I was in Rio last week for a teachers convention and I stayed at a hotel downtown near Lapa! Lapa used to be a part of the downtown area but this year it was established as a district in Rio.
Lapa is knows for its beautiful architecture and nightlife. The famous Arcos da Lapa were constructed to act as conduit in the days of colonial Brazil and now serve as a signal for the cable cars that climb the hill of Santa Teresa.
Make sure you go to Mem de Sá, Rua do Riachuelo Street and Lavradio streets for great like music in several styles like forró, samba (we’re in Rio, right?), MPB (popular Brazilian music), chorinho (a variety of samba), jazz, electronic music and rock. There’s something for everybody!
I would recommend Rio Scenarium, Bar da Garrafa, Belmont (they have great “empadas”) and if you’re into something more alternative, the Sementes bar. The prices are not absurd, everything is within walking distance and I’m sure you’ll have a great time!
Nos vemos em breve!
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