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

Should you visit Kuala Lumpur or Rio de Janeiro?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Kuala Lumpur or Rio de Janeiro?

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, often referred to as KL, is the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia. It is also the largest city in the country, having grown out of a small Chinese mining village. Today Kuala Lumpur is a microcosm of the country of Malaysia. The population is split between the Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures which you can see reflected in the city's neighborhoods, cuisine, and entertainment. It's also an incredibly affordable city, even if you're looking for the comforts of a five star hotel or a luxury restaurant. Prices are almost always a fraction of what you would pay in Europe or the United States.

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 Kuala Lumpur?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kuala Lumpur is $51, while the average daily cost in Rio de Janeiro is $83. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kuala Lumpur $31
    Rio de Janeiro $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kuala Lumpur $62
    Rio de Janeiro $104
Compare Hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro

Looking for a hotel in Kuala Lumpur 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 Kuala Lumpur


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: Kuala Lumpur Hotel Prices and Rio de Janeiro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $5.36
    Rio de Janeiro $6.38
Typical Local Transportation prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.53
  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    $0.75
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.53
  • Taxi From Airport
    $21
  • Bus from Airport
    $1.89
  • Train & Boat to Pulau Ketam
    $2.83

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kuala Lumpur

Also for Kuala Lumpur, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort Hotel TO Kuala Lumpur Hotel Door to Door Transfer: $23
  • Airport Transfer: $11
  • Airport Transfer (hotel from KL/PJ/KLANG VALLEY area to KLIA/KLIA2): $28
  • Airport Transfer : Kuala Lumpur International Airport ( KLIA 1 / KLIA 2 ): $20
  • Airport Transfer From Kuala Lumpur to KLIA: $19
  • Airport Transfer KLIA to Kuala Lumpur and vice versa: $45
  • Airport Transfer Klia&Klia2 And City Tour: $200
  • Airport transfer: $26
  • Airport transfer from and to KLIA - KL or major city: $40
  • Airport transfer to Kuala Lumpur city: $50
  • Arrival Transfer: Kuala Lumpur Airport to Kuala Tembeling Jetty (Taman Negara): $79
  • Arrival Transfer: Kuala Lumpur Airport to Marina Island Jetty (Lumut): $79

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
    $2.94

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Visit to an Original Historic Coffee Farm Guided Tour including Transfer: $140
  • Visit to Madureira Park in Rio de Janeiro with Transfer: $66
  • Transfers: $139
  • Transfer in Rio: $35
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport to City: $23
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport to City: $73
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Rio de Janeiro Galeao(GIG) Airport to City: $73
  • Transfer in Private Car from Galeao Airpor t(GIG) to Rio de Janeiro city center: $23
  • Transfer from South Zone/Downtown to Santos Dumont Airport (SDU): $30
  • Transfer from Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) to South Zone/Downtown hotels: $47
  • Transfer from Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) to Barra da Tijuca/São Conrado: $71
  • Transfer from Rio de Janeiro Galeao International Airport: $33

Is it cheaper to fly into Kuala Lumpur or Rio de Janeiro?

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro and Kuala Lumpur 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
    Kuala Lumpur $11
    Rio de Janeiro $16
Typical Food prices in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner at Ding Tai Fung
    $9.43
  • Roti Bread
    $0.24
  • Food Court Lunch
    $3.39
  • Dinner at Indian Restaurant (for Two)
    $5.07

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Amazing Local Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $29
  • Discover the Best Local Food Tour by Night in Kuala Lumpur: $39
  • Malaysian Ramadhan Buffet Dinner Cultural Show - nearby KLCC: $40
  • Small group epic food tour! Immerse yourself in the local culture too!: $44
  • Best Local Food Tour by Night at Kuala Lumpur: $45
  • Market Visit & Garden-to-Table Cooking Class: $47
  • Yummy Yummy Street Food Tour - Kuala Lumpur By Night (Guided With Transport): $53
  • Old Markets & Beyond: Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $55
  • Cultural Night Tour with Dinner: $55
  • Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $59
  • Chef-Designed Small-Group Food Tour: $60
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Kuala Lumpur Private Street Food Tour: $61

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
    $0.59
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.78
  • Hamburger
    $0.98

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
  • Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar: $72
  • Small-Group Boozy 7-Recipe Brazilian Cooking Class: $75
  • Food Tour Experience in Rio de Janeiro (Small Groups or Private): $80
  • Samba Show Ginga Tropical with Optional Dinner: $86

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $12
    Rio de Janeiro $17
Typical Entertainment prices in Kuala Lumpur

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Kuala Lumpur's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • KL Tower Admission (for Two)
    $11
  • Canopy Walk at FRIM Forest Reserve
    $1.18

Tours and Activities in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Great Kuala Lumpur Tour with 21 Attractions: $5.00
  • Consultation Services for Your Tour Program: $5.00
  • City Highlights and Cultural Landmarks: An audio tour exploring KL's melting pot: $5.99
  • Skip the Line: Chocolate Factory Tour Ticket: $7.74
  • Skip the Line: KL Tower Mini Zoo Admission Ticket in Kuala Lumpur: $8.19
  • Laser Battle Experience in Kuala Lumpur: $8.30
  • Skip the Line: KL Tower Observation Deck Entry Ticket: $9.00
  • Kuala Lumpur City Tour: $9.43
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $9.49
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $9.72
  • KL Half Day City Tour SHARED: $10
  • Half Day City Tour-Xmas Special (25 Dec Only): $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:

