Brazil

Highlights

  1. Rio de Janeiro: Copacabana, Christ the Redeemer, Escadaria Selarón, Pedra do Sal (Monday or Friday night)
  2. Niterói: Serra da Tiririca State Park in Itacoatiara
  3. Ubatuba: Brazil’s surf capital
  4. Iguaçu Falls: The world’s largest waterfall system
Food & Drink

Açaí, Brigadeiro, Paçoca, Tapioca, Caipirinha

Captial: Brasília

Population: 210 million

Total Area: 8.5 million sq km /3.3 million sq mi

Highest Point: Pico da Neblina (2,994 m/ 9823 ft)

Calling Code: +55

Motto: Ordem e Progresso (Order and Progress)

Brazilian Real R$

  • R$ 10 = 2.26 € = US$ 2.63
  • R$ 44.26 = 10 € = US$ 11.65
  • R$ 37.98 = 8.58 € = US$ 10

You can find ATMs easily, but they often charge high transaction fees or sometimes don’t work. Therefore, we prefer paying with a credit card. It’s possible almost everywhere. Even the vendors at the beach carry a portable payment terminal! 😀

Official: Portuguese

The Brazilian Portuguese differs a little from the European Portuguese in its pronunciation and grammar. Besides that, you can find many dialects in different parts of the country. This is due to Brazil’s size and influences from various cultures.

Minority languages: There are 180 Amerindian languages, which are spoken in remote areas. In addition, many other languages are spoken by immigrants and their descendants.

Finding someone who speaks English is the exception. Since we don’t speak Portuguese (yet), we either use Google Translate or gestures and signs. 😉 We study with Duolingo and can recommend it for a fun way to learn a new language.

🚘 Taxi: We exclusively use the app Uber to get from one place to another within a city. It’s safer, cheaper and easier than traditional taxis, especially because we don’t speak Portuguese.

Example: 50-minute drive from our Airbnb place in Rio to the Christ the Redeemer statue: R$ 20.50 (4.6 €/US$ 5.3)


🚍 Bus: Brazil has a well-developed bus network. The services run regularly between the cities. And from each big city you can find connections to smaller cities and villages in the area. Most are double-decker buses and we were surprised by their comfort. On the upper floor, the seats are big, can be moved back quite far and there is a pad for your legs.

The other section downstairs has even better seats. Those can be adjusted to a completely horizontal position. Furthermore, most buses have a bathroom, wifi, and complimentary water. Of course, the seats on the lower level called leito (bed) cost a little more than the upper ones (semi-leito). But both prices are good.

Example: Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo, 6-hour ride, semi-leito: R$ 112 (25.1 €/US$ 29); leito: R$ 159 (35.6 €/US$ 41.2)


✈️ Plane: If you are lucky, you can find very good deals for national flights. Since the country is so big, it’s definitely better and cheaper to take a plane instead of a bus for long distances.

Example: Recife to Rio de Janeiro, 3-hour flight, R$ 220 (49.3 €/US$ 57)

Brazil is known and feared for its crime and favelas (slums). But if you take some precautions and are prepared for a robbery, you have nothing to be scared of. First of all, inform yourself about the neighborhood where you stay. You should know which places you can go to and which ones to avoid. When you walk around the city, don’t wear jewelry, an expensive watch or anything else that screams “I have money”. If you do, you are much more likely to become a target.

Furthermore, take only what’s absolutely necessary and keep your valuables close to your body. In addition, we recommend having a second wallet with R$ 20 (4.5 €/US$ 5.3) in cash to give away in case of a robbery. We also have two phones, one that often stays at home and an older phone that would be “ok” to be stolen. Nonetheless, make sure to only use it when necessary.

When walking, try to have a confident, upright posture and don’t show any fear or unease. A “victim posture”, as the name suggests, attracts criminals, not only in Brazil. 😉 Moreover, be cautious and aware of the people around you. In the unfortunate event of a robbery, stay calm, never argue or fight the aggressor, and give them what they want. Hopefully, the wallet with R$ 20 will be enough.

The tourist sites are usually safe. So if you take a taxi to and from tourist attractions, it’s ok to bring a camera. But if you walk around the city, only take the most important and/or stuff you can afford to lose. In most places, it’s not safe to walk around at night. In fact, you should take a taxi anywhere after 8 pm.

However, there are smaller towns that don’t have any or only a few favelas and are much safer than the big cities. We definitely prefer visiting those places, but are also happy to explore the cities, just with more precautions. 🙂

🌐 General Info
Captial: Brasília

Population: 210 million

Total Area: 8.5 million sq km /3.3 million sq mi

Highest Point: Pico da Neblina (2,994m/9823ft)

Calling Code: +55

Motto: Ordem e Progresso (Order and Progress)

💰 Currency
Brazilian Real R$

  • R$ 10 = 2.26 € = US$ 2.63
  • R$ 44.26 = 10 € = US$ 11.65
  • R$ 37.98 = 8.58 € = US$ 10

You can find ATMs easily, but they often charge high transaction fees or sometimes don’t work. Therefore, we prefer paying with credit card. It’s possible almost everywhere. Even the vendors at the beach carry a portable payment terminal! 😀

💬 Languages

Official: Portuguese

The Brazilian Portuguese differs a little from the European Portuguese in its pronunciation and grammar. Besides that, you can find many dialects in different parts of the country. This is due to Brazil’s size and influences from various cultures.

