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Rio De Janeiro Nightlife

Home to Carnival, samba and Copacabana, it's not surprising that the nightlife in Rio de Janeiro is one of a kind, and Cariocas (Rio's residents) don't need much excuse to party. Whether visitors are looking for a relaxing bar or lounge to sip on a couple of chopps (draught beer), or in the mood for a night of dancing, Rio's got it covered.

A popular way to warm things up is to start at one of the scores of beach bars with a coconut juice or cocktail in the cooler early evening. Head off to one of Rio de Janeiro's trendy beach communities, such as Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon and explore the bars and clubs. But be warned, some of these places may not grant entry to people wearing shorts, t-shirts or flip-flops.

The clubs generally start to really heat up around midnight, so most visitors enjoy a late dinner at one of Rio's many trendy eateries or botequins (traditional Brazilian bar) before checking out the club scene at the Rio Scenarium, Comuna da Semente or Carioca da Gema. Lapa is a popular area for revellers, as is Gamba. Rio also has a vibrant gay party scene, with many bars and clubs in Copacabana and Ipanema.

Clubbing in Rio can be expensive, but a cheaper night out is possible by sticking to local beverages. Many establishments will charge patrons for drinks and entry only when they leave, so it's wise to keep track of what one spends. Most clubs have a dress code and some will only allow men when accompanied by women, while most will require an ID or passport to enter.

An alternative to clubs and bars in Rio are its famous street parties. Lapa hosts a street party every Friday and Saturday night near the aqueduct on Avenida Mem de Sá, while Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays are the best nights to head to Gávea, where you'll find music, cheap beer and many university students on the street in front of the bar Hipódromo.

Live music and dancing is an integral part of Rio culture, boasting a veritable treasure trove of samba, bossa nova, rock, MBP (Brazilian pop), blues and jazz. There's seemingly always a gig going down on any given night in Rio. A popular option is watching samba school rehearsal parties, where local drummers and dancers showcase their skills in warehouses for thousands of people. It's a great way to get a taste of the Carnival atmosphere at other times of the year.

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