Rio de Janeiro For Digital Nomads: Ultimate Guide

Brazil has always been famous among tourists, thanks to its lively environment and vibrant culture. However, its city Rio de Janeiro (or just Rio) is becoming somewhat of a digital nomad hotspot. 

Remote workers and nomads have discovered Rio’s numerous benefits over the recent years and made it a popular destination. Rightfully so, considering that this city has so much to offer! If you are wondering what it’s like living in Rio de Janeiro then keep reading this ultimate digital nomad Rio de Janeiro guide. 

Let’s delve into the essentials and see whether this city is a good place for you.

Where is Rio de Janeiro located?

Located on the Atlantic Ocean, Rio de Janeiro is a city, port, and state capital. This multifunctional city lies in the southwestern part of South America, right in the tropical zone. Rio can be categorized as a part of Southeast Brazil. 

Fact: Did you know that Rio de Janeiro was the colonial capital in 1763 and independent Brazil’s capital up until 1960?

Why Choose Rio de Janeiro as a Digital Nomad? Pros and Cons

Much like any other digital nomad destination, Rio also has its fair share of flaws. Here is an overview of the city’s main pros and cons to help you weigh the benefits.

Pros Cons 
Affordable cost of living High crime rates 
Exotic landscapes Poor air quality 
Good weather Danger of natural disasters 
Vibrant local culture 
Exciting nightlife 
Friendly locals 
Great food 

In addition to that, Rio also offers you a chance to enjoy beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and unforgettable sceneries. If you want to live in an exotic place, surrounded by natural beauty then Rio is undoubtedly the best place for you. 

Before you make a decision, make sure to note that some of Brazil’s most dangerous favelas are based just outside the main city. While it is a preventable situation, it happens to be a deal-breaking con for various people. 

How to Get to Rio de Janeiro?

Despite Brazil’s large size, Rio is still easily accessible from different locations and countries. Here are some great ways of getting to the city. 

By air 

Air travel is one of the most efficient ways of getting to Rio, especially if you are getting in from abroad. The city is well connected to European, South American, and North American cities, making it easy for tourists to arrive here. You can take direct or connecting flights to land at the main gateway i.e. the Galeão International Airport. The Rio de Janeiro International Airport caters to international flights while Santos Santos Dumont hosts domestic ones. 

By ship 

While sea travel has lost its popularity ever since the development of air travel, several people still use this mode of transport to get to Rio. However, only a handful of European cargo services offer this service. Make sure to keep an eye out for Costa or seek a travel agent’s help. 

By car or bus 

Depending on your current location and distance from Rio, you can also get to Rio via car or bus. While the journey can be long and tedious, it’s certainly doable. 

Transportation and How to Get Around Rio de Janeiro?

Once you have entered the country, here’s how you can get around on a daily basis. 

On foot 

For those of you who have just arrived in the city, we recommend moving around on foot. Rio is a walkable city that is best explored on foot! If the weather allows it, make sure to walk around and take in the beauty. 


Taxis are readily available in the city but they are only recommended when you are covering a long distance. Reputable services like Uber, Lyft, and Grab also operate in the city. 

Shuttle buses 

Shuttle buses are a common way of getting around Rio on a daily basis. You can just hail one down, inform the driver of your destination, and enjoy a comfortable ride. Shuttle buses are an air-conditioned, affordable, and reliable form of public transport in the city. 

The metro 

Lastly, you can also get around by accessing the city’s metro system. The efficient network in Rio comprises 5 well-maintained tracks and 41 stations. While the metro can get overly crowded sometimes, it’s still a good way of getting around.

3 Best Accommodation Options in Rio de Janeiro

There are a bunch of good neighborhoods in Rio that cater to specific preferences. Once you know what you are looking for, house hunting will be a child’s play. Here are some of the best options for remote workers and digital nomads. 


If you wish to experience the true spirit and vibrancy of Rio then seek residence in the famous Copacabana neighborhood. Everything about this area is desirable; its proximity to the beach, cosmopolitan feel, iconic views, and so much more. Copacabana is also a famous tourist spot, perfect for interacting with fellow travelers. 


Flamengo is one of the best neighborhoods for digital nomads in Rio. This area is well connected to famous tourist attractions (beaches) via metro and it houses tons of restaurants and bars. Flamengo allows you to socialize with fellow nomads and blend right in! Its exciting nightlife is certainly attractive. 


Leblon is another one of the best neighborhoods in the city. If you want to live in a quiet area with privacy then this is the place for you. Leblon houses a wide variety of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained. Other than that, you can enjoy the reliable wifi and the white sand beach as well. However, make sure to note that accommodation is relatively more expensive here than in other parts of Rio. 

Internet Connectivity in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil has a decent enough internet speed that is suitable for remote working and a digital nomad lifestyle. Rio experiences fixed download speeds of 94 Mbps and upload speeds of 26 Mbps. you can expect an internet connection to be smooth and reliable if nothing else. 

