As usual in a coastal capital, the centre tends to get deserted after dark, as people looking for a night out head for the beaches, particularly Tambaú. However, there are several restaurants and bars in the centre worth trying out. The more expensive restaurants (R$45–80 range) in the beach areas are in Cabo Branco. There are a few very good places on the seafront, some of which are listed below.

João Pessoa has a surprisingly rich but fluctuating music scene for a city of its size, concentrated at the beaches: the only nights it’s difficult to catch something are Monday and Sunday. Venues open and close with bewildering frequency, so it’s best to ask the tourist office for a current list, though they will direct you to the more expensive upmarket clubs unless you’re persistent. Alternatively, look in the entertainment guide of the local paper, O Norte.

The square in front of the Tropical Tambaú Center Hotel is a relaxed place for a drink and some live music. It’s surrounded by restaurants and bars, and on Friday and Saturday nights, tables and chairs are put out in the square, drink starts flowing and after about 9pm things start getting very lively. In the streets behind there are any number of small bars and clubs, which tend not to get going until 11pm at the earliest. There are a couple of fairly lively gay bars, too, in the streets behind Avenida Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes in Tambaú.

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