Cheap Hotels in Rio de Janeiro

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Enjoy Rio de Janeiro on a Budget

With its world-famous beaches, vibrant festivals, and infectious samba rhythms, Rio is a once-in-a-lifetime destination that extends a warm welcome to travelers on a budget. Join the street parties at carnival time, eat cheaply in the city’s friendly markets, explore breathtaking natural wonders, and use local transport to see all the sights. You can even enjoy Rio’s top beaches without breaking the bank—sipping on a refreshing caipirinha under the tropical Brazilian sun, it’ll feel as though life can’t get any better.

Things to see in Rio de Janeiro

Get your bearings with a bargain ride on the bonde, the last of Rio’s historic streetcars. The journey to Santa Teresa will give you an authentic flavor of one of the city’s most bohemian neighborhoods. Take a walk through Parque do Flamengo, a favorite recreation spot for locals, with sports fields set amongst tree-lined walkways, cycle tracks, and lovely sea views. Shop on a shoestring at Babilonia Feira Hype, a buzzing weekend fair where cheap clothing and jewelry stalls rub shoulders with fortune-tellers and tattooists. Soak up the party vibe at the legendary Copacabana beach, and try to spot the next Pele or Ronaldo from the groups of lively local kids practicing their football skills. Try your own skills at samba at one of the street parties that spring up when the sun goes down—one of the liveliest takes place on Monday nights at Pedra do Sal, the birthplace of Rio’s indigenous samba culture.

Cheap hotels in Rio de Janeiro

Rio offers a wide selection of hotel accommodation, with competition helping to keep prices down, so you can usually negotiate a bargain. Cheap hotels in downtown Rio de Janeiro offer no-frills rooms where you can stash your suitcase safely while you party the night away. Some of the best cheap hotels in Rio are to be found in historic buildings with interesting pasts and atmospheric locations. Sharing a hostel dormitory is an economical way to see the sights and meet like-minded travelers—many have communal facilities such as a pool or a bar where you can swap stories over a beer.

Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro

Many cheap hotels in Rio de Janeiro are situated in Lapa. This lively quarter also houses some of the city’s most popular bars and clubs, so you won’t need to look far for a good time. Beachfront hotels command a premium for their sea views, but if you venture a couple of blocks back you’ll find surprisingly well-appointed rooms for a fraction of the price. For a beach location that’s a little more laid-back than some, try Leblon, which has a good choice of affordable Rio hostels with money-saving extras like free WiFi or breakfast thrown in.

How to get to Rio de Janeiro

Galeão is Rio’s main international airport, but you might get a better deal by flying to nearby São Paolo and taking a cheap flight to Rio via Santos Dumont Airport, which is very close to the city center. Navigating the city by public transportation is easy and cheap, and you’ll find free subway maps at most ticket booths. Buses without air conditioning cost less, so decide if it’s a sacrifice worth making before you board! To explore under your own steam, hire a bike—the network of cycle paths covers much of the coastline and parts of Tijuca National Park.

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