Gay Rio de Janeiro
What's hot in Rio
Brazil does not allow gay marriage and doesn't even have a federal law against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Yet the country's biggest cities such as Rio de Janeiro have a large and highly visible gay scene. Rio is the country's party city, especially during Carnival when it doesn't stop dancing for an entire week. New Year's Eve in Copacabana is also a major event, and the Gay Pride celebrations attract over one million people to Copacabana and Ipanema.
But you don't have to wait for those major events to enjoy the city's festive spirit. Every Sunday is a gay get-together at IPANEMA BEACH, overlooked by a huge rainbow flag. It just may be the biggest concentration of flawlessly in-shape bodies in the world, which Cariocas (Rio residents) live to show off. It's also in Ipanema and neighboring Leblon that you'll find the most sophisticated and cosmopolitan shopping, restaurants, and cafes. The majority of gay bars are found there, and below are the ones you should be heading to.
This gay-friendly café has a modern and charming decor inside and tables outside. You can choose from a menu listing Brazilian specialties or go for the sushi. Better yet is showing up for cocktails in the afternoon after a few hours on the beach.
Wonder where all those hot bodies at the beach in Ipanema are once the sun goes down? It's usually at this club where they move to the house music on the dancefloor and relax with a drink at the bar. If you can make it to only one gay club in the city, this is the one to choose.
While the boys look for boys at Le Boy, the girls obviously look for girls at the very lesbian-chic La Girl. There's a small dancefloor and an intimate bar for conversation.
00 (Zero Zero)
This trendy club is known for its great music selections (mostly house), and as a straight/mixed place throughout the week but mostly gay on Sundays.
Dama de Ferro
This stylish club stays open until really late (or early), with its dancefloor often still packed at 8AM when a diverse crowd is still dancing to the electro-techno sounds that start playing in the middle of the night. The space covers two floors, and mixes the club with a lounge and gallery.
Buraco da Lacraia
Things can get quite wild at this club, with waiters taking off all of their clothes on Fridays. Local divas often grab the mic and put on a show, while most other times there is a DJ selecting the latest pop dance remixes and dance hits to keep the crowds happy.
Now Brazil's most famous gay club (it even put out a calendar filled with hot men for 2009), The Week started in São Paulo but also opened a home in Rio. It has a large dancefloor, which accommodates both muscled locals and tourists. If you spend your day at the beach in Ipanema you'll likely see flyers advertising the next party here.
The three dancefloors at this club still gets packed two decades after it opened. It's a classic in Rio's gay life, and remains a fun place with flamboyant drag queens roaming around as one of the dancefloors presents samba and other Brazilian sounds. Elsewhere you'll find colorful bars and DJs mixing international hits.
This is the place for all-night dancing, with several DJs spinning dance mixes. The lounge downstairs and the terrace are chosen by those who simply want to chat over drinks or for a break from the dancefloor.
Gay and straight mix at this Copacabana club. It has over a dozen DJs choosing the dance music and offers a long list of drinks.
It's one of the biggest saunas in Rio and features drag shows and dancing go-go boys. It's clean and its bars quite attractive spaces for a drink, whether or not you're looking to meet one of its "working boys." There are also private suites and massage services.
It's been serving Rio's men for over four decades and still stands today as the city's best sauna. It's very clean and includes a beauty salon.
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