All you need to know before visiting Brazil

Budget

Prices in Brazil are relatively high, especially by South American standards. The most expensive destinations in Brazil are São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (food and attraction-wise).

Brazil Rio

• Prices for private rooms start at 15 USD (12.5 EUR) in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and 22 USD (18.5 EUR) in Foz do Iguaçu and Paraty.

Food prices are fairly expensive, especially in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Prices for a budget dinner start at around 4.3 USD (3.6 EUR), in Rio and São Paulo at 7.5 USD (6.3 EUR). Street food is generally cheaper.

Transportation costs are pretty high, yet reasonable by international standards. Public transportation fares within Rio start at around 0.75 USD (0.6 EUR). A budget one-hour intercity bus ride generally costs somewhere between 3 and 4.5 USD (2.5 – 4 EUR). A 6-hour bus ride from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro costs at least 27.5 USD (23 EUR).

To save some more money, check out our Budget cutting tips.

Where to stay

You can find great accommodation options on Booking. Make sure to search for private rooms popular for romance. 😉 On Airbnb you can rent furnished apartments – those are usually cheaper than most hotels and they offer you the real Brazilian experience. Small, family-owned hotels are the cheapest accommodation option.

Samba dancers

Best time to go

Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country –  the temperatures vary greatly by region. Most of Brazil has a tropical climate, but the country also hosts 5 other climate types. The best time to visit Rio de Janeiro is during the summer (from December to March). The weather is perfect that time of year, besides, if you visit Rio in February you can experience the famous Rio Carnival. Finding cheap accommodation during the carnival may be challenging, so it’s better to book a room as much in advance as possible. There is no bad time to visit Iguazu falls – the falls reach their peak during the rainy season (in summer), but the trails are more easily accessible during the dry season.

Other information

Planning and preparation: check out our planning routine here.

Packing: check out the honeymoon adventurers’ ultimate packing list here.

♦ For other travel tips check out Travel like a pro, Travel for couples, Honeymoon styles, Honeymoon activities, Responsible tourism, and Travel resources.

Language: The official language in Brazil is Portuguese. Check out the typical travel vocabulary (in English) here. Learn useful travel phrases in Portuguese here.

Brazil Rio beach

Currency: Brazilian Real (R$) (BRL)

♦ Visa or other entry requirements: All visitors to Brazil are required to have a valid travel document. Visa requirements depend on the traveler’s nationality. For more information check out their official website.

♦ Electricity standards: The power plug types in Brazil are C and N, the standard voltage is 127 V and 220 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.

♦ Time zones: UTC-02:00 to UTC-05:00

Immunization recommendations and requirements: There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Brazil. However, it is recommended to get travel vaccines and medicines for tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, hepatitis A, rabies, yellow fever, and malaria. To prevent malaria avoid mosquito bites. Currently, Zika virus is a risk in Brazil.

Copacabana Rio

Health and safety tips:

You should always make sure to follow the usual travel safety precautions:

  • Leave your jewelry and other valuable belongings in the hotel safe.
  • Keep your emergency cash apart from the rest of your money.
  • Dress comfortably and carry only the items you will need for the day.
  • Don’t carry a lot of money.
  • Always make sure to lock your room before leaving the hotel.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Try to maintain a low profile and do your best to fit in.
  • Carry a travel wallet/money belt/money pouch for carrying money and documents safely.
  • Avoid contact with potential scam artists.
  • Avoid showing off valuable belongings (like cameras) in public.
  • Don’t count your money in public.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

For other common safety concerns in Brazil, check out Lonely Planet’s safety tips. For common health concerns check out Lonely Planet’s health tips.

To stay healthy while traveling, check out our health travel tips.

Tap water in big cities is said to be safe to drink. In remote areas, you should definitely stick to boiled, bottled or filtered water.
* Always make sure to reuse a water bottle to cut down on waste.

• Brazil is an equatorial country – the sun is very strong there. Therefore, always make sure to use sunscreen.

Brazil customs

Local Customs: Brazilians are generally friendly, expressive, passionate, informal, yet respectful. When entering a room, it’s customary to say hello to everyone (bom dia or boa tarde). When meeting someone personally a friendly handshake is customary; friends kiss on one cheek. Brazilians tend to be comfortable with less personal space and they will frequently touch you when speaking. There is no particular dress code required on the streets of Brazil. Avoid wearing a bikini elsewhere than on the beach. Sexy outfits are common and acceptable in Rio, in rural regions, however, revealing clothes may be frowned upon. Do not speak Spanish in Brazil, they may think that you believe Spanish is their official language and be offended.

Check out top things to see and do in Brazil, as well as top romantic experiences and adventures here.

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