Rio de Janeiro is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, one of the seven wonders of the world and is set to play host to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to visit this majestic place. In fact, you could spend a week in Rio de Janeiro on less than 100 Euros. Here’s how:
Finding Cheap Lodging in Rio de Janeiro
Located in the Santo Cristo neighborhood in the historic center of the city, Rio Maravilha Hostel offers free transit from the airport, free breakfast and WiFi and a bar with music. (Close to the Porto Maravilha, a tourist part of the city). Stay two nights for a total of 13.66€.
El Misti Botafogo Hostel offers four bedrooms with a shared bathroom for just E1.76 per night. Located in the Botafogo neighborhood, the hostel offers free breakfast, internet, a pool table, and a house DJ. Stay three nights for a total of 5.28€.
The Samba Palace is in the Laranjeiras neighborhood and offers air conditioning in every room, guest kitchen and laundry room and a game room. A 10-bedroom place with breakfast can be had for 7.52€ per night. Stay for two nights for 15.04€.
Total spent on seven nights lodging: 33.98€
Saving some Money on Food in Rio de Janeiro
Free every day in the hostels.
Food vendors can be found everywhere on the streets and even the beaches. A typical meal at a food vendor will cost you around 3 Euros and might include meat, pasta, rice, and beans. The meals are authentic Brazilian cuisine and the seafood vendors typically have fish caught fresh that day. The street vendor meals are cheap and packed with plenty of protein to keep you going on your travels throughout the day.
A staple of Brazilian diet, acai is a deep purple fruit often served with banana slices and granola. A dish of acai can be bought for around 2€.
Juice bars can be found on the streets and beaches and a fruit-filled smoothie costs around 1.60€.
Sandwiches from cafes or street vendors can be purchased for about 2.50€.
A popular kind of restaurant in Rio is the pay-by-weight buffet. Fill up a plate of meat, fish, beans, rice, salad, and other sides and pay based on how much food you take. You can get a full plate of food for around 7 Euros.
Let’s say you eat breakfast at the hostel each day for free. Four days of the week you visit a vendor for lunch, spending a total of about 12 Euros for the week. The other three days you just eat a light snack for lunch, totaling around 6 Euros. You’re total for lunch for the week is 18 Euros. For dinner, you eat at a pay-by-weight buffet three times for a total of 21 Euros. Three times you visit a street vendor for a total of 9 Euros and one night you just have a snack for 2 Euros. Total amount spent on dinner for the week is 32 Euros.
Total spent on food for the week, with three meals a day, is 50 Euros.
Budget Transportation in Rio de Janeiro
Upon arriving at the airport, the Rio Maravilha Hostel, your first destination, offers free transit to and from the airport.
Because many residents take the bus to work, Rio has a solid bus system and you can get almost anywhere in town for about 1 Euro.
Taxis are plentiful in Rio and a three-kilometer cab ride will run you about 4 Euros, including the initial meter charge.
There is also a metro train system in Rio and a one-way ticket costs an average of 0.75 Euros.
If you plan your activities based around which hostel you are staying in for the given night, most of the things to see and do in Rio will be within walking distance.
But let’s say you needed a taxi to get from hostel to hostel with your luggage. Those two rides may cost you about 10 Euros. Let’s say you rode the bus three times during the week (3 Euros) and took four train rides (3 Euros). Your total cost of transportation for the week is 16 Euros.
Free and Cheap Things to do in Rio de Janeiro
There are a number of free things to do and see in Rio including museums, cathedrals, art and architecture, mansions, zoos and botanical gardens, national parks and more. For a detailed list of free things to do in Rio, check out this list compiled by Gadling.
The must-see attraction in Rio is Christ the Redeemer, a larger-than-life statue of Jesus Christ atop Corcovado Mountain.
If you happen to visit during this summer’s World Cup, Rio will be even more lively than usual as an expected half million people from all over the world will converge on the city for six weeks. Making things even more interesting is the fact that Brazil happens to be the favorite to win the tournament!
A total of 33.98€ spent on lodging, 50€ on food and 16€ on transportation adds up to a total of 99.98€. So for a full seven days in Rio staying in three different areas of the city and eating three meals a day, you can do it all for under 100 Euros!
Are you planning to visit Rio de Janeiro anytime soon?