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

Should you visit Rio de Janeiro or Brasilia?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia 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: Rio de Janeiro or Brasilia?

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.


The capital city of Brazil, Brasilia is a uniquely-planned city that was constructed in four years from 1956-1960 in the shape of a large bird or airplane. Renowned for its modern architecture, the city listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and attracts architecture aficionados worldwide.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Contiki Tours to Brazil, The Best G Adventures Tours to Brazil, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Rio de Janeiro, and The Best 3-Day Tours from Foz Do Iguacu.

Which place is cheaper, Brasilia or Rio de Janeiro?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Rio de Janeiro is $108, while the average daily cost in Brasilia 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Rio de Janeiro $68
    Brasilia $36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rio de Janeiro $136
    Brasilia $72
Compare Hotels in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia

Looking for a hotel in Rio de Janeiro or Brasilia? 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 Rio de Janeiro

Hotels in Brasilia

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: Rio de Janeiro Hotel Prices and Brasilia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Rio de Janeiro $8.15
    Brasilia $22
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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • 2025 Sambadrome Carnival Parade: Transfer Included Sector 5: $475
  • 2025: Rio Carnival Parade at Sapucaí with Transfer Sector 7: $475
  • A transfer with safety and comfort in Rio: $45
  • Airport Private Transfer - Premium Service: $65
  • Airport Transfer: Rio de Janeiro to Airport GIG by Luxury Van: $126
  • All Private Transfer from Rio de Janeiro to Ilha Grande: $275
  • All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Churrascaria in Rio de Janeiro with Transfer: $80
  • Angra dos Reis Private Transfer from Rio de Janeiro : $107
  • Angra dos Reis Shared Transfer From Rio de Janeiro: $53
  • AquaRio Small Group Guided Tour with entrance and transfer: $60
  • Arraial do Cabo Shared Transfer From Rio de Janeiro: $54
  • Arrival Private Transfer GIG or SDU Airport to Rio City by Minivan: $91

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

Prices for flights to both Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro 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 Meals for one day
    Rio de Janeiro $21
    Brasilia $33
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
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Hamburger

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
  • Barra da Tijuca Food Tour with Drinks: $73
  • 9-Recipe Boozy Brazilian Cooking Class: $85
  • Copacabana Local Street Bars Food Tour: $92
  • Food Tour Rio de Janeiro - The Best Typical Brazilian Dishes: $92
  • Rio Bar Food Tour with a Local: $101
  • Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar: $106
  • Rio Scenarium: Fast Track Entrance, Dinner & Open Bar: $115
  • Brazilian Cooking Class: $129
  • Samba Show Admission & Transfer with Dinner Option: $130
  • Rio: Ginga Tropical Folkloric Show & Optional Dinner: $142

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Rio de Janeiro $22
    Brasilia $20

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: $7.76
  • Rio de Janeiro (Urca) Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided Tour: $7.76
  • Rio de Janeiro (Urca) Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.92
  • Rio de Janeiro(Ipanema-Copacabana)Scavenger Hunt Self-Guided Tour: $7.93
  • Salvador Sights Self Guided Tour (Pelourinho): $7.93
  • Rio de Janeiro Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Rio de Janeiro Night Experience: Funk Class + 2 Caipirinhas: $9.24
  • 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

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Rio de Janeiro $12
    Brasilia $15

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 in Lapa: $29
  • Rio: Pub Crawl in Lapa with Cachaça Tasting and Live Samba: $33
  • Petropolis City Tour with Imperial Museum and Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $40
  • Petropolis Bohemia: Historic tour and visit to the Bohemian Brewery: $57
  • Walking tour + Pub crawl + Samba in Lapa: $59
  • 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: $132

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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Rio de Janeiro Expensive? and Is Brasilia Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Rio de Janeiro or Brasilia?

Rio de Janeiro has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Brasilia. When comparing the sizes of Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, 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.