Travel tips: Brazil

Heading away from home? We’ve gathered some tips to make sure your trip is the smoothest it can be.

About Brazil

Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil; Portuguese pronunciation: [bɾaˈziw]), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 million people, Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populous city is São Paulo.

Using your debit and credit card

Do I need cash in Brazil, or can I use my card everywhere?

Cards are accepted in touristy spots, but it’s wise to carry cash on you.
You especially want to have cash for small priced items, where cards are less likely to be accepted.

What currency do they use here?

The currency here is Brazilian Reais. The symbol is R$ or BRL.

Which ATM’s can I use for free?

Free withdrawals at these ATMs.

  • Banco do Brasil 
  • Branco Bradesco

If I want cash, how much should I take out of an ATM?

R$250 should be enough for a few days.

Should I choose local currency or Euros when paying?

If you’re asked to choose between local currency and Euros, always choose local currency.

Staying connected

Can I roam, or should I get a local SIM?

Most EU mobile plans will charge you for roaming in Brazil.

If you want to get a local SIM card, you can learn about your options here.

Useful things to know

How does tipping work?

A service fee of 10% is normally included on the bill.

Locals only consider tipping extra if the service was extremely good.

How much does a 0.5L beer cost?

€ 1,50

How much does an average meal cost?

€ 5,00

What’s the emergency number?

There are different numbers for the different services here.

  • Police: 190
  • Ambulance: 192
  • Fire: 193

What type of plug do they use?

This one! It’s the standard two pin plug.

What side of the road do they drive on?

They drive on the right side of the road here.

How do I navigate my way around?

Google and Apple Maps both work well in Brazil.

Otherwise, we recommend Rome2Rio as the best way to find out how to get anywhere. It even tells you the cost of each option. 🙌

Any other good tips?

If you are into meat, you should not leave the country without trying the traditional picanha, and join a local BBQ if the opportunity arises. 
Brazilians are warm and welcoming people who will easily invite you to spend time with them.


If you’ve been to Brazil share your experience! The following would be really useful for others to know:

  • Which ATMs are free to use? 
  • What card should I use and where?
  • Any other info you think may be useful.

Share your experience with us in the comments below! 

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