A date night in Rio de Janeiro can be as simple as drinks on the beach to a more luxurious dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants. The oft-heard praise of Rio’s beauty is obvious to see and goes miles when creating the perfect date night, further charmed by the sensual samba drifting through the air. Start the night in Ipanema, Rio’s hottest neighborhood and take it from there.
5 p.m.: Drinks at The Bar, Arpoador
Start the night in true Brazilian style with a caipirinha at The Bar Surfshop in Arpoador. The Bar is a relatively new bar to the area but is proving to be one of the most popular hangouts with the young, trendy and beautiful. During the day, it is a surf shop that sells some of the best surfboards, equipment and surf-brand clothes in Rio. At night, it turns into a small yet hip bar with a trendy vibe and casual atmosphere. Try the watermelon caipirinhas that are served with a tiny bit of chili for a surprising kick.
The Bar Surfshop, Rua Francisco Otaviano, 67 – Arpoador (Galeria River – Shop G), Rio de Janeiro +21 2523 2117
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6 p.m.: Sunset and Wine
A sunset on a date night is cliché but is there anything quite as romantic as being hand in hand watching the sun go down? After The Bar, head to Arpoador Rock, which is just five minutes away, and settle down to watch a magnificent sunset across the horizon next to the Two Brothers Peak. Be sure to bring some wine with you — there is a nearby Zona Sul Supermarket that sells a large selection of wine and even plastic wine cups for the ultimate charm overload.
7:30 p.m.: Dinner at Dom Camillo, Copacabana
Having dinner on the main strip of Copacabana beach is generally considered one of the most touristy things you can do in Rio, yet for quality food and extra-attentive service, there is no better place. After the sun has gone down, head to Italian restaurant Dom Camillo on Avenida Atlantic. The pasta and pizzas are wonderful, but be sure to order from the seafood section where the fish and shellfish come straight from Rio’s seas and are delivered to the restaurant daily. The views over Copacabana beach are unbeatable and the atmosphere is made complete with a gentle, live Brazilian band playing in the background.
Dom Camillo, Av. Atlântica, 3056 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro +21 2549 9958
9 p.m.: Drinks at a Kiosk
After a delicious and satisfying dinner, cross over the road to one of Copacabana’s beachside kiosks for a taste of the sea breeze and a view that stretches out across the ocean. Enjoy a lime caipirinha there, a light and refreshing drink to follow a large dinner and enjoy the live samba bands and the social environment of groups of friends and other couples enjoying a night out. Go to Skol 360 for a more lively and party-mood kiosk, or for a quieter evening, head to one of the clubs near the Copacabana Fort, which are less crowded and calmer.
10 p.m.: Go Dancing at Rio Scenarium
This is one of the most famous nightclubs in Rio de Janeiro and encapsulates everything that is Brazilian across its multiple-floored venue. Each floor is lavishly decorated with antiques and Brazilian memorabilia and has an overlooking balcony to the ground floor, opening up the venue to let the live band fill the air with its ear-pleasing and catchy tunes. It’s time to pack your stamina and show off your dancing skills as you and your date enjoy a night of dancing Brazilian style until the early hours of the morning. The music is a mix of samba, bossa nova, tropicalia or Brazilian pop music. The easiest way from Copacabana to Rio Scenarium is by taxi, which takes about 20 minutes.
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