A Travel Price Comparison for Brazil Recife vs. Rio de Janeiro for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Recife 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 Recife 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: Recife or Rio de Janeiro?

Recife

One of the largest cities on Brazil's northeast coast, Recife is also the capital of the state of Pernambuco. The city gets its name from the Portuguese word for "reef," as it was built around a landscape of natural reef beaches. Many people visit to enjoy these beaches, experience the culture, and explore the history of this important Brazilian city.

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 Eco Tours in Brazil, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Brazil, The Best Luxury Tours to Brazil, and The Best Budget Tours to Brazil.


Which place is cheaper, Rio de Janeiro or Recife?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Recife is $167, while the average daily cost in Rio de Janeiro is $106. 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 Recife and Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Recife $89
    Rio de Janeiro $67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Recife $178
    Rio de Janeiro $134
Compare Hotels in Recife and Rio de Janeiro

Looking for a hotel in Recife 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 Recife


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: Recife Hotel Prices and Rio de Janeiro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Recife $8.54
    Rio de Janeiro $8.04

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Recife

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Recife:

  • Departure Transfer from Olinda to Recife Airport: $100
  • Instituto Ricardo Brennand with transfers from Recife: $45
  • Private Transfer from Igarassu to Recife (REC) Airport : $103
  • Private Transfer from Olinda to Recife (REC) Airport: $46
  • Private Transfer from Recife to Carneiros Beach: $114
  • Private Transfer from Recife to Olinda: $46
  • Private Transfer from Recife to Serrambi Beach: $101
  • Private Transfer from Recife to Tamandare Beach: $114
  • Recife Boat Tour with Transfers: $72
  • Airport to Maragogi Hotels Private Transfer: $85
  • Airport to Porto de Galinhas Transfer: $65
  • Shared Transfer from Recife to Cabo de Santo Agostinho: $33

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
    $2.96

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Rio Santos Dumont (SDU): Shuttle Transfer to/from Hotels: $15
  • Rio Galeão Airport (GIG): Shuttle Transfer to/from Hotels: $15
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro City center - Airport (GIG): $15
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Rio de Janeiro City Center -Airport (SDU): $15
  • Private transfer Economico GIG Rio Galeao airport up to 3 pax to Zona Sul: $18
  • Shared Transfer From or To Airport: $19
  • Transfer service from / to Porto Maravilha - Zona Sul: $19
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro Airport (SDU) - Rio City Center: $19
  • One Way Shared Transfer from Airport to hotels in Rio de Janeiro: $20
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro City center - Airport (SDU): $22
  • Transfer service from / to International Airport (GIG) - Zona Sul: $22
  • Private Transfer: Rio de Janeiro to Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport (SDU): $22

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

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro and Recife 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
    Recife $71
    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
    $0.59
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.79
  • Hamburger
    $0.99

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: $46
  • Waterfront Dinner and Live Music in Rio de Janeiro: $46
  • Barra da Tijuca Food Tour with Drinks: $72
  • Feijoada Food Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off: $80
  • THE BEST FOOD TOUR: $80
  • Dinner & Rio Scenarium Nightclub Admission with Transfer: $85
  • 9-Recipe Boozy Brazilian Cooking Class: $85
  • Brazilian Meats and Snacks + South American Wines Guided Dinner: $89
  • Copacabana Local Street Bars Food Tour: $90
  • Food Tour Rio de Janeiro - The Best Typical Brazilian Dishes: $92
  • Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar: $105
  • Rio Bar Food Tour with a Local: $112

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Recife $11
    Rio de Janeiro $22

Tours and Activities in Recife

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

  • Recife (Historic Centre) Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided Tour: $7.70
  • Olinda Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.89
  • City Tour Recife & Olinda: $27
  • Colonial North Coast beaches - Full-Day Tour: $35
  • Carneiros Beach Day Tour: $42
  • Olinda City Tour and Instituto Ricardo Brennand: $94
  • City Tour Recife with Catamaran included: $150

