Welcome to our Complete Gay Rio De Janeiro Travel Guide. We will be sharing the best of what Rio De Janeiro has to offer LGBTQ+ travellers from day trips, to the best gay bars in Rio, gay friendly hotels and gay beaches.
When we think of Rio De Janeiro, we think of stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, icons like Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain and of course, bronzed Brazilian boys!
Rio is the second most populated city in Brazil. It’s an incredible place where nature meets the city and the two landscapes intertwine creating an urban jungle.
It was nothing like we had seen before. You could be within the city surrounded by skyscrapers, only to turn and look out over Guanabara Bay and see over 100 islands.
But of course we had to ask, is Rio De Janeiro gay friendly?
After spending 10 days in Rio and exploring ‘gay Rio De Janeiro’ we have put together our Rio gay travel guide!
P.s – if you are planning a trip to Rio check out our Complete Packing List for Rio as well!
Is Rio De Janeiro Gay Friendly?
In short, yes, Rio De Janeiro is gay friendly and here is why.
Each time we arrive at a destination and explore, we quickly get a sense of how comfortable we feel as a gay couple.
We knew that there would be gay clubs and gay bars in Rio De Janeiro we could go to, after all Rio is a major city! However, we want to know what its like to simply walk around and be an openly gay couple.
We are happy to report that we felt at ease immediately!
It became apparent that there were many other gay couples around Rio who seemed quite happy to be affectionate with each other.
We aren’t talking about making out in public, but there were couples on the beach lying on one another, cuddling up, sat side by side giving little pecks on the cheek etc.
This was very reassuring for us to see as it attracted no negative attention.
As we continued to explore further afield we started seeing pride flags proudly displayed on the gay beach in Ipanema, another very good sign.
It turns out, that after doing some further research, this makes perfect sense. Rio is one of the most open minded and diverse cities in the world and a huge hotspot for gay travel.
Over the last ten years, there have been many LGBTQ+ focused initiatives in Rio. These include anti-bullying measures and discrimination protections.
The mayor has described it as a city without prejudice and where tolerance is natural. Kiss who you want where you want!
With up to 25% of Rios 880k+ annual tourists being LGBTQ+, it is no wonder Rio is a top gay travel destination! So with that in mind, on to our Rio De Janeiro gay guide!
Gay Area of Rio De Janeiro
The main gay areas in Rio De Janeiro are Ipanema and Lapa, although you will find bars and clubs spread everywhere.
There is a little something for everyone. All types of bars, clubs, beaches and saunas to give a few examples. Of course, there is so much more to Rio than this, but for the purposes of our gay guide to Rio we will share the best gay bars and clubs (further down the post).
Things to do in Rio for Gay Travellers
There is a lot to do in Rio De Janeiro, especially with the diversity of landscapes, you can be a beach bum or a city explorer or go on an adventure in nature.
Of course these activities are for everyone but at least we know that some of the providers we used were gay friendly so you know there will be no issues (see gay tour providers below).
Here are some of the activities we did (and highly recommend) during our time in Rio travelling as a gay couple:
Big Dude Statue (Christ the Redeemer)
For us, we wanted to see the big ticket, iconic landmarks and what is more iconic in Rio than the Christ the Redeemer statue aka the ‘Big Dude’.
It is considered one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and has become not just a cultural icon of Rio, but also of Brazil as a whole. Both the statue and the surrounding views are incredible to see.
You can visit as part of a wider day tour or do it solo if you want to take your time.
If going solo most people get the cog train which takes you through the forest on the way up to Corcovado Mountain.
We suggest booking your train ticket online in advance, especially in peak season when you could be waiting a very long time if you do not already have a ticket.
Trains leave a couple of times per hour and take 20 minutes to get to the top.
Sao Conrado Beach
Relax at Sao Conrado beach.
Sao Conrado beach is known for being the hang gliding landing area. You can watch the hang gliders take off in the distance from Pedra Bonita and fly from the mountains, out over the ocean, before coming in to land on the beach. We would have loved to try this ourselves but did not have time, however it was very cool to see!
Tijuca National Park
One of the things we loved most about Rio is the contrast of environments. You can go from beautiful beach, to bustling city and to lush tropical rainforest all within half an hour.
