New Year’s Eve is a huge event everywhere, but it is special in Rio: the world’s largest gathering usually registering up to 3 million people on Copacabana beach (5 million during the millennium party). Traffic clogs up the city all night long, so don’t plan on bar hopping that night. What to wear? All Brazilians celebrate NYE wearing white to ask Yemanja, the sea goddess, for peace. Don’t come dressed in anything else as you’ll look stupid and if you didn’t pack white clothes, buy some. Where should you party? All the clubs offer an “all inclusive special” from R$450 to R$1200 pp. The more you pay, the more you get, the less you pay, the more you wait in line to get a beer. The club parties are fine, but if you make acquaintances with Brazilians, finagle your way into their party, preferably if it’s in someone’s flat facing Copacabana beach, so you can watch the amazing firework display put on by the city.
What’s also cool about the Copa flat parties is that you can party till 11:30pm, walk down to Copa beach to watch the fireworks with the masses, then come back to the party. Since most people woke up early and sat on the beach all day, most will be pooped by 4am, even with Redbull in their veins.