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 de Janeiro (Ipanema & Copacabana) Self-Guided Tour: $7.70
  • Rio de Janeiro (Urca) Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided Tour: $7.70
  • Rio de Janeiro (Urca) Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.88
  • Rio de Janeiro(Ipanema-Copacabana)Scavenger Hunt Self-Guided Tour: $7.91
  • Rio de Janeiro Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • A Self-Guided Black History Audio Tour of Rio de Janeiro’s Little Africa: $9.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Imperial Rio: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour-Story of Bossanova: Rhythm and soul of Rio: $10
  • Hiking Experience to Pedra do Telégrafo: $10
  • Ticket to the match at maracanã of Flamengo: $10
  • Soccer match at maracanã stadium with tickets, meat & drink: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Recife -
    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:

  • Rio: Pub Crawl in Lapa with Cachaça Tasting and Live Samba: $30
  • Pub Crawl in Lapa: $35
  • Rio de Janeiro Pub Crawl (Lapa district): $35
  • Petropolis City Tour with Imperial Museum and Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $40
  • Petropolis Bohemia: Historic tour and visit to the Bohemian Brewery: $60
  • Walking tour + Pub crawl + Samba in Lapa: $65
  • Petrópolis City and Brewery Bohemia Tour - Best of Rio's Mountains: $110
  • Brazilian Wine Tasting Evening: $110
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $131


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Recife and Rio de Janeiro, we can see that Recife is more expensive. And not only is Rio de Janeiro much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. 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 Recife would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Recife 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 Recife Expensive? and Is Rio de Janeiro Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Recife or Rio de Janeiro?

Rio de Janeiro has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Recife. When comparing the sizes of Recife 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 Recife or Rio de Janeiro?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

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

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Recife and Rio de Janeiro.

In the summer, Recife is around the same temperature as Rio de Janeiro. Typically, the summer temperatures in Recife in January average around 26°C (79°F), and Rio de Janeiro averages at about 26°C (79°F).

Rio de Janeiro receives a lot of rain in the summer. Recife gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Recife usually receives around the same amount of rain as Rio de Janeiro. Recife gets 108 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 114 mm (4.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Recife 26°C (79°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 26°C (79°F)

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

The autumn brings many poeple to Recife as well as Rio de Janeiro.

In April, Recife is generally around the same temperature as Rio de Janeiro. Daily temperatures in Recife average around 26°C (79°F), and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 25°C (77°F).

It's quite rainy in Rio de Janeiro. Recife receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Recife usually gets more rain in April than Rio de Janeiro. Recife gets 338 mm (13.3 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 137 mm (5.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Recife 26°C (79°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 25°C (77°F)

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

Both Rio de Janeiro and Recife are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

Recife is a little warmer than Rio de Janeiro in the winter. The daily temperature in Recife averages around 24°C (76°F) in July, and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 21°C (70°F).

It's quite rainy in Recife. In July, Recife usually receives more rain than Rio de Janeiro. Recife gets 388 mm (15.3 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Recife 24°C (76°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 21°C (70°F)

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

Both Rio de Janeiro and Recife during the spring are popular places to visit.

In the spring, Recife is around the same temperature as Rio de Janeiro. Typically, the spring temperatures in Recife in October average around 25°C (77°F), and Rio de Janeiro averages at about 23°C (73°F).

Recife usually gets less rain in October than Rio de Janeiro. Recife gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 88 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Recife 25°C (77°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Rio de Janeiro and Recife

Recife Rio de Janeiro
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 108 mm (4.3 in) 26°C (79°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)
Feb 26°C (80°F) 148 mm (5.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 105 mm (4.1 in)
Mar 26°C (80°F) 257 mm (10.1 in) 26°C (79°F) 103 mm (4.1 in)
Apr 26°C (79°F) 338 mm (13.3 in) 25°C (77°F) 137 mm (5.4 in)
May 25°C (78°F) 319 mm (12.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Jun 25°C (77°F) 378 mm (14.9 in) 22°C (72°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 24°C (76°F) 388 mm (15.3 in) 21°C (70°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Aug 24°C (75°F) 205 mm (8.1 in) 22°C (72°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 22°C (72°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
Oct 25°C (77°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 26°C (79°F) 36 mm (1.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)
Dec 26°C (79°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 25°C (77°F) 169 mm (6.7 in)