Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, offers a wide range of activities for everyone who longs to feel soft sand under their feet during the day and the pulsating beats of infectious samba rhythms during the evening. And in the last few years it has evolved as a prominent city on the South American gay scene, offering a host of vibrant, popular and modern venues which attract a lively and open-minded crowd, eager to have fun and dance the night away. Combine glorious weather with refreshing caipirinhas and fantastic bars, and you’ve got a recipe for an unforgettable vacation; take a look at the Top 10 Gay Bars in Rio.
00 is one of Rio’s hidden gems. Located inside of the Planetário da Gávea, it has managed to win a place in the hearts of locals and tourists since the day it opened its doors. This is an ideal place to visit for a romantic dinner, then you can hit the open dance floor when the night sets in. A wonderful outdoor seating area allows guests to gaze at the stars whilst enjoying their favorite drink. Cheers to that!
This bistro, which can be found inside the Marina All Suites hotel, prides itself on being the first modern bistro in Rio de Janeiro. Their menu has been carefully planned by their esteemed and talented chef, Lydia Gonzales. Bar d’Hotel exquisitely combines fresh, local products in innovative recipes which diners can enjoy in their beautifully decorated dining room. If you decide to stay here for a few nights, you’ll also be able to give their breakfast buffet a try, which is amazing too. Try to get a table with a sea view.
In 1999, Zazà Bistrô opened up in the iconic corner where the streets of Joana Angélica and Prudente de Morais meet, right in the heart of Ipanema. It’s a great idea to spend the whole day relaxing on Ipanema beach and stop by Zazá for some drinks when the sun starts to go down. The owners got the inspiration for their unique decor from trips they took around the world, and their travels have also encouraged thrilling flavors to be regularly featured on the menu. You can check out their whole menu online.
Some might get a bit nostalgic once they enter TV Bar in Copacabana, but that’s OK, because that’s what the owners want. You’ll find the whole story of Rio’s television history here. Why? Because some years ago, TV Rio used this space as a set for their shows. Each decorative item and wall sign here was carefully selected by the owners, and there are charming furnishings which add to the overall cheerfiness of the venue. With over 40 different fruity and colorful cocktails available here too, it’s no wonder this spot is a top choice for the gay crowds of Rio night after night.
Le Boy by Gilles is considered to be Brazil’s beacon for gay locals, and members of the LGBT community from all around the world come to visit this iconic spot weekly. Opened in 1992 to provide a place where homosexuality could be celebrated and enjoyed, the decor and furnishings here mimic those found in trendy clubs of Europe and the USA. The owner here, Gilles Lascar, is affectionately known locally as the ‘king of gay nights‘.
You can find the Rainbow Kiosk on Copacabana beach, right in front of the internationally renowned Copacabana Palace Hotel. This is a top spot for post-beach cocktails, and, as its name infers, it is especially popular with the LGBT community. Stop here for a light bite, as diners can choose from an array of small South American plates which include empanadas and fresh pastries.
The bustling neighborhood of Lapa boasts many popular options for gay people in Rio looking to have a good time during an evening, one of the best joints being Lapa 40°, a venue which brilliantly blends Brazilian music with DJ sets and techno sounds. Entry here is a little pricey, but with an energetic atmosphere and upbeat samba rhythms sure to get even non-dancers moving, the ticket is worth every penny.
Hosting an array of consistently amazing nights week after week, this is unsurprisingly a place you need to visit whilst in Rio. Up Turn Bar is always bustling with excited customers The venue is spacious, comfortable and boasts a large dance floor, and the cocktails are tangy and tasty. A perfect combination for a perfect evening!
Boate 1140 first opened its doors almost 30 years ago, and has managed to earn a fabulous reputation for being the place to escape the stress of daily life and really let go on the dance floor. A popular joint for gay people in Rio, the enthusiasm of the dancers here is infectious and really gets the party going on weekends. Reasonably priced cocktails and chic, sleek decor add to the appeal of this trendy venue.
The largest and most gay-friendly bars in Rio de Janeiro are located downtown in the Centro area. Here you’ll find warehouses and even train stations converted into upscale bars and nightclubs. The Week Rio is one of these joints, and has two dance floors with an astonishing capacity for 2000 people. Bursting with color and a hot spot for fancy dress, don your fanciest party gear here and head out for a night of swaying and salsa in a venue which really captures the carnival spirit.