A Travel Price Comparison for Brazil Recife vs. Sao Paulo for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Recife or Sao Paulo?

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 Sao Paulo 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 Sao Paulo?

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.

Sao Paulo

With a population of around 11 million, and 20 million in the metropolitan area, Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It's also one of the wealthiest cities in the southern hemisphere, although you don't have to look far to see the income disparities and inequalities that exist. The city is diverse and culturally rich, with excellent food, music, and entertainment.

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, Sao Paulo 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 Sao Paulo is $53. 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 Sao Paulo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Recife $89
    Sao Paulo $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Recife $178
    Sao Paulo $60
Compare Hotels in Recife and Sao Paulo

Looking for a hotel in Recife or Sao Paulo? 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 Sao Paulo


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 Sao Paulo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Recife $8.54
    Sao Paulo $5.96

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Recife

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Recife:

  • Private Transfer from Recife to Carneiros Beach: $114
  • Private Transfer from Recife to Tamandare Beach: $114
  • Private Transfer from Igarassu to Recife (REC) Airport : $102
  • Private Transfer from Recife to Serrambi Beach: $101
  • Departure Transfer from Olinda to Recife Airport: $100
  • Airport to Maragogi Hotels Private Transfer: $85
  • Recife Boat Tour with Transfers: $72
  • Airport to Porto de Galinhas Transfer: $65
  • Private Transfer from Olinda to Recife (REC) Airport: $46
  • Private Transfer from Recife to Olinda: $46
  • Instituto Ricardo Brennand with transfers from Recife: $45
  • Shared Transfer from Recife to Cabo de Santo Agostinho: $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo

Also for Sao Paulo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Sao Paulo City - Sao Paulo Airport (GRU): $22
  • Private One Way Airport Transfer Sao Paulo to and from Sao Paulo: $27
  • Private Transfer from Sao Paulo hotels to Santos Cruise Port: $32
  • Transfer CGH Airport Congonhas <> Sao Paulo city / Hotel: $36
  • Private Transfer from Sao Paulo City Center to Guarulhos Airport: $37
  • Campinas Airport (VCP) to Sao Paulo hotels - Arrival Transfer: $39
  • Sao Paulo hotels to Campinas Airport (VCP) - Departure Transfer: $39
  • Sao Paulo Airport (GRU) to Águas de Lindoia-Arrival Transfer: $44
  • Private Departure Transfer: São Paulo Hotels to Guarulhos International Airport: $46
  • Private Transfer from Barra Funda to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $59
  • Private Transfer from Centro to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $59
  • Private Transfer from Cerqueira César to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $59

Is it cheaper to fly into Recife or Sao Paulo?

Prices for flights to both Sao Paulo 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
    Sao Paulo $15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sao Paulo

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

  • Authentic Brazilian Cooking Experience in SP: Feijoada & Moqueca: $189

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Recife $11
    Sao Paulo $4.08

Tours and Activities in Recife

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

  • City Tour Recife with Catamaran included: $150
  • Colonial North Coast beaches - Full-Day Tour: $35
  • Olinda City Tour and Instituto Ricardo Brennand: $94
  • Olinda Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.89
  • Recife (Historic Centre) Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided Tour: $7.72
  • Carneiros Beach Day Tour: $42
  • City Tour Recife & Olinda: $27

Tours and Activities in Sao Paulo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sao Paulo.

