"The moment that you tell your friends and family that you will be moving to Rio, they will start booking their tickets to come and visit. I personally felt like I was running a bed and breakfast the first two years I lived in Rio, but showing my guest a good time became routine. Here is my bulletproof plan for the best night out in Rio:
You will begin in the late afternoon by taking a taxi up to Santa Teresa. I recommend leaving by 15:00 to avoid rush hour, but I tend to be overly cautious about time. Have the taxi drop you off on the main street in Santa Teresa. It is there that you can walk around the shops of local artist and see all of the amazing architecture that Santa Teresa has to offer. Take your time and just enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. Once you have done all your sightseeing for the day, you can head on up to Santa Teresa Hotel.
Santa Teresa Hotel is spectacular. It looks like an amazing little oasis in a very urban area. Head to the bar area called Bar dos Descasados, and you will find one of the best bars in Rio de Janeiro. I found the atmosphere to be everything that you want in a bar; unique, dark, and social. When you walk into the bar, it looks like a cave but to the right is an open area where you can look out at the skyline of Rio. I would usually warn against ordering a specialty cocktail in Rio, besides caipirinha, but Bar dos Descasados can actually make any drink your heart desires. Have a few drinks and then head on up to Aprazível.
Aprazível is in a ten minutes walking distance from Santa Teresa Hotel, but it is ten minutes of walking up a hill. Aprazível specializes in food from the North of Brazil, and I have never been disappointed in my experience there. Every single thing on the menu is delicious, and the atmosphere is set up to make you feel like you are in the rain forest. You should really make a reservation at Aprazível between 20:30-21:00 to make sure you don’t have to wait. But, I think you should make reservations well in advance because you will want to sit in the tree house. To sit in the tree house you will need to have eight people in your party, but sitting up there will make you feel like royalty. At the end of your meal, you will have the decision to make; should you go home or should you continue on with your evening. No matter the choice, Aprazível has private cars to take you home or to your next destination. The private cars are slightly more expensive, but they are worth it because a cab would be almost impossible to get. If you do decide to continue on, I urge you to go to Rio Scenarium.
Rio Scenarium is a huge club in Lapa and draws in a mix of locals and tourist of all ages. There is usually a long line to get in, but the line moves very quickly. There are three floors once you get inside. The first floor has a live samba band, the second floor plays Brazilian funk music, and the third floor is a dining and smoking area. I usually would hang out on the first floor and try to dance samba at the beginning of the night, but I would always end up on the second floor whenever I was really ready to bust a move. Rio Scenarium has a way of making you loose track of time, so don’t be surprised if you leave around 4:00 am.
I have done this night more times than I can remember, but I
guarantee you that your friends and family will remember it as their best day
Written by Nicholas Williams, blog columnist at Culturas. American citizen with a Master in International Marketing Management, Nicholas worked in Rio de Janeiro for four years and is currently living in Oslo.