Welcome to Rio, recently voted the most popular gay destination in the world! Apart from the stunning beaches and incredible landscapes, there’s far more to catch the eye, starting with the Cariocas themselves – an exotic mix of sensual, passionate and mostly gay-friendly folk who love nothing more than a party.
Being Brazil’s main tourist city, you won’t just meet locals and foreigners – there’s a constant stream of Brazilians on holiday from all over the country and being on holiday means that most are in an adventurous party mood.
Gay Rio by Day
The focal point is the gay beach in Ipanema, just in front of Rua Farme de Amoedo, perhaps the gayest street in Rio. Don’t worry if you can’t speak Portuguese, body-language is universal.
On weekends the beach in front of Copacabana Palace attracts a mature as well as a bear crowd.
There is more to Rio than just beaches, however. There are top attractions like Sugar Loaf Mountain, the Christ statue and the Botanical Gardens and if you’re a culture vulture then Rio, as former capital and current hot spot, offers lots of history, architecture and GLBT cultural events, like a film festival, theatre and many fascinating museums.
If it’s parties you’re after, then you’re in for a treat. Every night you can club and party, the only problem is choice. Occasional Circuit Parties such as B.I.T.C.H, R:Evolution, the Original Pool Party and Maxima are all spectacular (get the flyers on the beach) and events like Carnival, Pride and New Year’s Eve all attract many dancing queens.
If it’s sunny, it’s a beach day. After, where better than Rio G Spa to wash the sand out of those tricky places. Just across from the gay beach in Ipanema, this is by far the most popular Sunday post-praia meeting place. You just might bump into the very person you’ve been admiring all day at the beach. But don’t linger for too long, as everyone else has gone for a drink at To Nem Ai on Farme. You can’t miss it, it’s where the gay crowd bursts out onto the street. You might like to dine later at Fasano Al Mare then walk 2 steps over to Londra – the chiquest club in Ipanemawith the hippest crowd. If you want something beefier, the go-gos at TV Bar may be your thing.
A quieter evening in town and a chance to recover from the excesses of the weekend. Fancy a coffee and boy-watching? Head for To Nem Ai on Farme. For the girls, Buteskina a corner bar, serves drinks.
Having had a relatively chilled out Monday you are ready to party. One choice is to hang out around Posto 6 bars (Copacabana) like Venga.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY
Great days to hang out in Ipanema. Around midnight, leave Farme and walk one block away to Teixeira de Melo, to Galeria. Alternatively, you could try TV Bar followed by Fosfobox.
Friday is the night for Lapa, a very queer-friendly, antique neighborhood with a fabulous atmosphere! Apart from bars such as Sal y Pimenta, you can hang out on the pedestrian street Joaquim Silva, which later becomes a huge street party welcoming all types, making for one of the most fascinating crowds that you will experience during your stay. Not far away is Buraco da Lacraia, always teeming with local low-life glamour. On Fridays the waiters are nude and the entrance fee includes an open bar.
No trip to Rio would be complete without visiting the recent temple of gay clubbing The Week. As with most clubs, don’t think of arriving before 1am. To warm up you could start the night off around Baixo Leblon where lots of trendy bars and restaurants stay open till late.
Explore the area around Cazuza Square. Then head off to Galeria which has an excellent party with DJ Dudu Candelot playing groovy house tunes.
If it’s summer, don’t miss the Unidos de Tijuca Samba School rehearsal, the most gay-friendly and accessible of all the Samba Schools. Saturday’s the big night in all the clubs, so take your pick. Just don’t forget to make the taxi trip home via the sea front, where the rising sun reminds you that you could be in no other place than Rio.
RIO GAY NIGHT TOUR
Guided tour around Lapa with dinner at Rio Scenarium, followed by clubbing at Galeria Café till 5am.
CLUBS & BARS:
Rua Marechal Mascarenhas de Moraes, 191 – Copacabana
Casarão Cultural Dos Arcos
Rua Mem Sá, 23 – Lapa
Rua Teixeira de Melo nº 31 Ipanema
Rua Miguel Lemos, 51 Copacabana
Rua Cinco de Julho 15-B Copacabana
Rua Siqueira Campos 140 / 22-A Copacabana
Rua do Resende 43 Lapa
Cabaret Casa Nova
Av. Men de Sá 25 Lapa
Buraco de Lacraia
Rua André Cavalcante 58 Lapa
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