Rio is an absolute party hub and has cemented its spot as one of the liveliest and most exciting clubbing destinations in South America. The amount of smoking hot clubs, pubs and samba halls offer a variety of night-time entertaining options for those who want more than sun and shopping on their Rio vacation.
The most comprehensive guide to what’s on where in Rio is found at Rio Times Online, a great portal which details the best events on any given night. Head down to the Irish pub for great live music, go loco at a samba & salsa fiesta and pre-purchase tickets to the latest and best concerts in town.
In summer, beachside hubs like Leblon, Copacabana and Ipanema also brim with locals and tourists in the evening, all eager to share a great meal, a few Caipirinhas and a chat. Head to Lapa on any night and you’ll see hoards of locals taking the party to the streets! This vibrant hood is a phenomenal people-watching and mingling mecca and a great place to check out, especially on week-end nights.
Young Brazilians also rave about their raves and Rio’s underground clubbing scene is reputedly one of the best in South America, so if that floats your boat look out for flyers and posters around the southern hoods highlighting the latest parties.
Now for a more sobering thought…
We’ll be the first to admit that Rio is one happening place, yet having said all this, and at the risk of alarming you a little, you should also note that when it comes to safety, Rio is also one of the riskiest cities in the continent. This hub is home to over 700 favelas, shanty towns home to the poorest, and yes, sometimes most desperate individuals in the whole country. No matter where you are in Rio, you’ll never be that far from one of them.
But do not despair…all this means is that with a little common sense and pre-planning you can ensure you’ll enjoy a great and very safe time in Rio de Janeiro. Know where and when you are likely to come across problems, and know how to deal with them, and you’ll be set.
Going out in Rio safety guide
Rio’s richest and most visited suburbs (Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema) are right next door to some of the city’s largest favelas, so it reasons that it is here where the clash between rich and poor will be more evident. Ironically these will also be the safest hoods for you to be in, because they will be the most crowded and the ones with the highest police presence.
Here are a few things you should do to protect yourself from possible muggings, thefts and any kind of aggressive behaviour:
-Leave valuables at home and only walk around with enough money for the day/night. Rio is a rather cheap city so that should never be more than $100 at any time. Show off your wealth (watch, jewels etc) and you’ll attract a lot of unwanted attraction. Don’t go out with your camera at night, or your ipod, ipad or i-anything for that matter.
-As gorgeous as it would seem to go for a late-night stroll along the beaches in Rio, don’t even consider it. This is a prime spot for muggers so stick to the well-lit beachfront promenades after 8pm. As busy as these beaches are during the day they can be incredibly deserted at night; take the hint: if most locals don’t venture there, follow their cue.
-By and large, the busier a street or suburb the safer it is…if you turn a corner and see no-one walking down the lane/street, turn right back around.
-As the old adage goes ‘be alert, not alarmed’; no need to turn into a quivering mess as you step out of your Rio hotel, just keep your wits about you and your eyes open. Most tourists will not face a single safety problem during their visit!
-If you are unfortunate enough to be confronted by an unsavoury character don’t put up ANY kind of struggle. Keep your eyes peeled to the ground, hand over your stuff slowly and walk away. No running or shouting for the police as they leave.
-Older tourists and teenagers are a particular target, so do keep that in mind if you belong to either demographic group.
-The city centre is a hub of frenzied activity during the day yet it all falls eerily quiet once business shuts at 6pm. Don’t hang around until then and head back to the suburbs beforehand. Sunday is also an extremely quiet day in the city centre so best to stay away.
-Never visit a favela on your own or with someone you’ve just met. Pick a well-respected guided tour instead.
When all this is said and done we do want to reiterate that Rio CAN be a very safe city and that, thanks to the preparation for next year’s Football World Cup, things are improving in the city at an extremely fast pace. So don’t let the sometimes over-exaggerated reports of it being an unsafe city lead you astray…if Sienna Miller can get her bag snatched from the back of a cab in Paris in broad daylight, it’s logical to assume every major world city comes with its fair share of dangers and annoyances.
Plan your incredible trip to Rio and fear not, this city will leave you breathless for all the right reasons.
Rio at night via Wiki
Copacabana by P2bj via Flickr