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.
Lapa 40 Graus
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
Carioca da Gema
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
The most well-known club in Rio de Janeiro is a hotspot for all genres of Brazilian music, from national rock to choro and of course, samba. The main stage attracts the best musicians in Rio, who play on until the early hours of the morning. It is an ideal venue in which to discover the world of Brazilian music under one roof. The three floors have something for everyone to get their groove to, especially fuelled with the delicious caipirinhas that are served here.
Rio Scenarium, R. do Lavradio, 20 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro, +55 (21) 31479000
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
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.