You can also get a local SIM card upon arrival to ensure extra consistency. Most providers offer affordable packages and good service in the city but make sure to compare data plans before making a decision. 

The internet is every remote worker’s best friend so make sure to put some thought into it! Other than that, cafes and co-working spaces offer fast and free wifi as well.

E sim 

E-sims are a good alternative to physical SIM cards as they allow you to digitalize your work even more. They are certainly more convenient and consistent. Take a look at some of the best packages below. 


Data validity Days Price 
Unlimited data 5 days 21$ (19.39€)
Unlimited data 7 days 29$ (26.81€)
Unlimited data 10 days 37$ (34.21€)
Unlimited data 15 days 51$ (47.15€)
Unlimited data 20 days 62$ (56.40€)


Data validity Days Price 
1 GB7 days 6.00$ (5.54€)
2 GB15 days 11.50$ (10.62€)
3 GB30 days 15.50$ (14.31€)
5 GB30 days 23.50$ (21.70€)
10 GB30 days 42.00$ (38.78€)

3 Best Places to Work in Rio de Janeiro

Remote workers would be happy to learn that there are a lot of good working spaces located within the city. Here are some of the best coworking spaces. 


The globally renowned coworking space, WeWork also operates in Rio. much like their other locations, you can expect this one to surpass expectations as well. They offer various facilities including but not limited to high-speed internet, meeting rooms, comfortable seating, and a good working environment. You can count on this coworking space to fulfill your digital nomad requirements and remote working needs. 


Regus is another global company that operates in Rio and promises a great remote working experience. Located right by the beach, it also offers a calm working environment. You can certainly enjoy their 2/7 access and modern amenities. 

Rio Co. working 

For a more elegant working space, you can go to the Rio Co.Working space. Their contemporary building and modern interior perfectly depict their evolutionary concept. You can come here to network with like-minded people and enjoy a productive work day.

Cost of Living in Rio de Janeiro

While Rio is not the cheapest place to live, it offers great value for money. You can live in this urban center and enjoy city life while spending half as much as you would in other major cities. Compared to other digital nomad hubs, Rio de Janeiro is relatively expensive but it also promises a worthy experience. 

Meal $5.29 (€4.88)
Coffee$1.40 (€1.29)
Beer $1.41 (€1.30)
Apartment in the city center (1 bedroom)$345.56/month (€319.06)
Fitness club $26.87/month (€24.81)
Utilities  $19.73/month (€18.22)
Internet $77.51 (€71.56)
Local transport  $0.88/trip (€0.81)

As you can see, Rio has an overall affordable cost of living. You can spend more or less depending on your lifestyle and spending patterns but this is a general estimation. 

Culture, Nature, and Food in Rio de Janeiro

Rio’s culture is a plethora of colors, joy, and vibrance. Their festivals and events represent the rich heritage and traditions like nothing else. This beautiful city is a cultural tapestry that compels you to learn more about its rich history. Additionally, music and dance also play a huge part in its culture. 

When it comes to the subject of “nature” in Rio, we think it’s safe to say that the city is simply abundant. From beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscapes to lush greenery and botanical gardens, Rio is every nature lover’s dream. Other than that, it is also home to two of the largest rainforests in the world. You can engage in countless nature-related outdoor activities here and have a splendid time. Rio has a lot to offer and natural beauty is its biggest gift. 

As for the food, Rio has a bunch of delicacies that everyone must try. You can find the world’s most delicious and flavorful food here, thanks to the traditional recipes and spices. There are a ton of restaurants, local bars, local eateries, coffee shops, and street vendors that offer a diverse variety of options. 

Best Time to Visit Rio de Janeiro

Since Brazil has a standard tropical climate, the country is hot all year long. Rio experiences the highest temperatures in summer (December to March) but this is also the rainy season. You can expect frequent downpours during this time. 

In addition to that, the best time to visit Rio in terms of weather is between June and September. Temperatures tend to decrease during these months and the probability of rainfall also lowers. You can explore Rio on foot and see the beautiful monuments. However, the city will still have cloudy weather during these months so consider visiting the landmarks in the early mornings. 

12 Best Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro

One thing about Rio is that you’ll never be bored here. There is plenty to do so here are the 12 best things!

1. Visit Mangueira’s Palácio do Samba

Mangueira’s Palácio do Samba is one of the most famous samba schools in Rio that has won around 19 prizes in the respective category. If you want to learn more about this, sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour and see the iconic preparation in action! You’ll get to explore dance classes, routines, and workshops as well. 

2. Visit the Santa Teresa 

Santa Teresa is the perfect place for those who wish to explore Rio’s old-world charm. Surrounded by eateries, boutiques, and small businesses, the cobble-stoned streets of Santa Teresa offer a unique experience. Santa Teresa is a great place for shopping for souvenirs, people-watching, wandering, and immersing with the locals. 

