Updated in 2022.
Rio de Janeiro. The place we’d all rather be.
The second largest city in Brazil, and the third largest in South America. Rio is known for its beautiful beaches and beautiful women, as well as for being the host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
Do some pushups before you get here, because most everyone on Copacabana looks like Greek Gods.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN RIO DE JANEIRO
$700.00. If you can get a cheaper place in a nice area for less than this, please tell me how.
NIGHTLIFE IN RIO DE JANERIO
I have to give it the “almost-perfect 9.5.” Rio is made for partying. The atmosphere, people and music make Rio the perfect place to tie one on. Chances are, you will be staying in Copacabana, so my recommendation will be from there. Although, if you have some time, don’t neglect the area around Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Arches), which turns into a gigantic street party every Friday night. Lots of bars around here as well.
I recommend: Mud Bug. Always busy. A good first bar to hit in Rio de Janeiro.
LEARNING PORTUGUESE IN RIO DE JANEIRO
If you want to make the most of your time in Brazil, you will need to speak some Portuguese. Rocket Portuguese is the best resource for learning Portuguese quickly and easily.
WHERE TO STAY IN RIO
The best area of Rio for first-timers is Leblon. Leblon is the beach beside Ipanema, in the Zona Sul Leblon is one of the most upscale parts of the city, with the highest rent prices. Airbnbs will cost a bit more here, but it’s worth it.
Some people will tell you not to stay in Copacabana. It’s a bit of an exaggeration. Copacabana is overall fine, but has good and bad parts. Leme is pretty good too.
An underrated area to stay would be Niteroi, on the other side of the bridge. Niteroi has nice beaches, way cheaper Airbnbs, less gringos, tons of restaurants, etc.
IS RIO DE JANEIRO SAFE?
Somewhat dangerous. Obvious tourists are targeted by muggers. Do your best to blend in as a local. Fortunately, this is not that hard because Brazilians come in all races, shapes and sizes. Don’t walk alone at night if you are new to Rio, no matter how tough you think you are.
COST OF LIVING IN RIO DE JANEIRO
The following data is from Expatistan, a crowdsourced database of prices and cost of living around the world. In our experience, the data tends to underestimate cost of living, so take the following as the minimum you might need to live here.
*Figures are listed in USD
You’ll need a minimum of $931 USD/month to live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil