The center of live music in Rio (as long as you can handily overlook the weekend block parties in Lapa), Botafogo is the city's answer to the hip and alternative. There is a particular concentration of bars near the intersection of Voluntários da Pátria and Nelson Mandela, just off the marina and in spectacular view of Sugarloaf Mountain, making it an easy meeting place and an even easier place to stick around for a while. Bars are prevalent here and scattered around the neighborhood, but the big reason to come here is for a full line-up of live music. Forro, samba, jazz, metal, and everything in between can be had at staples like Quadra do Dona Marta and Casa da Matriz, while local spaces like Cafeina and Estúdio Hanói are great for up-and-coming talent. If you're dying to get away from Copacabana and find a more authentic Rio experience without heading up the hill into the favelas, Botafogo just may be it.
Location:Rio de Janeiro
Note:Although it is technically in the Humaitá neighborhood, the Mercado Cobal de Humaitá is an excellent, no-frills place on the western edge of Botafogo where a bunch of chopp joints and eateries share an outdoor space. The food and beer are cheap, which is good if you are one not to be put off by plastic patio furniture.