Porto Alegre is the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul and the biggest urban agglomeration of southern Brazil.
It is considered to be the perfect blend of Brazilian and Portuguese cultures.
It used to be safe but in the recent past everything changed and now it’s a city that isn’t exactly beloved by tourists.
The cultural houses are in bad conditions – at least all the public ones.
You can see drug addicts and homeless people a lot more than ten years ago, and there’s a general feeling of unease.
Health and education are also in a big crisis right now.
Warnings & Dangers in Porto Alegre
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Porto Alegre is mostly unsafe and you should take precaution on the streets of major cities, and after dark. Be wary of pickpockets and bag snatching and keep your valuables safely by your side. Never carry all your money in one place or leave your valuables in plain sight in a car or at a beach when swimming.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Public transport is generally safe in Porto Alegre, though it has its dangers. Be careful on buses and bus stops since that's where pickpockets and petty thieves operate.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpockets are a common occurrence on the streets of Porto Alegre and tourists are recommended to remain vigilant at all times when on the street. Make sure you don't flash your valuable possessions on the street, or better yet, leave them in your accommodation.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There are some natural threats in Porto Alegre, such as dangerous insects and diseases they carry, and floods. Be on the lookout and follow the authorities' instructions.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Mugging is not altogether uncommon on the streets of Porto Alegre. In such a situation, hand over all your possessions immediately and do not resist. Avoid poorly lit and deserted areas.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Although there haven't been any terrorist attacks in Porto Alegre's recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out so remain vigilant at all times.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
Scams are very common in Porto Alegre, so double check your change, never pay anything upfront and negotiate everything in advance. Be very careful around ATMs and be wary of people trying to distract you. Also, be careful around children as they're probably trying to distract you too - they are skillful pickpockets.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Traveling to Porto Alegre is somewhat unsafe for solo women, but bear in mind that you should always hike in company, never alone. Stay away from poorly lit and deserted streets and areas and from people that are visibly intoxicated or under the influence.
So... How Safe Is Porto Alegre Really?
Porto Alegre is a city in one of the most criminalized countries in the world, and therefore, it is not the safest choice. But if you keep your wits with you and follow rules of precaution, you will minimize the chances of something going wrong.
The golden rule in any Brazilian city – and by extention Porto Alegre too – is never to wear bling in public, or anything gilded, diamond encrusted or oversized.
Avoid downtown after 7 p.m., never stay in your parked car at night, even if you’re just waiting for someone to come out of their house, watch out when stopping at red traffic lights everywhere after 10 p.m. – there are just some normal precaution rules for Porto Alegre.
There are some safe areas, of course, like Moinhos de Vento, Bela Vista, Três Figueiras, if you can afford to live there.
You are advised to always keep a small amount of cash with you (preferably cleverly hidden, concealed in a money belt under your clothes, in secret sewn-in pockets, or in your shoes) and to avoid carrying bank cards.
Pickpockets have a bunch of creative diversions to distract you long enough for them to steal your wallet.
Never carry all your money in the same place and keep your belongings close to you at all times.
- Visas - Brazil has a reciprocity standard when it comes to issuing visas and the rule goes like this: whatever restriction or visa prices apply to Brazilians when traveling abroad, also apply to foreigners from these countries. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local Brazilian embassy for further information.
- Currency - Brazilian real is the official currency in Porto Alegre. ATMs are available throughout the city, and are the easiest way of getting cash. Keep in mind that they sometimes don't work for non-Brazilian cards.
- Weather - Located within the tropics, Porto Alegre is wonderful to visit all-year round as it has four distinct seasons, each with its gorgeous charms. It has a humid climate with an average annual temperature of 19ºC.
- Airports - Salgado Filho International Airport is the airport serving Porto Alegre, Brazil. It was originally called São João Federal Airport, after the neighborhood where it is located.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Porto Alegre, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.
Porto Alegre Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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