If you’ve been in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics Games, you might have noticed various countries opening up hospitality houses – or maybe you’ve just seen your obnoxious friends in Rio tagging themselves at a party at Club France. These international hospitality houses are found all throughout town, from Barra da Tijuca to the Centro, ranging from private, invite-only clubs to spaces open to all. Some are all about partying, while others are a chance for countries to share their culture. Most venues will be screening the games, so if you’re looking for a place to watch, read on for info on your preferred country.
House of Hungary
In addition to sampling Hungarian cuisine and admiring a monument to the 482 Olympic medals Hungary has won, you can also play inside of a giant Rubik’s cube at the House of Hungary, because yes, the Rubik’s cube was invented in Hungary. We bet the cube is a lot of fun after a few glasses of Hungarian wine and beer.
Praça Santos Dumont, 31, Gávea
Did you know Santa is part of Finland’s cultural heritage? Well, he is. And you can visit him at the Finland House in downtown Rio. It is winter in Brazil, so it makes perfect sense that he’d be here.
Rua Visconde de Itaboraí, 78, Centro
House of Switzerland
Switzerland is about more than just chocolate and banks; it also has St. Bernard dogs and ice-skating, as the House of Switzerland shows. There are events daily at the Swiss hospitality house, including discussions on how the Olympics will affect Rio.
Baseball field at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas
As Tokyo will be hosting the next Summer Olympics in 2020, the Japan House is a chance to preview what’s to come. You’ll also be able to experience traditional parts of Japanese culture, such as a tea ceremony and calligraphy.
Avenida das Américas, 5300, Barra da Tijuca
Heart of Denmark
Biking, Legos – all the great parts of Danish culture will be at the Heart of Denmark pavilion on Ipanema beach. There will also be sunset parties every day at 5pm, so you can watch the sun go down over a Lego model of Rio de Janeiro.
Praia de Ipanema, Posto 10
You don’t really need to go to a center on Brazilian culture when you are in fact in Brazil, but if it’s not enough to simply be surrounded by it, get a concentrated dose of local culture at the Casa Brasil.
Pier Mauá, Centro
OliAle – Germany on the Beach
Do you think of the beach when you think of Germany? Probably not, but here is your chance to get a taste of German culture while hanging out in the sun and sand. Germany has another hospitality house in Barra, but it’s invitation-only.
Praia do Leblon, Jardim de Alah
No, we are not being ignorant here and thinking Africa is a country and not a continent. The 54 African countries at the Olympics have formed one hospitality house together, which will have traditional food and is apparently flight-themed.
Avenida Ayrton Senna, 2150, Barra da Tijuca
Even by day the Austria House is fairly packed with tourists drinking beer and eating traditional Austrian food, but by night it’s filled to the brims. Though it’s not located on the beach like some other hospitality houses, it is across the street from mega shopping mall Rio Sul.
Avenida Venceslau Bras, 72, Botafogo
With food from chef Alex Atala, Bayt Qatar is likely to be the hospitality house with the best grub. There will also be a model Middle Eastern market and other activities to help promote tourism to Qatar.
Rua General Severiano, 159, Botafogo. Entrance R$20
This isn’t just the Holland House, it’s the Holland Heineken House, even though Heineken doesn’t have an official Olympic team – yet. Entrance is steep for non-Dutch, but once you’re in expect plenty of partying and beer.
Avenida Borges de Medeiros, 701, Leblon. Entrance 45 euros
You’ll have to buy tickets in advance to get into Jamaica House, but once in expect rum, reggae, and, we’re guessing, many mentions of Usain Bolt. Bolt will probably not be in attendance, but you might be able to catch a show from Kymani Marley.
Praça Santos Dumont, 31, Gávea. Entrance R$55
Though Club France is open during the day, the main attractions are at night when the club turns to full blown partying. Look for events from the producers of mega clubs like Pachá, and be sure to leave the kids at home.
Avenida Borges de Medeiros, 2448, Lagoa. Entrance R$20
And then there are those fancy hospitality houses not open to the public. If you know the right people you may be able to get an invite, but many are reserved for friends and families of the athletes. Such is the case with USA House, which is located on Ipanema Beach and is next door to the Team USA store, where you can buy Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms and other patriotic gear. At the British House, you can register online in the hopes of receiving an invitation. In non-patriotic hospitality houses, there’s also the fancy Omega House https://www.omegawatches.com/planet-omega/sport/rio-2016/omega-house-in-rio-de-janeiro/ in Ipanema; if you can snag an invite you might be able to rub shoulders with Buzz Aldrin or Michael Phelps.