Brazil Cost of Living

Knowing the general cost of living helps you get the best experiences that aren’t going to leave you out of pocket.

What you save can go towards the next trip because Brazil is such a huge country at 8.516 million km2 you’ll need multiple trips to experience it – after all the whole of Europe can fit into Brazil.

From the Amazon basin in the north to the vineyards of the south the cost of living will vary. Like all big cities worldwide expect to pay more in Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo for your accommodation and transport than in Salvador, El Bonito or Paratay. Imported goods like cars will be expensive as will the latest tech gadgets.

Currency comparison

One US dollar is currently worth 3.1017 Brazilian Real (R$) – so a good rule of thumb is to divide by 3.

Rio de Janiero prices

We’ll start with the most expensive city – prices will be better in the smaller cities.


Expect to pay in the region of:

28 R$ for a meal at an inexpensive local restaurant
100R$ for a mid-range restaurant meal for two
7 to 11 R$ for local beer per 500ml – depending on whether it is in a local area or an expat pub.
6 R$ for a cappuccino

Cooking your own meals? Expect to pay:

5R$ a kilo of bananas
2.5 to 3 R$ a lettuce
3.7R$ a kilo of potatoes
11R$ for a kilo of skinless boneless chicken breasts.
6 R$ for a dozen eggs
3.75R$ for a loaf of bread

Getting around
A monthly train ticket will be around 200R$, a liter of gas 3.94R$ and an 8 km taxi trip during the week around 23R$. Buying a new VW Golf 1.4 TSI 150CV with no extras will be in the region of 86, 224 R$


In Brazil, everyone dances seemingly everywhere- so small tavernas and eateries will usually have a band. And if you are eating there it’s not going to cost extra. On the other hand movie, tickets will cost 24R$ each, a pack of Marlboro cigarettes around 8R$ and quality theater tickets around 92R$ each. A cocktail in a club downtown will be 26R$. And 8Mbps of the Internet per month will set you back 75R$.

Renting an apartment in central Rio will cost around 2170R$ per month for one bedroom.

Out of the city center, the rent will be 1318R$. For a three-bedroom apartment expect to pay just over double those figures.

From the thousands of hotels and guest-houses available, we chose the Golden Tulip Ipanema Plaza as an example. A room will cost 815R$ via for 2 nights for 2 people in May – it has an outdoor pool, breakfast is included and there is an airport shuttle available –and it’s near the beach.

Buying an apartment?

In Rio, it’s going to cost you around 320 000 to 350 000 for a tiny 1 bed 1 bathroom place that’s around 25 square meters. On the other end of the scale, 24 million R$ will get you a stunning 2045 m2 property with 34 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms with views forever, also in Rio.

Once you move out to the country towns the prices drop considerably. A sea view home with 2 suites, a swimming pool, outdoor terraces and balconies and barbecue area costs $506 880R$ in Trairi just 200m from the beach with coconut palms, lagoons, and calm seas.