Samba, forró, and choro emanate from Lapa’s packed nightclubs under an ancient aqueduct.

Unlike many of Rio’s most popular destinations, Lapa is not revered for its beachfront real estate or bikini-clad models. Although this south Rio neighborhood claims a bit of coastline, Lapa is known for something much more sultry: its signature rhythm. Sounds of samba, forró, and choro emanate from Lapa’s packed nightclubs—establishments bursting with passionate self-expression and all-night energy. The neighborhood’s colonial aqueduct and colorful parks promise that its cultural richness extends beyond the evening.

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On the Map

Lapa is within Centro and bordered by Cidade Nova, Glória, and Santa Teresa

Galeão International Airport: 25 minutes by cab without traffic
Santos Dumont Domestic Airport: 6 minutes by cab without traffic
Ipanema Beach: 19 minutes by cab or 45 minutes by metro
Sugar Loaf Cable Car: 10 minutes by cab or 45 minutes by bus
Corcovado's Train Station: 13 minutes by cab or 30 minutes by bus

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Difficult

Lapa's Bohemian Lifestyle

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The gathering place for Rio's artists, creatives, and revelers, Lapa's sea salt weathered facades beckon visitors to abandon the beach and head towards the aqueduct, if only for an evening.

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Unpretentious vintage shops and casual cafes serve residents and visitors by day, but the neighborhood's streets remain understatedly calm.

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Nighttime evokes drastically different attitudes. Lapa's streets transform from calm to clangorous, and the clamor couldn't be any livelier. Clubs like Circo Voador and Fundição Progresso attract Cariocas to dance the hours away while listening to Brazilian music.

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The Selarón steps, tiled by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón, brighten the ascent into Lapa's core.

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Cariocas are beginning to appreciate Lapa for more than its bohemian attitudes and nighttime attractions.

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This centrally located neighborhood is slowly beginning to fill with full-time residents.

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Sure, Copacabana was big in the Sixties... If you're looking for a current authentic experience of Rio, you may want to consider this more diverse, culturally vibrant part of the city."

Marcelle & Davog

Hosts Cool & Creative Lapa Studio with AC

Lapa's Tourist Attractions

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How does a neighborhood compete with the allure of the beach?

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Lapa's street art, thrifts shops, ancient aqueduct, and artistic attitudes draw visitors to explore the neighborhood.

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Lapa is so lively, it's now Rio de Janeiro's second most popular tourist destination.

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Live music and engaging art spaces contribute to Lapa's mystique.

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Brazilian snacks and small plates feed Lapa's hungry explorers, but the neighborhood's main attraction appears as the light fades.

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Lapa is the heart of Rio - the most active area in the city. You're gonna have things to do even on a rainy day. And as for going to the beach, it is easy to just take a bus or a taxi."

Lapa After Sunset

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Lapa's adjacent-to-the-Centro location makes the neighborhood an easy choice for after-work drinks and late-night entertainment.

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The neon lights of the Rio Scenarium illuminate the way as crowds begin to file into Lapa's clubs, bars, lounges, and music venues.

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Although Lapa's indoor establishments attract revelers, the neighborhood's streets serve as a venue of their own.

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All its residents need is a parcel of pavement.

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Street vendors, sidewalk cafes, and city lights infuse Lapa with energy as samba and bossa nova emanate from second-story windows.

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In Lapa, the end of the day is the beginning of life.

With restaurants, market, pharmacy, parking around and all the facilities at your fingertips. In the heart of the carioca Bohemia, you will feel at home."


Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Andre Joaquim

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Andre is both a dentist and photographer, living in Rio de Janeiro. He has a huge passion for Rio, and after shooting this project for Airbnb, he is certain that there is no place as beautiful as the city placed between the mountain and the sea.

Fabio Blaser

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Fabio Blaser is a Swiss photojournalist based in Rio de Janeiro. Before moving to Brazil, he graduated from the University of Plymouth in the UK. When not behind his camera, he enjoys the beaches, waterfalls, rainforest and Brazilian way of life. He loved the opportunity to shoot the wonderful tropical city that he is privileged to call home for Airbnb.

Sam Comen

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Sam Comen is a 32-year-old bon-vivant and LA native who counts Esquire, Details, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal among his clients. He has been awarded national grants and honors for his long-term portrait essays. On assignment in Rio de Janeiro for 11 days with Airbnb, Sam came to love and admire the city's environment, natural splendor, and the Cariocas' easy-going attitude.