Minority languages: There are 180 Amerindian languages, which are spoken in remote areas. In addition, many other languages are spoken by immigrants and their descendants.

Finding someone who speaks English is the exception. Since we don’t speak Portuguese (yet), we either use Google Translate or gestures and signs. 😉 We study with Duolingo and can recommend it for a fun way to learn a new language.

🚘 Transportation

🚘 Taxi: We exclusively use the app Uber to get from one place to another within a city. It’s safer, cheaper and easier than traditional taxis, especially because we don’t speak Portuguese.

Example: 50-minute drive from our Airbnb place in Rio to the Christ the Redeemer statue: R$ 20.50 (4.6 €/US$ 5.3)


🚍 Bus: Brazil has a well-developed bus network. The services run regularly between the cities. And from each big city you can find connections to smaller cities and villages in the area. Most are double-decker buses and we were surprised by their comfort. On the upper floor, the seats are big, can be moved back quite far and there is a pad for your legs. The other section downstairs has even better seats. Those can be adjusted to a completely horizontal position. Furthermore, most buses have a bathroom, wifi and complimentary water. Of course, the seats on the lower level called leito (bed) cost a little more than the upper ones (semi-leito). But both prices are good.

Example: Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo, 6-hour ride, semi-leito: R$ 112 (25.1 €/US$ 29); leito: R$ 159 (35.6 €/US$ 41.2)


✈️ Plane: If you are lucky, you can find very good deals for national flights. Since the country is so big, it’s definitely better and cheaper to take a plane instead of a bus for long distances.

Example: Recife to Rio de Janeiro, 3-hour flight, R$ 220 (49.3 €/US$ 57)

🔒 Security
Brazil is known and feared for its crime and favelas (slums). But if you take some precautions and are prepared for a robbery, you have nothing to be scared of.

First of all, inform yourself about the neighborhood where you stay. You should know which places you can go to and which ones to avoid. When you walk around the city, don’t wear jewelry, an expensive watch or anything else that screams “I have money”. If you do, you are much more likely to become a target. Furthermore, take only what’s absolutely necessary and keep your valuables close to your body. In addition, we recommend having a second wallet with R$ 20 (4.5 €/US$ 5.3) in cash to give away in case of a robbery. We also have two phones, one that often stays at home and an older phone that would be “ok” to be stolen. Nonetheless, make sure to only use it when necessary.

When walking, try to have a confident, upright posture and don’t show any fear or unease. A “victim posture”, as the name suggests, attracts criminals, not only in Brazil. 😉 Moreover, be cautious and aware of the people around you. In the unfortunate event of a robbery, stay calm, never argue or fight the aggressor, and give them what they want. Hopefully, the wallet with R$ 20 will be enough. The tourist sites are usually safe. So if you take a taxi to and from tourist attractions, it’s ok to bring a camera. But if you walk around the city, only take the most important and/or stuff you can afford to lose. In most places, it’s not safe to walk around at night. In fact, you should take a taxi anywhere after 8 pm.

However, there are smaller towns that don’t have any or only a few favelas and are much safer than the big cities. We definitely prefer visiting those places, but are also happy to explore the cities, just with more precautions. 🙂

😍 Highlights
  1. Rio de Janeiro: Copacabana, Christ the Redeemer, Escadaria Selarón, Pedra do Sal (Monday or Friday night)
  2. Niterói: Serra da Tiririca State Park in Itacoatiara
  3. Ubatuba: Brazil’s surf capital
  4. Iguaçu Falls: The world’s largest waterfall system
Food & Drink

Açaí, Brigadeiro, Paçoca, Tapioca, Caipirinha

Aerial view of Copacabana with ocean, beach, mountains and buildings in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro Tips >

Our favorite places to enjoy for free!

Places visited from March 26 to October 10, 2018

Rasta girl on rooftop overlooking Boa Viagem and ocean in Recife, Brazil

Recife >

Nice rooftop pools & sad news...
Dreadlock couple on Corcovado mountain in Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro >

Living in a favela & dancing at a Salsa street party.
Dreadlock couple on mountain in Itacoatiara in Niterói, Brazil

Niterói >

Finally reunited after not seeing each other for one year!
Rasta couple forming heart with hands at beach in Peruíbe, Brazil

Peruíbe >

Couchsurfing, camping, lovely people & stunning nature.
Rasta couple working in garden in Florianópolis, Brazil

Florianópolis >

Working with the best view of the city.
Travel couple in Dunas da Ribanceira with ocean view in Imbituba, Brazil

Imbituba >

Our first apartment & surrounded by stunning nature.
Travel couple overlooking Peruíbe, Brazil, from Mirante da Torre

Peruíbe Part 2 >

Back in the city visiting friends, a viewpoint & a party.

Airbnb

I stayed in many cool Airbnb places in Brazil so far.

Would you like to try it as well? Perfect! If you sign up through the link below, you get a $35 travel credit!

Or learn more about Airbnb and my experiences here >
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Dreadlock couple laughing in Dunas da Ribanceira with ocean view in Imbituba, Brazil

About Us

How we met & why we love to travel >
Travel couple on Dunas da Ribanceira with ocean view in Imbituba, Brazil

Travel

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Rasta girl on Santorini overlooking ocean during sunset

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