Brazilian Real

You are here

How Much do I Need to travel to Brazil?

3rd March 2020

Embarking on an adventure to Brazil is an incredibly exciting prospect. As the largest country in South America, Brazil has so much culture, spirit and natural wonders to share with the world. Whether you plan on soaking up the energy of Carnival and Rio or heading deep into the Amazon to experience some of life's simpler pleasures, Brazil has something to offer every traveller. 

If deciding where to spend your time in Brazil wasn't hard enough, planning a trip also requires you to work out the dreaded travel budget. Ugh, we know, the words send shivers down our spine too. But, the good news is the team at Travel Money Oz have created a nifty travel budget planner that combines Numbeo data with the latest exchange rates to give you the most up to date idea of how much a trip to Brazil will set you back. That way you can spend less time stressing over numbers and more time thinking about the Copa, Copacabana!

Before we dive into the calculator, let's take a quick look at what is actually included in a Brazilian travel budget. 

What goes into a budget for Brazil?


South America is quite the hike from Australia, so your flights will generally be your most significant expense. Thankfully, routes are becoming more popular, which is pushing prices down. Expect to pay between $900 (rare but not unheard of) and $2,000 (ouch) for your flights to Brazil. 

Once you arrive, there are a few different options for your long-distance travel:

Bus – the cheapest and easiest option. The buses in Brazil are comfortable and economical with hundreds of routes across the country. Expect to pay between 100 and 300 BRL depending on how far the journey is. 
Train – while the train is an option, the rail network is minimal and only serves the major tourist hubs. Train tickets are also quite a bit more expensive than the bus.
Flying – Domestic flights are a great option if you're in a rush with a bit more cash to splash. We recommend booking in advance to save money, and if you plan on flying a few times within Brazil and South America within 30 days, it is worth considering an Airpass offered by a few of the airlines. 

In cities and towns themselves, your main transport options include subway, buses and taxis. Rio and Sao Paolo both have great subway systems, as well as buses that connect where the tube does not. Expect to pay around 3 BRL for a single trip, or grab a multi-day metro card if you're making multiple trips a day. 

Taxis are generally the recommended option for tourists at night, as it isn't always safe on public transport. Make sure you always used licensed taxis (they can be ordered through an app) for safety. Taxi fares start at 5.50 BRL and go up about 2.5 BRL per km. 


Brazil is a big country, so accommodation standards and prices can fluctuate widely with each city and seasonality. As you would expect, there are more options in bigger cities compared to smaller towns; however, the increased choice does lead things to be more expensive. On average, you can expect to pay the following:

  • Hostel dorms: between 25 and 50 BRL per night
  • Budget hotels: from 100 to 150 BRL. We recommend choosing a place with air conditioning and breakfast included
  • Airbnbs: 50 to 300 BRL per night depending on the space you want
  • Luxury hotels and spas: 200 BRL + per night

It's also worth noting that accommodation prices in Rio during Carnival will often triple, as will beachside destinations during peak season. 


While some fine-dining experiences will greet you in bigger cities, you can't get the true essence of Brazilian cuisine unless you enjoy some rustic (and cheap) street food. Consider the following dishes that are both delicious and very friendly on the travel budget:

  • Pastel: deep-fried pastry with a filling 
  • Bean soup: the name kinda sums it up
  • Coxinha: deep-fried chicken pockets
  • Canjica: white corn mixed with milk, coconut milk, condensed milk and cinnamon. A seriously delicious dessert
  • Acai: the superfood we all know and love
  • Pao de Queijo: gluten-free cheese bread
  • Empanada: mini pies filled with dried meat, chicken, prawns or palm heart
  • Coxinhas: shredded chicken wrapped in dough that is then battered and fried
  • Feijoada: black beans cooked with meat chunks served with kale, bacon, rice and orange.
  • Prawn skewer: eat these chunky skewers on the beach

On average, street food should cost you between 2 and 20 BRL, which is great because even the budget travellers splurge a little. If you are after the finer things in life, three-course meals will start at around 100 BRL and go up from there, especially in Sao Paolo and Rio.

Last but not least, an ice-cold beer should cost you between 5 and 10 BRL. Keep an eye out for happy hours and specials to save a little more cash. 


One thing is for sure; you will not get bored in Brazil. Huge cities packed to the brim with both free and paid events, as well as a country full of incredible natural spectacles, the hardest part will be deciding on what you spend your time doing. 

While many natural wonders can be accessed for free, we do recommend joining a tour for specific expeditions like visiting the Amazon. These will, of course, come at a cost, so it's best to spend some time researching to find a tour or guide that will meet your needs. With this in mind, while you're in Brazil, consider checking out the following:

  • Spend time in Rio de Janeiro. Home to Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana beach and Tijuca forest. 
  • Party at Carnival festival, one of the biggest celebrations before the start of Lent.
  • Explore the Amazon River and rainforest. This one speaks for itself.
  • See the wildlife in Pantanal, which is home to over 11,000 different species. You'll generally need to book a multi-day expedition to get the most of this.
  • Visit Gruta Do Lago Azul, or the Blue Lake Grotto, to see some of the most pristine, crystal clear blue water.
  • Marvel at the natural wonder that is Iguacu falls
  • Visit Salvador to experience their vibrant Afro-Brazilian community, incredible restaurants, bars, shopping, live music and great photo opportunities.
  • Get lost in Sao Paulo, the third-largest city in the world that over 20 million people call home. Expect wild nightlife, plenty of live music and excellent food.
  • Take a capoeira lesson
  • Go to a soccer (Futbol) game. Rio's stadium is one of the largest in the world, seating 100,000 revelers, so being apart of the crowd is an experience in itself. 