Tijuca National Park is considered to be one of the worlds largest urban forests at 32km2. Here you can expect to see waterfalls, tropical plants, exotic trees and some local wildlife. One of the hotspots and best viewing points here is known as the ‘Chinese View’. This looks out over the southern zone of the city and was truly spectacular!
Escadaria Selaron: Lapa
You might recognise the Escadaria Selaron (or secret Lapa steps) from Snoop Dogg and Pharells music video for their song ‘Beautiful’.
The steps are a beautiful work of art and a tribute to the people of Brazil from Chilean artist Jorge Selaron.
There are 215 steps completely covered in ceramic tiles and mirrors. Selaron started with just yellow and green tiles (colours from the Brazilian flag) but now you will see a unique range of tiles from all over the world. Look carefully through all 2000 tiles and see if you can find one that represents your country! We were very excited by what appeared to be the Manchester bee!
As the end of the day approaches, head to Sugarloaf Mountain for sunset.
The cost of the ticket to go up the mountain is only $15. You can buy tickets at the entrance at Praia Vermelha (Red Beach). The cable car runs between 8 am and 9 pm every 20 minutes. We highly recommend going at sunset though!
Sugarloaf Mountain stands at 396m and will give you the best 360o views of the city, the surrounding Guanabara Bay, mountains and rainforests. Up at the top you will find cafes and restaurants where you can sit back with a drink and enjoy the sunset. There are also a lot of very cute (and mischievous) tiny marmosets up on the mountain.
Gay Hotels Rio De Janeiro
You might not need to look for gay hotels in Rio De Janeiro since it’s a very gay friendly place. However, if you are looking to support those that perhaps go the extra mile, or are gay owned then take a look below.
Hilton is always our go to, they have done a lot of work to support the LGBTQ+ community and this particular hotel has the ‘Travel Proud’ stamp from booking.com.
With stunning views from their rooftop pool over Copacabana beach and with Sugarloaf mountain as a backdrop, this is a very popular option.
This is a 5 star hotel with bright, sophisticated rooms with air conditioning, a TV and a minibar. They are elegantly styled with wooden furniture, contemporary decor and warm, natural tones. Most rooms feature amazing ocean views.
Santa Teresa Hotel
Santa Teresa Hotel is not a beachfront hotel, instead it is nestled in the hillside of the Santa Teresa neighbourhood. It is a luxurious hotel, with jungle elements and because its on a hillside, you have beautiful views of Guanabara Bay. Make sure you do not miss the restaurant, spa and large outdoor pool!
Address: Santa Teresa Hotel, R. Alm. Alexandrino, 660 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hotel Atlantico Copacabana
If you want to be on the famed Copacabana beach take a look at Hotel Atlantico Copacabana. It’s just a few blocks back from the beach and rooms are simple, however it has been popular with gay tourists for a long time and boasts a beautiful pool with views of Sugarloaf Mountain.
Address: Rua Siqueira Campos, 90 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22031-072, Brazil
Hotelinho Urca is gay owned and run B&B located at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. As a result, you will have some stunning views if you stay here. The hotel is very near to a small beach which some prefer to Copacabana! Rooms are simple and comfortable with wifi, air con etc.
Address: Rua Marechal Cantuaria, Rio de Janeiro, 22291-060, Brazil
Casa Verde is owned by a gay couple and can be found in Sao Conrado between Copacabana and Lapa. Expect to be surrounded by nature in this guesthouse. It is well located at an even distance from the main tourist attractions.
Address: Estrada da Canoa, 1579, Rio de Janeiro, 22610, Brazil
‘Quickie’ Hotels in Rio De Janeiro
There are also hotels that offer very short stays – we are talking about a few hours and we think you know what for!
This can actually be a safer option than taking someone back to your actual hotel to hook up whilst in Rio De Janeiro as you do not have to worry about all your valuables.
You will find many of these types of hotels around the gay bars.
As ever, there are stories about guys in clubs luring tourists into these hotels and taking their wallets/phones so please still have your wits about you and be careful – have fun and be safe!
