, so keep that in mind for when you are hungry as well as thirsty!

Here is our list of suggestions in the vicinity:

  • Carioca da Gema (samba)
  • Rio Scenarium (samba)
  • Sarau (samba)
  • Sacrelégio (cultural café)
  • Leviano (samba & circus activities)
  • 40 Graus (fancy snooker bar)
  • Paiol 08 (pub with live music)
  • Bar da Boa (Antarctica beer-themed pub with live music)
  • Lapa Irish Pub (self explanatory 🙂 )

Most if not all these bars and clubs will have a compulsory cover charge (generally between R$20 and R$35 per person, but perhaps more during Rio carnival). You will be given a card to enter: either a piece of paper or an electronic card. Your drinks and food will be recorded on this card and you will have to line up to pay the total of your bill + 10% service + cover charge upon exiting. You will then be given some kind of exit ticket which you’ll have to show to the guys on the door before they let you out! Most clubs/bars and even some restaurants operate this way in Rio. Make sure you have enough money on you, or you will be stuck…


  • Kilograma as the name suggests is a buffet restaurant that charges you for your food by the kilo. There will be food here to please anyone and everyone with a vast choice of international and local Brazilian food. Located at Rua Riachuelo 315, around the corner from the Hotel Arosa.
  •  Choperia do Papa is a bar and restaurant with good food that also has the buffet ‘pay by kilo’ option. It is located just down the road from Hotel Granada on Avenida Mem de Sá.
  • Spoleto provides the subway version of pasta, but with many more choices. Pick the type of pasta you prefer, the sauce and 8 of your favourite ingredients and they prepare it instantly in front of you. This is the closest eatery to Hotel Arosa
  • Lapamaki Japanese Restaurant, located at Rua Riachuelo 67, near the Lapa Arches, is a great choice for any sushi enthusiasts. It’s not cheap though (as with most the Japanese)
  • Carioca da Gema Pizzeria, located right next door to the bar/samba club of the same name at Avenida Mem de Sá 77. There are many Pizza options around Lapa, but this is our pick of the bunch, with delicious traditional wood-fired pizzas.

Learn more about Rio Carnival: What is RIO Carnival?