Is Rio de Janeiro Safe for Travel in 2021?

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Safety Score
50

Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s third-most populous state, after São Paulo and Minas Gerais. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named “Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea,” by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.

Warnings & Dangers in Rio de Janeiro

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Rio is not the safest city to travel to. Tourists should be on the alert here. It is also best not to leave the tourist area. Otherwise, if you follow the safety rules, you can safely move around the city.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Public transport in Rio is fairly safe. Especially the subway. Pickpockets can be found on buses. You have to be more careful here. Taxi is a reliable and safe way to travel.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpocketing is a big problem in the city. Tourists should be cautious and careful. Keep track of your bags, always keep valuables with you, leave important documents and cash in the hotel safe. Be careful with those who ask or offer you help.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

In Rio, flooding is possible due to heavy rainfall. They sometimes also cause landslides and house destruction—possible infection with the Zika virus. Take steps to prevent these risks.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : HIGH

The risk of serious robbery and assault in Rio de Janeiro is very high. However, if you do not leave the tourist areas and do not walk late at night, you can avoid this risk. In the event of an attack, give the attackers what they ask for.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

There are no terrorist threats in Rio, and tourists can sometimes face protests in the city center, which is nothing to worry about. Do not participate in mass gatherings on the streets.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : HIGH

Scams in Rio usually happen in crowded places like beaches and at ATMs. Fraudsters often use devices that read your card data at an ATM. Therefore, withdraw money only in ATM at banks with security.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Women traveling alone should take certain precautions when traveling to Rio. It is best not to leave the tourist areas and avoid walking late at night.

How Safe Is Rio de Janeiro for Tourists?

Rio de Janeiro is not the safest city to travel to.

The crime index here is quite high.

The main problems are related to car theft, drug trafficking, vandalism, robberies.

The Sul Zone (which includes Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Gavea, Jardim Botanico, Flamengo, Laranjeiras, Botafogo, Urca) or the western suburbs (Barra, Recreio) is the most touristy and safest part of the city. Basically, within its limits, you are completely safe.

However, more danger can be found outside this area.

Usually tourists (gringos) and teenagers are considered “easy” targets for criminals.

This also affected everyday life.

For example, all common banks have fortress-style security doors and armed guards.

Rio can be a dangerous city, and it’s wise to follow these rules, even if they seem overly exaggerated.

After dark, avoid the city center, especially the Saara.

Although the city center is a relatively safe place during the day, by nightfall, all the people who work there have already gone home.

If you go to a theater or a performance, it’s okay; but do not wander dark streets at night.

Head to Ipanema Beach, all lit and guarded at night, although even it is not entirely safe for tourists who look like tourists.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Rio de Janeiro?

To enter Brazil, you need a valid passport, which is valid for at least six months from the date of entry. Tourists visiting Brazil must have a return ticket and enough funds for their stay.

Which Currency Is Used in Rio de Janeiro?

The Brazilian real is the official currency of Brazil. It is subdivided into 100 centavos. The Central Bank of Brazil is the central bank and the issuing authority.

How's the Weather like in Rio de Janeiro?

In Rio de Janeiro, the summers are short, hot, oppressive, wet, and mostly cloudy, and the winters are long, comfortable, humid, and mostly clear. Rio has a tropical savanna climate, which is characterized by heavy rainfall between December and March.

What Do I Need to Know about Airports in Rio de Janeiro?

The City of Rio de Janeiro has three major airports: Galeão–Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport for both international and domestic flights, Santos Dumont Airport for short and domestic flights, and Jacarepaguá-Roberto Marinho Airport, located 30km from the city center.

Should I Get Travel Insurance for My Travels?

A travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country or city. Make sure you got it before starting your journey; the customs officer may ask for it.

What Are Some Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro?

Rio de Janeiro is a huge seaside city in Brazil, famed for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, 38m Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado, and Sugarloaf Mountain, a granite peak with cable cars to its summit. The city is also known for its sprawling favelas (shanty towns). Its raucous Carnaval festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes, and samba dancers, is considered the world’s largest.

Is the Water in Rio de Janeiro Safe to Drink?

Tap water is not potable. Use bottled tap or boil tap.

Is Uber Safe in Rio de Janeiro?

There is an Uber taxi in Rio de Janeiro. The cost of the trip will depend on the time of day and distance. You can call a taxi from the application on your smartphone.

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