A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Barcelona vs. Rio de Janeiro for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro?

Barcelona

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain with a population of over 1.5 million people. It's also the capital of Catalonia and is located on the northeastern part of the Mediterranean coast. Barcelona is one of the country's most popular travel destinations because of its rich history, interesting architecture, and vibrant culture. Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympic games and that had a strong influence over tourism in the area. Many different neighborhoods were renovated and rebuilt. Modern design became the norm in many parts of the city, although there is still an old city feel and many efforts at preservation.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the most popular travel destination in Brazil. It is the second largest city in Brazil and the sixth largest in the Americas. A portion of the city has been designated a World Heritage Site. It's also famous for Carnival, it's gorgeous beaches, and world-famous landmarks. Rio's appeal as a travel destination is apparent year round due to the great weather and plenty of fun activities. The city has a wonderful natural harbor that is surrounded by Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca, creating an absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring setting.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Contiki Tours to Spain, The Best G Adventures Tours to Spain, The Best 10-Day Tours in Brazil, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Brazil.


Which place is cheaper, Rio de Janeiro or Barcelona?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Barcelona is €156, while the average daily cost in Rio de Janeiro is €97. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Barcelona 96
    Rio de Janeiro 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Barcelona 192
    Rio de Janeiro 122
Compare Hotels in Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro

Looking for a hotel in Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Barcelona


Hotels in Rio de Janeiro


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Barcelona Hotel Prices and Rio de Janeiro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Barcelona 19
    Rio de Janeiro 7.31
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Barcelona are as follows:


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    7.80
  • Airport Bus
    5.00
  • Metro
    2.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • Barcelona Airport to Barcelona City transfer : $33
  • Barcelona Airport to Cruise Port Private Transfer: $41
  • Barcelona City to Cruise Port Private Transfer: $31
  • Barcelona Group Departure Private Transfer: $125
  • Arrival Barcelona Airport Private Transfer: $33
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Barcelona Airport BCN to Barcelona: $33
  • Arrival Transfer El Prat Airport BCN to Barcelona by Luxury Car: $131
  • Arrival Transfer El Prat Airport BCN to Barcelona by Luxury Van: $92
  • Arrival Transfer by Luxury Van from Barcelona Port to Barcelona: $76
  • Arrival Transfer from Barcelona Airport BCN to Barcelona in Private Car/Van: $81
  • Arrival Transfer: Airport BCN to Barcelona by Business Car: $87
  • Arrival Transfer: Cruise Port to Barcelona by Business Car: $87

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Rio de Janeiro

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Taxi Ride
    2.69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Rio Galeão Airport (GIG): Shuttle Transfer to/from Hotels: $15
  • Rio Santos Dumont (SDU): Shuttle Transfer to/from Hotels: $15
  • Private transfer from Airport GIG to Rio City center-Copacabana: $15
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Rio de Janeiro City Center -Airport (SDU): $15
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro City center - Airport (GIG): $15
  • Transfer service to / from Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) and Zona Sul: $17
  • Shared Transfer From or To Airport: $18
  • Transfer service from / to Porto Maravilha - Zona Sul: $18
  • One Way Shared Transfer from Airport to hotels in Rio de Janeiro: $20
  • Transfer service from / to International Airport (GIG) - Zona Sul: $21
  • Private transfer Economico GIG Rio Galeao airport up to 3 pax to Zona Sul: $21
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro City center - Airport (SDU): $22

Is it cheaper to fly into Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro?

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Barcelona 33
    Rio de Janeiro 19
Typical Food Prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of dining costs in Barcelona are as follows:


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    4.15
  • Sandwich
    1.70
  • Baguette & Horchata
    3.80
  • Tapas on the beach
    8.28
  • Gelatto
    2.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Barcelona

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Barcelona.

