The nightlife scene in Rio de Janeiro is heavily influenced by the beat of samba. A music with its roots in African rhythms, it is the soul of the city’s music scene. You can’t miss out on discovering samba while in Rio, and there is no better place than in Lapa, the city’s main party district. Here are some of the best samba clubs to head to while you’re in Lapa.
This lively club attracts a mostly young crowd, yet it’s common to see people of all ages going there to appreciate the live samba bands that play there every weekend, accompanied by the occasional sertanejo group. The outside of the club looks deceivingly small, yet the inside spreads out over three floors, with a large space for dancing, an area for pool tables, and a bar serving reasonably priced drinks. Get there before midnight to avoid the large queues that build up later.
Lapa 40 Graus, R. Riachuelo, 97 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro, +55 (21) 39701334
With live samba acts every night of the week, as well as unforgettable performances on the weekend, Carioca da Gema is one of the best places to go in Lapa to catch some of the best musicians on the samba scene. In addition to great music that gets even the shyest guests tapping their feet, the venue also serves deliciously smooth cocktails and delicious authentic pizzas.
Carioca da Gema, Av. Mem de Sa, 79 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro, +55 (21) 22210043
Because of its location near to the Arcos de Lapa, there’s always a party scene at Sarau Rio, as the vibe of the nearby street parties and crowds of people drifts over and influences the mood. Visitors can sit inside to appreciate the graffiti-style walls, or make the most of the outdoor seating to take in the animated atmosphere. Live samba bands play almost every night and are best enjoyed with a caipirinha and some pastel snacks for an authentic local experience.
Sarau Rio, Av. Mem de Sa, 64 – Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, +55 (21) 988668813
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