Liveliest Nightlife near Rio de Janeiro's Mighty Maracana Soccer Stadium

Catching a soccer game at Rio de Janeiro’s mighty Maracana Stadium is reason enough to celebrate and the vibrant atmosphere on match days will really fire up the party spirit. Whether it’s a major international game or a local derby, soccer matches at Maracana mean singing, dancing and samba drums.

And while the immediate vicinity of the stadium is not recommended for after-dark exploring (and bars within one kilometer of the stadium are banned from selling alcohol in the hours before a game), the Maracana is just a quick metro ride from the lively nightlife of Lapa, where an enormous street party unfolds on weekends and holidays. Hip bars such as Leviano and Barzinho are popular spots with a young and funky crowd, while for live music and dancing look no further than classic samba spots Clube dos Democraticos, Carioca da Gema and Rio Scenarium.

If Lapa is a little too lively for your tastes, grab a cab up to the nearby Santa Teresa neighborhood, where cosy bars attract large crowds on weekend evenings for caipirinha-assisted socialising at popular spots such as Bar do Gomez and Bar do Mineiro.

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

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

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

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

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

With a prime location on the main drinking and dining strip in leafy, artsy Santa Teresa, Bar do Mineiro is the focal point for the neighborhood's famously lively social scene. As the name suggests, the menu bears the culinary influences of...  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

This Santa Teresa bar-restaurant was opened by a family of Spanish settlers in Brazil in 1919, when it doubled as a grocery store. The official name, Armazem Sao Thiago references this, but for decades this most inviting of watering holes has...  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

Bars in the immediate vicinity of the Maracana Stadium tend to be few-frills local hangouts, and Papo Inicial is no exception, but stands out from the competition for its caipiles - or alcoholic popsicles. Made with fruit and vodka or sugar...  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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