University of Wisconsin–Madison

A Night in Lapa: Rio de Janeiro’s Nightlife Hub

By: Dequadray White

The nightlife in Rio is something that you must experience firsthand. When the sun sets, the city is just as picturesque as it is during the day. Lapa is a neighborhood in Rio that is famous for the aqueduct arches built by the indigenous people to bring water to the city in its early stages. Now it stands tall and lit bright with colors during the night with people of all ages dancing and mingling underneath. Food and drink carts line the streets and we as a group have taken a liking to the fresh churros there. As we stroll down the busy streets, we feel the bass of the music in the clubs that line each side. I’m very glad to have been introduced to the major music wave known as “Brazilian Funk”. It mixes Hip-Hop, Electronic, and Afro-Brazilian genres together to create the most infectious dance music that I’ve ever heard. I can’t get songs like “Vai Malandra” and “Vai Embrazando” out of my head. My love for dance got the best of me our first night in Lapa because my clothes were drenched in sweat from dancing with the locals.

While in Niteroi on a personal excursion with other students, we met a girl by the name of Luísa who was the same age and studies Tourism at her local university, Universidade Federal Fluminense. I asked her about the nightlife in both Rio and Niteroi and she was nice enough to give me all the details. She expressed that unlike Americans they actually dance and that it is all out of pure fun. Luísa explained that Latin America has this stereotype of being hypersexual but she confirmed to me that it was all false. She even shared her Spotify playlists with me so I will be able to share all the music with my friends and family back in America. Nightlife in Rio is quite an experience of culture, music, and fun that goes into the morning. I will truly miss it but I will carry the music with me.

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