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Although Rio does have its fair share of swanky bars and clubs, to really experience nightlife the Brazilian way, enjoy a cold beer or freshly-crushed caipirinha (a drink made with muddled limes, sugar and cane sugar liquor) in the city's hundreds of open-air restaurants and bars. Take advantage of Rio's nearly year-round balmy night air, and the gregarious Brazilian culture by heading to Lapa. A relatively quiet area during the day, Lapa comes alive at night with samba music blaring and people pouring out of the open-air restaurants that line the streets, socializing over drinks and striking up conversations with strangers. To hear live samba music, head to the classic Carioca da Gema, a small, authentic club where Brazilians will be heating up the dance floor. It’s a great place for people watching. Arrive well before show time if you want to score a table.