FacebookMySpaceDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditTechnoratiLinkedin
You are here: Start - > > > - Tips - > > > - Rio & Brazil - > > > - Traveltips

Travel Tips for Brazil and Rio de Janeiro

1. Visa

EU citizens can stay in Brazil up to 3 months without a visa. They only need a valid passport.

Nevertheless, one must fill out an entry form and pass through immigration control. You should also know that in Brazil is the identification requirement. If you don't want to carry your original documents with you, you should be able to show at least a copy of your passport and a proof of your accommodation (eg business card of the hotel).

Travel Tip - stay of more than 3 months

It is possible to extend your stay in Brazil. You should contact the Policia Federal at the international airport. This should be done before the expiration of your visa or the 3 months. The common rule for a stay in Brazil without visa is 6 months within a year period.

2. vaccinations

If you are arriving from certain countries to Brazil, proof in advance if there are required vaccinations. For example, you could be asked for a yello fever vaccination even as EU citizen if you are traveling from Peru to Brazil. This can lead to problems because the vaccine has got an incubation period of 10 days which means that you can not get the vaccination right at the moment. In this example, already the airline might refuse you to get on board.

Recommendation for vaccinations

Find out about entry requirements, if you do not come directly from Europe. Travel with a valid international certificate of vaccination.

3. Money and exchange

The currency in Brazil is the Real (pl. Reais). You can easily exchange dollars or euros in numerous travel agencies. There is no need to find a bank. 

Travel Tip - Bank Card in Brazil

In any case it might be better to have with you an international bank card instead of cash. You can get enought cash with the debit card (Maestro) and even pay with it. You can get money from Banco do Brasil, Citibank, HSBC. Credit cards are not required unless you want to rent a car.

4. Phone

For local calls, you don't need to dial any area code in Brazil - not even for cell phones. The country code is +55, the area code for Rio de Janeiro is -21. If you want to make national calls, you need an operator that must be placed at the beginning. They have different codes, for example 21, 23, 25, or 31 So you can call for example from Rio to Salvador with  031 71 5555 5555 (0 for national rate, 31 as operator and 71 as the area code for Salvador). There is a double "00" at the beginning for international phone calls. From Brazil to the UK, you would call with 00 31 44 ........................ (00 for international call, operator, country code for UK, etc.)

International roaming works well in Brazil, its use is not cheap.

Travel Tip - call in Rio de Janeiro

You also might buy a chip from a telephone company like Oi, TIM, Claro or Vivo. The chip must be enabled. For this you need a valid identification number (CPF) which you could get as a foreigner. Maybe you can ask the seller in the phone shop, you unlock the chip. Or you ask for a valid chip, when  you reserve your apartment.

For public phones, you need as a phone card, which you easily can buy at kiosks, in pharmacies and other stores.

5. Transport

Public transport seems messy, but it also seems to be working. One can easily use the (yellow) taxis and pay what is displayed on the counter. There is one exception. If the rates are adjusted from time to time, the taxi drivers have an (official) table and then they show it to you to confirm the true value of the trip. The table must also stick on the window of the cab and be labeled.

There are some special taxis and also the opportunity to negotiate with the driver a flat rate.

Travel Tip - public transport in Rio de Janeiro

Strangers or foreigners can take the bus and metro to without problems. We have put some advices and notes on a separate page (see tips) 

6. Language

One speaks Portuguese, studies English and understands some Spanish. In any case, you can not assume that English is spoken everywhere. In any case, the Brazilians like to help the tourists.


There is a free basic medical care in emergency departments. If you need to go there, keep in mind that you will have to wait for a while. Usually, a tourist will turn to a greater or even international hospital, pay there in cash and get the refund from the health insurance.

8. crime

Security in Rio has risen sharply due to large government efforts and the improved economic situation of the population. It is not likely that you will be robbed. Naturally major events like New Year and Carnival also attract crooks. Carry with you only what what you absolutely need.

Tourists should be aware that poverty still exists and many parts of the city are still controlled by "parallel forces". So you want to behave decently and do not walk alone, without Portuguese language and without knowledge of the circumstances in the favelas.


If you are "invited" to offer your possessions , enter them willingly , stay calm and let it be based on it.


You are here: Start - > > > - Tips - > > > - Rio & Brazil - > > > - Traveltips