Manaus  isn’t famous for its nightlife, but its size guarantees that you certainly won’t be bored. In Centro, you’ll find lots of lively bars around the Mercado Municipal and Avenida Joaquim Nabuco as well as in the vicinity of the Teatro Amazonas . Otherwise, the most happening area is the beach neighborhood of Ponta Negra, which buzzes throughout the day and far into the night.
The most lively of Ponta Negra’s waterfront bars is Laranjinha (Calçadão da Ponta Negra, Ponta Negra, tel. 92/3658-6666, 5 p.m.–close Mon.–Sat., 3 p.m.–close Sun.). The breezes coming off the river as well as frequent performances by sometimes tacky folkloric groups attract plenty of tourists as well as locals. Among the culinary treats are caldeiradas, thick chowders made from local river fish. Close by, Avenida do Turismo is full of bars and dance halls playing everything from local boleros and forró to classic rock.
One of the best places to hear great live music is Ton Biz (Av. do Turismo 4004, tel. 92/3239-0202, 5 p.m.–close Mon.–Fri., noon onwards Sat.–Sun., cover R$7), where a small stage hosts forró (Thurs.) and MPB and Brazilian rock (Fri.–Sat.). Os Tucumanus, a popular homegrown band, frequently appears to play tunes with a definite indigenous edge. Complementing the music is the eco-Amazonian bar itself: a bungalow with a thatched roof, bamboo walls, and furniture built from beautiful local woods such as ipê and maçaranduba. The garlic grilled pirarucu with shrimp and vegetables easily feeds four.
In the center of town, Planeta A2 (Rua Saldanha Marinho 780, Centro, tel. 92/3234-7373, 11 p.m.–6 a.m. Thurs.–Sat., R$10) is a funky gay and lesbian club that’s equally popular with heteros. Occupying a three-story house, there is a bar on each floor, as well as lounges, dance floors, and a jungly backyard. Resident DJs heat up the night with doses of electronica, pop and disco. Go-go boys and drag queens add the requisite shot of camp.
Near the Teatro Amazonas , Bar do Armando (Rua 10 de Julho 593, Centro, tel. 92/3232-1195, 2 p.m.–3 a.m. Mon.–Sat.) started out as a 1950s corner grocery store. When big supermarket chains arrived in Manaus  in the ’70s, owner Armando converted his store into a friendly neighborhood bar that hasn’t lost any of its retro mom-and-pop flavor. Clients are welcome to choose background music from Armando’s record collection before relaxing at red plastic tables with a cool beer and a thick pernil (pork) sandwich.
Another relaxing place for a beer is at the tradicionalíssimo Café do Pina (Praça Heliodoro Balbi 3, Centro, tel. 92/9185-6333, 6:30 a.m.–11 p.m. Mon.–Sat.). Shaded by hundred-year-old trees, the sidewalk tables scattered around the square popularly known as the Praça da Polícia provide a favorite gathering place for Manauenses who stop off for coffee or an ice cold beer throughout the day and into the night. This is a terrific spot for people-watching.