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

Should you visit Bern or Rio de Janeiro?

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

Should I visit Bern or Rio de Janeiro? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Bern or Rio de Janeiro?

Bern

The capital city of Switzerland, Bern, is a surprisingly small city with a population of only about 130,000. It's located on a peninsula that is created by the turns of the River Aare. The city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it has a wonderfully preserved old town area. There are about four miles worth of quaint walkways that are lined with clock towers and fountains.

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 Family-Friendly Tours to Switzerland, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Switzerland, 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 Bern?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bern is $247, while the average daily cost in Rio de Janeiro is $104. 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 Bern and Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bern $160
    Rio de Janeiro $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bern $320
    Rio de Janeiro $132
Compare Hotels in Bern and Rio de Janeiro

Looking for a hotel in Bern 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 Bern


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: Bern Hotel Prices and Rio de Janeiro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bern $33
    Rio de Janeiro $7.89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Private Car Departure Transfer from Bern to Bern Airport BRN: $73
  • Private Direct Transfer From Bern to Basel: $193
  • Private Transfer From Bern to Zurich, English Speaking Driver: $229

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
    $2.90

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 Bern or Rio de Janeiro?

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro and Bern 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
    Bern $59
    Rio de Janeiro $20

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
    $0.58
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.77
  • Hamburger
    $0.97

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.
    Bern $33
    Rio de Janeiro $21

Tours and Activities in Bern

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

  • Self-Guided Reading City Tour in Bern: $3.43
  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $4.40
  • Self-Guided Audio City Tour in Bern: $9.16
  • Self-Guided Tour of Bern's Fountains, Clocktowers, and Legends: $9.99
  • Fribourg Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Thun Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Guided Walking Tour in Bern: $35
  • Bern : Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide (Private tour): $59
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $61
  • Highlights & Hidden Gems of Small Group Guided Walking Tour: $87
  • Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Day Pass Ticket for Lake Boat Cruises: $124

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
    Bern $26
    Rio de Janeiro $12

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 Bern and Rio de Janeiro, we can see that Bern is more expensive. And not only is Rio de Janeiro much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Bern 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 Bern would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bern 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 Bern Expensive? and Is Rio de Janeiro Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Bern or Rio de Janeiro?

Rio de Janeiro has a larger population, and is about 50 times larger than the population of Bern. When comparing the sizes of Bern 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 Bern 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 Bern has summer in [NORTHERNSUMMERMONTH] and winter in [NORTHERNWINTERMONTH].

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

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Bern and Rio de Janeiro. Many visitors come to Bern in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Bern is generally cooler than Rio de Janeiroin January. Daily temperatures in Bern average around 21°C (70°F), and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 26°C (79°F).

Rio de Janeiro receives a lot of rain in the summer. In July, Bern usually receives less rain than Rio de Janeiroin January. Bern gets 63 mm (2.5 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
    Bern 21°C (70°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 26°C (79°F)

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

The autumn brings many poeple to Bern as well as Rio de Janeiro. Most visitors come to Bern for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Bern is much colder than Rio de Janeiro in the autumn. The daily temperature in Bern averages around 13°C (55°F) in October, and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 25°C (77°F)in April.

It's quite rainy in Rio de Janeiro. Bern usually gets less rain in October than Rio de Janeiroin April. Bern gets 49 mm (1.9 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
    Bern 13°C (55°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 25°C (77°F)

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

Both Rio de Janeiro and Bern are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Bern because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Bern can be very cold. In the winter, Bern is much colder than Rio de Janeiro. Typically, the winter temperatures in Bern in January average around 3°C (37°F), and Rio de Janeiro averages at about 21°C (70°F)in July.

In January, Bern usually receives around the same amount of rain as Rio de Janeiroin July. Bern gets 54 mm (2.1 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
    Bern 3°C (37°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 21°C (70°F)

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

Both Rio de Janeiro and Bern during the spring are popular places to visit. The natural beauty are the main draw to Bern this time of year.

In April, Bern is generally much colder than Rio de Janeiroin October. Daily temperatures in Bern average around 11°C (52°F), and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

Bern usually gets less rain in April than Rio de Janeiroin October. Bern gets 59 mm (2.3 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
    Bern 11°C (52°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Rio de Janeiro and Bern

Bern Rio de Janeiro
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 26°C (79°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)
Feb 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in) 27°C (81°F) 105 mm (4.1 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in) 26°C (79°F) 103 mm (4.1 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 25°C (77°F) 137 mm (5.4 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in) 23°C (73°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Jun 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 22°C (72°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Aug 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 22°C (72°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 22°C (72°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
Oct 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 24°C (75°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)
Dec 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 25°C (77°F) 169 mm (6.7 in)