One thing you're sure to find in Fortaleza is ample opportunity for a good time once the sun starts to dip below the horizon. Despite having the reputation as a haven for “gringos” looking to pay for illicit services (particularly along Rua dos Tremembés and some sections of Praia de Iracema), there is a good time to be had for those of us who just want a cool place to hang out and grab something cold to drink.
You'd be surprised to find that downtown Fortaleza is not the first place we'd suggest going if you're looking for a decent concentration of watering holes or nightclubs. Actually, avoid it in general and head to the Dragão do Mar and Praia de Iracema (which are adjacent to each other), if you'd like a your choice of terraces and patios from which to enjoy the warm evening air or a dance party at a range of establishments that varies depending on the day of the week. Be aware that there are clubs that have a monopoly on certain nights of the week, like Pirata on Mondays, Armazem on Wednesdays, and Orbita on Thursdays. Other establishments are usually dead on these days, although you'll see a party in every nook and cranny of this area come the weekend (although we'd still avoid the dark alleyways like good little travelers). Again, be suspicious of women that travel in packs in this area, especially if they are wearing heels and skirts that could be worn as belts by someone with more modesty. Don't worry, the majority of places have strict regulations against allowing these types through the door.
Another good bet for cold drinks and a fun atmosphere are the barracas you'll find along the beach. Praia do Futuro itself has somewhere over a hundred beach shacks, with a variety of brews, live music, and great vibes. If you're looking for a good time all day long when the weekend hits, there's no better place to start. You'll also find plenty of forro (accordion, zabumba, triangle, and even the kitchen sink) music anywhere you turn, especially in the aforementioned areas, although because of it's ubiquity it can be found in even the smallest watering holes on the outskirts of the city. Finally, if you've run out of other options, try moving east from city center to Rua Norvinda Pires in Aldeota or a few blocks further to the Varjota neighborhood, both of which are known for their fair share of nightlife establishments.
If you're one for enjoying the beach, eating crab, and enjoying a nightlife not confined to the wee hours, then Fortaleza is for you. Browse our site for further travel ideas and start dreaming of your next trip today.