As you plan your next vacation, you might be looking at places like Rio de Janeiro. Whether it’s your first time in Brazil or you’ve been there before, it’s still essential to plan for emergencies and safety. That’s why we’ve created this article with 14 essential tips on how to stay safe in Rio de Janeiro. Read on below for more information!
Take care of your passport
Leave your passport in the hotel safe. It’s a good idea to have a photocopy of your passport and visa that can be used if you need to replace them or need to identify yourself to the officials. Don’t forget about e-tickets and hotel reservations as well.
Always stay in the right areas
The most important thing to remember is not to go into areas you don’t know. It’s better to stick with the places you are familiar with. The next tip is to stay in groups, especially at night. It’s better not to wander around alone, as there have been many attacks on tourists and locals alike. An excellent way to avoid getting mugged is by using your cash card instead of carrying around a lot of money.
For the safest area in Rio, head to the Southern Zone. It has a significant police presence and Copacabana, Ipanema, Botafogo, and Flamengo. The days here are safe, but it’s a different story when crimes like robbery rise at night. Avoid walking the inner streets of Ipanema and Copacabana after dark.
Manage and spread your cash smartly
One of the best ways to stay safe in Rio is to manage and spread your cash smartly. Many people are still using paper money, so it’s essential to have a stash of small bills handy if you’re a tourist or visitor. Day-to-day expenses like coffee and taxis can be separated into little piles, and they should never exceed $20 in value.
Distribute your cash amongst different places on your body/pockets. If you travel with someone else, give them money to hold some. Take the money you are using, leaving the majority safe in the hotel room.
ATMs can be a problem in Rio de Janeiro
There are many ATMs in Rio de Janeiro, which can be a problem. Especially since thieves will often install card skimmers to harvest information from your account. When withdrawing money from an ATM in Rio, do it daily and limit your withdrawals to 100 reals (or about $30). And always look for the “lock” sign on the machine that’ll indicate that you’re safe.
If possible, withdraw money at a bank’s ATM. Having an extra pair of eyes may dissuade robbers.
Use public transportation in Rio wisely
The public transportation in Rio is unreliable. The safest time to use the buses is during the day. The metro system is safer than the buses, but don’t take advantage of the all-night service. Instead, stay at a hotel that has a free shuttle service or at least a 24-hour desk.
Never show your valuables during your trip in Rio
Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city with fantastic architecture, but that doesn’t mean you should show off your valuables. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry, and don’t flash cash. Put your phone in a zippered compartment of your purse or backpack when you are out and about. Trust us; you don’t want to get robbed!
Mangle as much as possible
The dress code in Rio is casual. Stay calm and don’t dress too fancy because you will attract more attention. It is wise to avoid wearing “I ♡ RIO” t-shirts too.
Be extra careful on the beach in Rio
Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful and lively city, but it also has some of the highest crime rates in the world. Although there are many safe neighborhoods to visit, the beach can be hazardous. You should never go alone or at night, and you should only swim in designated areas where lifeguards are present.
Thieves are a problem on Rio’s beaches. All they need is a moment of distraction, and they will have your valuables. Also, beware that although robberies on Rio’s beaches are uncommon, assaults and sexual harassment occur.
Use only the licensed taxis in Rio
Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city, but it can also be hazardous. The most important thing to do when visiting Rio is to stay safe. One way to do this is to use only licensed taxis. Licensed taxis in Rio are all yellow, so they are easy to identify. They have stickers with their license number on the side of the car and a registration card inside the front window, which states the vehicle identification number (VIN). If you use another taxi that doesn’t have these things, it’s possible that you will not be insured in case something goes wrong.
Beware of over-friendly locals
If you’re visiting Rio, be cautious of the locals. The locals are generally friendly and hospitable, but some may try to take advantage of foreign visitors. Some people might even pretend to be police officers to persuade tourists into giving them their valuables. Keep your money hidden, don’t talk to strangers in public, and only use taxis after requesting a driver by phone.
If someone asks for a lot of information, you should be careful. This could be an elaborate deception. Keep your hotel and how expensive it is to a minimum when you don’t know the person well. If it sounds fishy, it probably is.
Book a tour to explore the favelas
Favelas are often considered the most dangerous places in Rio de Janeiro. If you plan to visit the favela, it is best to book a tour that will take you around and explore it rather than go by yourself.
Avoid tap water
Rio de Janeiro’s tap water is not drinkable. One of the most important things to do in Rio is to stay hydrated. But because many people don’t know this, they often get dehydrated and have health problems. The city offers many clean bottled water options for purchase.
Don’t be a hero!
One of the most common crimes in Rio is robbery. Please don’t make it easy for thieves by wearing expensive clothing, carrying valuable items like your passport, or flaunting money around. If you see anyone suspicious approaching you, walk away quickly and don’t engage them. Try to stay near well-lit streets and avoid walking at night.
Thieves are the worst. If you resist, they might hurt you in the process. Hand your things over, and don’t struggle. Stealing a phone from you is terrible, but going to the hospital is more serious.
Use your common sense
It’s essential to stay safe for countless reasons. For example, staying safe will help you avoid being robbed or assaulted. It’ll also keep you from getting injured and running into even more trouble. So what do you need to do? Use your common sense, avoid large crowds, stay in well-lit areas, and walk confidently.
Is Rio de Janeiro safe for tourists?
Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city that is a popular tourist destination. However, there are many safety concerns for tourists. The most important thing to do is be aware of your surroundings when you’re out and about. Be careful on the beaches where there have been reports of robberies. Always carry small amounts of cash on you and keep the rest in the hotel room safe. Also, avoid staying near favelas as they are not always safe neighborhoods.
After giving you 14 essential tips to stay safe in Rio de Janeiro, these are the main things you can do:
- Be careful where you go and who/what you talk to.
- Avoid using the metro or going out after dark.
- Keep your cell phone charged and with you at all times.
- Don’t drink water from taps or use ice cubes that may not be safe for consumption.
- Don’t keep your wallet or anything valuable inside a bag on your back.
We have provided a wealth of information to help you travel safely to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One thing is for sure: Rio is not notorious for its safety by accident, but with the proper care and preparation, you can prevent or minimize the risk of trouble.