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

Should you visit Buenos Aires, Argentina or Rio de Janeiro?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Rio de Janeiro can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, federal capital of Argentina, also known as "The City of Tango", is best known for its energetic and unpredictable character. Like a restless child, Buenos Aires is a dynamic and modern city full of surprises. While its French-style palaces, rooftop restaurants, wide avenues and green plazas resemble European-style architecture, Buenos Aires preserves its musical, literary and culinary traditions. You can't miss dining in front of a Tango show, walking around the colourful streets of La Boca and visiting the renowned Recoleta Cemetery, designed by Argentina's most important architects and home to hundreds of illustrious corpses.

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. The peak time to visit is during the city's famous Carnival festival, which is one of the most famous festivals in the world. However, Rio's appeal as a travel destination is apparent year around. The city has a wonderful natural harbour that is surrounded by Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca, creating an absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring setting. And you can't miss the beach, either!

Which city is cheaper, Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires, Argentina?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Buenos Aires, Argentina is $72, while the average daily cost in Rio de Janeiro is $81. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Buenos Aires, Argentina and Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Buenos Aires, Argentina is $58. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Rio de Janeiro is $100. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $29
    Rio de Janeiro $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $58
    Rio de Janeiro $100

Food

In Buenos Aires, Argentina travelers spend around $23 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

The average traveler spends about $15 per day in Rio de Janeiro for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $23
    Rio de Janeiro $15
Typical Food prices in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Buenos Aires, Argentina:


  • Lunch
    $0.22
  • Cup of Coffee
    $0.13
  • Empandas
    $0.16
  • Espresso
    $0.08
  • Dinner (Pizza)
    $0.13
  • Ice Cream
    $0.12
  • Breakfast at Airport
    $0.33
  • Dinner (Sandwiches)
    $0.09
  • Sweets
    $0.06
  • Hot Dog
    $0.07
  • Breakfast (Take-Away)
    $0.12
  • Lunch for 2
    $1.45
  • Cake and Coffee
    $4.67
  • Dinner
    $17
  • Powerade
    $1.02
  • Lunch
    $7.35
  • Dinner
    $11
  • Chocolate
    $27

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
    $0.57
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.76
  • Hamburger
    $0.95

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.

  • Food Tour Rio de Janeiro: $30
  • Cooking Class for Cacao Lovers: $51
  • Feijoada Food Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off: $55
  • Plant-based Brazilian Flavours Cooking Class: $56
  • Dinner & Rio Scenarium Nightclub Admission with Transfer: $60
  • Private Tour in Rio Scenarium with Dinner: $65
  • Skip the line: Samba Show Admission & Transfer with Dinner Option: $70
  • Dinner and Brazilian Music Show in Rio Scenarium: $70
  • Small-Group Boozy 7-Recipe Brazilian Cooking Class: $75
  • Brazilian Food And Caipirinhas Cooking Class: $75
  • Food Tour Experience in Rio de Janeiro (Small Groups or Private): $80
  • Secret Food Tours Rio de Janeiro: $82

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Buenos Aires, Argentina is $11 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.22 per day to get around in Rio de Janeiro.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $11
    Rio de Janeiro $6.22
Typical Local Transportation prices in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Buenos Aires, Argentina:


  • Taxi from Airport
    $1.17
  • Local Bus
    $0.03
  • Metro Ride
    $0.02
  • Taxi to airport
    $0.31
  • Taxi
    $0.82

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
    $2.86

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • ARMORED Airport Transfer - Rio de Janeiro (COVID-19 Prepared): $387
  • Airport transfer: Rio de Janeiro - Buzios / Ilha Grande: $242
  • All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Churrascaria in Rio de Janeiro with Transfer: $55
  • Angra dos Reis Private Transfer from Rio de Janeiro: $115
  • Angra dos Reis Shared Transfer From Rio de Janeiro: $61
  • Angra dos Reis to Daily Transfer: $54
  • AquaRio Aquarium Guided Tour, Admission & Transfer: $58
  • Arraial do Cabo Private Transfer From Rio de Janeiro: $115
  • Arraial do Cabo Shared Transfer From Rio de Janeiro: $52
  • Arrival Private Transfer GIG or SDU Airport to Rio City by Minivan: $144
  • Arrival Private Transfer Galeão Airport GIG to Rio City by Business Car: $135
  • Arrival Private Transfer Galeão Airport GIG to Rio City by Luxury Van: $98

Is it cheaper to fly into Buenos Aires, Argentina or Rio de Janeiro?

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, Argentina 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.





Entertainment

Buenos Aires, Argentina's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $24 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $17 per person, per day in Rio de Janeiro. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $24
    Rio de Janeiro $17
Typical Entertainment prices in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Here are a few typical costs in Buenos Aires, Argentina for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Entry to Japanese Gardens (for 2)
    $0.33
  • Movie Ticket
    $0.15
  • Tango Class
    $0.26
  • Bar entrance
    $5.10

Tours and Activities in Rio de Janeiro

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

  • Rio Line Panoramic City Tour - Boulevard Route: $10
  • Inside Rio Photography Walking Tour: $10
  • Hiking Tour to Pedra do Telégrafo (Telegraph Stone): $12
  • Carnival Backstage Tour - Visit a traditional Samba School: $16
  • Rocinha Lucky Tour: $16
  • Rio Street Art Experience 2 Hours: $19
  • Half-Day Downtown Walking Tour: $19
  • 2 Hour Vidigal Favela Tour Discovery the Most Laidback Favela: $19
  • Favela Tour -The path of Michael Jackson in Rio: $20
  • Historical Downtown and Lapa - Walking Tour: $20
  • Private Walking and Cultural Tour Rocinha-Rio de Janeiro: $25
  • Boat Tour Guanabara Bay - Rio de Janeiro - Sightseeing: $25

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Rio de Janeiro may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $9.43 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $13
    Rio de Janeiro $9.43
Typical Alcohol prices in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Buenos Aires, Argentina from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.10
  • Beer (0.66L)
    $0.17
  • Cocktail
    $0.27
  • Alcohol
    $5.87

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 Rio de Janeiro: $11
  • Skip the line: Ipanema Pub Crawl: $28
  • Beautiful Imperial Petropolis City Tour Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $34
  • Rio By Night Tour: Pub Crawl Experiencing Music, Dancing, Drinks & Local Culture: $105
  • Petrópolis City and Brewery Bohemia Tour - Best of Rio's Mountains: $135
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $160


When comparing the travel costs between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Rio de Janeiro, we can see that Rio de Janeiro is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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Buenos Aires, Argentina vs. Rio de Janeiro Travel Comparison

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