By Leo Byrne, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The sheer number of bars and clubs to choose from in Rio’s vibrant nightlife scene can make the process of finding the right venue for an evening on the town a little daunting. Not to mention frequent “entrado” cover charges and consumption minimums mean that bar and club hopping can quickly become expensive.
One potential alternative for those looking for a hassle-free night out with a built-in crowd, is the Pub Crawl Carioca. Every Friday since 2011, Marcelo Braga and his team have been taking the stress out of organizing a night out while also ensuring that participants have a fun fueled tour of Ipanema and Leblon nightspots.
“My partner and I were traveling around Europe, every single hostel we went they were talking about this Pub Crawl in Holland. When we were in Amsterdam, we finally went and we loved it. So, when we came back to Rio, we looked to go on a pub crawl and to our surprise, there wasn’t one!” Marcelo Braga told The Rio Times.
The Pub Crawl Carioca sets itself apart from other competition by combining an open bar in each of the venues, along with organizing the particulars of transportation and club entrance, so that the participants can focus on just the fun part.
“We are the only party in town that mixes ‘warm-up drinking’ with clubbing at the end of the night. And of course we have the open bars, three hours of free drinks as well as one hour of free pizza,” Braga continued.
Things get rolling every Friday at 10PM at the first venue and meeting place, the always popular Itahy Botequim on Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva. Considered the ‘warm-up’ stage of the pub crawl, here participants can start the party with unlimited beer and sangria.
Part of a chain of Brazilian style bars (botecos), Itahy always has a friendly atmosphere and good service, making it an ideal place to mingle and get to know fellow pub crawl participants.
Once everyone is assembled and suitably social, the festivities move to the Pizzaria Guanabara located along the same street. Party goers have a chance to fuel up all-you-can-eat pizza, while the all you can drink theme extends to beer and caipirinhas.
The next venue on the crawl is the Botequim Bate Papo. The bustling Brazilian style bar is a great place to try out some sertanejo (country music) dance moves with yet another open bar.
Testament to the Pub Crawl Carioca’s growing popularity, participants now have a chance to ‘re-energize’ between bars as well. “We also just got the sponsorship of Fusion Energetic Drink, so we have a stop called ‘Recharge your batteries with Fusion.’ Each crawler gets a glass of Vodka with Fusion Energy drink,” Braga continued.
Participants will no doubt need the energy for the final leg of the crawl to one of a number of Leblon’s nightclubs. While the venue occasionally changes, party-goers involved in the pub crawl needn’t worry about lines or cover charge, as VIP entrance is included in the price of the ticket.
Consisting mainly of Brazilians and often playing host to numerous birthday celebrations and hens nights, the Pub Crawl Carioca presents a great opportunity to mingle with some locals. “Nowadays we have an average of 120 people per event. So it’s a great place to get to know new people and make new friends,” Braga told The Rio Times.
What: Pub Crawl Carioca
When: Every Friday at 10PM
Where: Starting at Itahy Botequim on Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva, Leblon
Price: R$100 for men and R$80 for women