  • 2 Days in Rio: Cultural & Ecologic Tours: $284
  • 2 Days in Rio: Tijuca Forest & Two Brothers Hiking Tours: $265
  • 2 Hour Vidigal Favela Tour Discovery the Most Laidback Favela: $19
  • 3 Hour Sailing Experience in Rio: $39
  • 3-Day Customizable Tour of Rio de Janeiro: $365
  • 4 horas - Tour private: Corcovado e praias: $154
  • 4 hours - Tour Private: Pão de Açúcar e Catedral Metropolitana: $154
  • 4-Day Private Guided Tour from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo – Coastal Trip: $990
  • 4-Days Ilha Grande Experience - Unlocking Brazil's 'Garden of Eden': $1,025
  • 4-hour Rio Downtown Sites & Bites Small Group Tour: $62
  • 4-hour Sum-up Of Rio de Janeiro "Private Tour" – Optional Airport & Port Pick-up: $92
  • 6-hour Classic Rio de Janeiro "Private City Tour" – Optional For Airport Pick-up: $123

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $5.59
    Rio de Janeiro $9.68
Typical Alcohol prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $11

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
  • Pub Crawl in Lapa: $19
  • 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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro, we can see that Rio de Janeiro is more expensive. And not only is Kuala Lumpur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Kuala Lumpur is in Asia 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 Kuala Lumpur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kuala Lumpur 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 Rio de Janeiro would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Rio de Janeiro than you might in Kuala Lumpur.


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

Rio de Janeiro has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Kuala Lumpur experiences a tropical climate with fairly warm weather most of the year.

Should I visit Kuala Lumpur or Rio de Janeiro in the Summer?

Both Rio de Janeiro and Kuala Lumpur during the summer are popular places to visit. Kuala Lumpur attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In July, Kuala Lumpur is generally around the same temperature as Rio de Janeiroin January. Temperatures in Kuala Lumpur average around 28°C (82°F), and Rio de Janeiro stays around 26°C (79°F).

Rio de Janeiro gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur usually gets more rain in July than Rio de Janeiroin January. Kuala Lumpur gets 150 mm (5.9 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 114 mm (4.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July and January
    Kuala Lumpur 28°C (82°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Kuala Lumpur or Rio de Janeiro in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Kuala Lumpur throughout the year.

Kuala Lumpur is around the same temperature as Rio de Janeiro in the autumn. The temperature in Kuala Lumpur is usually 27°C (81°F) in October, and Rio de Janeiro stays around 25°C (77°F)in April.

Rio de Janeiro receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Kuala Lumpur gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Kuala Lumpur usually receives more rain than Rio de Janeiroin April. Kuala Lumpur gets 280 mm (11 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 137 mm (5.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October and April
    Kuala Lumpur 27°C (81°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Kuala Lumpur or Rio de Janeiro in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Kuala Lumpur as well as Rio de Janeiro. Plenty of visitors come to Kuala Lumpur because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

In the winter, Kuala Lumpur is a little warmer than Rio de Janeiro. Typically, the winter temperatures in Kuala Lumpur in January are around 27°C (81°F), and Rio de Janeiro is about 21°C (70°F)in July.

Kuala Lumpur receives a lot of rain in the winter. Kuala Lumpur usually gets more rain in January than Rio de Janeiroin July. Kuala Lumpur gets 239 mm (9.4 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January and July
    Kuala Lumpur 27°C (81°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Kuala Lumpur or Rio de Janeiro in the Spring?

Both Rio de Janeiro and Kuala Lumpur are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Kuala Lumpur attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In April, Kuala Lumpur is generally a little warmer than Rio de Janeiroin October. Temperatures in Kuala Lumpur average around 28°C (82°F), and Rio de Janeiro stays around 23°C (73°F).

It's quite rainy in Kuala Lumpur. In April, Kuala Lumpur usually receives more rain than Rio de Janeiroin October. Kuala Lumpur gets 240 mm (9.4 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 88 mm (3.5 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April and October
    Kuala Lumpur 28°C (82°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Rio de Janeiro and Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Rio de Janeiro
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (81°F) 239 mm (9.4 in) 26°C (79°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 200 mm (7.9 in) 27°C (81°F) 105 mm (4.1 in)
Mar 28°C (82°F) 260 mm (10.2 in) 26°C (79°F) 103 mm (4.1 in)
Apr 28°C (82°F) 240 mm (9.4 in) 25°C (77°F) 137 mm (5.4 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 190 mm (7.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 160 mm (6.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 150 mm (5.9 in) 21°C (70°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 160 mm (6.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 200 mm (7.9 in) 22°C (72°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 280 mm (11 in) 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 27°C (81°F) 290 mm (11.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 250 mm (9.8 in) 25°C (77°F) 169 mm (6.7 in)


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Kuala Lumpur vs. Rio de Janeiro Travel Comparison

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