Rio de Janeiro

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Accommodation in Rio de Janeiro

Many expats dream about moving to Rio de Janeiro to experience the colorful carnival season, the sunshine, and the outgoing people. But before you get ready for moving to Rio de Janeiro, read our guide and learn more about the city’s history, climate, visa requirements, and housing.
Make sure you choose a neighborhood where you feel safe and sound.

No matter how appealing a housing ad may sound, a personal visit to your future home is essential to make sure that it is all you expected it to be. It goes without saying that both the location of your new home-to-be and its living standards determine the rent you will have to pay and calculate in your monthly budget.


Before you can embark on the apartment search in Rio de Janeiro, you need to decide on the area in which you want to live. This decision will not only determine your monthly budget, your daily commute, and your overall safety, but it will also help you narrow down your search. Different neighborhoods offer different qualities of living and safety levels. This is a brief overview of the most popular neighborhoods:

  • Lapa is probably one of the cheapest areas in the city. The neighborhood is full of life, boasting the unique Brazilian life style. Unfortunately, the neighborhood is not entirely safe.
  • Botafogo is one of the cheaper neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro. Don’t be fooled by the close proximity to the beach, as white sand and turquoise water is the last thing you can expect. However, despite its dirty beach, Botafogo still has a lot to offer: shopping malls, cafés and various museums.
  • Catete is another reasonably priced neighborhood. Although it does not have access to the beach, it boasts a variety of charming bars and nice old houses.
  • Copacabana is probably one of the most famous neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro. Its beach is nicer than the one in Botafogo. While rental prices are a little bit higher here, they are still affordable.
  • Ipanema is the place to be for everybody who is looking for a higher standard of living and wants to be close to Rio’s nightlife. The neighborhood is home to some of the most exclusive bars and clubs in the city. While safety is high in Ipanema, so is the rent.
  • Santa Teresa, on the other hand, is the ideal home for well-to-do expats who prefer a quieter lifestyle. The neighborhood may not have access to the beach but has a lot of culture to offer in return. Located on top of a hill, with a beautiful view of the rest of the city, Santa Teresa spreads a bohemian vibe, with its charming architecture. On the downside, the high rent is anything but charming.

A Word of Advice

As in every other major city, the proximity to the city center and to beautiful beaches as well as the standard of living influence the rents. These are higher in top-notch neighborhoods than in the run-down ones, of course. Additionally, an air-conditioned apartment is a lot more expensive than one without an A/C. However, prices and availability of housing also depend on the time of the year. The season is indeed an aspect to be considered when you embark on your housing search in Rio de Janeiro.

During national holidays and Carnival season, especially short-term housing is harder to come by. Tourists, travelers, and visitors flood the city during that time of the year and make for a sharp increase of rental prices.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Ben F. Bagley

"The offline get-together in Rio really convinced me of InterNations. It is so much more than just an online plattform. "

Marielle Depois

"What I really like about InterNations? It makes meeting other expat women in a pleasant atmosphere so easy."

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