Shake Your Funky Stuff at Rio de Janeiro's Best Dance Clubs

If you like to dance, you'll be right at home in Rio de Janeiro. The city is awash with opportunities to cut some moves on the dance floor. Whether you're in the mood for some slow dancing to sultry bossa nova grooves, getting down and dirty to the bass-heavy sounds of favela funk or swirling around the dancefloor to some samba beats, there are plenty of places in Rio to get your groove on. 

For the greatest concentration of dance clubs in the city, you should make Lapa your first port of call - here you will find nightspots to suit every musical taste and every dance style. Head to Lapa on a Friday night to sip a fruit cocktail at the hedonistic street parties held beneath the Arcos da Lapa, and then let your eyes and ears guide you to your perfect downtown dance spot.

Cariocas like to get on their feet and dancing at every opportunity,and you'll see people strutting their stuff everywhere from tiny hole in the wall bars to the city's big dance halls. Don't be afraid to join in - locals will be happy to teach you a few moves. 

The name translates as 'little bar', but this lively Lapa hangout packs a lot into its less than palatial layout. Regular events such as samba and feijoada afternoons on the first Saturday of the month, and vinyl-only DJ marathons on Tuesday...  Read More

Right at the heart of Copacabana, next to Siqueira Campos metro station, Fosfobox attracts hipsters and musically-minded types of all social demographics to shake their collective stuff on the sticky dancefloor. The musical action takes place...  Read More

if you like your nightlife with an alternative, leftfield edge, Casa da Matriz should be your first port of call when looking for a night out in Rio. DJs at Casa Matriz spin an eclectic mix of tunes that takes in everything from 1960s Tropicalia...  Read More

Forget quiet Monday nights - in Rio the start of the week is all about the Roda da Samba (live samba party) at Pedra do Sal, in the historic Saude neighborhood of the city. Nicknamed 'Little Africa' because of the large numbers of freed-slaves...  Read More

Samba lovers of all ages flock to this downtown dance house, where the fleet of foot and supple of rump shimmy and shake around the dance floor. The club is housed in a tall and handsome colonial building, with a balcony overlooking the...  Read More

Along with the beaches, the Christ statue and Sugar Loaf mountain, another postcard-perfect image of Rio are the mammoth white arches that stand in city's historic center. At night, revelers gather below the arches as a huge street party...  Read More

Rio is synonymous with samba, and the city's historical downtown district of Lapa should be the first port of call for anybody looking to hear the real thing played live. At Rio Scenarium, the kooky factor is ramped up to 11 thanks to the...  Read More

Located in the historic heart of Lapa, this reformed colonial mansion home has received a colorful makeover with illuminated artworks on the brick walls, vibrantly-colored cocktails and an equally bright and breezy playlist. An eclectic musical...  Read More

Brazilians like to combine drinking with dining, and this upscale nightspot, located inside Gavea's famous planetarium, no less, takes both activities seriously. There's a formal dining room as well as a lounge and a dancefloor, and a...  Read More

Clube dos Democraticos
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

An eye-catching - if somewhat weather-beaten - art deco building is the setting for some of the longest-standing samba parties in Rio at this much-loved venue. Clube dos Democraticos was founded over a century ago as a carnival society uniting...  Read More


Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.

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