Back to the blog

Rio's Sizzling Lapa Neighborhood: Real Rio Tours

Rio de Janeiro’s Sizzling Lapa Neighborhood

February 23, 2015

While most of Rio’s picturesque neighborhoods are known for their stunning geography and beachfront locales, Lapa shines for other reasons – its scintillating nightlife and culture. Any trip to Rio de Janeiro should include a visit to this sizzling neighborhood.

Here are just a few guidelines to help you plan your visit to Lapa.

Getting to Lapa
Lapa is about 20 minutes from Ipanema by taxi, or 40 minutes by metro. If you are leaving or heading to Lapa after dark, a taxi is recommended. Taxis in Rio are plentiful, and you can simply flag one down in the street.

What to see in Lapa
The impressive architectural highlight of Lapa is undoubtedly the aqueducts that border it. The Lapa arches are one of the most visited landmarks in Rio, and were built in the 18th century to bring water from the river to the rest of Rio.

Lapa Arches in Rio de Janeiro: Real Rio Tours

Lapa Arches: Click to expand

Built by the famed artist Jorge Selarón, The Selarón Steps link both Lapa and Santa Teresa. They are made up of more than 250 steps utilizing 2,000 tiles from all over the world. Designed as Selarón’s tribute to the Brazilian people, the world famous steps were originally mocked and hated by his neighbors.

Selaron Steps: Real Rio Tours

Selaron Steps: Click to expand

Lapa Nightlife

Rio Scenarium
A samba club surrounded by thousands of antiques, Rio Scenarium is one of the hottest samba spots in the city. Locals pack Scenarium’s dance floors so come ready to samba.

Carioca da Gema
Located in an historic colonial building, Carioca de Gema is a local hotspot where live samba bands play nearly every night. Be sure to check out the balcony overlooking the streets of Lapa.

The Week
Nearly 3,000 of Rio’s LGBT crowd heads to The Week each weekend to make the most of Rio’s sizzling nightlife. Two dance floors, a lounge and even a pool keep the party going until the morning hours.

You may be interested in…