Rio de Janeiro – City Guide for Nomads and Expats

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.

POPULATION: 6,300,000


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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

9.5/10

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.

 

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

FINAL THOUGHTS

True to its name: a magnificent city. It has everything you could want: perfect weather, incredible nightlife, friendly people and great beaches. But, it’s not all sunshine and sexy-time in Rio.

The city is still dangerous, even after the craziness of World Cup and Olympics.

Rio de Janeiro used to be expensive. Now Airbnbs are plentiful and it’s actually pretty easy to find a decent apartment in a safe area.

Finally, learning Portuguese can pose a challenge for a native English speaker. If you have a good grasp of Spanish it will be easier, but it’s still an uphill battle. Learning Portuguese makes learning Spanish look like a cakewalk, but it is integral to getting the most out of Brazil.


OVERALL RATING: 9/10


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