  • Walking Tour + Flamenco + Tapas Dinner (choose options): $27
  • Flamenco at El Patio Andaluz with Optional Dinner: $27
  • Barcelona Guided Street Food Tour and Gothic Quarter Visit: $39
  • Barcelona Street Food Tour with Local Market & City Center Visit: $39
  • Tasty Barcelona Street Food Tour With Local Market Visit : $42
  • Barcelona Street Food Tour: Local Market & Gothic Quarter with Expert Guide: $43
  • Wine Tasting and Tapas 5-Course Pairing Dinner: $59
  • Barcelona street food tour La Boqueria Market: $64
  • Rooftop Terrace Paella Cooking Lesson: $65
  • Private Evening Cruise with Dinner and Drinks: $70
  • Paella Cooking Experience & Boqueria Market Tour: $75
  • Drunken Tapas Food Tour with Dinner in Barcelona: $75

Typical Food Prices in Rio de Janeiro

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Popcorn
    0.54
  • Corn on the Cob
    0.72
  • Hamburger
    0.90

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rio de Janeiro

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Waterfront Dinner & Live Music Experience: $44
  • Waterfront Dinner and Live Music in Rio de Janeiro: $46
  • On the Beach Seafood BBQ Cooking Class: $68
  • Barra da Tijuca Food Tour with Drinks: $69
  • THE BEST FOOD TOUR: $80
  • Feijoada Food Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off: $80
  • 9-Recipe Boozy Brazilian Cooking Class: $85
  • Brazilian Meats and Snacks + South American Wines Guided Dinner: $89
  • Food Tour Rio de Janeiro - The Best Typical Brazilian Dishes: $92
  • Rio Bar Food Tour: $99
  • Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar: $101
  • Rio Bar Food Tour with a Local: $107

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Barcelona 33
    Rio de Janeiro 20
Typical Entertainment Prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Barcelona are as follows:


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    42
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    8.55
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    6.00

Tours and Activities in Barcelona

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Barcelona are as follows:

  • Sagrada Familia Exterior Free Tour: Stories, Secrets & Symbolism: $1.10
  • Self-Guided Tours 150+ Captivating Audio Stories: $2.16
  • Gaudí Free Walking Tour: $2.16
  • Gothic Quarter Free Walking Tour in English: $3.24
  • Gaudí Free Tour in English: $3.24
  • Barcelona Free Tour: Gaudi Highlights and La Sagrada Famila: $3.24
  • Alternative Free Tour of the Raval: $3.24
  • Barcelona Gothic Quarter: History&Legends Comedy Tour: $3.32
  • Self-Guided Tours 150+ Captivating Audio Stories: $3.32
  • Gaudí & Sagrada Familia Free Tour in English : $3.33
  • Barcelona Gaudi and Sagrada Familia Tour: $3.33
  • Barcelona:Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $4.92

Tours and Activities in Rio de Janeiro

Here are a few actual costs in Rio de Janeiro for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Santa Teresa: the staircase: $6.99
  • Rio Experience: Caipirinha Workshop (2 Caipis) + Funk Class: $7.78
  • Rio de Janeiro (Ipanema & Copacabana) Self-Guided Tour: $7.81
  • Rio de Janeiro (Urca) Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided Tour: $7.81
  • Salvador Sights Self Guided Tour (Pelourinho): $8.01
  • Rio de Janeiro (Urca) Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $8.02
  • Rio de Janeiro Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Hiking Experience to Pedra do Telégrafo: $9.71
  • Ticket to the match at maracanã of Flamengo: $9.73
  • Soccer match at maracanã stadium with tickets, meat & drink: $9.73
  • Favela tour in copacabana with local guide!: $9.73
  • A Self-Guided Black History Audio Tour of Rio de Janeiro’s Little Africa: $9.99

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Barcelona 17
    Rio de Janeiro 11

Sample the Local Flavors in Barcelona

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Barcelona:

