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

Should you visit Recife or Rio de Janeiro?

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

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. 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 Recife?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Recife is $137, while the average daily cost in Rio de Janeiro is $85. 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 Recife and Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Recife is $144. 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 $106. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Recife $72
    Rio de Janeiro $53
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Recife $144
    Rio de Janeiro $106

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Recife is $6.97 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 $6.56 per day to get around in Rio de Janeiro.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Recife $6.97
    Rio de Janeiro $6.56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Recife

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Recife:

  • Arrival Private Transfer: Recife Airport REC to Porto de Galinhas by Minivan: $166
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Recife Airport REC to Porto de Galinhas by Sedan Car: $55
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to João Pessoa: $109
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to Maceió: $256
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to Maragogi Hotels: $100
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to Praia da Pipa: $192
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to São Miguel dos Milagres: $160
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Boa Viagem Pina or Piedade: $20
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Cabo de Santo Agostinho: $30
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Olinda: $40
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Porto de Galinhas - Muro Alto or Serrambi: $40
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Praia dos Carneiros: $80

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
    $3.02

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: $14
  • Private Departure Transfer from Rio de Janeiro City or Copacabana to SDU Airport: $19
  • Executive Transfers - Rio de Janeiro - Santos Dumont Airport SDU: $20
  • Private Airport Transfer: Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) to Rio de Janeiro: $21
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Rio de Janeiro to Santos Dumont Airport (SDU): $21
  • Private Departure Transfer from Rio de Janeiro City or Copacabana to GIG Airport: $22
  • Shared Transfer from Airport to hotels in Rio de Janeiro: $22
  • Shared Transfer from hotels to Rio de Janeiro airport: $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: Galeao International Airport (GIG) to Rio de Janeiro: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Rio de Janeiro to Galeao International Airport (GIG): $23
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport to City: $23
  • Transfer in Private Car from Galeao Airpor t(GIG) to Rio de Janeiro city center: $23

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

In Recife travelers spend around $58 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 $16 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
    Recife $58
    Rio de Janeiro $16

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
    $0.60
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.80
  • Hamburger
    $1.01

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

Recife's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $9.26 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 $18 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.
    Recife $9.26
    Rio de Janeiro $18

Tours and Activities in Recife

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

  • From Recife Old Town and Olinda City Tour: $17
  • Recife and Olinda City Tour: $26
  • City Tour Olinda And Recife Antigo: $26
  • Cultutal Tour in Recife with Ricardo Brennand Institute: $26
  • Recife Tour By Night: $27
  • Day Trip to Igarassu and Itamaracá Island Tour from Recife: $29
  • Recife Culture Tour Including Ricardo Brennand Institute: $37
  • Igarassu And Itamaraca Island Tour: $38
  • Recife Boat Tour: $38
  • Carneiros Beach Day Tour: $40
  • Maragogi Beach Tour from Recife: $43
  • Tour of 4 Beaches in Cabo de Santo Agostinho from Recife: $51

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
  • Christ the Redeemer and Escadaria Selarón Half-Day Tour: $19
  • 2 Hour Vidigal Favela Tour Discovery the Most Laidback Favela: $19
  • Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket with Van Transport: $20
  • Historical Downtown and Lapa - Walking Tour: $20
  • Favela Tour -The path of Michael Jackson in Rio: $20
  • Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket by Cog Train: $25

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Rio de Janeiro may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $9.95 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Recife -
    Rio de Janeiro $9.95

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 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.

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Recife vs. Rio de Janeiro Travel Comparison

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