How Safe Is Rio de Janeiro for Travel?

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Safety Index:
43

Rio de Janeiro, the second-largest city in Brazil, has been one of the most popular tourist destinations for decades.

Besides that it has an impressive and memorable sight for visitors from all over the world, it is also very well known for beautiful beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana, the Sugar Loaf Mountain and the overlooking Cristo Redentor on the Corcovado.

Rio is the cultural and economic center of the country, with great museums, art galleries, churches, and shopping malls.

Zona Sul, full of hotels and landmarks, is the area where tourists usually tend to find accommodation during their visit.

Warnings & Dangers in Rio de Janeiro

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

According to the score of 43%, Rio de Janeiro is not completely safe city. As in any other tourist destination, tourists need to be very watchful and remain vigilant throughout their whole stay in this incredible city.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

While the metro is considered to be safe in Rio and it is highly recommended to use it to travel from one place to another, buses and bus stations are believed to be risky for pickpockets. For your safety as a pedestrian, cross at the crosswalks and do not rely on traffic lights.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

The pickpocket risk in Rio is at a high level since tourists and teenagers are considered easy targets for criminals. Thieves are usually on the beaches or crowded buses and streets. The Centro area is normally safe because there is a police presence. To avoid being the target, you should be attentive and practice common sense.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Occasional natural disasters are possible in Rio, like floods and landslides. Torrential rainstorms may cause the mud goes down the mountain and destroy the houses. Some health problems can also happen, such as the recent Zika outbreak.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : HIGH

When the risk of mugging and kidnapping is concerned, Rio can be a dangerous city and it is advisable to follow the rules of using your cars instead of public transport at night and not to remain alone in the isolated areas.

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.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : HIGH

The beach, the ATMs and streets are the main locations where you can become the victim. As a traveler, you may experience tension over security. Groups of teenagers who try to distract you may be the assistants of the lawbreakers.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Safety is one of the bigger issues for women travelers to Brazil, considering the reports on violent crimes and Brazil women being assaulted. However, Rio is generally safe for women travelers and they can enjoy their wonderful holiday.

So... How Safe Is Rio de Janeiro Really?

Rio is a frequently visited world destination not only because of its marvelous beaches but also due to its cultural and historical attractions.

Every tourist should experience its breathtaking landscapes and listening to live samba in its bars.

However, every joy has its bad side.

Criminals and drug lords have made the theft the only source of income and thus became dangerous for tourists who are the most common and the easiest prey, in case they are not careful.

As in every city, it is more dangerous at night and to remain safe, tourists need to be attentive to all potential dangers.

Sundays can be dangerous days even during the daytime because the shops do not work and their security guards are not there to protect tourists.

At the beach, a tourist must also be extremely careful and never leave their valuables unattended. to

The area north of the Maracana stadium is also very unsafe, and tourists are not advised to go there.

Nevertheless, due to its spectacular landscape and its annual carnival, Rio is certainly the city which is well worth visiting.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Brazilians apply to their visitors the same rules which are being applied to them, so people from the US must pay 160$ for a visa. On the other hand, many nationalities do not need visas to come to Brazil, in case they decide to stay less than 90 days.
  • Currency - The Brazilian Real is the currency in Brazil and it is very cheap to the US dollar. You need approximately 200 R$ to 300 R$ per day. When exchanging the money, you can find better rates at shops with the sign “Cambios”.
  • Weather - Different regions in Brazil have different climates. Rio has a tropical savanna climate which is characterized by heavy rainfall between December and March. Summers are very hot with temperatures reaching even 40 °C. Rio de Janeiro is warm during the whole year, although the cool breeze sometimes blows from the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Airports - 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.
  • Travel Insurance - Since Rio can be very dangerous concerning muggings and theft, travelers are always advised to get travel insurance that covers the loss of private belongings, as well as a medical help.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Rio de Janeiro Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 28° C
Feb 29° C
Mar 28° C
Apr 26° C
May 24° C
Jun 23° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 24° C
Oct 25° C
Nov 26° C
Dec 27° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
323332302827272828293031
Low
°C
242423221918171819202223
High
°F
909190868281818282848688
Low
°F
757573726664636466687273

Where to Next?

8 Reviews on Rio de Janeiro

  1. D
    Daniel K says:

    Highly Wrong Rankings

    My wife has family that lives in Rio and these risks are highly incorrect. Locals are not same anymore. There are road blocks by drug lords in their own neighborhoods. Uber and Lyft drivers (honest working) are being kidnapped or robbed or their vehicle. Then, they are picking up ride requesters and taking them to the flavella’s and robbing them completely. The police department won’t even go there if you have lost your possessions or vehicle. The military is the only group that does raids there. I highly recommend that you rent your own car or have a relative or friend that you know if you plan on visiting. Also, watch out for people tailing you when leaving the airport with your possessions as you can get robbed by motorbikes and traps setup. Police are almost outnumbered and ideally useless.

    Our family have advised us not to visit as the crime is too high and very unsafe in Rio. 3 people in the family have been victims of vehicle takeovers in the last 1 year.

    1. R
      Rio Robles RIchmond says:

      Thank you very much for posting this. I don’t think it’s worth the risk to go there anymore unfortunately then. Too bad!

  2. d
    dates please says:

    dates please

    it would be nice if there were dates on people’s comments.

  3. Find another place

    Even if you survive the muggings etc the local food will leave you cold.

  4. Dangerous lawless country

    I was shot and mugged on my second visit to Rio. I would never go there again.

  5. Thank you for these info. . Guess we have to change plans

  6. A
    Anonymous says:

    Americans don’t need to pay for a visa anymore. We get an automatic 90 day visa upon arrival.

  7. S
    Spencer McArthur says:

    Just be careful and you'll probably be fine

    I dont know when this response was written but I’ve lived expat in Brazil for a year now and while this may be true, its generally found in the extremes. if you stay away from the favelas and are able to find safe traveling methods(metro, walking, scooters…) then all should be well. Do be careful with what you are carrying/wearing and who is around you. As long as you’re careful, have common sense, and do your research you can be totally safe.

Rated 2 / 5 based on 8 user reviews.

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