A neighborhood in central Rio, Lapa has developed a certain mystique because of its raucous, music-driven street parties. When the weekend comes, you'll find everything from street vendors to cheap alcohol and impromptu samba or forro jams on small P.A. systems, allowing for a truly immersive and exciting Rio experience. As the icing on the cake, you'll be enjoying it all beneath a huge, bleached colonial aqueduct known as the Lapa Arches, a renowned symbol of the neighborhood.
There are also a number of excellent bars and clubs in the area, so if you aren't feeling the often seedy nature of the street party (a fact often exacerbated by a strong police presence and petty crimes), then try Carioca da Gema or the Scenarium for excellent samba, great crowds, and a chance to connect with some cool locals (if that's on your agenda).
Location:Rio de Janeiro
Note:We'd be neglectful if we didn't mention the nearby Circo Voador ("Flying Circus"), a 3,000 capacity, domed concert venue that has seen a ton of notable international artists through its doors since it reopened in an official capacity in 2004.