It is impossible to visit Rio de Janeiro as a tourist and not have the chance to go at least inside one bar located in this city. This is not an invitation to get drunk each and every time you go out, but visiting these places is a great opportunity to meet locals and find out more about their cheerful way of living.
Bars in this part of the world are called botecos and you won’t be offered with any other type of service but the one that is met with any other bar that you go in: friendly bar tenders and waiters offering you a menu of bar food with cold beers and local beverages. In each and every bar people are talking loud and you will see on various occasions locals gathered in a large number around the tables and discussing all sorts of topics.
But aside from the fact that you will get a similar service that you get in any part of the world in bars there is however something different in here. The atmosphere is very attractive for various reasons. One reason is the style these bars are decorated in. You don’t get the impression that you come inside a sophisticated bar with luxurious cocktails and bar tenders who are trained into twisting and making an entire show on how they handle the shakers. This goes of course for the bars that are destined to locals and not the ones that are inside five star hotels!
It is a more intimate atmosphere in the local botecos and one such place is known as Bar de Mineiro located in Santa Teresa. You will find artists and many other bohemian figures discussing on various topics of interest. Aside from this, you live under the impression that you have turned back in time and have a drink with the artists of the 30s. This one is definitely a must see when visiting Rio de Janeiro.
Bar do Getúlio in Catete was seen as one of the most fashionable places when Rio de Janeiro used to be the capital of Brazil. You can visit this bar because it offers a rich cultural life with traditional music playing at all times. If you are more of a contemporary type of bar customer you can choose any of the other bars beside the ones described above that are more of an old fashion style.
One such place is Belmonte in Copacabana, a bar opened in 2005 and has become since then a popular place for many tourists. But if you want to capture the real life of Rio de Janeiro locals and their spirit, you should stick to the bars that are populated with cariocas. You can for instance visit Mercado São Jose, a place hosting many small bars where you can get a glimpse of how locals are truly enjoying their drinks in the evening.