The Bohemian Lapa Neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro

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lapa rio de janeiro skylineThe most bohemian district in Rio de Janeiro is Lapa. Amongst the bars, taverns and pubs…between samba, gafieria (partner dance to Brazilian samba) and Partido alto (variation of samba), this old neighbourhood evokes the bohemian essence of past times and the former magnificence of the “Arcos da Lapa” (Carioca aqueduct).

During the Belle Époque in Brazil it became known as the “Carioca Montmartre” attracting mainly artists and intellectuals. Now it allures a different kind of public. Thousands of tourists and locals alike flock to Lapa to enjoy what this trendy neighbourhood has to offer. With something for all tastes, Lapa features Samba, Brazilian Pop Music (MPB), choro music, forró dancing and even electronic music and rock! So here is a small guide to the top bars in the Lapa neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro.

Nightlife in Lapa

Every Friday and Saturday night Rua Riachuelo and Avenida Mem de Sá, the two main streets in the Lapa neighbourhood, are closed off to vehicular traffic.  Thus, bars and restaurants can extend their confines onto the streets, turning the area into the perfect place to meet your friends. Boasting a charming atmosphere, this is where thousands of people in Rio start their evening.

Lapa Rio de JaneiroTop Bars in Lapa

For an authentic night out in Rio, we recommend that you visit the following places:

  • Rio Scenarium- an attractive bar with stunning architecture that has even featured in the Guardian newspaper’s guide to the Top 10 bars of the world- a must for those who would like to experience an authentic night out in Rio! This bar in Lapa receives up to 2000 people over the weekend alone.

bar scenarium lapa rio de janeiro

  • Asa Branca – perfect for lovers of forró and pop music.
  • Carioca da Gema- for those who enjoy dancing the Samba.

Bar Carioca da Gema

  • Fundição Progresso- an innovative cultural centre offering a varied program featuring concerts by famous artists, as well as house and techno DJs.
  • Circo Voador- more rock orientated with some MPB and pop.

Circo Voador Rio de Janeiro

  • Lapa 40 Graus- featuring a relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy a live show and play pool.

In addition, be sure to visit the vast array of restaurants that fill the district, offering typical snacks and a variety of beer. Top bars include Manoel Joaquim, the forerunner of all bars in Rio, Boteco da Garrafa and the restaurant Nova Capela where they serve food until 5am!

The neighbourhood of Lapa in Rio is, without a doubt, a multicultural hub with good food and live music. It comprises a great place for locals to rediscover their roots and the ideal opportunity for tourists to learn more about the culture in Rio.

So, enjoy your stay in Rio de Janeiro and amongst your wanderings through the Ipanema or Copacabana district, make sure you take a stroll through the Lapa neighbourhood, a pleasant and enjoyable way of discovering the local culture in Rio de Janeiro.

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