Rio de Janeiro City’s Gay Scene

While Rio’s vibe is quite gay friendly, few specifically gay venues exist. GLS (a Brazilian slang term for gay, lesbica, e simpatisante; i.e., gay friendly) spaces rule, with gays, lesbians, and heteros mixing socially. For more info about Rio’s gay scene, visit

Beachgoers near a tent with a rainbow flag and beach chairs on the white sand of Ipanema beach.
Pride flags fly on Ipanema beach.Photo by estark licensed Creative Commons Attribution.


Cine Ideal (Rua da Carioca 62, tel. 21/2221-1984, 11:30pm-close Fri.-Sat., cover R$25-30) is a disco with bars and a rooftop lounge.

Port Zone

The Week (Rua Sacadura Cabral 150, Saúde, tel. 21/2253-1020, midnight-close Sat., cover R$40-60) is a more massive and upscale São Paulo import.


Buraco da Lacraia (Rua André Cavalcanti 58, tel. 21/2221-1984, 11pm-close Fri.-Sat., cover R$30-40) showcases drag shows, videoke contests, snooker, and electronic games. The beer is fantastically cheap.


The high-profile strip of Ipanema beach stretching from Posto 8 to Posto 9 (nicknamed “Farme Gay”) is home to beach barracas flying rainbow flags and the toned outlines of well-oiled “Barbies” (as muscle men are called). The street perpendicular to the beach, Rua Farme de Amoedo also attracts a gay crowd.

Tô’Nem Aí (Rua Farme de Amoedo 87-A, tel. 21/2247-8403, noon-3am daily) is a laid-back bar that draws a mixed crowd and offers great views of the action.

Galeria Café (Rua Teixeira de Melo 31, tel. 21/2523-8250, 10:30pm-close Wed.-Sat., noon-8pm Sun., cover R$28-38), one street over, is a hip, hybrid space sheltering a café and art gallery. At night, it holds sizzling festas that reel in a trendy crowd.


The gay crowd has conquered a prize strip of beach on the doorstep of the Copacabana Palace, baptized “Praia da Bolsa” (Handbag Beach).

The Rainbow (noon-close daily) kiosk is a haven for Rio’s transgendered community, who often perform in between caipis and pizza slices.

Le Boy (Rua Raul Pompéia 102, tel. 21/2513-4993, 11pm-close Tues.-Sun., cover R$15-25) is Rio’s classic and notorious temple of gaydom. This enormous club offers go-go boys, a quarto escuro (dark room), and Tuesday’s Strip Nights.

La Cueva
(Rua Miguel Lemos 51, tel. 21/2267-1367, 11pm-close, R$20) means “The Cave,” which describes this dim, yet friendly basement lair where the entrance fee earns you two drinks.

Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Brazil.