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  • Writer's pictureSpeaking Brazilian

Is Brazil a dangerous place?

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

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Do you think Brazil is a dangerous place? Today, I'm going to give you some tips for you to have a safe trip to Brazil.

Understanding the social and economic situation

I don't like to say that Brazil is dangerous because I don't want to feed this stereotype, but I would be lying if I said that Brazil is not dangerous at all.

Unfortunately, Brazil is one of the countries with the highest level of social and income inequality in the world.

Some research indicates that municipalities with greater economic inequality have higher crime rates.

Basically, all large Brazilian cities have a high level of inequality and, consequently, criminality.

There are some “safety rules” that are obvious to Brazilians, but usually ignored by tourists. Let's talk about that.

1. Do not carry a cell phone or camera in your hands

One thing that can happen in big cities is someone passing, running or riding a motorcycle and taking your cell phone out of your hand.

Smartphones and electronics, in general, are very expensive in Brazil. For that reason, if you walk around with a cell phone or camera in your hands, you'll attract attention.

I recommend you go into a store or cafe to use your phone, and then put it away again before you leave.

2. Be very careful with your belongings

I recommend leaving valuables at the hotel and taking the bare minimum with you.

Don't carry all your credit cards and documents. Just carry some cash, one card, and a copy of your passport. Leave your original passport and other documents in a safe at the hotel.

A few more tips to avoid having your things stolen in Brazil:

  • Don't put anything in the back pocket of your pants, as it's very easy for someone to sneak up behind you and grab it.

  • In places with a lot of people, use your backpack facing forward. If you wear your backpack backward, someone could unzip it and take your stuff without you noticing.

  • If you go to the beach alone, don't sleep or go for a swim leaving your things unattended. Thefts are very common on beaches simply because people are distracted.

3. Be extra careful at night

Avoid walking through dark and empty streets, as you are more likely to be robbed.

Always try to be surrounded by people and walk via bright places with open commerce.

If you're a woman, I recommend you don't go out alone at night. Unfortunately, the world is a more dangerous place for women than men, right? So, we have to be extra careful.

If you want to go out at night, I recommend going out with someone you know and trust, also:

  • Share your location with someone else;

  • Call an Uber or taxi;

  • Wait for the driver to arrive and stop in front of your hotel or building before leaving;

  • Do the same process to return to your hotel.

4. Research which is the safest means of transport in the city you are visiting

Since Brazil is a large country, some security details will differ from city to city.

So, I recommend asking your hotel reception or asking someone you trust what the best way to get around the city safely is.

For example, in São Paulo, it is safe to take an Uber or a taxi. It is also safe to take the subway during the day. I would avoid getting into an empty subway car or using any public transport at night.

In Rio de Janeiro, taking the bus is not very safe. Subway, Uber and taxis are safe but beware of illegal taxis. Avoid taking a taxi on the street. It's best to ask your hotel to call one for you.

5. Research which places or neighborhoods are safe or dangerous in the city you are visiting

I would love to be able to say “go to this neighborhood” and “don't go to that one,” but as I said before, Brazil is huge, and each city is different.

I recommend that you research before visiting a place to see if that region is safe for tourists. Ask the hotel reception where you are staying or talk to Brazilian friends.

Don't walk around without knowing where you're going.

That's it, everyone!

It is perfectly possible to have a safe and wonderful trip to Brazil if you are careful. Follow my tips and relax! Enjoy your trip!

Brazil is a magical country with warm and good-hearted people. I'm sure you will have an unforgettable experience!

Até a próxima!

Your teacher,



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