Entertainment, Media and Television for Expats in Brazil

Submitted: April 2014


Brazilians take nightlife very seriously. A night out is more about fun and dancing rather than drinking for the sake of drinking, so pace yourself. In the cities, the fun tends to start around 11pm and usually carries on until dawn.

On Fridays it is normal to have a drink or two after work with friends, to celebrate the beginning of the weekend and make plans, followed by some home time. Between 8pm and 9pm is a good time to go out for a leisurely meal in a restaurant or botequin (bar/café). Brazilian food is an eclectic mix of European, African and indigenous influences. It is hard to know where to start (or when to finish). The street food can be excellent, and offers a good opportunity to experiment - if you make a mistake, it won't be an expensive one. There are also buffet restaurants where you pay by the weight of the food you have put on your plate.

After dinner is the time to look for some fun, which is generally going to involve music. This may be in a Samba club or a nightclub; both of which can be found in the Lapa district of Rio for example. You should be aware that it is normal to have to pay a cover charge to enter late-night places. The price should be displayed on the outside; the charge for men is generally higher than for women. You will be handed a card, usually in the form of a bar menu. Do not lose this card. Each time you order a drink, your order will be marked on the card. At the end of the evening you take the card to the cashier and pay your entire bill. It is a sensible system as it means no mistakes with cash over the bar, and speeds up the bar service.  If you do lose the card, you will be made to pay a large fine before being allowed to leave. Finally, remember that for the Brazilians, it is all about fun; if something happens that in your home culture might cause a flare-up, think twice before reacting, it is probably a misunderstanding.

Sightseeing and Tours

There are thousands of sights to see in Brazil, which is to be expected from a country which covers nearly half of a continent and spans from equator to south of the Tropic of Capricorn.

There are many natural wonders and a wide variety of habitats to enjoy; ranging from the wetland plain of the Pantanal in Mato Grosso do Sul, to the Guapi Açu Ecological Reserve in the mountains 60km north of Rio de Janeiro.

In the cities there are some fine parks to find some peace away from the bustle of the streets, notably the Passeio Público in in the old part of Rio de Janeiro, restored in the new millennium after years of decay.

If architecture is your thing, there is an abundance of it in Brazil, from the centuries old Cidade Alta in Salvador, and Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais to the stunning modern city of Brasilia.

Media and Television

Television is extremely popular in Brazil. Unfortunately for expats most of the programmes are in Portuguese. There are some foreign language programmes available on cable TV. Two of the larger providers of cable are Sky and Rede Globo.

There are many FM stations on Brazilian radio playing a wide range of music. The most popular musical genre is Sertanejo, which originated among the workers in the countryside of Brazil. It tends to feature vocalists against a background of guitars and rhythm. There is an introductory mix here.

Unless you are fluent in Portuguese, finding a newspaper to read in Brazil is difficult. The top newspapers by circulation are O Globo and Folha de São Paulo.