3. Visit the Sugarloaf mountains 

When in Rio, it is almost mandatory to visit the iconic Sugarloaf mountains! You can access the range via cable cars and admire the beautiful peaks. While it can get crowded during the summer months, most people declare that it’s worth it. However, you can always avoid peak times by going in the morning. Sugarloaf mountains offer an incomparable bird’s eye view of the city.

4. Go to a beach 

Since Rio is especially known for its beautiful beaches, your time here will be incomplete without visiting them! There are a ton of iconic beaches in the city, each unique in its own way. You can engage in numerous outdoor activities including but not limited to volleyball, tanning, building sandcastles, and swimming. Beaches are also a great place to lay back and relax. When in Rio, make sure to experience this must-do activity. 

5. Visit Christ the Redeemer Statue 

Christ the Redeemer is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city that holds great historical value. This towering statue stretches up to 98 feet in the air and offers panoramic views of the city. You can access the top via a scenic tram ride and have an unforgettable experience.

6. Visit the Tijuca National Park 

Another great nature-related activity is going to the Tijuca National Park and admiring its natural beauty. This breathtaking park is so large that it’s almost a forest. It is also home to various waterfalls, dreamy paths, flowering, and stunning views. You’ll even find a restaurant halfway up!

7. Visit the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro

If you are someone who appreciates art and creativity then make sure to visit this performing arts theatre in Rio. With great acoustics and comfortable seating, you are guaranteed to have a fantastic time. Please note that this theatre doesn’t offer online tickets and you can only get them in person. 

8. See the Escadaria Selarón

Escadaria Selarón, also known as “Lapa steps”, is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in the entire city. In addition to being highly picturesque, this colorful staircase is world-famous. When in Rio, make sure to pay a visit and see them for yourself! 

9. Visit the botanical gardens 

One of the best parts about Rio is its breathtaking natural beauty. If you want to spend some time surrounded by nature and beauty, consider visiting the botanical gardens. This outdoor activity is not only tranquil but interesting as well. You can explore the Jardim Botanico neighborhood and spend time in its famous garden. This is the perfect place for exploring different plant species and bird-watching.

10. Visit the Pedra do Sal 

Rio has a rich and unique musical heritage that is celebrated to this very day. If you want to spend a day surrounded by colorful art, live music, and a bustling environment then make sure to visit the infamous Pedro do Sal. The street art backdrop combined with live music creates a vibrant atmosphere. You can even enjoy their free street parties on Monday and Friday. 

11. Visit the museum of tomorrow

If you are looking for a laid-back and peaceful indoor activity then consider going to the museum of tomorrow. This science museum features various pieces regarding geology and smart cities. You can explore the futuristic building and have an educational experience. 

12. Go to the “Carnaval” 

Needless to mention, the “Carnaval” is the most famous and well-known festival in the entire world. If you happen to be in Rio at the same time, make sure to visit this annual festival and see what Brazil is all about. From colorful surroundings and vibrant atmospheres to steamed dance battles and bustling crowds, this festival offers the full cultural experience. 

Is Rio de Janeiro safe?

Despite its difficult past, Rio has developed a lot over the recent years and improved general safety. Favelas, the low-income neighborhoods are located in west Rio and should be avoided at all costs. While favela residents should be treated with respect, caution is also necessary. Sometimes a small misunderstanding can lead to violent crimes so make sure to remain attentive at all times. Other than that, the city is safe and the locals are friendly. You can travel and move around with ease of mind as long as you avoid trouble. 

Here are some precautions you must take as a tourist in a foreign country. 

  • Look out for tourist scam
  • Trust reputable companies
  • Stay away from isolated areas
  • Stay on your guard
  • Stay away from shady neighborhoods
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash on hand
  • Don’t carry flashy items

Visa Requirements in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil has an easy visa policy that allows European, American, and British citizens visa-free entry for an initial 90 days. After that, tourists must apply for an extension for another 90 days.

Additionally, Brazil is one of the first countries in Latin America to offer a digital nomad visa. Remote workers can take advantage of this and stay in Rio for over a year. Here are the main requirements for this visa: 

  • Proof of minimum income (1500 USD) or
  • Proof of 1800 USD in your bank account
  • Proof of employment status 
  • Valid passport 

You are recommended to seek counsel from an embassy or consulate in your country to understand visa policy and the application process. They can guide you about tourist visas, residence permits, digital nomad visas, and other alternatives. Other than that, you can apply for visas on Brazil’s foreign affairs website. 


In conclusion, we can say that Rio is certainly an intriguing city that compels travelers from all over the world. This cosmopolitan city is a dazzling combination of vibrancy, colors, and heritage. Considering all of this, it’s safe to say that Rio is nothing short of a hidden gem!

If you have properly gone over all the details mentioned above then consider yourself fully prepared! We hope this digital nomad guide helped you gain an in-depth insight into the digital nomad lifestyle of Rio de Janeiro. If you have any further questions or doubts, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to help. 

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