Pre-travel expenses

Recently the laws have changed and Australian citizens don't need a visa to enter Brazil as tourists or in transit. If you are visiting for other reasons, we do recommend checking with the embassy or consulate. Travellers to Brazil are also required to carry a yellow fever vaccination certificate, so visit your doctor to obtain that, as well as any other relevant vaccinations. 

Finally, a comprehensive travel insurance policy is a must for any traveller, regardless of where they are going. These vary in price, so be sure to do some research and account for it in your travel budget. 

How much does a trip to Brazil cost?

Step 1

Enter your destination (Brazil)
Let us know how long you'll be away
Choose your currency. In this case, it will either be BRL or AUD.
Time to party! You've officially started your holiday budget.

Step 2

Are you planning on eating out for every meal or grabbing a few snacks and ingredients to cook from the supermarket? Here you need to estimate how much you plan to spend on food. Remember to put yourself in a holiday mindset - you're probably gonna opt for a freshly made empanada over a muesli bar.

Step 3

In this section, estimate how much you plan on shopping while in Brazil. It's worth mentioning that Brazil isn't a huge shopping destination. You'll find the major chains and malls in bigger cities, but in smaller towns handmade fare, souvenirs and knick-knacks will greet you. 

Step 4

This is for all of your transport outside of flights and cross-country travel. For the most part, it will be buses, so try and estimate how many trips you will take a day. 

Step 5

The hard work is done! Here you'll find a simple layout of your planned expenses in both Australian dollars and Brazilian real. From here you can either go back and edit, or start saving for your holiday!

It's important to note here that this only accounts for your most basic expenses. You'll need to add in travel insurance and other daily fees. It's also worth having a bit of wiggle room in the kitty for unexpected costs, like some extra feathers in your Carnival costume, or Amazonian souvenirs. 

Brazil Budget Examples

Here are some examples of what the bones of your travel budget would look like. Please note all of these examples are based on seven nights of accommodation and are quoted in Aussie dollars. Prices will, of course, vary with seasonality and availability. 

It's also worth mentioning that Brazil is a decent hike from Australia, not to mention a huge country. If you are planning a trip, we definitely recommend setting aside more than one week to explore. 

Couples trip

This couple is diving headfirst into everything Rio has to offer: eclectic city vibes, unique cuisine and a few day tours to the surrounding wonders.


$,1447 per person

Sydney to Rio return with Qantas.



King room in a central hotel and spa.


$150 per day

A mix of street food, fine dining and plenty of cocktails.


$250 per day

A few day trips out of the city, and plenty of time soaking up the vibes of Rio.

Total for couple 


One week is simply not long enough!


Family getaway

Mum, Dad and the two kids plan on immersing themselves in Rio and all that it has to offer.



Sydney to Rio return with Air New Zealand.



Family room in a central location.


$150 per day

A few dinners out, mixed with plenty of street food, supermarket snacks and breakfast at the hotel.


$250 per day

Some day trips and tours will be the bulk of your expenses, with other days spent wandering streets and taking in the vibes and culture. 



The kids won’t stop raving about their epic holiday to Brazil. Coolest parents ever. 


Solo traveller

This lucky vagabond is about to embark on a week exploring Sao Paulo on a budget.



Sydney to Sao Paulo return with Latam.



Hostel bunk in a central location.


$50 per day

Visit the supermarket for breakfast, and feast on cheap street eats for your other meals.


$50 per day

A day trip or two, with most of the time spent enjoy Sao Paolo’s free activities.



When flights are more than half your expenses, it’s definitely worth adding another week!


Last-minute tips

  • Agree on the price of your taxi driver before leaving as many drivers won't use their metres and can rip you off. Buses are always a better choice
  • December to March is the busiest season, so travel outside of this to avoid crowds
  • You pay a premium for single rooms in Brazil, so if you're on a budget, travel with a friend to save cash.
  • Water isn't safe to drink in Brazil, so buy bottled water or get something like a LifeStraw to purify the tap water and save plastic.
  • Pickpocketing is very common in Rio. Be careful with your belongings; don't take anything valuable to the beach and lock your passport and extra cash in a safe. Hide your cash in different locations on your body and in your luggage in case.
  • Use ATMs inside a bank, as they are the safest.
  • Hide some money in your socks. You never know when sock money will come in handy and save you from a tricky situation.
  • Carry bug spray, and ensure you've had all of the necessary travel vaccinations.
  • In bigger cities, avoid going out alone at night, especially as a female.
  • You'll find ATMs in bigger cities and towns.
  • If paying by card, make sure you choose to pay in the local currency and not AUD to avoid extra conversion fees.
  • Research your 'per day' budget and include the things you want to do. Once you know the costs, you have a savings goal to work towards.
  • Take advantage of Travel Money Oz's Best Price Guarantee. If you find a better price from a competitor, we will beat it*.
  • Hostels are a great way to save cash and meet like-minded travellers.
  • Check out reviews if you think something is too good to be true. Chances are it might be.
  • Don't forget to factor in pre-travel costs like travel insurance, immunisations and visas.
  • Sign up for Rate Alerts. We'll let you know when the AUD is doing well against the BRL so you can purchase and maximise your travel money.

Flight costs are based on search from and are indicative costs only for travel dates 4 - 11 August 2020. Prices were sourced on February 26th 2020^. Accommodation costs are based on an average per night price for budget, moderate or luxury hotels, as indicated in the table. ~Food based on the average cost of 1 coffee, 1 fast food meal and 1restaurant meal per person, per day. COST COMPARISON TABLE: All costs are based on estimated approximate costs from major metropolitan cities. "From" costs indicate costs that start from the indicated price and may be higher than shown. Average prices indicate a typical estimated cost you would pay for the indicated item. Prices may vary from time to time, and in different cities and towns within Brazil. This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.