Lapa Rio de Janeiro
Do you want to go out in Rio de Janeiro and wondering what to do? Almost every day we get these questions on our tours!
On this post we will list the neighborhood main points, what to do by night and by day, how to get there, history, interesting places to see and accommodation options.
What to do in Lapa?
There are plenty options by day and night.
Lapa, the most bohemian neighborhood of Rio, is a mandatory stop for the ones who want to know the nightlife of the city. What is incredible in this neighborhood? The neighborhood has got a super democratic character and amazing and authentic STREET PARTIES. There are all kind of people, music, bars… And certainly, you will find something that you like there!
Also, there are city important attractions as Lapa Arches and Selaron Steps.
What to do in Lapa by night?
Unlikely many thoughts, the neighborhood is much busier by night than day. One of the most amazing characteristics of Lapa is that all tribes meet up there, what makes everything even more special. Usually friends meet up on the street and start the night in one of the famous, antique bars to drink cheaper beers and caipirinhas and after pick a party according to its style.
One of Lapa most famous bars is Cachaça Bar, generally in this spot people stand or if they are lucky they will pick a street table. The place offers a huge variaty of cachaça (about 2000 labels), a paradise for who appreciates the food
Address: Mem de Sa Avenue, 110 – Lapa
Another great option is Arco-íris da Lapa, meeting point for the ones who like cheap beer. No wonder, the bar is always full of people.
Address: Mem de Sá Avenue, 72. Lapa
Those options are mere antique bars with cheap and great options of food and beer. If you are willing to pay more for comfort and cool deco you might want to have a look on Antonios bar, Boteco da Garrafa and Boteco Belmonte. All of them are located on Mem de Sá Avenue, which is one of the main streets of the neighborhood. Those are super famous bars of Rio de Janeiro.
Do you want a kraft beer and good snacks? Booze bar is one of the recommendations
Address: Mem de Sá Avenue, 63. Lapa
Are you looking for a place where snacks are the star of the house? Bar do Adão is the recommendation. The place offers more than 60 options of pasteis (Brazilian empanadas) sweets and salty. And they are delicious. It’s really worth visiting.
Address: Rua Gomes Freire, 602, Lapa
Opening times: from Monday to Saturday, 12PM until the last costumer leaves
Do you want more music? Which musical style you can’t miss in Rio? That’s it, samba! Sacrilégio is a coffee and bar that offers great quality samba, with a live band, drinks and wonderful snacks, all of this in a super casual environment.
Address: Mem de Sá Avenue, 81. Lapa
Another very special spot in Lapa is Baródomo. It has samba schools’ costumes and you will get slack-jawed. Famous Brazilians samba men have been there, as Zé Katimba, Mornarco e Martinho da Vila. The bar also has an external area for the ones who want to enjoy the open-air areas with snacks, drinks without worries.
As drinks the house offers tap beers and beers for the beer lovers. Of course they also offer caipirinhas. There are typical Brazilian snacks as “dadinho de tapioca”, which we can translate as tapioca dart. Tapioca is a very typical Brazilian manioc flour or cheese balls. On Fridays the samba starts 5PM.
Address: Rua do Lavradio, 163. Lapa.
Is there Rock and roll in Lapa? Yes, there is.
On Rock Experience first floor there is a bar where clients can try drinks out, hamburgers and snacks. The environment has a decoration objects that tell the rock history and blues, the musical genres played there, The space is divided in four floors e the house is a meeting point for rock lovers.
Address: Riachuelo street, 20. Lapa.
Rio houses a cultural complex know all over the country, Fundição Progresso. It unifies art schools, artists homes and a stage for huge musical shows. Fundição progresso is located in Lapa and it’s events have received important names of National and International music, from maracatu (Brazilian musical gender), cinema, theater, design to classical music. The site also keeps a green area dedicated to urban agriculture and sustainability, the flowers corner.
