By Jake Marmulstein, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – If you are looking for music, culture, and numerous nightlife options, you can count on finding it all in Lapa. The diversity in Lapa serves as its own niche for tourists looking to have a complete cultural, less ostentatious (and beachless) experience in the marvelous city.

Samba Band at Bar Balneário da Lapa, photo by Nao Lizuka/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Since the early 1950s, Lapa has been the identified by its unique mix of historical presence and contemporary entertainment appeal. The regal arcs of Lapa are a trademark symbol of historical, colonial significance, and by night are the host of the Bohemian music, culture, and street parties, that continue until the early hours of weekend mornings.

While not the safest place to walk through at night or during the weekends, residents pay a discounted price to call one of the liveliest part of Rio home – while being right next to their jobs in Centro. Even though Lapa continues to experience problems with public security and homelessness, newly launched residential projects are providing comprehensive infrastructure and encouraging further development.

Rio’s Nice Hotel, located on Rua Do Riachuelo offers comfortable air-conditioned rooms with basic amenities including internet, swimming pool, steam sauna, a spacious terrace, American bar, a 50 capacity conference room, and daily morning restaurant buffet included in the price of R$140 for two. For a simple, yet comfortable and easily accessible stay, Rio’s Nice Hotel caters to business and leisure travelers alike.

Just southeast on Rua Joaquim Silva is the antique style Hotel Americano. If you rate luxury and complexity of amenities low on importance, Hotel Americano provides a worthwhile experience for the cost. For a double room at R$115,00, the hotel has received high ratings for comfort, safety, and guest service. Wifi is included and the restaurant gives guests an option to purchase breakfast for two for R$10,00 added to the room rate per night. The hotel accepts debit or credit Visa, MasterCard, and Diner’s Club. Rooms are air-conditioned and come with cable television and a stocked mini-fridge.

On Rua do Resende, Pouso Real has professional service and clean, good quality rooms. The hotel offers city tours for riding the historical Bondes of Santa Teresa from which you can get a magnificent view of Centro and staff also organizes reservations to shows and theater performances to make your stay that much easier. The hotel’s 73 air-conditioned rooms are painted in illuminating color shades to complement a relaxing vibe set in by attentive customer service. Hotel amenities include laundry service, concierge, conference room, 24-hour cyber office, bar, diverse breakfast options, parking, and room service until mid-night. A double costs just R$144,00 and a double suite costs R$160,00.

Weekend nightlife on the streets of Lapa, photo by Alicia Nijdam/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Just north of Praça Cruz Vermelha on Rua Vinte de Abril, the Hostel Villa Santana provides very reasonable priced, clean rooms with highly rated customer service. Guests have a choice to pay R$50 for a double without a private bathroom or R$100,00 for a double with a private bathroom. The hotel is adjacent to the metro station and bus stop, making it an easier place to find your way back to at night.

The 38 room Hotel Villa Rica on Rua Conde de Lages has undergone recent renovation and offers free wifi, air-conditioned rooms equipped with a 42’’ LCD television, 24-hour reception and room service, transfer services, currency exchange and free access to scanners and copy machines for R$200 per night. The hotel is located right next to the Gloria underground station. With an English speaking staff, Hotel Villa Rica delivers friendly service and above average accommodations for its tourist guests.

Apart from the main attractions within walking distance from your hotel, Lapa is 5 minutes away from beautiful Flamengo park and Santos Dumont Airport, and 30 minutes to Zona Sul’s beaches. For a bargain, you can have all the best of Rio and get a chance to absorb the city’s historic landmarks and laid-back, locally inspired Bohemian scene.


  1. Sounds like we should plan to spend a few days in the area and will have several choices for accommodations, thanks for the details!

  2. I have a Brazilian friend that recently said I should visit her country. Thanks for the info on this fun, inexpensive city.

  3. Good article. Seems like a great place to visit.
    I thought that the following comment was great.

    While it doesn’t scare me off from visiting, it did raise an eyebrow.
    I’ve never felt unsafe anywhere I have visited but I guess we all have to be aware of the dangers and be alert as visitors.

  4. Very good article on Lapa and its accommodations. Sounds like an interesting part of Rio if one is not interested in the beach scenes of Copacabana and Ipanema. I guess the R$ is the Brazilian real (their currency) which is currently 0.5858 of a US dollar.

  5. Great Article of an area of Rio that I have not visited – Next time. Thanks for the information on the hotels to stay!

  6. I spent a wonderful 3 days in Rio this year, and I would go back in a heartbeat. I stayed on the beach, but this certainly gives another option.

  7. Realy good information. It sounds like a realy good place to visit by the description that was given. I looks like I will be adding a spot on the list of places I would like to travel

  8. Thanks, sounds like when someone wants to see Rio off the beaten path this is place.
    great info for the traveler who doesn’t know where to experience the local culture.

  9. Thanks for the info and details. Living the life of Riley as a writer in Rio. Envious and rest assure heading way south of the border.

  10. This is an informative and, articulate and well organized article. It initiates a desire to visit for a charming, relatively inexpensive holiday. It is a place that I would consider travelling to for a vacation.

  11. Informative, articulate article. Sounds like a great place to visit for a relativly inexpensive vacation.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

17 − 14 =