Is Rio safe at night?
Rio de Janeiro is the most famous Brazilian city and of the most beautiful places on earth. Even though, it can be a dangerous place if you don’t follow some local rules, especially at night.
As a general rule, going out at night in Rio de Janeiro is safe if you use the same rules appliable to any other city. Avoid going out alone, don’t look like a tourist, visit good places and only take with you what is really necessary.
Although Rio can be a really dangerous place, don’t lose the chance of knowing this amazing city because of problems that are also present where you live. You’ll find great tips to avoid most of the problems in this article. Some of the tips are really simple, but tourists usually are not aware of them as they are part of the Brazilian reality.
If Possible, Don’t Go Out Alone
It doesn’t matter if you’re in Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, or anywhere else. Going out alone at night will always be way more dangerous than going out with friends, partners, or family. I know it sucks, I don’t like it either, but there is no safety in denying the truth.
In Rio de Janeiro at night, go out with friends or family. If you’re traveling alone, ask the hotel staff for tips on good and safe places to visit alone. You can Google it as well. Also, use good transportation methods and prioritize bars and nightclubs that are close to your location.
Last but not least, in Rio or any other city, always be careful with what (and how much) do you drink. Especially if you’re out alone.
In general, travelers use to visit bars and nightclubs close to their hotels and that’s a good practice because these areas are full of tourists and usually safe. If there’s a line waiting for a table, it’s probably a good place.
Don’t Be A Tourist (Just Blend In)
Don’t be a tourist means not looking like one. That movie outfit of a tourist visiting beaches with floral shirts and a camera around the neck is not how you want to be seen in Rio. To be honest, don’t even put these clothes in your bag.
It’s not that you can’t dress what you like. Is just that this outfit attracts too much attention (exactly what you don’t want). Attracting too much attention it’s almost like screaming for thieves that you’re not Brazilian and a good target for them.
At night in Rio, just try to blend in, don’t be fancy. The night outfit in Rio is pretty much the same as the day. Just be simple and wear normal clothes, if you need ideas, just look through the hotel window and check how people are dressed. A basic t-shirt, shorts, and a pair of Havaianas is a great way to blend in.
Book a Good Hotel
There are a lot of ways to save money while traveling, but I don’t think that booking the cheapest hotels is a smart decision. Even more when it comes to international travel. While traveling to Rio, don’t be cheap on your hotel room. Also, you don’t need a 5-star presidential suite.
Book a good hotel, with a good rating, and don’t forget to check the comments and reviews of other travelers. There are hundreds of good options in Rio you surely can find an option that suits well your budget and needs.
Also, give preference to hotels that are in the same region as the attractions that you want to visit. If you ever dreamed about knowing famous beaches from Rio, book a hotel in Copacabana, if you’re going to a soccer game, get a reservation close to the Maracanã stadium. Those are just some examples but I think you got the point here.
Don’t Take All Your Possessions Out with You
On day or night in Rio de Janeiro, don’t go out taking all your stuff with you. If you book a good hotel, you’ll feel safe (and probably will be) to let part of your money and belongings in the vault and go out safely. The fewer things the better.
This advice is valid for every travel. If you take all your money and belongings with you when you go out and something bad happens (sometimes it’s inevitable), like a robbery, an accident, or even something harmless that can happen to anyone, like losing a wallet or bag, you are not going to lose everything.
While you’re out, be smart and stay sharp. If you want to take a photo, do it and then store back your camera or smartphone. Don’t walk around showing your stuff because it’s going to attract too much attention.
Wait for Your Ride Inside The Hotel or Restaurant
It’s tempting to take a look around while waiting for your ride. I know how it is. Even so, day or at night in Rio, enjoy the safety offered by hotels and restaurants and wait inside.
Maybe enjoying one more drink or a great dessert 🙂
After dealing with a sensitive situation in Miami while I was looking at some shop windows with my wife while our ride was coming, I use this tip on every travel. Even in my own city.
Waiting for your ride inside will keep you away from troubles, avoiding burglars and other problems.
For God Sakes, Don’t Try to Make a Route Yourself
Most parts of the things that you read and watch about Rio are not as bad as it seems, but if there’s one thing that can really cost your life in Rio is entering a place where you’re not supposed to be.
There are a lot of places in Rio de Janeiro that are controlled by drug gangs and tourists are not welcome. Sometimes, taking a wrong turn is all that you need to being shot at. Sad but true, as you can check in this story from 2017.
Don’t Trust Waze, Maps, or Any Other GPS
There have incidents in the city of Rio, with tourists following instructions from mobile apps, such as Waze or Google Maps and straying into a favela, and being shot at. Sometimes, with fatal consequences.
To avoid this kind of situation you have 2 options. If you rented a car and you’re driving, ask the hotel staff which are the places and streets that you should avoid.
Also, you can pay for the services of a licensed local guide that can go with you and your family. In addition to helping you with great tips and taking you to the best places, a guide knows exactly what places you should avoid visiting, and sometimes he can even get the authorization for you to visit a slum (favela).
The second option is using well-known transport apps, such as Uber. Always opting for drivers with good ratings the chances of ending up in a slum by mistake are way lower than if you’re trying to locate yourself using a GPS.
Also, the subway is one of the safest places in Rio. Avoid attracting too much attention and you should be fine and move faster and cheaper than using a car.
Use the Advice of Your Hotel Staff
One of the greatest benefits of choosing a good hotel is counting with the help of a well-prepared staff team. Brazilians are very friendly (we really are) and if you ever find yourself in a situation that you don’t know how to deal with, just ask for help.
In Brazil is not so common to find people that speak English as a second language, but the hotels are an exception. I’m pretty sure that if you choose a good place to stay you’ll find at least one person that will be able to talk to you.
It doesn’t matter if it is an emergency or if you want a suggestion of a safe place to visit in Rio at night, count on them to solve all your doubts.
Following the tips from this article, you’ll be ready to enjoy a great and safe night in Rio. Bad things can happen anywhere, so never don’t lose the chance of knowing a great place because of problems that are also present in your city.
That being said, I hope you have found helpful advice from my tips on how to enjoy a safe night in Rio de Janeiro and I’ll love to know all about your travel soon 🙂 Just leave a comment here.
If you want to read more incredible articles about Brazil, click here and enjoy.
I see you next time.