It also takes place and became a tradition in Rio’s carnival the National competition of Carnival Songs (in have a typical carnival song in Brazil – called marchinhas), that in six years have already received more than six thousand registrations, besides promoting important rehearsals of carnival blocos. Blocos basically are free organized street parties that happen all over Rio during carnival. A few of those parties get more than 2 million people!
Address: Rua dos Arcos, 24. Lapa.
Do you want to check more bar options in Lapa? This blog post gives you a list of best Lapa bars. Have a look!
Around Lapa Arches you will also find a huge variety of kiosks selling caipirinha and other drinks, besides food.
A famous place sells savories for R$1,00. Yes, R$1,00. And it’s delicious. The address is Lavradio Street, 172.
I bet you are really interested on enjoying carioca night, right? Imagine knowing the best bars of Lapa in only one night, at really good price together with an international crown and a safer group? Join our Lapa Pub Crawl.
Only Rio offers you all of this and we garantee the fun!!
All right, we already know that the party happens by night time, but what is there to see in Lapa during the day? We will tell you.
What to do in Lapa during the day?
Lapa is well known and interesting neighborhood. If you want to know the neighborhood during the day, there is the Lapa Arches and Selaron Steps (famous touristic points), besides the Saint Sebastian Cathedral, that looks like a Mexican pyramid, really interesting and pretty. On the first Saturday of the month, an antique fair happens on Lavradio Street, where handcrafts, antiquing e another cool stuffs. A few of the musical group eventually present on the streets. There many good options for lunch, in traditional restaurants, usually full.
We selected a few nice restaurants for lunch:
Recanto da Lapa is a pleasant restaurant with typical Brazilian cosine and that home made taste that we love. This is a weight what you eat restaurant, also really typical and common in Brazil, as they offer a really fair price. It’s a great option if you are close to Selarón Stair.
Address: Lapa Street, 8.
Adega Flor de Coimbra offers typical Portuguese food and a good wine menu. Calm and chic place
Address: Rua Teotônio Regadas, 34, Lapa.
Espetto Carioca has a variety of spit meat options, including vegan options.
Address: Lavradio Street, 3. Lapa.
Bar do Ernesto is a bar that was founded by two Germans and offers a typical German culinary, besides imported beers, that fill in the menu, and the live concerts every Wednesday and Friday. It’s worth checking it out
Address: Rua Teotônio Regadas, 5. Lapa
As Lapa streets aren’t that busy during the day, one of our tips is to go to the touristy points with a group of people. And we have the perfect solution. Our Downtown and Lapa Free Walking Tour, that besides explaining the tourist points on a fun and interesting way, will go through the neighborhood with a cheered up group.
And if you want to enjoy the full day in the area, it’s worth to go to Santa Teresa. To get to the neighborhood take a tram in Largo da Carioca (8AM to 4PM, from Monday to Saturday, except on holidays, R$20,00) or the bus 007 on Gomes Freire Avenue. Uber or Taxi also are good options, especially if you are with friends or family, as the price is even cheaper than the bus.
The only recommendation is not to take many valuable stuffs and to pay attention on the streets.
Santa Teresa has a Museum called Ruins Park and this place has a spectacular view of Rio de Janeiro
Do you feel like staying in Santa Teresa? Mambembe Hostel is a great option, it has a relaxed atmosphere, prices are reasonable and you will feel so welcome, that it will feel like home. Besides all of this you will get easy access to Downtown Rio and to enjoy a lot Lapa nightlife.
How to get to Lapa?
During the day, we prefer to take the metro and get off at Cinelandia Subway Station. From Cinelandia, take the “Evaristo da Veiga” street (Municipal Theater Street) that leads you to the Lapa Arches. Just make sure you take the right street. Pay attention and try to go with a group – there a not that many people on the streets by the day.
In any case, taxi or Uber are always the best options during the night and also to come back, as the subway closes 11PM during the week and midnight on weekends.
Is Lapa Safe?