  • Barcelona Pub Crawl by King - Bar & Nightclub Hopping Tour: $13
  • Barcelona International Party Pub/Bar Crawl with Free Shots: $13
  • Legendary Pub Crawl by I'm Barcelona VIP: $13
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl by KING-Best Party tour & VIP Club Entry: $15
  • Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $16
  • Estrella Damm Brewery in El Prat de Llobregat tour with Tasting: $17
  • Original Pub Crawl: $17
  • Night Pub Crawl Tour in Barcelona: $17
  • Barcelona Bar Crawl: 4+ Venues, Free shots, Free Club Entry: $19
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl 1.5h open bar@hostel & Free club entry: $22
  • Estrella Damm Old Brewery Tour with Tasting: $22
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl with 1h open bar & VIP club entry: $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Rio de Janeiro

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Pub Crawl in Lapa: $22
  • Rio: Pub Crawl in Lapa with Cachaça Tasting and Live Samba: $23
  • Petropolis City Tour with Imperial Museum and Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $40
  • Petropolis Bohemia: Historic tour and visit to the Bohemian Brewery: $58
  • Walking tour + Pub crawl + Samba in Lapa: $65
  • Petropolis City Tour + Bohemia Brewery + Lunch: $77
  • Brazilian Wine Tasting Evening: $110
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $125


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro, we can see that Barcelona is more expensive. And not only is Rio de Janeiro much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Barcelona is in Europe and Rio de Janeiro is in South America, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Rio de Janeiro would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Rio de Janeiro and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Barcelona would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Barcelona than you might in Rio de Janeiro.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Barcelona Expensive? and Is Rio de Janeiro Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro?

Rio de Janeiro has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Barcelona. When comparing the sizes of Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro?

Even though both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, they experience these seasons at different times of the year. Rio de Janeiro is in the southern hemisphere and summer is in January and winter is in July, but Barcelona has summer in [NORTHERNSUMMERMONTH] and winter in [NORTHERNWINTERMONTH].

Should I visit Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro. The summer months attract visitors to Barcelona because of the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Barcelona is generally cooler than Rio de Janeiroin January. Daily temperatures in Barcelona average around 23°C (73°F), and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 26°C (79°F).

Rio de Janeiro receives a lot of rain in the summer. In July, Barcelona usually receives less rain than Rio de Janeiroin January. Barcelona gets 22 mm (0.9 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 114 mm (4.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July and January
    Barcelona 23°C (73°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Barcelona as well as Rio de Janeiro. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Barcelona this time of year.

Barcelona is cooler than Rio de Janeiro in the autumn. The daily temperature in Barcelona averages around 17°C (63°F) in October, and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 25°C (77°F)in April.

It's quite rainy in Rio de Janeiro. Barcelona usually gets less rain in October than Rio de Janeiroin April. Barcelona gets 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 137 mm (5.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October and April
    Barcelona 17°C (63°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro in the Winter?

Both Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Barcelona for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Barcelona is much colder than Rio de Janeiro. Typically, the winter temperatures in Barcelona in January average around 9°C (48°F), and Rio de Janeiro averages at about 21°C (70°F)in July.

In January, Barcelona usually receives less rain than Rio de Janeiroin July. Barcelona gets 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January and July
    Barcelona 9°C (48°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro in the Spring?

Both Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Barcelona in the spring for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In April, Barcelona is generally much colder than Rio de Janeiroin October. Daily temperatures in Barcelona average around 13°C (55°F), and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

Barcelona usually gets less rain in April than Rio de Janeiroin October. Barcelona gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 88 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April and October
    Barcelona 13°C (55°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona

Barcelona Rio de Janeiro
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 9°C (48°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 26°C (79°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)
Feb 10°C (50°F) 36 mm (1.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 105 mm (4.1 in)
Mar 11°C (52°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 26°C (79°F) 103 mm (4.1 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 51 mm (2 in) 25°C (77°F) 137 mm (5.4 in)
May 16°C (61°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 23°C (73°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Jun 20°C (67°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) 22°C (72°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 22 mm (0.9 in) 21°C (70°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Aug 23°C (74°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 22°C (72°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Sep 21°C (70°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 22°C (72°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
Oct 17°C (63°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 13°C (55°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 24°C (75°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)
Dec 10°C (49°F) 50 mm (2 in) 25°C (77°F) 169 mm (6.7 in)