Gay Hostels Rio De Janeiro
We have not come across any gay owned hostels in Rio De Janeiro. However, given how gay friendly Rio is you need not worry! Just make sure you check out TripAdvisor before you book to make sure you are getting a good one!
Note: Do you know of any? Email us at email@example.com to let us know and we will add to our guide.
Gay Bars in Rio De Janeiro
Rio De Janeiro gay bars are distributed across the entire city with the highest concentration being around Lapa, Copacabana and Ipanema.
For the most part you will start with drinks and end up dancing by the end of the night with the very handsome Brazilian gay guys.
We have organised the gay bars in Rio by location below.
Gay Bars in Lapa
Lapa is very popular with all types of tourists
It is not officially known as a gay neighbourhood but we noticed plenty of couples walking around hand in hand – it felt very relaxed and open. It did have a
This is a gay karaoke bar in Lapa which looks like a fun way to start you night. Take a look at what they have coming up on their Instagram page.
Turma Ok (Lapa)
Established gay bar in Rio with music and dancing, with a stage for drag and fun themed nights. See more on their Facebook.
Seven Cruising Bar Lapa
This is a men only gay cruising bar in Rio with themed parties including jock night, adult perfomers. The bar has cabins and looks like a lot of fun. As the name suggests it is open seven days a week 10am to 10pm.
Gay Bars in Lapa listed as closed
Buraco da Lacraia and Anexxo Lounge have now permanently closed.
Gay Bars in Copacabana
After you have had a couple of gay nights out in Lapa, check out the gay bars in Copacabana. There is not quite as many but it is still worth spending a night out here!
Pink Flamingo (Copacabana)
One of the newer gay bars in Rio and one for drinking, dancing and a little bit of drag.
This bar looks like a lot of fun with a young trendy and attractive crowd.
Address: R. Rodolfo Dantas, 16 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
La Cueva (Copacabana)
This is the oldest gay bar in Rio in Copacabana. The name translates to ‘The Cave’ given its below street level. This place advertises itself as a bear bar.
Music: electronic, Brazilian and retro
Address: Rua Miguel Lemos 51, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rainbow Kiosk (Copacabana)
If we had a gay bucket list for Rio De Janeiro we would have to include this well known LGBTQ spot, at least for one drink. You can find this gay kiosk by the Copacabana hotel and grab some small plates or have a drink.
TV Bar (Copacabana)
This is a small gay bar in Copacabana and is popular with a younger crowd (tourists and locals).
The host drag nights and sometimes there is a small cover charge but drinks are reasonably priced. Other nights an open bar is included in the price so keep up to date on their Facebook page.
Music: Mixed depending on the DJ
Address: Avenida Nossa Sra. de Copacabana 1417 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gay Bars in Ipanema
Although the gay beach is situated in Ipanama there are not too many gay bars in Ipanema. TV Bar which we mention above is just on the edge of Copacabana and Ipanema so could be counted for both.
Galeria Cafe (Ipanema)
If you want a gay bar in Ipanama then this is the one for Friday nights. There is a young crowd and you can expect (our favourite) stereotypically gay pop music. It is a relatively small club and tends to get packed.
Music – 80s, 90s and modern pop.
Address: Rua Teixeira de Melo 31 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gay Clubs Rio De Janeiro
The Week Gay Club (Lapa)
The Week is the biggest gay club in Rio De Janeiro. It is a Superclub with multiple floors and hundreds of (typically muscle) guys dancing the night away.
The cost to get in is around $15 and they will give you a drinks card. You use this to get drinks during the night and then settle your bill on the way out by giving them the card back.
With it being such a popular club the drinks are expensive compared to other places – but it is popular for a good reason!
Do not forget to take ID, we believe you can take a photocopy so you don’t have to have so many valuables on you.
Music: Brazilian, techno, electronic (small amount of remixed pop)
Address: R. Sacadura Cabral, 135 – Saúde, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20081-261, Brazil
This is a small gay friendly club in Copcabana (Fridays are the ‘gayest’). It plays a real mix of music from chart pop to techno and house. Take a look on the website in advance to see what night is on.
If you arrange tickets through Facebook you can sometimes get a cheaper price.