  • Downtown São Paulo's Epic History: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • São Paulo Paulista Avenue City Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.92
  • São Paulo (Ibirapuera) Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.92
  • Casa do Povo: guided tour of Neo Química Arena: $11
  • Discover Sao Paulo History Guided Tour: $28
  • Night Walking Tour through the Bars of São Paulo : $35
  • São Paulo: 2 Hours - Liberdade "Street Food" Tour: $54
  • City Tour Meet São Paulo Half-Day: $64
  • Sao Paulo Culture Walking Tour: $69
  • São Paulo’s Full Day City Tour: Main City Sights in 7 Hours – (Shared Group): $79
  • Street Art and Parks Bike Tour: $80
  • Secrets of Downtown São Paulo Bike Tour: $85

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Recife -
    Sao Paulo $3.55

Sample the Local Flavors in Sao Paulo

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Sao Paulo:

  • São Paulo Nightlife: Pub Crawl in the City that Never Sleeps!: $49
  • Half Day Private Wine Tour from São Roque: $54
  • 4 Hours Pub Crawl in Vila Madalena: $150
  • Fine wine tastings in São Roque - Tour with local guides: $180


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Recife and Sao Paulo, we can see that Recife is more expensive. And not only is Sao Paulo much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sao Paulo would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sao Paulo 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 Sao Paulo.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Recife Expensive? and Is Sao Paulo Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Recife or Sao Paulo?

Sao Paulo has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Recife. When comparing the sizes of Recife and Sao Paulo, 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 Sao Paulo?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Recife or Sao Paulo in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Recife as well as Sao Paulo.

In the summer, Recife is around the same temperature as Sao Paulo. Typically, the summer temperatures in Recife in January average around 26°C (79°F), and Sao Paulo averages at about 25°C (77°F).

It's quite rainy in Sao Paulo. Recife receives a lot of rain in the summer. Recife usually gets less rain in January than Sao Paulo. Recife gets 108 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Sao Paulo receives 170 mm (6.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Recife 26°C (79°F) 
    Sao Paulo 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Recife or Sao Paulo in the Autumn?

Both Sao Paulo and Recife are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

In April, Recife is generally a little warmer than Sao Paulo. Daily temperatures in Recife average around 26°C (79°F), and Sao Paulo fluctuates around 22°C (72°F).

It's quite rainy in Recife. In April, Recife usually receives more rain than Sao Paulo. Recife gets 338 mm (13.3 in) of rain, while Sao Paulo receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Recife 26°C (79°F) 
    Sao Paulo 22°C (72°F)

Should I visit Recife or Sao Paulo in the Winter?

Both Sao Paulo and Recife during the winter are popular places to visit.

Recife is a little warmer than Sao Paulo in the winter. The daily temperature in Recife averages around 24°C (76°F) in July, and Sao Paulo fluctuates around 19°C (66°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Recife. Recife usually gets more rain in July than Sao Paulo. Recife gets 388 mm (15.3 in) of rain, while Sao Paulo receives 20 mm (0.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Recife 24°C (76°F) 
    Sao Paulo 19°C (66°F)

Should I visit Recife or Sao Paulo in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Recife and Sao Paulo.

In the spring, Recife is a little warmer than Sao Paulo. Typically, the spring temperatures in Recife in October average around 25°C (77°F), and Sao Paulo averages at about 21°C (70°F).

In October, Recife usually receives less rain than Sao Paulo. Recife gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Sao Paulo receives 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Recife 25°C (77°F) 
    Sao Paulo 21°C (70°F)

Typical Weather for Sao Paulo and Recife

Recife Sao Paulo
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 108 mm (4.3 in) 25°C (77°F) 170 mm (6.7 in)
Feb 26°C (80°F) 148 mm (5.8 in) 25°C (77°F) 170 mm (6.7 in)
Mar 26°C (80°F) 257 mm (10.1 in) 24°C (75°F) 120 mm (4.7 in)
Apr 26°C (79°F) 338 mm (13.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 50 mm (2 in)
May 25°C (78°F) 319 mm (12.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 25°C (77°F) 378 mm (14.9 in) 19°C (66°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 24°C (76°F) 388 mm (15.3 in) 19°C (66°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Aug 24°C (75°F) 205 mm (8.1 in) 19°C (66°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 21°C (70°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 25°C (77°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 90 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 26°C (79°F) 36 mm (1.4 in) 23°C (73°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
Dec 26°C (79°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 24°C (75°F) 150 mm (5.9 in)