With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil quickly approaching, we've caught up with local Intrepid Travel tour leader Rodrigo Argon to get the lowdown on where to party in Rio de Janeiro.
Argon describes Rio as the most vibrant city in South America, and here are his favourite bars you should visit:
If you're after a beer and finger food, head to Bar Urca. Argon recommends trying pastel de camarao (fried prawn pastries) and bolinho de bacalhau (salt cod fritters). Find a spot to sit where you have a view of Guanabara Bay and the towering statue Christ the Redeemer.
"It is a must on the weekends after the beach," says Argon.
Where: Rua Candido Gaffree, 205, Urca
Situated in front of the picturesque Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Palaphita Kitch offers a great view and a pleasant atmosphere for those keen to escape the crowds. The staff also uses ingredients sourced from the Amazon in both the meals and drinks.
Where: Av Epitacio Pessoa s/n, Quiosque 20, Parque do Cantagalo
BAR DO MINEIRO
This bar is a typical carioca bar and is very popular with locals. Argon says it has a reputation for serving the best caipirinha in town. If you're there on a Saturday, make sure you order the typical Brazilian dish feijoada, which is a bean, beef and pork stew.
Where: Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 99, Santa Teresa
BAR SARAU RIO
Dance the night away to traditional Brazilian music at Bar Sarau Rio. There are always great tunes playing, and first-time visitors to the city can have their first interaction with samba or chorinho music.
Where: Av Mem de Sa 64, Lapa
If you can't decide what mood you're, make your way to Bar Leviano – a bar, pub and disco in one. There are always great options for drinks here, says Argon, and the caipirinhas with cachaa, vodka, rum and sake are tasty.
Where: Av Mem de Sa 47, Lapa
At the end of a day sightseeing, spend an evening relaxing at Jobi. If there are no tables available, take your beer onto the footpath with friends. Jobi draws an attractive crowd, says Argon, plus: "It is almost official – they've got the best draft beer in Rio."
Where: Av Ataulfo de Paiva, 1166, Leblon
This is a place to hang out after a swim at the beach and it's a busy spot. Bracarense is an icon of the neighbourhood and crowds stand around this small bar keen for a beer or three.
Where: Rua Jose Linhares, 85, Leblon
Located on the fanciest avenue in Rio, this bar has a great selection of beverages.
"They will make you fall in love and then there is no going back," says Argon.
Where: Av Vieira Souto, 110, Ipanema
BOTECO DA GARRAFA
If you consider yourself a beer afficionado, you'll be in hops heaven at Boteco da Garrafa. It's a great place for appreciating beer, as there are more than 30 brands on offer, both national and international. There is also great Brazilian bar food.
Where: Rua Bolivar, 27, loja A, Copacabana
For sophistication, check out the champagne bar Ovelha Negra. This place is perfect for those keen to feel like a Hollywood star.
"And you'd be surprised, it is not so expensive," says Argon.
Where: Rua Bambina, 120, Botafogo
IF YOU GO
The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil runs from June 12 to July 13. While you're there, consider joining Intrepid Travel's Buenos Aires to Rio Unplugged tour. It's 17 days and takes in Rio, Ilha Grande, Sao Paulo and Iguazu Falls in Brazil, and then continues into Argentina. Prices are from $2095 per person.