After years suffering from a reputation as Ipanema's seedier neighbor, Rio's Copacabana beach was seriously spruced up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and is now back to its buzzing best. The famous black-and-white swirled promenade throngs with walkers, runners and skateboarders virtually 24/7, and there are drinking and dining opportunities every step of the way along the five kilometer beachfront.
Kiosks line the promenade, and cover the spectrum from simple plastic-table-and-chairs establishments serving cans of beer and cheap caipirinhas, to smart bars offering French gourmet dishes and chilled Champagne.
There's no wrong time for a drink on Copacabana beach, either. Locals sip beers at any time of day or night, and nobody will look askance if you start your day with a caipirinha - hey, this is Rio, and you're on vacation.
The bars open late into the night, too, making them the perfect place to start and end a night out in city - it's common to spot partiers sipping one last drink as the sun rises over the beach.
Across the busy oceanfront road, there's a wealth of bar-restaurants that will happily serve bar snacks and drinks if you don't feel like a full meal, while Pergula, the chic poolside bar at elegant Copacabana Palace, is the place to come for something super-chic. Nearby, at Arpoador, there are beachfront bars with stunning sunset views.