Music: Mixed, pop, techno, house
Address: Rua Siqueira Campos 143 (loja 23 & 24) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gay Beaches in Rio De Janeiro
Also see are full guide to the gay beaches including maps here: Gay Beaches in Rio.
There are two gay beaches in Rio that you should visit. Farme Gay Beach Ipanema and Bolsa Gay Beach Copcabana.
You will easily find both just by spotting the rainbow flags proudly raised. The beaches here are very social. A place for drinks with friends, top up your tan, show off your new speedos and meet new friends. You can also find club promoters around selling tickets to the parties later than night.
Gay or straight, Rio De Janerios beaches are stunning and you will not be disappointed!
Farme Gay Beach Ipanema
The Farme gay beach Ipanema can be found opposite the Golden Tulip Hotel (now closed). The gay beach is between lifeguard posts 8 and 9.
The beach has a huge gay flag and you will see a sudden change in crowd. The crowd is locally named as ‘Barbie boys’ – think tanned muscly gay Brazilian guys.
Bolsa Gay Beach Copacabana
This gay beach in Copacabana is not quite as popular as the one in Ipanema.
It can be found in front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel. This might typically attract an older crowd but is much more easy going and relaxed compared to Farme gay beach.
Gay Tours Rio De Janeiro
If you are looking specifically for Rio gay tours then we would recommend checking out the following:
Rio Gay Tours – Private Tours
Rio Gay Tours is run by Marcelo. He is a native Brazilian with a degree in Tourism and can speak English fluently.
He offers tours dedicated to the iconic spots and barrios in Rio, as well as night-time gay bar crawls, shopping trips, full day excursions, food tours and even a guide to the Sauna scene. The idea is that you get to experience Rio through the eyes of a local and learn lots about the culture. Having looked through all the reviews on TripAdvisor – this is highly recommended!
We also did a full day tour and saw many big ticket items with Brazil Expedition. Not specifically gay but like most businesses, more than welcoming. See what we did on this one day Rio city tour.
Gay Saunas – Rio De Janeiro
If you are looking for gay saunas in Rio De Janeiro is what you need to know:
- They are either ‘with boys’ or ‘without boys’ – i.e male escorts depending on what scene you are looking for.
- The busiest times to go are between 6-10pm
- There is no obligation to do anything, relax and have a drink or go and use the private facilities – it’s up to you.
- Always be prepared, don’t take valuables and have fun!
There are four gay saunas to choose from:
Rio G Spa (Copacabana) – this is a mens club and gay sauna with private cabins, darkrooms, video rooms, sauna and steam as well as a fitness centre and bar. You can also get a massage here if you like. They are open daily 3pm – 10pm and costs BRL 70 M-T and BRL 85 F-S. This one specifies is is a ‘without boys’ sauna. R. Teixeira de Melo, 16 – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro.
117 Club (Lapa) – mentioned in many guides but without a website or socials so may no longer be active. Head to Rua Cândido Mendes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20241-220 to see for yourself. Has all you would expect and is one where you can negotiate for company.
Termas Leblon (Copacabana) – Termas Leblon offers a dry and steam saunas, massage, internet etc. Again, website is down so may no longer exist
Meio Mundo (Lapa) – This gay sauna in Rio de Janeiro has a steam room, dry sauna and then also an on-site bar with Go-Go Boys or a drag show. Again, lack of website or social media so may have closed. Rua Primeiro de Março, 115 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro.
Clearly, the top choice for a gay sauna is Rio G Spa, at least you can be confident that is open!
Gay Pride – Rio De Janeiro
Being such a gay hotspot, Rio Gay Pride is huge!
LGBTQ+ Pride in Rio de Janeiro usually starts towards the end of September and lasts for the weekend.
On Saturdays expect parties and performances until sunrise. The main parade is usually on the Sunday at around midday from Copacabana Beach to Avenida Atlantica! Get your rainbow flags at the ready!
Rio De Janerio is a truly beautiful place. While there are lots of things on offer aimed at the LGBT tourist don’t forget to just be a typical tourist too! Explore Tijuca National Park, Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ The Redeemer, Escadaria Selaron and so much more!
If you have any more LGBT tips then let us know in the comments below! We hope you visit and have the most amazing time!
Check out these other posts about Rio to make sure you are prepared:
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