Our Top Tips for Visiting Rio de Janeiro!

What to do in Rio de Janeiro?

“Travel is the education of youth and the experience of old age.” Francis Bacon

From year to year, Rio de Janeiro becomes more and more touristy. In 2018, the city hosted 1.5 million tourists during the Rio carnival alone, 400,000 more than the previous year.

If you plan to go to trip to brazil, do not miss Rio de Janeiro. The second largest city in the country, the city offers many cultural and festive riches.

Here are our top tips for preparing your Rio de Janeiro tour.

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Let’s go

Visit Rio: the neighborhoods of the city

Visit Christ the Redeemer during your stay!

The town is close to the Guanabara Bay, near the Atlantic Ocean. It is surrounded by surrounding hills and bordered by the Atlantica rainforest.

Rio can be divided into four zones:

  • The northern area,
  • The center,
  • The southern area,
  • The West Zone.

Most tourist activities are located in the central and southern areas of the city. In these parts you will find the main attractions of the city while further west, the wealthy classes keep away from tourists and take advantage of the beaches to indulge in surfing.

On arrival, you will land in the north of the city, rather known for its favelas, on the edge of the slums. Because Brazil is one of the most unequal countries in the world: the very poor rub shoulders with the very rich and are unable to afford housing at prohibitive prices in the center or south of the city.

The Center

The central area mixes old and new. This is where theAvenue Rio Branco, serving the business district. The old colonial houses denote with the large buildings reserved for administrations and businesses.

You can visit the Cinelandia district where magnificent buildings built in the French style are visible and open to visits: the municipal theatre, the national library, the museum of fine arts.

Not far from the Cinelândia district, moving away somewhat from the shore, are the districts of Santa Teresa and Lapa. This is where you have to be to party in samba and forro dance evenings.

Santa Teresa looks like Montmartre with theSelaron staircase which connects it to Lapa and its 145-year-old tram crossing the arches of the old aqueduct. It is the bohemian district par excellence with its artists’ studios on every street corner.

The southern zone of Rio

If you came visit rio to discover its most beautiful beaches, you have come to the right place. Copacabana, IpanemaLeblon, Urca… The districts of the southern zone will certainly allow you to relax on the beach, with a good book in hand (or a caipirinha, we are not judging).

The parties are also in full swing, especially during the carnival period and for New Year’s Eve. To have a bird’s eye view of the city, the cable car going up to the top of the Sugar bread gets caught in the Urca neighborhood. On the other side, you can enjoy the Christ the Redeemer statue leaving from Santa Teresa for the Corcovado.

Travel budget for Rio de Janeiro

Before lounging on the beaches of Rio, plan your budget!

the budget to visit Rio First and foremost depends on how you travel. Brazil is not among the cheapest South American countries. On average, you have to spend 40 € per day and per person to stay, eat and visit. In comparison, the average daily budget is similar for a trip to France.

The city ​​of rio is more accessible than the capital Sao Paulo but will be more expensive than a more modest Brazilian city.

There are 5 expense items to take into account when preparing for your trip:

  • The flight,
  • Accommodation,
  • Food,
  • The visits,
  • Movements in the city.

The flight

On average, a flight from Paris to Rio costs 500 to 600 € but rates may vary depending on your anticipation and the time of year.

Our advice: buy your plane tickets at least 3 months in advance by comparing on Skyscanner or Google Flight.


Accommodation will be your second biggest expense after the flight. Rents can quickly skyrocket in Rio and reach New York or Parisian prices. But for travelers, it is possible to get by at a lower cost according to your desires: hostel, hotel or Airbnb.

Our advice: set your budget per night and compare the addresses on Booking and Airbnb by reading the reviews of previous travelers.

To help you understand Brazilians, why not take a portuguese course ?


Traveling is also an opportunity to discover Brazilian culture through its cuisine : acai purée, bolhinos d’apim, moqueca, Amazonian fish stew, vatapa but also fruits of all kinds. With 10 € per day and per person, you should get by!

Our advice: to save money, head to the restaurants by the kilo or the street stalls.

Tourist visits

The Corcovado and Sugarloaf tours cost around €15 each. Entrance to the botanical garden costs less than €4 and there are free tours of the city organized by locals. To visit the Ilha Grande, you will have to count the price of the ferry (about 3 €).

Our advice: buy your tickets in advance to save time in the queues.


Public transport is not very developed in Rio. Better to avoid the bus, which is not very reliable. The metro is safe but only goes central and south to Ipanema. Taxis are inexpensive and safer at night.

Our advice: download the 99pop application, you will save around 20% on your taxi journey.

Consider taking portuguese lessons Before leaving !

Accommodation in the city of the Cariocas

If you want a view of the whole city, you will have to retreat to the heights.

Reputations have a hard tooth and Rio drags that of a dangerous city. This is partly true and it is for this reason that we must exercise caution and prefer taxi travel at night. Avoid showing your valuables ostentatiously and visiting unsafe areas.

Don’t hesitate to ask your hotel or hostel for advice. Locals are just as concerned about attempted thefts as tourists, they know better than anyone the places to avoid.

But don’t let that put you off: there are safe places in Rio and with a little common sense, nothing will happen to you.

The safest neighborhoods are undoubtedly Urca, Ipanema and Leblon. Copacabana, being very touristy, attracts pickpockets. On the side of Santa Teresa, no worries to be done provided you do not hang out in the Centro at night.

The hotels in Rio

Depending on the district you choose and the desired standing, the prices will not be the same. L’hotel offer in Rio is mostly high-end but much cheaper than high-end in France.

Count on average between 40 and 80 € per night in a double room with breakfast for a 3 or 4 star hotel. You will sometimes be lucky enough to have a view of the sea or a swimming pool.

The youth hostels

Hostels are springing up like mushrooms in Rio and you will find plenty of them in all areas of the city and especially in Copacabana.

When traveling alone, it’s ideal for meeting people!

Count on average between 7 and 15 € for a bed in a dormitory with breakfast depending on the geographical location of the hostel chosen.

Airbnb in Rio

You can choose to rent an apartment in Rio. Airbnb allows you to find a room to rent with the locals to rub shoulders with the locals or an entire apartment to have your independence.

Prices vary widely depending on the location and size of the apartment, but prices for entire studios start at €20 for the Santa Teresa district.

Find all Portuguese lessons online.

The best time to visit Brazil’s second city

If you want to see the carnival, you will have to come in February or March.

Rio enjoys a humid tropical climate: it is more or less hot and humid all year round. As with most tropical countries, there are only two seasons in Rio: the so-called dry season and the rainy season.

The dry season is here best period for discover rioespecially between October and early December and between March and May so as not to suffer from the heat (around 25°) and to avoid rain and thunderstorms as much as possible.

But it is during the rainy season that the carnival takes place (in February or March depending on the year). During the rainy season, temperatures can rise above 35° and violent rains fall on the city regularly.

However, it does not rain all day and it is only showers, so if your dream is to discover the carnivalyou will have to endure the rain, like a real Carioca.

Count 4 days to visit the different neighborhoods of the city of Rio. But it would be silly not to take advantage of your trip to take samba lessons, attend forro shows and simply relax on the beach.

So when are you going to Rio de Janeiro?

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