But when the subject is Lapa, a lot of people wonder about the safety of the place and if it’s worth to get to know it. The neighborhood is an unique place and I believe that there isn’t anything similar to it in Brazil, or maybe even in the world! It’s a must of Rio de Janeiro, in my opinion.
But as any crowded place of a big city – be careful! There are a lot of people, drinks, party and happiness in Lapa. It’s not hard to imagine that if you are happy and drunk at the street you won’t realize that someone took your mobile from you. Take care with the pickpockets of Lapa and bring just what is necessary.
What should you take with you when going to Lapa? Money for the night and ID! You won’t have pictures of Lapa, but for sure the moments you live there will stay forever in your mind!
During the day you can join our Free Walking tour of Downtown and Lapa, walking by the main points with a group and by night, our Pub Crawl Lapa, that goes to the best bars with safety and fun, after all you will be with someone that knows the neighborhood.
Unlikely of what many people think, Lapa is a middle-class neighborhood, in Brazil. It has a diversity of bars, restaurants, discos and pubs, to all different tastes. And I guarantee, most of the visitors get amazed with the party diversity that happens in this place.
But why is the neighborhood called Lapa? This story starts with religious women who escaped from a general that destroyed a monastery in Iberic Peninsula. Those religious women were protected in a “Lapa” which is a grotto e there they kept an image of Our Lady that they took with them.
A long time a young lady found a saint, she kept it as a doll. The mother, annoyed by the situation, decided to set the image on fire, and the young lady promptly shouted that it was Our Lady. The young woman had its arm paralyzed by the fire. In an attempt to reverse the situation mother and daughter started to pray for a miracle and it happened.
All community recognized the value of the Saint and built a chapel for the image, although the clergy tried to keep an image in the church, from where it always vanished in a mysterious way.
The worship ended up spreading in Portugal e brought to Brazil by Companhia de Jesus, as the Jesuits were responsible for the location of the “Lapa” by the concession of King Don Sebastian, that originated the name of city of Rio de Janeiro. It was built where the neighborhood of Lapa is today.
In Portugal and Brazil, there are a few sanctuaries dedicated to Our Lady of Lapa.
No wonder the neighborhood is today famous for Lapa Arches, that started to be planned in 1600 as way to supply people with the water of Carioca River. The label force was slave and indigenous. The construction was delayed and was modified by many governments. Only in 1750 the aqueduct was officially opened and the water got to Saint Antony convent in Carioca Square, a marble fountain that contained 16 taps for the population. Latter the water path was extended until XV Square, where the old port was. The ships that got to the city needed fill up.
Technologies brought new ways of pipeline water and since 1896 until today, it is the tram way of the line that connects Downtown Rio to Santa Teresa.
Cultural reasons led the neighborhood to create its unique characteristics. All races, of all ages get together here to celebrate the nights of the marvelous city, due the caipirinhas that were easily found in every Lapa bar.
Lapa is a great option for hospitality for the ones who want to enjoy Rio’s nightlife and stay close to Rio downtown. The neighborhood has got supermarkets, pharmacies, bars, restaurants, stores and many cool stuffs to see
Most of the hostels are at the main Avenue, Mem de Sá.
If you want to stay close to the main parties and bars, our recommendation is Da Lapa Design Hotel, a comfortable boutique hostel in the heart of Lapa.
Another option is Hotel 55 Rio
In the next post we are going to talk about a few bars and clubs that we recommend in Lapa located just beside Cecília Meireles Cultural Center. This is an old luxurious hotel that was renovated and got really comfy. It has a good location, close to the subway, to Lapa, but it doesn’t get that much of the noise and parties of the neighborhood. Charming option.
Do you want to stay in a sophisticated hotel in Lapa? Your option is Vila Galé, hotel that is part of the luxurious Portuguese hotel chain. It has got a luxurious style, with Rios vibe. It’s located in an old pink small palace in Riachuelo Street, unmistakable.
Of course there are many more options of accommodation and of all price range in Lapa!
Do you like our post? We hope we helped you to present this cheerful neighborhood of Rio. For sure it’s worth visiting.